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The SAMFund

 89 South Street, Suite LL02
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 938-3484
[F] (866) 496-8070
http://www.thesamfund.org
[email protected]
Samantha Watson
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INCORPORATED: 2003
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 20-6018710

LAST UPDATED: 11/22/2017
Organization DBA Surviving And Moving Forward: The SAMFund for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer
The SAMFund for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer
The Samfund
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The Samfund proudly provides relief and support to young adult cancer survivors who are struggling financially. Through direct financial assistance and free online support and education, The Samfund helps young adults move forward with their lives after cancer.

Mission Statement

The Samfund proudly provides relief and support to young adult cancer survivors who are struggling financially. Through direct financial assistance and free online support and education, The Samfund helps young adults move forward with their lives after cancer.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $744,000.00
Projected Expense $743,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • CancerFinances.org
  • Grants program
  • Online Alumni Community
  • Webinar series: "Moving Forward With Your Financial Health"

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Samfund proudly provides relief and support to young adult cancer survivors who are struggling financially. Through direct financial assistance and free online support and education, The Samfund helps young adults move forward with their lives after cancer.


Background Statement

The Samfund provides support for young adult cancer survivors in the United States as they recover from the financial toxicity of cancer treatment. Through its unique programs, The Samfund helps young adults move forward towards their personal, professional, and academic goals.

The Samfund is the first and largest nonprofit organization in the country that provides direct financial assistance and free online support and education to young adults, regardless of where they live or their specific cancer diagnosis. Since 2005, we have awarded $1.75 million in grants and now also provide a free Webinar series, “Moving Forward With Your Financial Health,” and online CancerFinances.org program, offering young adults the tools and guidance they need to face their financial struggles and take steps to overcome them.


Impact Statement

For almost 15 years, The Samfund has helped young adult survivors of cancer recover from the financial devastation of cancer. To date, we have awarded a total of $1,750,000 in direct financial assistance to young adult survivors across the country and provided support and guidance through our free Webinar series, "Moving Forward with Your Financial Health," and CancerFinances.org program, to help young adults make better-informed financial decisions during and after cancer treatment.
 
Our grants cover a wide range of "real life," post-treatment needs, such as (but not limited to): living expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, car insurance, etc), medical bills (both current and residual, as well as prescription co-pays and health insurance premiums), wellness (gym/yoga memberships, mental health expenses), student loans, family building expenses (adoption, infertility treatments, etc) and more.
 
We also provide online support through our blog (http://www.thesamfund.org/blog/), a private Facebook community for alumni, and an open Facebook group for supporters, volunteers, and young adult survivors across the country to come together, share stories and learn from one another.

 


Needs Statement

As our programs are primarily funded through individual contributions, donations remain our greatest need. Historically, we have awarded grants once annually, but seeing the growing need (due to rising healthcare costs as well as increased awareness/visibility of The Samfund as a resource), we implemented a second grant cycle in January of 2016. Ultimately, this will allow us to provide more timely support to more people throughout the year. However, it also means that we need to scale up our fundraising efforts to support the growing grants program.

For our Webinar series and CancerFinances.org program, the greatest need is for professionals who are willing to donate their time and expertise to provide content. Specifically, we are looking for professionals in the fields of finance, human relations, insurance, and others who can address some of the most common challenges faced by cancer survivors and give them the tools and information to overcome them.

CEO Statement

We are always careful not to say that we empower young adult cancer survivors - rather, we provide them the tools and the confidence to empower themselves. By becoming informed, harnessing the resources that are out there, and connecting with others who are dealing with (or have dealt with) similar challenges, young adult survivors are better equipped to move forward with their lives and achieve their goals.


Board Chair Statement

--

Geographic Area Served

STATEWIDE
NATIONAL
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
We serve young adult survivors of cancer across the United States.

Organization Categories

  1. Diseases Disorders & Medical Disciplines - Cancer
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

CancerFinances.org

Dealing with cancer is hard enough. Your finances shouldn’t cause you extra stress. In 2015, The Samfund and Triage Cancer teamed up to create this Toolkit to provide young adults and others with information and tools to help make sound financial decisions before, during, and after cancer treatment– not just in the wake of the financial wreckage cancer often causes.
Budget  --
Category  Health Care, General/Other
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer
Program Short-Term Success 

After a cancer diagnosis, certain financial issues come to the surface for young adult cancer survivors that they may never have had to deal with before: the necessity (and expense) of good health insurance coverage, the likelihood of medical debt, the challenge of paying everyday bills with limited (if any) income and drained savings accounts. The goal of this program is to help YAs manage these challenges before they become crises. The Samfund and Triage Cancer want to equip the young adult survivor community with the tools necessary to make educated decisions about their finances, health care and other related challenges so that recovering financially from cancer doesn't become a lifelong struggle. Short term success is defined by each visitor of the site leaving armed with the information and confidence to make well informed decisions. We anticipate that at least 50% of surveyed users will report an improvement in one area of financial concern six months after accessing the online tool, specifically, that these users will report a decrease in stress about finances after having used this tool.


Program Long-Term Success 

Our online support programs are open to anyone who self-­identifies as part of the YA community; this includes caregivers and medical providers in addition to those directly diagnosed with cancer, so the potential audience of this program goes well beyond the hundreds of thousands of young adult survivors themselves. Providing even more relevant information and guidance will broaden our reach and our impact exponentially. Ultimately long term success would be a decline in the number of grant applications we receive each cycle, and the number of phone calls we receive each day. Long term success would be less young adult cancer survivors having to decide between going to a doctor’s appointment and keeping the electricity on.


Program Success Monitored By 

The success of this program, as with our existing Webinar series, will be measured via overall user satisfaction, usefulness of information provided, and number of participants. For satisfaction and effectiveness, we will include a field for the user’s email address, not only so that we may follow up regarding the quality of the content, but also so that we may contact him/her with any new information or resources regarding their area of interest. After using the tool, participants will be asked to complete a voluntary survey, which includes an assessment of perceptions of their current financial situation and answering topic­-specific questions. The survey also includes questions rating the quality of content and usefulness of information provided. Six months after completion of the original survey, users will be asked to complete an additional survey to evaluate the application of this information over time. Evaluation of all data is conducted with data analysis software. We will also use Google Analytics to track the number of users of the new interactive resources and tools.


Examples of Program Success  We ask all users to complete a short survey to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. Although we included an incentive (random monthly drawing for an Amazon gift card), survey responses have been minimal. This seems to be a common challenge of measuring the impact of online programs, especially when they are provided for free. However, we rely on anecdotal feedback not only from users, but from medical and other providers who have referred patients to the CancerFinances.org site, and all has been overwhelmingly positive. In the upcoming year, we will try new outreach strategies to improve data collection so that we can report back, with concrete figures, on the success of this program.

Grants program

The Samfund is one of the only organizations in the U.S. designed to provide direct financial assistance to young adults with a cancer history, regardless of the specific diagnosis, for help with a wide range of post-treatment needs. Applicants must be between the ages of 21 and 39, residents of the United States, and either finished with planned treatment with no evidence of disease, one year following the completion of planned therapy, or in remission and on long-term hormonal or long-term targeted therapy. Since 2005, we have awarded over $1,750,000 to recipients across the country.


Grants provided cover a wide range of post-treatment financial needs including (but not limited to):

  • health insurance premiums

  • rent/mortgage assistance

  • car payments, insurance, or repairs

  • continuing education and student loans

  • family-building expenses

  • gym memberships

  • mental health expenses

Budget  $215,000.00
Category  Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines, General/Other Cancer
Population Served Other Named Groups
Program Short-Term Success 

In the short term, immediate financial assistance can make a tremendous impact to a young adult survivor’s day-to-day living needs. Our grants have, as a few examples, allowed young adult survivors to: stay in their homes when facing eviction; keep their heat and electricity on; take their prescription medications; maintain their health insurance so they may receive follow-up medical care; assist them in paying for family building procedures; pay off medical debt; improve their credit ratings; build their post-treatment health with a gym or yoga membership, or physical therapy or massage sessions; continue or complete schooling; and provide simple necessities such as gas or groceries.

Program Long-Term Success 

By addressing survivors’ financial needs, The Samfund provides a stopgap which allows them to fulfill their educational, housing, transportation, and/or health-related needs. We specifically focus on investments in young adults which help them to help themselves. After years of watching their peers move forward with their lives, young adult survivors deserve the opportunity to do the same. With our help this becomes more possible.

The impacts of this assistance are far-reaching. A consistent theme among those we help is a sincere desire to give back to the community and a commitment to improving the lives of other disadvantaged individuals. Some of our recipients have gone on to become oncologists or nurses. Others strive towards careers in social work or cancer research. Many volunteer for or otherwise support cancer organizations in gratitude for the support they received throughout their cancer experiences.

Program Success Monitored By 

At a basic dollars-and-cents level, program success can be judged by the amount of funds and number of grants distributed each year. However, The Samfund prefers to measure success through the follow-up data collected from recipients at 6-months, 1-year and 2-years post-award. Recipients are asked to report on their living, professional and educational situations, and their satisfaction with each. They are also asked to answer qualitative questions about what their grant has allowed them to do, and what their goals are for the near future.

Examples of Program Success 

The Samfund has provided $1,750,000 to over 800 young adult survivors since 2005. Their words are the most powerful examples of program success.

“The Samfund helped me greatly with my mortgage. I don't know how I would have possibly paid it without the help I was given. Thanks to [the grant] I was able to keep a roof over my son's head.”

“I am so grateful to the Samfund for a membership at the gym in my neighborhood. I have lost approximately 18 pounds gained during treatment since receiving my grant, because I go to the gym at least 5 days a week! I have started running on the treadmill to regain some of my lung/cardio function after transplant, and I can now go for 3 minutes without stopping to catch my breath. Maybe an athlete would laugh at that, but I am totally proud of myself!“

“The Samfund grant that I received made it possible for my wife and I to afford some of the extra costs of doing an IVF procedure. Because we were able to finally do the IVF my wife is now pregnant!”


Online Alumni Community

We have a private Facebook community to add an additional layer of online support for our grant recipients. This online community is a safe place where members can share experiences, strength and hope. The group has over 350 members.

Budget  $0.00
Category  None of the above
Population Served US
Program Short-Term Success 
Having a private community to share often brings immediate relief and hope to alumni members, empowering them to seek advice from their peers and discuss issues.
Program Long-Term Success 
This private group enables alumni to have a safe place to support one another, ask questions, and share experiences. Ongoing communication strengthens the bond between group members, sparking more conversation and encouraging more alumni to participate. 
Program Success Monitored By 
We know the group is "working" by the number and type of conversations happening at any given time. Over time, comments on posts have consistently grown and more members have started participating by sharing milestones and struggles. Our message to the group is consistent with our mission, empowering alumni to move forward together as a strong and supportive community of young adult survivors.
Examples of Program Success 
Since participation is by invitation-only, members can be assured that the group represents only Samfund alumni. The growth in members is a success factor as are the number and breadth of conversations within the group.

Webinar series: "Moving Forward With Your Financial Health"

In early 2011, we developed a Webinar series called "Moving Forward With Your Financial Health" to address some of the most common financial challenges faced by young adult cancer survivors after treatment. Presented in partnership with financial professionals and other organizations, our webinars provide information, tools, and guidance to overcome these challenges. Accessible 24/7 on Samfund TV, the YouTube library includes topics such as rebuilding your credit after treatment, reducing medical debt, family building, tackling workplace issues and more.

Budget  $26,000.00
Category  Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines, General/Other Cancer
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer
Program Short-Term Success 

The SAMFund aims to reach a total of 50 people (live listeners and listeners after the fact) for the each webinar. As we hold an average of five Webinars per calendar year, this figure totals approximately 250 users. Our goal is to measure a 5% improvement in survivors’ financial situations at 6 months post-Webinar.

Program Long-Term Success 

By arming young adult survivors with information, helping them learn to advocate for themselves and establish their financial self-sufficiency, we are furthering The SAMFund’s mission to help survivors get back on their feet. Ultimately, The SAMFund will help hundreds more survivors improve their financial situations than what is possible with our grants program alone, all in a cost-effective manner.

Program Success Monitored By 

The success of this program is measured via overall user satisfaction, usefulness of information provided, and number of participants. Participants are asked to complete a brief pre-Webinar survey, assessing perceptions of their current financial situations and answering topic-specific questions that gauge current need and interest, allowing panelists to tailor their presentations to the audience. Participants are also asked to complete a survey immediately post-Webinar rating the quality of content and usefulness of information. Six months after the Webinar, users are asked to complete a survey to evaluate the application of this information over time. The SAMFund also tracks these indicators for people who access the recorded versions of the Webinars.

Examples of Program Success 

The SAMFund received overwhelmingly positive responses to the first year of the program. In calendar year 2012, 256 individuals completed our pre-Webinar survey (over 4 Webinars total). After the presentation on insurance options, one participant wrote, “My COBRA payments had increased to $1,200 a month and my out-of-pocket expenses had doubled… Just when I thought I’d lose everything—from where I lived, to the food on my table—I heard about The SAMFund’s webinar. During the Webinar, I learned all of the options for health insurance in my state. I am now enrolled in MHIP and my insurance will only cost me $400 a month. Without The SAMFund, I never would have known this existed. The importance of Webinars like these cannot be measured. That single one changed the course of my life. So thank you... and keep up the good work.” (Beth S, 7-year survivor)


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Grants: The largest (and longstanding) challenges facing our grants program include meeting the need of our target population, and making the program scalable in the long-term. While we have been fortunate enough to steadily increase our giving nearly every year since 2005, the number of applications we receive has similarly increased. As a small organization, maintaining the capacity to manage grant distribution is an ever-evolving process.

Webinars: The Webinar series has created phenomenal opportunities for strengthening relationships with our cancer community partners. We’ve been fortunate to bring in professionals in a broad range of fields (such as insurance options, employment issues, family building, medical debt reduction) and have expanded our organizational connections, as well as providing this information to our survivor community.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Samantha Watson
CEO Term Start Apr 2003
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience The CEO of The Samfund, Samantha Watson, brings both personal and professional experience to her role. She is a two-time young adult cancer survivor who also holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She founded The Samfund in 2003, became its full-time Executive Director in August of 2006, and was promoted to CEO in late 2015.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Michelle Landwehr COO --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Advocacy Award Critical Mass 2017
The Samfund was selected to ring the closing bell on May 4, 2017 Nasdaq 2017
Rock for Charity Grantee Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation 2016
Survivor Circle Grant ASTRO 2016
Grant Expect Miracles Foundation 2014
Grant Expect Miracles Foundation 2013
"Make a Difference, Taste a Difference" Award Hood Simply Smart Milk 2012
Survivor Circle Grant ASTRO 2012

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

The Samfund is proud to be a charter member of Critical Mass (formerly the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance)  and a collaborating partner on many Boston-area cancer conferences, including Dana-Farber's annual young adult conference and Friends of Mel's annual "Art of Living" conference for those touched by cancer.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 50%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Steven Bandrowczak
Board Chair Company Affiliation Alight
Board Chair Term Mar 2015 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Steven Bandrowczak Hewlett Packard Enterprise Voting
Jeffrey Cooper Reis Cooper LLP Voting
Cynthia Eisenstein Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Voting
Glenn Eisenstein Independent Bridge Professional Voting
Victor Feldman Treasury Equity, LLC & Gemshares, LLC Voting
Lex Friedman Midroll Voting
Morley Goldberg Dumont & Blake Investment Advisors Voting
Carolyn Jasinski Northeastern University Voting
Sharon Karsten Treasury Equity, LLC & Gemshares, LLC Voting
Corey Peterson Lenox Advisors Voting
Barry Seigerman Independent Broker Voting
Samantha Watson The Samfund Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mark Bennett Bayer Pharmaceuticals NonVoting
Adam Carr AutoZone NonVoting
Patricia Graca Community Volunteer NonVoting
George Padula Modera Wealth Management NonVoting
Katie Price Hewlett Packard Enterprise NonVoting
Mark Rukavina Community Volunteer NonVoting
Doug Woodward DW Advertising NonVoting
Yousuf Zafar Duke Cancer Center NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Board Governance
  • Executive
  • Investment
  • Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $744,000.00
Projected Expense $743,000.00
Form 990s

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

2009 Form 990

Audit Documents

2015 Audited Financial Statements

2014 Audited Financial Statements

2013 Review

2012 Review

2011 Review

2010 Review

2009 Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $474,630 $575,654 $410,665
Total Expenses $598,933 $412,404 $354,957

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $457,169 $520,044 $303,716
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $6,508 $4,382 $5,196
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $7,486 $46,928 $101,753
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $3,467 $4,300 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $431,309 $318,612 $329,713
Administration Expense $109,698 $49,930 $6,835
Fundraising Expense $57,926 $43,862 $18,409
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.79 1.40 1.16
Program Expense/Total Expenses 72% 77% 93%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 12% 8% 5%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $417,120 $531,812 $345,142
Current Assets $225,527 $336,909 $222,517
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $23,232 $5,965 $9,628
Total Net Assets $393,888 $525,847 $335,514

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $250,000.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 9.71 56.48 23.11

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In FY14, The Samfund received a very generous bequest, which was unrestricted by the donor. The Board decided to utilize some of the funds for the endowment and the majority of the funds to internal infrastructure (specifically, additional staff). The bequest was received almost two-thirds of the way through our fiscal year, so we were not able to spend it until FY15. This explains why, in our audited financial statements, it appears that we had leftover cash in FY14 and much more in expenses than income in FY15.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Our ultimate goal is to provide assistance to all young adult cancer survivors who need it, and to combat cancer-related financial toxicity for this population. We plan to execute this vision through direct financial assistance and online support and education, as well as by adding our voice to academic and advocacy efforts. We also plan to distribute double the funds we have awarded since 2005 in the next three years. Long-term success for us is not only being able to distribute more funds, but also seeing improved financial, health, and psychosocial outcomes for our grant recipients post-funding.


Our other priority is to raise awareness, both of The Samfund and our work, and also of the issue of financial toxicity related to cancer. To that end, we published our first peer-reviewed paper in Cancer Medicine, entitled "The cost of cancer: a retrospective analysis of the financial impact of cancer on young adults" (found here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cam4.657/abstract), have become a regular contributor to the American Journal of Managed Care, and have several other publications in progress. As we continue to grow and be recognized as a unique resource in the cancer community, it will be critical to raise additional funds to be able to appropriately scale our existing programs and develop new ones.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

In the next three to five years, we have plans to scale up our grants program significantly through increased corporate partnerships, pharmaceutical partnerships, and major gifts. We are currently a staff of five, and our next major hire will be a Development Director, who will help execute our strategic plan. We will also lean more heavily on our Sambassador volunteers, who are located across the country.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

In addition to our full-time staff, we are also fortunate to have 30 Sambassadors (volunteers who make a year-long commitment to The Samfund and help with fundraising and outreach efforts) and 8 Advisory Council Members (professionals who share their specific expertise with our staff and Board). Together, we are developing strategies to strengthen The Samfund's presence in cities where we have had events (New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and increase visibility in new areas across the country.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

The clearest metrics for success in terms of outreach are 1) increased donations, 2) greater number of local events hosted by volunteers (rather than Samfund staff), and 3) more referrals from more hospitals and cancer centers across the country. Progress in our grant recipient population is measured by surveys at 6-months, 1-year and 2-years post-funding. Recipients are asked to report on financial indicators, as well as quantitative measures on physical and psychological health, access to health care, decision-making around finances, educational, job and living situations, and stress. They are also offered the opportunity to qualitatively discuss any progress or improvements, or what their grant allowed them to do. In a recent analysis of our Fall 2015 cohort, the average difference between income and expenses moved from a deficit of nearly $200 to a surplus of over $900/month from application to 6-months post-award. Average gains were maintained at 12 months. We recently did an audit of all our instruments and made improvements accordingly. We will continue to review these instruments on a regular basis to be sure we are capturing the most important benchmarks.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Our Sambassadors have begun to raise awareness of The Samfund in their own communities and we are looking forward to seeing the progress they continue to make. We saw an increase in donations at the end of 2016, thanks in large part to participation in our year-end fundraising campaign by Sambassadors and other volunteers.
 

Our Sambassadors have begun to raise awareness of The Samfund in their own communities and we are looking forward to seeing the progress they continue to make. We saw an increase in donations at the end of 2016, thanks in large part to participation in our year-end fundraising campaign by Sambassadors and other volunteers.

We recently added two new members to our Advisory Council-- Dr. Yousuf Zafar, who will be assisting us with research and evaluation efforts, and Mark Rukavina, who will be assisting us with advocacy efforts. Both of these experts will allow us to raise our organizational profile and continue to give credibility to The Samfund. While we have funded nearly 1,000 individuals since 2005, and we know we see positive outcomes from this intervention, we have not yet leveraged our data enough to solidify funding partnerships necessary to scale up our grants program. This coming year, now that we are nearly finished with our strategic plan, will be the beginning of this new phase.