Every day, 53 Albertans hear the words, "you have cancer." This means that one in two Albertans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. And, sadly, one in four will not survive. These aren't just statistics. These are our families, our friends and our neighbors.
As the official fundraising partner for the 17 Alberta Health Services cancer centres across the province, the Alberta Cancer Foundation's purpose is to create more moments for Albertans facing cancer by inspiring our community to give. We actively seek out and support the most promising research and care programs that will provide real-life returns — cancer patients returning to their lives. We don't do this alone. We can't. We need the support of thousands of donors every year. And, in order to capture the attention of as many prospective donors as possible, we must execute thoughtful and compelling marketing and communication campaigns that will stand out in a very competitive not-for-profit landscape.
We know there is tough competition for donor dollars (in Alberta alone, there are more than 700 health-related charities). We also know we have room to improve when it comes to overall awareness. A 2018 brand awareness survey showed our unaided awareness is relatively low, (17%) while aided is higher (76%). World Cancer Day (4 February) provides us the opportunity to raise awareness by demonstrating the impact donor dollars can make and ultimately, raise more dollars.
World Cancer Day is the only day on the global health calendar where everyone is encouraged to unite and rally under one banner of cancer, providing an opportunity to capture the attention of existing and prospective donors. In the past, we experienced relative success from World Cancer Day marketing campaigns, but knew we could do better. For the 19,000 Albertans who would be diagnosed with cancer in 2019, we knew we had to. So, this year, we launched a fully integrated marketing and communications campaign.
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Phoebe Dey is vice president of communications and marketing for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.