The American Cancer Society Dips a Toe in the Waters of Crowdfunding

The American Cancer Society is hoping February will be the month of crowdfunding for its new initiative, Fund the Next Generation of Cancer Researchers—which has raised over $5,000 toward its $200,000 goal for this month.

It’s a good sign for the future of crowdfunding to see one of the largest not-for-profits in the country turning to the masses for gifts. And although the ACS’s campaign is likely a toe in the water rather than a new direction for the group, it's certainly doing it right.

Fund the Next Generation of Cancer Researchers is a restricted campaign to support ACS’s post-doctoral grant program, which supports researchers whose funding is often the first to go in times of fiscal difficulty.

And the campaign features impressively precise tangible giving goals that provide a realistic picture of how donor money will be spent—from $500 for lab glassware and plasticware all the way up to $200,000 for two two-year grants.

ACS knows exactly what it’s doing in this space—Senior Vice President of Extramural Research Bill Chambers notes that the group thinks “millennials may feel very comfortable with this form of giving and may feel a much greater affinity for supporting researchers from their ranks.”

It will be interesting to watch ACS’s campaign develop and, based on its success, whether the group looks to crowdfunding for future initiatives as well.