Cure Cancer

By using technologies like Salesforce, we can continue to enhance the experience of our donors and customers, providing them with tailored personalised communications.”

Nikki Kinloch | CEO


increase in website traffic


Cure Cancer raises 226% more funds using Salesforce

Established in 1967, Cure Cancer is the only charity in Australia dedicated to funding early-career cancer researchers. These researchers offer pioneering approaches to curing all types of cancer, but they’re underfunded in comparison to more senior researchers.

“Less than 7% of early-career cancer research grant applications are currently funded, with the majority of  the grants going to individuals who already have a track-record or who have had a major break-through in their area,” explained Nikki Kinloch, CEO, Cure Cancer. “As a not-for-profit we focus on solely funding the best early-career cancer researchers so that we can continue to grow the pipeline of researchers who will in time become mid to mature level researches themselves. We have been fortunate to have three of our early-career researchers in the last two years participate in global clinical trials, with the aim of changing how cancer research and treatment is carried out in the future.”

Over the past 52 years Cure Cancer has raised $69.1m to support over 515 research grants. More recently, the charity has embraced Salesforce as a way to connect with donors, increase efficiency and make more of an impact. 

Taking the work out of personalisation

Like most charities, Cure Cancer operates with limited resources and its small team previously struggled to manage the huge task of donor engagement. Replacing an old data server with the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack made it easier to access and report on donor data. However, there was still too much effort required to send emails as lists had to be imported into a separate system and segmented manually.

“Going back and forth between two different systems was messy and a strain on resources. It also made it difficult to personalise communication and optimise results,” said Conor Nolan, Digital Executive, Cure Cancer.

To address these issues, Cure Cancer replaced its email system with Pardot and unified its data on Salesforce. This has given the organisation a complete view of current and potential donors, including their history of donations and which areas of cancer research they’re most interested in supporting.

With this information all in one place and easier segmentation of audiences, Cure Cancer is able to personalise communication like never before and work more efficiently. Maintaining a campaign pre-Pardot used to be a very manual process of sending out emails when individual people registered, now through Pardot, Cure Cancer has automated the communication journey meaning that the fundraising team has more time to form personal connections.

“By bringing everything onto one platform and using Pardot to automate tasks like adding people to lists and campaigns, we’ve eliminated the heavy lifting involved in communicating with donors. We’ve also made sure that from the point someone donates or connects with us, we’re able to personalise their journey,” said Nolan. “For donors, these journeys include monthly updates on research so they can see the direct impact of their donation.”

The benefits of personalisation

Over the last financial year, Cure Cancer has experienced a 226% rise in donations from email channels and an 119% increase in website traffic from email which it attributes to more personalised emails and nurture journeys. Cure Cancer has also increased engagement with corporate donors through initiatives like BarbeCURE. Launched on Pardot, this campaign includes a nurture journey encouraging individuals and corporates to host a fundraising BBQ. The campaign has been successful in increasing awareness and support and has so far generated over $725,000 in donations.

Cure Cancer is now working on adding more channels into its communication mix and automating these through Pardot. This includes the use of automated and personalised SMS to augment campaigns and keep in regular contact with supporters. So far Cure Cancer has seen SMS improve the immediacy of communications, with 75% of people who received a SMS, clicking through to their website.

“Our mission is to help make this the last generation of people to die from cancer and we’re using Salesforce not just to raise more funds, but to build a community of likeminded people supporting our cause,” said Kinloch. “It helps us show our gratitude to our donors and stay connected to them by sharing updates on the research they’re funding and inviting them to events where they can see the work in action such as our Lab Tours at the different research institutes and universities. We’re also using Salesforce to keep in touch with the researchers that we’ve funded previously. Continuing to work with them on their breakthroughs and involving them in mentoring the new researchers we are funding is very important to us.”

Kinloch said that Cure Cancer’s use of Salesforce aligned to a broader strategy to leverage technology for good and make it as easy as possible for people to lend their support. “By using technologies like Salesforce, we can continue to enhance the experience of our donors and customers, providing them with tailored personalised communications both within Australia and globally.”

Currently, the organisation is using Einstein Analytics to uncover new insights on donors, including how and why they are giving and where they are giving from. This information will help Cure Cancer to further personalise communication and make fundraising even more effective.

Nolan credited the Salesforce community and resources like Trailhead for supporting Cure Cancer’s ongoing innovation and success. “Salesforce has been really invested in our journey and we now can’t imagine working without their technology and support.”


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