Less than a quarter of a percent of the National Cancer Institute’s research budget is directed toward stomach cancer. 0.23% to be exact. And while the disease is a top cancer worldwide statistically, funding still sits at roughly $13.4 million out of a $5.6 billion dollar budget. Overall budget size has increased over recent years, though funds for stomach cancer have remained roughly stagnant. This leaves research funding up to foundations and charities like us. Over the past 4 years, since our launch in 2015, we have raised nearly $40,000 for research, and while this number may seem small in comparison, it helps to fill the gap and it starts to chip away at the work that needs to be done to make a difference and find a cure.
Funding stomach cancer research is the mission of our organization, and awareness of the disease is something that goes hand in hand with that work. We started with that sole purpose in mind and since then have helped to support three research programs at three tremendous cancer centers, all while being entirely volunteer based and being extremely fiscally conscious in our operations since the start.
While being volunteer based means that we do not have the capacity to fundraise in the traditional way and run our operations with a full time staff, creating a smaller top line in our revenue as a result, it is estimated that we have saved over $2.4 million over the past 4 years on salaries and employee related costs. Our revenue is smaller, arguably as a result of not operating with a full time team, but the percentage of every dollar that really goes to research and awareness programs is far far greater than it would be otherwise, and we strive to have this percentage sit as close to 100 as possible. That starts with watching every dollar, from fixed overhead to our costs associated with required state and federal filings.
It’s no secret there is wide mistrust among nonprofits, but by being transparent, we hope to set ourselves aside from the norm and status quo, both from a belief system standpoint and a way of conducting business. According to an article by Network for Good, “since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs.” Additionally a majority of donors like charities with a favorable rating from nonprofit validators like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau.
But there is a big misconception when it comes to the information these organizations provide. With small charities, such as Project Periwinkle, there are minimal reporting requirements and details we are able to provide with standards at a federal level, especially with the IRS. These organizations pull data from these reports to generate their grade and information, meaning no rating at all or missing holes in information for organizations like ours sits on the table. That leaves it in the hands of marketing, through social media and our tremendous ambassadors, and PR to show the way and who we really are.
Research is paramount in moving our world toward a cure, not just for stomach cancer but all cancers, and the more that can go directly to that work make all the difference.
Tax-deductible donations can be made on our website. Thank you for your generous support!