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The power of giving

Promise -

Annual Fund puts donations to work where they’re needed most

By Dawn Dorsey

Every gift counts. That’s a fact proven almost 67,000 times a year when people around the world and across the country help eradicate cancer by giving to MD Anderson’s Annual Fund.

Maybe they can’t give millions, but together these generous donors make a huge impact. The Annual Fund, supported mainly by a direct mail program that raised more than $6.5 million last fiscal year, is earmarked for unrestricted funds. This means the institution can use the money where it’s needed most for initiatives that might otherwise go unfunded.

The MD Anderson Cancer Foundation Administrative Board channels applications to receive Annual Fund assistance. The board comprises internal leaders who strive to find the perfect place for these gifts, balancing every aspect of MD Anderson’s mission: patient care, research, prevention and education.

Pioneering research

Innovative research claims the biggest piece of the funding pie. Grants up to $50,000 provide seed money to help early-stage research programs gather the preliminary data needed to compete successfully for federal and state grants.

These groundbreaking projects, led by some of MD Anderson’s best and brightest junior and mid-career physicians and scientists, are vital for discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Thanks to internal funding, talented trailblazers can pursue exciting new paths.

“Unrestricted funds give us flexibility and are a vital piece of our research picture,” says Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D., provost and executive vice president, who chairs the board. “They quickly provide essential resources to projects that have great promise but haven’t yet compiled the preliminary data now needed to successfully compete for outside grants.”

Making every gift count

 Photos by F. Carter Smith

In addition, the Annual Fund provides resources to a number of education and patient care initiatives. It’s helped make possible many patient care programs, including studies on stress and quality of life in cancer patients, an on-campus police escort program for patients and families and coffee service for inpatient hospital units.

“When people give to MD Anderson, it’s a true investment on their part and a significant sharing of trust,” says Patrick Mulvey, vice president for development. “Everyone here has a deep appreciation for the thousands of people working every day toward Making Cancer History®.”

To contribute to the Annual Fund, visit Thank you for making a difference in the lives of cancer patients everywhere.

By the numbers

The Annual Fund*

  • 66,700 donors contributed
  • $10.5 million donated
  • $109 average gift
  • 13,000 donors have given for five years or more
  • 379 donors have given for 20 years or more

* Fiscal Year 2013 (Sept. 1, 2012-Aug. 31, 2013)

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Make a difference

Your gift to MD Anderson makes a difference in the lives of cancer patients by supporting innovative patient care, research, education and prevention programs. You can Donate Now or learn more at myGiving to MD Anderson.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center