Canadian Cancer Society Program Audit

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is currently the largest national charitable funder of cancer research in Canada. The organization has grown substantially since being founded in 1938, and today has 10 separate divisions that raise funds to ‘eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.'

The Challenge

CCS has been able to build successful direct response programs in all provinces, but many of the programs have been developed independently and results/strategies haven’t been shared across the country as effectively as they could have been.

The Solution

To help ensure that all provinces were leveraging best practices in direct response fundraising CCS contracted HMA to complete a detailed program audit of each of their provinces. HMA’s review included direct mail, e-mail, online, social media, face-to-face, events, stewardship, and monthly donors. This review also looked specifically at upgrading donors to higher levels of giving with strategies on converting to major and legacy donors.

In conducting our audits, we interviewed more than 20 different staff and dove deep into their direct response programs, reviewing hundreds of samples (along with the corresponding results) from the past few years. Having a complete picture of everything the organization had been doing ensured that our recommendations were all valuable and actionable for CCS.

The Results

In CCS’s own words:

We will be looking to institute as many of these audit results as possible. We appreciate the outside perspective and your expertise. Thank you again for your good work and commitment to helping us increase our impact and reduce our costs. – John Douglas, Manitoba Division

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the great work you’ve done. I am also happy to inform you that we were able to follow several of your recommendations for our year-end campaign. – Clara Bonnes, Quebec Division

To find out more about how HMA can help you with your fundraising campaigns, please get in touch with us at

Client: Canadian Cancer Society

Services: Program Audit

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    Harvey McKinnon Associates