In a move designed to position the Center to meet its most pressing future needs, the Boards of Overseers and Managers have authorized a five-year extension of the Campaign for Memorial Sloan Kettering and raised the overall goal to $3.5 billion.
This intensified effort will build on the foundation of what is already the most ambitious and successful fundraising drive in Memorial Sloan Kettering’s history. Originally launched in 2001, the Campaign was extended by five years and its goal doubled to $2 billion in 2006. It surpassed that target more than two years ahead of schedule, and the total of gifts and pledges to the Campaign currently stands at $2.25 billion.
Contributions to the Campaign have been instrumental in achieving top institutional priorities, from the construction of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Research Center to accommodate the Center’s growing basic and translational research enterprise to the opening of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center to house a comprehensive array of clinical services. Gifts have also supported the Center’s educational and training programs and led to the establishment of pioneering initiatives such as the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center, the David H. Koch Center for the Immunologic Control of Cancer, and the Tri-Institutional Stem Cell Initiative and Starr Cancer Consortium, both funded by The Starr Foundation.
Continuing in their roles as co-chairs of the Campaign will be Douglas A. Warner III and Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. They will work with fellow Board members, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center President and CEO Craig B. Thompson, and the Center’s medical and scientific leaders to make the case for enhanced philanthropic support to prospective donors.
“The decision to press ahead with the Campaign comes at an especially opportune moment,” Mr. Warner says. “It will allow us to capitalize on the infusion of energy and enthusiasm generated by the appointment of Craig Thompson as Memorial Sloan Kettering’s president and the identification of new institutional priorities as part of our overall strategic planning process.”
Because a campaign serves to mobilize donor support, the ongoing effort will be key to broadening the Center’s base of private philanthropy — an especially important consideration as the economy starts to recover and benefactors begin giving more generously again.
“Money raised during the Campaign will help meet a variety of needs critical to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s future,” Mr. Gerstner says. There is a great deal to do, from creating first-rate treatment facilities to funding innovative research to supporting outstanding investigators and physicians at every stage of their careers.”
The Campaign has already attracted a record-setting number of gifts, including an all-time annual high of 1,022,400 contributions in 2010. “Our benefactors are inspired to give by the extraordinary work being done every day in the Center’s laboratories and patient care facilities,” says Dr. Thompson. “We are grateful to all those who have supported this work over the past ten years, and we hope that others will join them in sustaining the Campaign’s strong forward momentum as we strive to realize even greater progress against cancer in the years to come.”