Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Announces $2 Billion Fundraising Campaign to Defy Cancer

Virtual Event Launches Public Phase of Campaign


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BOSTON--()--Dana-Farber Cancer Institute today announced the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, and the largest campaign ever in New England focused entirely on cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign is a multi-year fundraising effort to raise $2 billion to accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise.

More than 1,000 people joined Dana-Farber for a special one-hour virtual event on Monday night to kick off the campaign and embraced the Institute’s vision to prevent, treat, and Defy Cancer. The event featured Journalist and Author Tom Brokaw; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, MD; Chairman of the Dana-Farber Board of Trustees and Co-chairman and Managing Director of Bain Capital Josh Bekenstein; and Chair of The Dana-Farber Campaign, Institute Trustee, and Founding Partner and Managing Director of Charlesbank Capital Partners Michael Eisenson; along with inspiring patient stories, and special guests including musician Andy Grammer, actress Amy Poehler, actor Pierce Brosnan, and more.

This campaign comes at a crucial time, when scientific progress in oncology is advancing dramatically, yet the need for innovations in research and care to help more cancer patients is still great, according to Glimcher.

“We have made groundbreaking discoveries in cancer, and today, thanks to the support from a generous community of donors, we know more about this terrible disease than ever before,” said Glimcher. “While discoveries and new therapies are increasing at a rapid pace, many cancers remain difficult to diagnose early and hard to treat. Cancers are striking younger people more frequently, and many barriers to equitable care still exist. The Dana-Farber Campaign will marshal the resources necessary to support our strategic initiatives and to Defy Cancer.”

From chemotherapy discovered by Sidney Farber, MD, to targeted drugs for immunotherapies, to the 2019 Nobel Prize winning research of William Kaelin, MD, and throughout its seven-decade history, Dana-Farber discoveries have changed the lives of patients everywhere. Starting with scientific breakthroughs against childhood leukemia at the Institute’s founding in 1947, and many times since, Dana-Farber has advanced the standard of cancer care.

“Cancer isn’t one disease. It is many different diseases and different for each patient. But just as cancer continues to change, Dana-Farber needs resources to continue to evolve, advance, adapt, and accelerate our efforts if we are to ultimately defeat cancer for everyone – forever,” said Bekenstein.

The Dana-Farber Campaign is a multi-year fundraising effort to increase philanthropic support to accelerate success against cancer focusing on three pillars: revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise:

  • Revolutionary Science: Science at Dana-Farber is rapidly transforming what is known about how cancer develops and how to treat it. While Institute findings have led to new therapies and helped many people, some cancers still elude early detection and treatment. Gifts to The Dana-Farber Campaign will support crucial research areas including cancer prevention and early detection; data science, including artificial intelligence and machine learning; precision immunotherapy; and more.
  • Extraordinary Care: Dana-Farber’s integrated approach to care is a unique model, and its standards and protocols have been adopted around the world. Most Dana-Farber clinicians also conduct research, providing patients with ready access to more than 1,000 therapeutic and non-therapeutic trials and speeding the pathway “from bench to bedside” and back again. Campaign funds will spark innovations in research-based care, expand access to the high-quality care Dana-Farber is known for by reaching more patients and families in underserved populations, help address cancer disparities, and more.
  • Exceptional Expertise: Dana-Farber is committed to providing its expert scientists and clinicians with the resources they need to provide world-class care and pursue innovative research. Gifts to the Campaign will enable Dana-Farber to continue attracting and retaining the best talent, allow scientists to explore new ideas that could lead to the next cure, and provide clinicians more time with their patients.

Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund have always relied on generous donors and grassroots fundraisers to make huge strides against cancer, giving more “Jimmys” a hopeful future. Every step walked or race run; each mile on a bike or swing of the club; every donation to honor a loved one; every dollar makes a powerful difference because it is not a single act—it is part of a movement and an entire community coming together to fund cancer research and care at Dana-Farber.

The Dana-Farber Campaign is ambitious and important. Each gift will make a difference in the lives of pediatric and adult patients around the world,” said Michael Eisenson. “Together, we can make monumental strides to Defy Cancer.”

Working closely with Eisenson is Vice Chair of The Dana-Farber Campaign, Monica Chandra, an Institute Trustee and Managing Partner of 3EDGE Asset Management.

The Dana-Farber Campaign began its quiet phase in October 2017 and the Institute has received commitments for approximately 60 percent of the goal to date.

Last week, Judith B. Hale, her son, Robert T. Hale, Jr., and his wife, Karen Hale, pledged a $50 million gift to support The Dana-Farber Campaign by enabling a wide range of ambitious work in two main areas of pancreatic cancer research: early detection and prevention, and precision medicine and biology. The gift will launch teams of scientists to leverage health system data to identify those at highest risk for pancreatic cancer, detect it earlier through new imaging approaches and blood tests, and develop new treatments for pre-invasive and early invasive pancreatic cancers.

The campaign is anticipated to close in September 2024.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment, and with its partners is ranked in the top 6 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement and equity, and advocacy. We provide the latest in cancer care for adults through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.


Molly McHale
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Media Relations

Release Summary

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announces $2 billion fundraising campaign.



Molly McHale
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Media Relations