Collaborating on a global level aims to deliver big results for one NFP


    Sharing resources and forming partnerships with other organisations is vital to many not-for-profits, but Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (CBCF) is taking collaboration to a new level.

    It’s part of a major change of direction for the 12-year-old national foundation that has seen a move from a traditional medical charity model–raising funds to support individual research projects – to a "radical and disruptive" strategy, says CEO Catherine Stace.

    Around 1,200 people die from brain cancer each year and CBCF is aiming to increase the five-year survival rate to 50 per cent within 10 years by collaborating with other charities and foundations on funding and research. The idea is of a single national research model that is aligned with global priorities.

    By using a research model that takes advantage of work overseas, "we give Australia’s scientists a leg-up, so to speak, to accelerate treatments and to get them through to clinical trials", CBCF is hoping for faster results and reduced costs, says Stace.

    The new strategy was underpinned by a series of think tanks globally, which Australia led. "They resulted in CBCF attending scientific meetings in the United States and China, and collaborating with charities in the United Kingdom and US," she says.

    In May this year, the foundation invited 10 of the world’s leading scientists in its field to a scientific meeting, expecting one or two to attend.

    "We were shocked when they all came. As a result, we have 16 new collaborations between Australian and overseas scientists which brings the number of research partners we have to 25.

    "We now have a scientific advisory committee that is truly global with the world’s leaders in immunotherapy, brain cancer research," says Stace.

    CBCF has also formed mergers with brain cancer foundations in Queensland and Victoria, and partnerships with five overseas NFPs so far.

    "The new strategy has attracted a lot of attention and we’re working rapidly. The opportunities and alignment of all the global players have happened before our very eyes. We’re working together as one. It’s extraordinary," says Stace.

    And the growth is continuing.

    "We’re in an acquisition phase now to acquire new funding partners and we have more not-for-profits coming on board," Stace says.

    In other words…

    • Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is two years into a "radical" new strategy.
    • It’s aiming for faster results and reduced costs.
    • The strategy is based on collaboration between NFPs and scientists both nationally and globally.

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