Recently I communicated that the incorporation of the #CauseChange Foundation was complete, and while there are many, many things involved in starting a 501(c)3 corporation (more than creating this LLC), I wanted to share a little something about one of our primary causes. Specifically I wanted to share a very important articulation of our first one, Fighting Cancer, and how our mission is being supported by our strategy.
Our website is still under construction, but we did proof our strategy in a way that I hope begins to explain how the Foundation is very different than our for profit operating arm in Leadership Zen, LLC – but also how we intend to support our very important mission through both. Here it is:
Cancer affects too many people in this world. Our goal is to educate around its causes, its cures – and to provide for individual families to make the fight a little easier.
It is probable if not certain that most of us have been touched in some way by this devastating disease – whether individually or through a friend or loved one who has had to live with it. While actual cancer statistics tend to lag by as many as four years, the latest 2012 statistics reported (and cited) on Wikipedia suggest that in that year, there were about 14.1 million new cases of cancer globally, causing about 8.2 million deaths or 14.6% of human deaths worldwide. That doesn’t even include some skin cancers other than melanoma. According to a World Health Organization 2014 report, the estimated financial costs of fighting cancer in the United States alone, as of 2010, were $1.16 trillion per year, and that likely does not include the full impact of business productivity loss and private non-medical costs to affected families. Those are striking statistics. It is also a powerful case for causing change.
Despite these numbers, cancer is not ultimately inevitable, and in most cases, it can be eminently preventable. Again from Wikipedia.org (cited):
The majority of cancers, some 90–95% of cases, are due to environmental factors. The remaining 5–10% are due to inherited genetics. Environmental, as used by cancer researchers, means any cause that is not inherited genetically, such as lifestyle, economic and behavioral factors and not merely pollution. Common environmental factors that contribute to cancer death include tobacco (25–30%), diet and obesity (30–35%), infections (15–20%), radiation (both ionizing and non-ionizing, up to 10%), stress, lack of physical activity and environmental pollutants.
An example of the WHO’s country report on the United States can be found here, but the opportunity is clear. So is the Foundation’s strategy on how to create less fighters and more survivors – or even better, fewer who have to experience it in the first place. Our approach is three-fold:
- Patient and Family Support: We will sponsor families to support their financial and medical needs on a case by case basis, as our funding allows.
- Preventive Education: We will develop, support, and promote education on the environmental risks that can cause cancer, and influence programs that help curb them.
- Policy Development and Support: We will lobby, within the limits of our pending 501(c)3 designation for funding and responsible legislation and policy to improve cancer research, treatments, and the deployment of both; as well as macro effect factors (like clean water) within the sphere of our Sustainability initiatives.
Cancer can be defeated. Cancer should be defeated. It takes a comprehensive strategy to do so that has been lacking, in our opinion, at many levels of society. Good has to get better, and has to eventually get to great.
That is how we #CauseChange.’
We’re already at work on the first of those. Stay tuned.
As I have mentioned in the past, the #CauseChange Foundation is non-political (it supports no candidates or parties), and not what I would call a social activist platform. While I operate as the (non-compensated, as required by 501(c)3 rules) Board Chairman and strategic thought partner to the Executive Director, my role is to emphasize the nonprofit business model it is founded on. It’s mission is more simple:
We sponsor people and projects that cause positive change and impact individual lives. We believe that sustainable progress – social, economic, and environmental – begins when individuals approach problems differently. In this way we hope to develop a universal compassion that allows for diverse ideas to change the world.
I think that is something we can all get behind.