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Fall 2023 Project Spotlight: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)

Learn about how our consultants helped strengthen LLS's position in advancing medical research and philanthropy.

Problem Statement

The challenges faced by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) revolve around two primary objectives. Firstly, there was a need to evaluate and understand the strategies of other startups and established organizations for engaging individuals in philanthropy. We then used this research to identify gaps in LLS and how they can address them. Secondly, LLS wanted us to create mockups and marketing strategies for innovative fundraising solutions specifically tailored for middle and elementary school-aged students given that current fundraisers are being very repetitive and monotonous. The aim is to enhance fundraising and awareness efforts within school environments, requiring the creation of effective and age-appropriate mechanisms that not only generate financial support but also foster a deeper understanding and commitment to the cause of blood cancer research and patient support.

About Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to curing blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, while enhancing the quality of life for patients and their families. Since its inception in 1949, LLS has invested over $1 billion in research, playing a pivotal role in the development of therapies widely used today, with applications extending beyond blood cancers to treat other malignancies and serious diseases. Noteworthy advancements like chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies originated from blood cancer research. LLS is a driving force behind progress, providing support to patients, advocating for policy changes, and raising public awareness about blood cancers. Its impact is evident in the approval of over 40% of cancer-fighting therapies by the FDA between 2000 and 2015, initially designed to treat blood cancer patients. Through its multifaceted approach, LLS continues to significantly contribute to improving the lives of those affected by these diseases.

Problem Description

The first challenge entails conducting an in-depth analysis of the philanthropic engagement strategies employed by various startups and established organizations. This involves researching and understanding the diverse approaches used to attract individuals to support charitable causes, identifying successful models, and evaluating their applicability to LLS. The goal is to pinpoint gaps in LLS's current strategies and propose innovative solutions to enhance its engagement with supporters.

The second challenge involves the creation of mockups and marketing strategies for novel fundraising solutions tailored specifically for middle and elementary school-aged students. The objective is to develop engaging and age-appropriate mechanisms that not only boost fundraising efforts within school environments but also raise awareness about blood cancer research and patient support. This initiative aims to instill a sense of commitment and understanding of philanthropy among young students while addressing the unique dynamics of school-based fundraising.

Project Agenda & Objectives


The project agenda involved compiling a list of healthcare industry competitors focused on leukemia and lymphoma research, followed by interviews to understand their operational strategies. Analysis encompassed competitors' marketing partnerships, survivor networks, impact measures, and professional collaborations. The objective was to identify gaps in LLS's approach and derive recommendations from model organizations, streamlining strategies to enhance LLS's performance in targeted areas. This concise process aimed to fortify LLS's position in advancing blood cancer research and patient support. The second objective focused on analyzing current fundraising models for middle school students, identifying success factors. Mockups for innovative fundraising ideas on Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, and TikTok were created to meet students where they spend their time. In-depth marketing strategies targeted both parents and kids. The workstream concluded with implementation strategies, including email templates and decision trees, streamlining distribution channels and resource allocation for effective execution.

The Impact of 180DC's Work

This project holds significant impact for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). By analyzing other organizations and refining operational strategies based on successful models, LLS is poised to enhance its performance in blood cancer research and patient support. Simultaneously, the focus on innovative fundraising ideas for middle school students, especially on platforms like Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, and TikTok, aligns with current trends and ensures broad engagement. The streamlined marketing and implementation strategies promise effective execution, strengthening LLS's position in advancing medical research and philanthropy. Overall, this work directly contributes to LLS's mission, fortifying its ability to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by blood cancers.

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