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Project Spotlight: Susan G. Komen

Our project with Susan G. Komen involved event and grant strategies, models to predict donation levels, and potential partners!




Our Client

Susan G. Komen is the largest breast cancer non-profit in the United States. While regional affiliates like Komen LA traditionally operated independently, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted restructuring which will unite affiliates under one national staff. Programmatic priorities have also changed; while the non-profit no longer awards grants, it now looks to provide direct services, hire patient navigators, and focus on specific populations most affected by breast cancer. Supporting African American women, who are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer, as well as those diagnosed with Stage 4 (metastatic) cancer, represent Komen’s priorities.


Nationally, two main programs provide these populations with resources. The Treatment Assistance Program (TAP) is a nationally managed fund for childcare, medical expenses, meals, and transportation for individuals diagnosed with cancer. The 877 hotline, another national program, provides callers with information about local services and clinical trials.


Like other affiliates, Komen LA is currently navigating keeping donors engaged while adapting events to virtual formats. In October, celebrities will join Komen LA for a TAP ‘telethon’ fundraiser, and next April, Komen LA’s Walk for the Cure at Dodger Stadium will occur virtually.




Project Overview



We worked with Komen LA to shape its marketing strategy and event-day logistics for its MORE THAN PINK walk, happening next April. Our mid-semester deliverable featured analysis of 2020 registration data and implications for 2021, ideas for corporate and individual marketing (which were inspired in part by interviews with another Komen branch), and unique ideas for the event day itself in an effort to engage participants in what is usually a lively and well-attended run at the Dodgers Stadium.



Our Approach


To ensure that the MORE THAN PINK walk was a success, our team outlined a few key to-dos that dealt with event logistics, marketing and partners:


  1. Providing a list of Los Angeles based women’s groups that could sponsor the event, or provide event participants

  2. Creating from scratch a Circle of Promise grant application document, which can be be presented to potential sponsors

  3. Coming up with a detailed calendar of marketing events leading up to the event

  4. Outlining a strategy to engage corporations and a list of recommendations Komen can provide to HR departments regarding incentives for employee participation in the walk and associated fundraising

  5. Conducting econometric analysis to create a model to predict donation amounts based on fields collected in Susan G. Komen's donor database



Econometric Analysis

We wanted to understand what makes a high-volume donor. Our findings would then inform how Komen LA would reach out to these donors and "activate" them to achieve maximum donation levels.


Data Analysis – understanding current levels



Data Extrapolation – predicting future levels

Using Excel for data organization and hygiene as well as Stata for regression analysis, we were able to construct a comprehensive model with 5 explanatory variables.


Potential Partners

We brainstormed 4 different categories of partners:


  1. Health and Wellness - These health-conscious organizations have goals that align with those of Komen LA. Members would also be excellent potential walk participants.

  2. Corporate/Professional - More corporate/business focused groups with either good sources of revenue made up of members with corporate connections could translate into potential sponsorships.

  3. Workspaces - A network of professional women working together in a collaborative space could get behind supporting a joint cause.

  4. Social Justice - These are socially-conscious organizations that advocate for change, meaning they would be more inclined to support Komen's advocacy for women.






Looking back at this project

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the LA branch of the Susan G. Komen foundation. Working to combat breast cancer in our own way brought us great meaning in this project.





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