Daffodil Centre volunteers in front of a Daffodil Centre

About the Irish Cancer Society

How we work

We are dedicated to preventing cancer, detecting it early, and fighting it at every level.

We do this by following guidelines set up through our strategic plan, by partnering with organisations and bodies across Ireland and beyond, and by raising funds to support the work we do.

Our strategy

Our current strategy “Towards a Future without Cancer” was launched in 2013 to guide us around our 4 main goals, including:

  1. Reducing the risk of cancer
  2. Improving lives
  3. Leading excellent and collaborative cancer research.
  4. Informing and influencing public policy.

As of 2019, we continue to make progress towards our goals. The strategy continues to be a living plan, allowing us change and adapt in real time, when we have faced challenges. 

In 2017 the Board decided to extend the strategy for 2 more years to allow for a full strategic review. Our new 5-year strategy will be published in 2020.

Read more about our current strategy.

Working through partnerships

The Irish Cancer Society is a community of cancer patients, families, supporters, survivors, researchers and volunteers.

We strive for excellence in all we do. We are in constant contact with people affected by cancer, the medical community and the public. These connections help us to find out what people need and what works best for them. Our services and decisions are informed by best quality knowledge, data and expertise.

Through partnerships, we carry out activities guided by our 4 strategic goals to reduce the risk of cancer, improve lives, lead cancer research, and inform and influence public policy around health issues. Our partners also help us to raise funds necessary to carry out our mission.

We have partners at all levels of Irish society, including communities, companies, Government, and other cancer organisations and health bodies, in Ireland and beyond.

Learn more about our partnerships.

Patient and public involvement

The Irish Cancer Society is dedicated to involving patients, families, survivors, supporters, and the public in research. Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in the research process makes sure that research is meaningful and benefits those affected by cancer.

We are working hard to make sure patients and the public are involved in our research processes. In 2019, as well as being reviewed by independent scientific experts, all research proposals submitted to the Society were reviewed by people affected by cancer. In this way, we ensure that the research we fund is relevant and important to patients.

Read more about the cancer research we are doing.

Partnering with local communities

We work with communities across Ireland to raise awareness about cancer and provide free information, care and services for people affected by cancer.

We do this by focusing on hard-to-reach communities where cancer rates are highest, as well as by partnering with local community organisations, other health charities and bodies.

Learn more about our community partnerships.

Fundraising in local communities

Without volunteers, the Society would not be able to support cancer patients and their families. Each year we need thousands of volunteers across Ireland to give us their time to make a difference to people with cancer.

Our fundraising volunteers are extremely loyal and committed. They work with us year after year, rain or shine to support campaigns like Daffodil Day, Colour Dash, Cups Against Breast Cancer and other events. Their generous support has a direct impact on people with cancer and their families.

As an organisation we depend on the public’s generosity, with only 3% of our income coming from the State. The commitment and dedication of our fundraising volunteers makes everything we do possible. 

Learn more about our community fundraisers across Ireland.

Corporate partnerships

The Irish Cancer Society depends on the support of corporations and workplaces across the country to help fund our work. Our corporate partnership programme offers companies across Ireland a great way to get involved and share in our mission.

There are many ways companies support the work of the Society, including strategic partnerships, employee fundraising, cause-related marketing, sponsorship of campaigns, and payroll giving.

Learn more about the Society’s corporate partnership programme.

Working with Government

We work to influence policy, legislation and national budgets so that patients are at the heart of cancer services and cancer care. We push Government to take action to improve the quality of life for patients and to make decisions that will help to reduce the number of people getting cancer and improve survival rates.

We offer a trusted voice that responds to what patients need now and supports the development of better services for the future.

Read more about our cancer advocacy work.

How the Irish Cancer Society is funded

The Irish Cancer Society receives only 3% funding from the State. This means that we must raise over €20 million each year to run the services and programmes providing free cancer information, care and support.

Read more about how we are funded.

For more information

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01 231 0500

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