SAS and The Kids’ Cancer Project announce 3-year partnership extension as AI and analytics helps to fight childhood cancer

SAS and The Kids’ Cancer Project announce 3-year partnership extension as AI and analytics helps to fight childhood cancer

SAS, a leader in data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and The Kids’ Cancer Project, a leading independent Australian charity dedicated to childhood cancer research, have announced a three-year extension of their impactful partnership. This renewal signifies both organisations’ steadfast commitment to driving advancements in improving survival rates for all young people with cancer. By leveraging advanced analytics, the collaboration supports funding life-saving research that significantly improves treatments and outcomes for children with cancer.

The Kids’ Cancer Project first partnered with SAS in 2018 to enhance its approach to data management, operational efficiency, and donor engagement. The collaboration has resulted in a dramatic surge in regular giving donations, from just under $1.2 million in 2019 to over $2.2 million in 2023, an 83 per cent increase in four years. By strategically reviewing and acting on its data in real-time, the charity has grown its regular donor network by 30 per cent year on year. The organisation’s success has allowed it to increase its research investments by over 15 per cent, in the past financial year.

“It is a true partnership with SAS in every sense of the word – they have not only provided us with intelligent software but have also enthused our team, helping us achieve a data and analytics culture that’s resulted in a more strategic mindset,” said Owen Finegan, CEO of The Kids’ Cancer Project.

Key operational improvements include automating financial data processes, significantly reducing reporting times from several days to a few hours and educating the team on utilising data analytics and acting swiftly on insights. All team members continuously improve their data analytics education through access to SAS’ experts and its e-learning facility, which offers clear development pathways.

The future of this partnership promises to deepen the impact of productivity outcomes and explore new frontiers. Focus areas for the next three years include advancing data-driven decision-making, broadening digital engagement with donors, and leveraging automation for consistent communications. The team are also establishing a comprehensive 360-degree view of its donors through social media and wider digital platform activities, with engagements more targeted and personalised.

As part of future fundraising strategies, the team is inspired to venture into predictive modelling via SAS technology. This will allow them to proactively plan and forecast future donation patterns and prioritise outreach efforts.

Finegan added, “As we embark on the next chapter of our journey with SAS, I’m reminded daily of the incredible strides we’ve made together. When The Kids’ Cancer Project began 30 years ago, survival rates were at 50 per cent and we’re currently at 86 per cent.

“Our collaboration with SAS has revolutionised the way we approach fundraising, enabling us to funnel more resources into essential research and treatment. It’s this synergy that reaffirms our shared vision of achieving a future where no child has to face cancer, and we’re looking forward to the advancements this renewed partnership will bring, aiming to directly impact over 1,000 children and their families annually,” commented Finegan.

Craig Jennings, Vice President & Managing Director of SAS Australia and New Zealand, said, “Witnessing the impact of our technology on the donor management process and the progression of childhood cancer research and trials first-hand has been inspiring.

Our goal for the next three years is to continue leveraging our analytics expertise to explore innovative ways that can further expedite the journey towards eradicating childhood cancer.

“At SAS, we are proud to partner with various organisations such as The Kids’ Cancer Project, in which we apply data in ways that make positive social impact and innovation. Our Data for Good program is dedicated to highly meaningful partnerships around the world, focused on using data and analytics to solve humanitarian issues around poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment,” added Jennings.

In 2023, The Kids’ Cancer Project funded 46 research projects across every state in Australia, supporting over 76 scientists, growing its overall research efforts year on year. As part of the charity’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, The Kids’ Cancer Project has committed over $7.4 million into future-proofing childhood cancer research by encouraging new researchers and retaining talented scientists in the field. This investment aims to ensure every child with cancer survives to live a long and healthy life free from any side effects.