The Canadian Cancer Society: Consolidating Canada's Cancer Charity Sector
In October 2016, a merger between the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) was announced. CCS was the largest cancer charity in Canada (revenues of $184 million in 2016), offering support programs and information services to patients and their families throughout Canada. CBCF was a large site-specific cancer charity (revenues of $36 million in 2016) and Canada's third-largest charity funder of cancer research. With declining donations and increasing administrative costs, both charities were facing financial challenges. This merger between the two charities was the largest in Canadian history. The leadership of both organizations hoped it would solve their financial problems by helping them to gain operational efficiencies and increase market power. Students are asked to decide whether the merger made strategic sense for both organizations. The answer lies in how well it addressed the financial, leadership, and brand awareness challenges facing each organization, while enabling them to remain relevant and impactful in an increasingly competitive market.