A new way to donate and help fight cancer has come, and with it comes the full support of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Innovator’s Network strengthens the ties between donors and scientists to fund the future of cancer research. It was started by Scott Hutchinson, great-nephew of the center’s namesake, and UW alumna Elisha Logue as a way to get a younger demographic to begin donating.
According to a 2008 report, people in their 30s and younger were donating just 1 percent of the total amount received by the center each year. By connecting with potential donors 45 and under, the Innovator’s Network can create a bond that will grow as the people become more stabilized in their life. In order to make joining the Innovator’s Network easier, the group organizes events such as happy hours to fit into the lives of younger individuals.
You can watch this video to see how the network is committed to getting new donors involved with the new group.
“The (people) we are looking for, they really want to give—but they may not have felt they could make a big difference on their own,” Logue says. “And they may still be searching for that thing they feel connected with, and want to give to. This generation is about giving back and involvement—and it’s about networking with people of other backgrounds we wouldn’t have known otherwise. Social interaction is important to us.”
By using the money donated specifically to help researchers, the network hopes to let members see where their money is going and how it is benefiting others. In the 2008 article, Scott Hutchinson said, “Young people can relate to this idea, of the need to give people a chance.”
As part of the Innovator’s Circle, members must donate at least $1,000 each year, either in one donation or in multiple donations throughout the year. Donations from the Innovator’s Network supports the Hartwell Innovation Fund, which strengthens novel research, recruitment, infrastructure and groundbreaking initiatives that do not qualify for larger grants from the National Institutes for Health. The fund is matched by the Geiger Family Foundation.
“We’ve always worked under the premise of innovative thought, and new frontiers,” Logue says. “We like getting things off the ground that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. It’s very prideful—just being part of something that’s making an impact towards research, and sowing the seeds for future major donations.”
Learn more about the Innovator’s Network.