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“Salesforce, and the automation it provides, helps us to do more with less and will continue to be key as we increase our efforts to eliminate blood cancer.” - Glen Shields, Head of Data and Analytics

Leukaemia Foundation Goes Digital to Help Those with Blood Cancer

For over forty years, the Leukaemia Foundation has supported and cared for people living with blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. The Leukaemia Foundation’s purpose is to help improve survival and quality of life for people with blood cancer. It’s aligned with the Australian government on a National Action Plan to ensure zero lives are lost to this disease by 2035.

To deliver on this goal, the Leukaemia Foundation invests millions of dollars every year in research to improve treatments and find cures. It also provides services such as emotional support and accommodation for regional families who need to relocate for treatment. 

These activities and others are made possible through the generosity of donors, and the Leukaemia Foundation has turned to Salesforce to digitise and personalise engagement with these individuals as well as patients and carers. 

A single source of truth 

The Leukaemia Foundation began using Salesforce more than six years ago to consolidate patient and fundraising data across states and territories. It took information stored in more than 100 different databases and placed this in Nonprofit Cloud where it could be accessed from anywhere, at anytime. 

Service coordinators were given tablets so that they could access information as they moved about the community to support different patients. This eliminated the need to ask patients to repeat their care history and enabled coordinators to deliver more tailored support. 

The Leukaemia Foundation has since brought more of its data into Salesforce for a complete view of stakeholders. This has involved switching off two CRMs used for fundraising and migrating the data to Nonprofit Cloud. 

Glen Shields, Head of Data and Analytics at the Leukaemia Foundation, led this piece of work. When he first started, the charity had 500,000 contacts in Nonprofit Cloud. Today, it has around 3.4 million and is beginning to leverage this data more fully. 

“We’ve begun capturing information in Nonprofit Cloud that we weren’t effectively tracking before. This includes details of researchers and their projects, which we can use to match them with donors,” said Shields.

Digital-first engagement 

The Leukaemia Foundation is now using Marketing Cloud to tap into its data and personalise communication. For instance, it has established a preference centre that allows people to maintain their preferences in real-time and ensures that they receive relevant content via the channels they choose. In the past, the use of disparate systems meant there was often a delay in aligning to people’s preferences, which negatively impacted their experience. There was also a manual effort required to process preferences, which has been completely removed. 

The Leukaemia Foundation has also moved to a digital-first approach to engagement, which has allowed it to connect with stakeholders during the pandemic and better support those in regional areas. 

For example, the Leukaemia Foundation set up virtual support forums and seminars, using  Marketing Cloud to send invites to people based on their blood cancer type and whether they were a patient or carer. In addition to providing a COVID-safe way to meet, the virtual events removed the geographical constraints around events and were more targeted to people’s needs. 

“We can now provide greater support to those in remote and regional areas and can look at our data to see what other types of forums or seminars we should run. For example, if we can see in Salesforce there are a large number of parents with young children who have blood cancer, we can create an event that’s just for them,” said Shields. “It’s a much more supportive model than when we ran face-to-face events and invited people based on their location alone.”

To further support patients, the Leukaemia Foundation is creating engagement journeys tailored to the different phases patients go through after diagnosis. These journeys will include emails and SMS, and link through to articles and videos where patients can find more information.

The Leukaemia Foundation is already using Marketing Cloud to orchestrate journeys for donors, including for those who participate in the World’s Greatest Shave —  the Leukaemia Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event where each participant raises awareness and funds by committing to shaving their hair. 

Marketing Cloud helps the Leukaemia Foundation engage these participants with a series of automated emails. These include a thank you for signing up email, a personalised welcome from their account manager, and recognition of fundraising milestones. If participants meet their fundraising goal, they also receive an email that prompts them to increase it. 

The Leukaemia Foundation first implemented these journeys for its 2021 World’s Greatest Shave event, which resulted in the participation of 20,000 people, and is on track to raise around $17 million. This is the highest amount raised since 2016 and an incredible result after the 2020 campaign experienced a devastating shortfall, as Australia entered a nation-wide lockdown in April 2020.

The automation of journeys contributed to these results by enabling Leukaemia Foundation to send out more timely and personalised communication. It was able to do so despite an 18% reduction in staffing due to COVID-19-related impacts on budget. 

“COVID-19 has been a real catalyst for change and as we’ve moved into this digital space we’re always thinking about how we can work differently and do things more efficiently,” said Shields. “Salesforce and the automation it provides helps us to do more with less and will continue to be key as we increase our efforts to eliminate blood cancer.” 

Engagement with emails has also improved, with open rates on emails increasing by 2.69% and click through rates increasing by .63%. The Leukaemia Foundation plans to leverage Social Studio and Advertising Studio to reach new audiences on social media and raise more awareness about blood cancer. Every year, approximately 17,321 Australians are newly diagnosed with blood cancer, which is equivalent to 47 people diagnosed every day. The charity wants more people to realise the impact, and spark conversations about how blood cancer is managed and treated. 

“There’s a lot of exciting change with AI becoming part of the standard practice for diagnosis and identifying the best option for treatment. However, there’s more change needed to ensure consistency of care and access to treatment,” said Shields. “The Leukaemia Foundation is trying to bring about that change and it’s amazing work to be involved in. Salesforce is the platform and partner that the Leukaemia Foundation has chosen to support us on this journey towards zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035.”

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