Develop Associate Board of Ambassadors Expansion Strategy

Case Synopsis -

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is looking to nationally scale the Associate Board of Ambassadors (ABOA) strategy they've developed in Chicago. The ABOA in Chicago is the largest and most successful board of young up-and-coming leaders that are committed to serving ACS through fundraising and events. The Chicago ABOA currently includes 150 young professionals who raise $500,000 successfully each year. The leadership team in Chicago is excited to work with you to assemble a launch playbook for ABOAs in new markets. They expect you'll help them analyze why the strategy has been successful in Chicago, how to jumpstart the ABOA program in new markets, identify the markets that are most ripe for an ABOA, establish a set of expectations and rewards for new cities, and ultimately help shed light on how the ABOA strategy will impact the ACS in the mid-to-long term.

Relevant Topics

Data Management

Growth Strategy

Sales & Business Development

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding non-profit fundraising
  • Understanding of the ACS non-profit model
  • Understanding of how cancer is impacting families in the US
  • Understanding of the importance of engagement from young professionals
  • Understanding the importance of diversity and inclusiveness

Company Overview

NameAmerican Cancer Society
TaglineWe are attacking cancer from every angle.
# Employees2500+
Hiring Potential
  • Follow-on Projects
  • Formal Internship
  • Entry Level Full-Time
Growth StageLarge Enterprise
Funding StatusPhilanthropic/Donor/Grant-Based
Funding SizeUnfunded
DescriptionAt the American Cancer Society, we're on a mission to free the world from cancer. Until we do, we'll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. All so you can live longer — and better.
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Project Milestones

  • January 11, 2021 -

    • Learn more about the American Cancer Society. What does the organization do?
    • Evaluate the current ABOA Model in Chicago?
      • Why did they develop an ABOA?
      • What works well?
      • What can be improved?
      • How are young professionals recruited?
      • How diverse and inclusive is the ABOA? Consider industry and leadership background/demographics
      • Does the ABOA represent the community they serve?
      • Where else besides Chicago does the ABOA exist? Why have/haven’t they been successful to-date?


    Suggested Deliverable: Prepare an in-class presentation on your understanding of ACS and their ABOA

  • January 11, 2021 -

    • How do ACS markets outside of Chicago think about building an ABOA?
    • Have they tried? What are some of their challenges?
    • How would you roll out an ABOA in a new city?
    • How do you think about Diversity and Inclusiveness when building an ABOA?
    • How do we set goals for the ABOA in new cities? (Think about short term, mid-term, and long-term goals)
    • How do we incentivize the highest performers of the ABOA in a sustainable way? Consider tiered markets and goals based on city-by-city criteria
    • What markets seem optimal for launch based on the success in Chicago?  Choose 10 and defend your choices


    Suggested Deliverable: Develop ABOA Growth Strategy and Launch Toolkit for New Cities (With overview of program based on Chicago’s success so far)

  • January 11, 2021 -

    • What’s the future of the ABOA strategy?
    • How do you expect the ABOA Strategy to change and grow over time?
    • What resources are needed from ACS to develop this robust ABOA strategy?
    • What outcomes will the ABOAs produce related to fundraising, events and more over the next 3-5 years?


    Suggested Deliverable: Showcase growth and impact of the ABOA strategy on ACS over the mid-to-long term

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