FoCP consolidates its national, regional, and global impact
Dubai,24 May 2013: Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), the cancer specific charitable society, continues to consolidate its national, regional, and global impact with the conclusion of its highly successful participation in the tenth CSR Summit, which took place between the 20th and the 23rd of May.
FoCP took part as the Summit's official charity – making this the first time that a charity gave their perspective at this event. Addressing the Summit's attendees, during a panel discussion titled ‘Dual Perspectives: Forming Great Mutually Beneficial Partnerships: The Key to Improving CSR Effectiveness' on day one of the summit Dr Sawsan Al Madhi, Secretary General for Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society, emphasised the importance of building strong and healthy relationships between corporations and charities stating, “The relationship between the corporate and non-profit worlds is by definition symbiotic. As charitable organisations we need the support of corporations, while corporations in turn need charitable organisations to often facilitate the execution of their CSR efforts. The secret lies in making this symbiosis into a truly mutually beneficial two-way collaboration and partnership that delivers the optimum results to our final beneficiaries, the public at grassroots level.”
As an established charitable society with a proven track record, FoCP seized the opportunity to share the invaluable experience and expertise they have gained over the course of a decade in order to give the region's business leaders a unique insight into how a successful charity operates.
During the Summit Dr Al Madhi highlighted four key concepts that define FoCP – Innovation, Transparency, strong international affiliations, and being truly Patient-focussed.
Speaking about the vital importance of innovation, Dr Al Madhi stressed, “For FoCP innovation is more than just a catch phrase, rather continuous innovation is central to our path to success, without it sustainable growth would simply not be possible.” She elaborated further by pointing to the phenomenal success that the innovative pan-UAE horseback ride of the Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness campaign has achieved stating, “At the core of this success is the Pink Caravan's ability to generate media buzz and gather public support. As a never before seen venture, the ride attracted widespread media attention from the outset, attention it has continued to maintain and that provides a perfect platform from which to raise public awareness, stimulate corporate involvement, and has excellent relationships with the country's public and private health facilities and authorities.
“Another outstanding accomplishment is the development of a paperless documentation system for the collection of patients' statistics and data, which was used for the first time during this year's Pink Caravan ride. Developed specifically for FoCP the system now allows for real time access to accurate patient statistics, while significantly reducing costs and eliminating the possibility of human error. The system has also been designed with dynamic survey capabilities and produces authentic and reliable post-survey analysis, an invaluable resource for health authorities, professionals, and researchers alike,” she added.
Dr Al Madhi went on to underscore the importance of a common vision and shared values in how CSR is implemented within the non-profit framework. Pointing out that non-profit organisations not only need funds to operate efficiently but also services, she cited the FoCP's highly successful decade long partnership with Ernest and Young as a prime example of how a corporation can make a tangible social difference through the utilisation of their core competencies. Dr Al Madhi stressed that cultivating these types of partnerships in a sustainable manner is extremely important, as they are vital to any non-profit organisation's continued growth. Looking at how to promote the creation of healthy partnerships she emphasised the need for non-profit organisations to be able to present
their objectives and goals in a clear and coherent business model, which allows them to effectively communicate with the corporate world in terms that are tangible and measurable. Further expounding on the concept of measurable results, she stated if non-profit organisations wish to maintain their corporate partners' trust, it is essential that they provide tools with which the success of their efforts can be measured and implement full transparency in all of their reporting.
Dr Al Madhi added that it is extremely important as a non-profit organisation to understand that as the recipient of CSR from a company's core business, you need to add value to the businesses bottom-line if you want to ensure the sustainability of this partnership. In today's highly combative economic environment, it is not survival of biggest company but rather survival of the company that has the better CSR initiative and practice.
In addition, FoCP has worked hard to foster clear and strong global affiliations with organisations and associations, such as the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) and the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control (GFFCC), that allows them access the most up-to-date information on cancer as well as to effectively translate and implement the latest scientific developments within the context of the UAE.
Dr Al Madhi concluded her address by stating that FoCP has proved itself to be a truly patient-focussed society, with a focus on the full spectrum of patient care, starting with awareness campaigns, to covering patients' treatment costs, and even expanding to tackling the difficult and often overlooked topic of treating metastatic cancer.
The 10th CSR Summit invited business leaders, NGO's, social entrepreneurs, philanthropic foundations and key decision makers from across the GCC to give insights on the growing importance of corporate social responsibility in today's world and how to improve on their efforts. Titled, ‘The evolution of impactful and sustainable corporate social responsibility in the Middle East', this year, the summit hosted discussions featuring CSR leaders, and provided a 360-degree perspective on CSR initiatives from across the board.