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February 10, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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February 10, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

As the father of a patient at St. Jude, I wanted to weigh in on their fundraising. First, and foremost, I want to thank anyone who has ever donated to St. Jude. It’s a big organization that has relied on small gifts from millions of people over the last 50 years. And because of those gifts, St. Jude has better been able to understand and treat my son’s type of rare cancer. I’ve been on both sides of the coin, and giving to St. Jude is very compelling. It is an easy decision and it feels good to help children fight for their lives. But when you become the beneficiary of those gifts, it is hard to describe how overwhelming the feeling of gratitude is. I vividly remember driving onto their campus for the first time, how relieved my wife and I were to know that we were at the place that knew more about childhood cancer than any other place in the world. As such, before I say anything about the fundraising process at St. Jude, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported their work. It is because of so many peoples’ generosity that St. Jude gives families like ours that peace-of-mind.

Officially, ALSAC is the fundraising organization responsible for raising 75 percent of the money that funds St. Jude each day. It is a very big organization with two priorities. First, a big part of what ALSAC does is telling the world about childhood cancer. It is not a cause that is championed by religious groups, business, or government. There is no big advocacy group. There are small groups doing things around the world, usually related to families who have been affected by childhood cancer, but nothing significant. That leaves ALSAC as the organization that keeps the cause in the public’s attention through their various media outlets, all which cost money. The second part of what they do is raise money for research and treatment of these diseases. ALSAC employees something like 1,500 people and hosts hundreds of events each year for donors all over the country. They rely on a lot of volunteer hours as well. ALSAC uses an external agency to benchmark their costs to make sure they are in-line with peer organizations. While they have to keep their costs reasonable, they also need to attract talented professionals. It is my experience that those talented professionals will work at ALSAC for less than they can make in the private sector. But we need them to have good people because what they do is significant.

As it relates to their CEO pay, remember that they list two CEOs. One is the CEO of ALSAC, Rick Shadyac, who makes a little bit less than the peer average even though he is an unbelievable leader for that organization and left a lucrative career in the private sector. We know him personally. We met him the first week we were at the hospital. He remembered my son’s name after the first time he met him. He knows all of the children it seems. He is visibly anguished when a child loses their battle, which unfortunately still happens. And he is a tireless advocate for them. He is the leader in the cause of fighting childhood cancer and we need him in that spot. There is also a CEO of the hospital, St. Jude, whose salary is reported. That has been Dr. William Evans, although he is in the process of retiring as CEO. Dr. Evans is a renowned scientist who St. Jude has been lucky to have.

My family is so grateful that people have given their money to ALSAC/St. Jude for the past 50 years because it has given my son a better chance in the fight for his life. We are grateful for the people at ALSAC and St. Jude who have dedicated their careers to fighting childhood cancer. As a donor, I don’t want our gifts to be wasted. And as the father of a patient at St. Jude, I assure you that they are not.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

February 7, 2014

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February 7, 2014

As a parent of a child who has been under the care of St. Jude since March of 2012, I hope my perspective is useful. St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer. Everything St. Jude does is centered on finding cures and saving children. When my son was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 12, there was no doubt in my mind where I needed to take him to be cured. Families like mine never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food. This allows for 100% focus on curing my child. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.

Whether a hospital is a for profit facility or a not for profit one, it takes talented leaders to operate them. To continue to do it’s lifesaving work, St. Jude must hire and retain the best doctors, researchers, scientists, nurses and fundraising leaders. The skills and experience of executive leaders are in very high demand across the country and internationally. In my opinion, it’s important that compensation for these positions be reasonable, fair and benchmarked to their peers. I think if you look at the compensation packages for the Leaders of St. Jude and ALSAC, you will find that they are actually in many cases below market. I think that’s a responsible way to operate and it allows St. Jude to offer fair wages and still attract top talent.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

November 1, 2013

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November 1, 2013

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital is and always has been my favorite charity. My dad was friends with Danny Thomas the founder. They used to talk on the phone sometimes on the weekend about helping out, donating our time to help children in need.

I remember meeting Danny Thomas, he
was doing a stand up show, I was just a kid so that was probably 45 years ago. Danny was larger than life, smoking a cigar and genuinely a kind man. He was getting ready to go on stage, people were all around him but he stopped everything to play with me and my younger brothers, insisted we sit on his lap and gave us all big hugs, he didn't have to do that, how many in today's world would do that?

I Thank God that my children are all healthy and I Thank God that St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital exists, just in case we needed, you needed, anyone of us needed their services, they are there.

I also read the negative comments about pay scales, I will continue to donate for the rest of my life. I don't care if they are putting the money in a pile and burning it, they are helping children and no amount of money can replace our children.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't believe they need any changes, my only concern is that they are available to help all of the children. Not one child should ever have to suffer.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 10, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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September 10, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

As i read the negative reviews, i notice that most of it is about money. I guess you are all right, no one needs that much money. However, the need is never a part of the value now is it. If each of you were paid on your " need" at your job, would it be less or more? Highly educated , sharp professionals are hired to administrate this wonderful organization and yes they cost a lot but maybe, just maybe they are worth it and maybe their professionalism and talent is what filters down to that staff member who takes care of someone you know or love one day. Now, would you choose a cheaper version? Look at both sides and watch what you say on public boards. Writing bad reviews may make you feel better about things, but it hurts more than you think to those you point and wag your finger at.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

the message board.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 17, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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July 17, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

My son is a St. Jude patient. He was diagnosed in Sep. 2003 with a baseball-sized malignant brain tumor, 3 days after his 9th birthday. They performed emergency surgery hours after the MRI that revealed the tumor, it was big and the swelling was so severe he was lapsing into a coma. We live in San Diego and I never imagined us traveling to Memphis for treatment, we sought opinions at CHLA, UCSF, Rady Children's in San Diego, and Children's Nat'l Medical Center in DC.

We ended up taking him to Memphis because at that time, they had a treatment available nowhere else in the U.S. that involved use of a lower dose of radiation to his brain and a treatment duration of 8 months instead of 2+ years that was producing higher survival rates than anything we could get elsewhere. The lower dose of radiation was the clincher, all radiation amounts to brain damage, and is particularly devastating to the developing brains of young children. We had great insurance coverage and did not choose St. Jude because of the financial benefits.

My son is 19 now and in a couple of months he will be a 10-year survivor of this tumor. Simply put, St. Jude saved his life and with better quality than he could have gotten anywhere else in the world at that time. He just graduated high school this past June and he is about to enter college, something that 10 years ago I did not believe was possible. I do not believe he would be in this situation if we had gone ahead with the treatments available in CA at the time of his diagnosis. The treatment he did then is now available in CA and other places. St. Jude is simply the best of the best and our family owes them a debt we can never repay.

They do operate using clinical trials, and they only treat patients that they have an available treatment for and expertise with. They do not say in their ads that they will take any patient, they state very clearly that "no patient will be turned away because of race, creed or inability to pay". They will bill your insurance if you have any and take whatever they get, a patient will never see a bill. They are privately funded, because of this they are not held hostage by the insurance companies/hmo's. In addition to patients that have conditions they've developed treatments for, they will also take patients who have rare diseases that have no available treatments and develop a custom treatment protocol for them. We also know of patients from other countries they will accept who have diseases for which there is no good treatment in their home countries. I know of no other organization that does this.

I encourage those who take issue with the CEO salaries to calculate those salaries as a percentage of revenue brought in and compare against similar organizations. St. Jude has huge operating costs and large financial reserves, part of this is so that when they take on a patient they are guaranteed the funding to finish their treatment. Some of the leukemia protocols are in excess of 3 years, St. Jude houses and feeds these families for the complete duration of treatment.

St. Jude will accomodate up to four people in any patient housing. If the patient is in the hospital, up to four other family members may stay in the patient housing. There is a meal allowance for use in the cafeteria, patients staying in Target House (apartments) get a weekly grocery card to offset expenses. They provide transportation to and from all of their facilities.

Perhaps the very best thing of all about St. Jude was that I can say that in my entire life we've never been shown such unconditional love by complete strangers, in Memphis not only did they take care of my son but also our family in the most loving way imaginable, body and soul. There is a saying at St. Jude, you go there with one sick child and you come home with 35, we hold so many of the friends we met there so very close to our hearts, and so many we've lost. Having a child with a life-threatening illness is perhaps one of the very worst thing a parent can endure and St. Jude ministered to all of us in just so many ways, I truly believe there is no other place like St. Jude in the world.

To Kathy Wolfe, who commented that on their form 990 they list no fundraising expenses, I'd like to direct you to form 990 for FY2012 schedule H, it's on page 64 of the PDF at the below link:
http://www.stjude.org/SJFile/990form-stjude-fy12.pdf

It says:
"THE FUNDRAISING SOURCE FOR ST. JUDE IS ALSAC WHICH RAISES FUNDS SOLELY
FOR THE HOSPITAL. BECAUSE OF THE HOSPITAL'S MISSION, PEOPLE NATIONWIDE
CONTRIBUTE VIA TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FUNDRAISING EFFORTS. ALSAC
CONTRIBUTED $442 MILLION IN FISCAL YEAR 2012 TO MEET THE OPERATING COST
OF ST. JUDE."

St. Jude doesn't hire any outside companies or people to do fundraising. To see the St. Jude fundraising expenses, you need to take a look at ALSAC's (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities) 990's, available on their page:
http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/35-1044585/american-lebanese-syrian-associated-charities.aspx

I hope this information helps.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 13, 2013
9 people found this review helpful

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June 13, 2013
9 people found this review helpful

I donated $2,000.00 and in return I get a Thank you letter with a BUT connected to it. Thank you, but will you donate more. WHAT??? How ungrateful !!! So I looked them up and David Mckee (chief operating officer ) makes $522,334 and Richard Shadyac JR ( chief executive ) makes $477,920. That's a big part of what's wrong with this world. Come on! Seriously, no one has to make that much money and if you do, pay if forward. I can't eat that much food, I don't need a mansion to survive, I don't need multiple cars that are ridiculously expensive, boats etc....How much of my donation that I sent on a fixed income went to these two guys making their lives more luxurious ?

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Cut the salaries of the 6 figured and give it to the children in need. Stop sending out Thank You notes with forms attached to them asking to donate more, like you didn't appreciate what you received !!! I make $60k yearly and I feel like I'm rich with that amount. Until organizations can put more toward the cause and less towards making themselves ridiculously rich, then I'm not donating.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 7, 2013
11 people found this review helpful

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March 7, 2013
11 people found this review helpful

I will not be donating to St. Jude, because I cannot trust their Form 990 Tax Return. I just received a direct mail charitable donation request from St. Jude, with address stickers and a note pad. I know the request for donation I received, cost something to produce. I recently started to review Charity ratings because my donation dollars are limited. I am a non-profit accountant with 30 years of experience. I reviewed the Organization's Tax Retrun (Form 990) for 2011 and found no expense whatsoever being attributed to Fundraising. One of my key criteria to donating to a charity is how 'efficient' the charity is in allocating it's dollars. Since these costs are not disclosed, I am suspicious about the ratio of Admin & Fundraising expense to Program Services. When St Jude reports the cost of their fundrasing efforts, I will reconsider my decision to donate.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

February 3, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

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February 3, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

After 3 years working with ALSAC, i had to walk away. Salaries, perks and benefits are ridiculously high with not nearly enough going to the sick kids and their families. the researchers, doctors and volunteers on the other hand work tirelessly and are to be commended. but it was time to pick a new non profit when i saw the excessive bloat in this one. They have lost their way completely

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

December 24, 2012
4 people found this review helpful

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December 24, 2012
4 people found this review helpful

I was shocked recently when I was informed that the CEO or COO of this charity receives a salary of at least 6 million dollars annually.Why is there a CEO? I have donated in the past and I will no longer do so.It makes me sad to think that 100 percent is not going to take care of sick children..

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Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 26, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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November 26, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

St. Jude's Children's Hospital has been one of my charities for many years now. They do such wonderful service for the children in their care. It's so important that we take care and provide for our children.

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Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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