Ovarian Cancer Groups Merge

Two nonprofits dedicated to ovarian cancer announced a merger that they hope leads to a more efficient and effective combined organization.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance is the combination of two organizations founded in the 1990s: The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA).

“As separate groups supporting the same cause, we recognized that the organizations gaining the most ground against specific diseases were those that developed a ‘one-stop shop’ approach through research, advocacy, education and awareness. Highly effective organizations such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and American Lung Association are just a few examples,” the two organizations said in an announcement released Jan. 26.

Audra Moran, who has been CEO at OCRF for the past six years, is the new CEO of the combined organization and former OCNA CEO Calaneet Balas is executive vice president. Balas had been CEO since October 2012 and helped organize the Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team, which will give $6 million toward ovarian cancer research starting in 2015. She previously worked at Arthritis Foundation, where she was part of an executive team that restructured four separately incorporated chapters into one region.

Leaders of the two organizations began discussing the idea of a merger in early 2015. Staff and programs for each former organization remain the same. The new organizations will operate two offices out of New York and Washington, D.C.

Based in New York City, OCRF is the larger organization, with 14 employees and revenue of more than $9.3 million in 2013 (the most recent year available). Much of its program expense is funding research – $7.4 million in 2013. It’s the largest charity funding ovarian cancer research in the Untied States. OCNA has seven employees and revenue of $1.6 million, with program spending focused on education, awareness and advocacy. The Washington, D.C.-based OCNA is a patient support organization with more than 60 partner member organizations.

– Mark Hrywna