9 Best Charities That Support Brain Tumor/Cancer Patients (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Support Brain Tumor/Cancer Patients (Complete 2024 List)

By
Alycia O'Dell

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In the US alone, over a million people are living with brain tumors. While approximately 72% of brain tumors are benign and carry a relatively high survival rate, about 28% are cancerous, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 35%. Moreover, only a few treatments have ever been approved for the more than 100 types of brain tumors. While national guidelines advise that clinical trials offer the most effective care, finding and enrolling in one can be daunting for newly diagnosed patients. Fortunately, organizations around the world are helping patients and their families navigate their journey with brain tumors and cancer. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that support brain tumor/ cancer patients?

The best charities that support brain tumor/ cancer patients are the National Brain Tumor Society and the American Brain Tumor Association. Charities such as the Brain Tumor Network and the End Brain Cancer Initiative provide direct services to support brain tumor/cancer patients.

Whether you want to help a newly diagnosed child and their family decide how to move forward, assist a patient in finding and enrolling in a clinical trial, or advocate for policies that improve outcomes for brain tumor/cancer patients, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that support brain tumor/ cancer patients are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to contribute.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Support Brain Tumor/ Cancer Patients Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate primarily throughout the US and Canada, but some support brain tumor/cancer patients around the world.

Many of these charities focus on providing direct patient services and improving quality of care, while others fund research in the hope of ending brain cancer for good. Some exist solely to benefit brain tumor/ cancer patients, while others provide support to people battling any form of cancer.

Some of the charities below focus on guiding patients as they navigate the healthcare system, while others focus on advocacy and policy change.

Yet, they all share the same goal of supporting brain tumor/ cancer patients.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Support Brain Tumor/ Cancer Patients in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that support brain tumor/ cancer patients (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

National Brain Tumor Society: Advocacy and Research Against Brain Tumors

Logo for National Brain Tumor Society
Breakthroughs Ahead - National Brian Tumor Society

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Their transparency & ratings:

The National Brain Tumor Society holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Community here. Breakthroughs ahead.”

National Brain Tumor Society

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What they do:

The National Brain Tumor Society supports brain tumor patients and their caregivers through advocacy, research, and patient services. For example, as the only brain tumor organization with an active public policy agenda, they advocate directly to policymakers, giving a voice to brain tumor patients across the US. As another example, they employ some of the top brain tumor experts to advise their programs and monitor research progress regularly. They also ensure stakeholders understand new research developments by hiring Ph.D.’s to translate findings into informative, easy-to-understand content. Moreover, they provide comprehensive support services and guidance to help patients and caregivers navigate their brain tumor journey, including support groups and patient and caregiver toolkits.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the National Brain Tumor Society has invested more than $38 million in brain tumor research, funding hundreds of projects at leading institutions around the world. Furthermore, their advocacy efforts have helped shape public policy surrounding brain tumors and cancer, including the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016 and the Childhood Cancer STAR Act in 2018. And, they helped persuade the manufacturing company of Gleostine, a vital chemotherapy drug, to rejoin the US Medicare program in 2022, ensuring access to care for thousands of financially-vulnerable patients.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the National Brain Tumor Society via their website. You can also support the organization’s mission by advocating, fundraising, or volunteering.

2

American Brain Tumor Association: Legacies of Hope and Support

Logo for American Brain Tumor Association
The History of the American Brain Tumor Association

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Brain Tumor Association holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

“Providing and pursuing answers.”

The American Brain Tumor Association

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What they do:

The American Brain Tumor Association supports brain tumor and brain cancer patients through education, awareness, and research. For example, in 2023, they launched the Meet Hope Head On campaign to raise $50 million over 5 years to support groundbreaking research and expand patient care services. They also offer educational resources for those impacted by brain tumors, such as comprehensive information regarding symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and side effects. Furthermore, they provide guidance and social support for brain tumor patients and their families via their CareLine and their Patient and Caregiver Mentor Support program and offer financial assistance to families in need.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the American Brain Tumor Association has impacted the lives of millions of patients and families battling brain tumors and brain cancer. They have invested over $35 million in research across 800 projects to date, leading to some of the biggest breakthroughs in the field’s history. For example, in 2009, they supported research that led to the discovery of IDH mutations and the subsequent development of a new therapy called vorasidenib. Furthermore, in 2023 alone, their YouTube Educational Library received almost 182,000 views, and over 400,000 people visited their website for educational resources.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the American Brain Tumor Association via their website. You can also support the organization’s mission by participating in their BT5K or volunteering.

3

Brain Tumor Network: Guiding Patients and Empowering Care

logo for Brain Tumor Network
Standing By Their Side: Support Brain Tumor Navigation

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Brain Tumor Network holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Our story is personal.”

Brain Tumor Network

⚒️

What they do:

The Brain Tumor Network supports brain tumor patients and their caregivers by providing free, individualized navigation to manage every facet of their journey. For example, their Navigation Services pair patients and families with a professional in the field of neuro-oncology to provide one-on-one guidance, including exploring treatment options, managing medical records, and answering post-diagnosis questions. Furthermore, they connect patients and caregivers with social support services, like support groups, financial assistance, and advanced care planning. They also offer support to patients interested in participating in a clinical trial and provide comprehensive informational resources for patients and caregivers.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Brain Tumor Network has supported more than 2,400 brain tumor patients. For example, in 2022 alone, they served almost 740 families across the US, including 43 pediatric patient families. In the same year, they completed 205 individualized clinical trial searches and helped almost 520 patients seek second opinions regarding diagnosis or treatment. Moreover, 95% of patients said they would recommend the Brain Tumor Network to others.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Brain Tumor Network via their website. You can also support the charity by following their social media or signing up to receive their newsletter

4

End Brain Cancer Initiative: Expediting Treatment to Save Lives

Logo for End Brain Cancer Initiative
Hope Train: Finding Hope After a Cancer Diagnosis.

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The End Brain Cancer Initiative holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Facing brain cancer? The journey begins with hope.”

End Brain Cancer Initiative

⚒️

What they do:

The End Brain Cancer Initiative supports brain tumor and cancer patients by connecting them to the best treatment options as quickly as possible. For example, their Direct Connect Program is a holistic model for direct interaction between patients and staff that ensures individualized and personalized engagement. Following a comprehensive intake process, patients work with their assigned advocate to create a Patient Empowerment Plan, which outlines their individual needs and proactive steps toward treatment. They also provide resources to streamline the brain cancer journey, including the EBCI App and Caregiver Resources

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the End Brain Cancer Initiative has reached millions of people with information, resources, and individualized services. For example, in 2022 alone, their website registered more than 27,000 new users, bringing their total to over 32,400 users. In the same year, 864 people utilized their Direct Connect Program, and the EBCI App was downloaded more than 60 times.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the End Brain Cancer Initiative via their website. You can also contribute by contacting your representative in support of the Promising Pathway Act, volunteering, or joining their email list.

5

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: Fighting Pediatric Brain Tumors

Logo for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Because of St. Jude

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

No child should die in the dawn of life.”

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

⚒️

What they do:

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital combats pediatric brain injury resulting from tumors through research initiatives and direct treatment. For example, they created the Pediatric Translational Neuroscience Initiative in 2020 to accelerate the development of novel therapies for pediatric brain disorders and injuries, particularly those with no existing effective treatment. Furthermore, their Center for Pediatric Neurological Disease Research, a program of the Pediatric Translational Neuroscience Initiative, investigates the role of genetics in childhood brain disorders and the development of brain tumors. Moreover, they have one of the world’s leading brain tumor programs devoted exclusively to children.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has contributed to improved outcomes for millions of children, including those suffering from brain tumors or other forms of cancer. For example, as the only pediatric brain tumor program that works in direct collaboration with a research department in developmental neurobiology, they have created more clinical trials for their patients than any other children’s hospital in the US. Moreover, their investment in research has contributed to some of the most significant developments in the treatment of pediatric diseases. For example, in 1996, St. Jude doctor Peter Doherty was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for his research on viral infections and organ transplants.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital via their website. You can also participate in a fundraiser or volunteer at a chapter in your community.

6

Cancer Support Community: Community is Stronger than Cancer

logo for Cancer Support Community
Our Story

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Cancer Support Community holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Everyone’s cancer is unique. Your support should be too.”

Cancer Support Community

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What they do:

The Cancer Support Community supports people impacted by cancer, including brain cancer, by providing mental health care, fostering compassionate communities, and eliminating barriers to care. For example, they operate MyLifeLine; a social media network that facilitates easy communication within the community to alleviate stress, anxiety, and isolation. As another example, they offer in-person support at 190 locations around the world with programs like support groups, yoga classes, and educational workshops. Furthermore, their Advocacy Action Center focuses on promoting policies that benefit cancer patients, like those that protect and expand access to care.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Cancer Support Community has been a trusted source of information and comfort for patients battling cancer. For example, in 2021, they reached more than 1.6 million people impacted by cancer, providing over $50 million in free services. In the same year, they added 12,423 new users to MyLifeLine, bringing the number of active users to more than 21,000 people.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Cancer Support Community via their website. You can also advocate or participate in research.

7

American Cancer Society: Diverse Support for Diverse Patients

Logo for American Cancer Society
Living Life with an Exclamation Point!

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Cancer Society holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Every cancer. Every life.”

American Cancer Society

⚒️

What they do:

The American Cancer Society supports cancer patients, including those with brain cancer, by empowering them, their families, and their communities with information, answers, and guidance. For example, in 2023, they launched ACS CARES, an app that equips those facing cancer with curated content, programs, and services tailored to their specific cancer journey. As another example, their Road to Recovery program provides free rides to local treatment appointments, while their Patient Lodging programs give patients traveling for treatment a free place to stay. And, their research grants support groundbreaking cancer research led by promising scientists and healthcare professionals.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the American Cancer Society has impacted the lives of millions of people living with cancer. Since 1946, they have invested $5 billion in cancer research, making them the largest non-governmental funder of cancer research in the US. For example, in 2022 alone, they supported more than 51 million cancer patients through their programs, including providing more than 358,000 nights of lodging to over 21,500 patients and their families.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the American Cancer Society via their website. You can also sign up to fundraise with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, or you can volunteer with ACS Reach to Recovery.

8

Cancer Hope Network: Patient-to-Patient Support

Cancer Hope Network logo
Hope Train: Finding Hope After a Cancer Diagnosis.

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Cancer Hope Network holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Talk with someone who understands.”

Cancer Hope Network

⚒️

What they do:

The Cancer Hope Network supports cancer patients, including those battling cancerous brain tumors, and their loved ones by providing free one-on-one peer support. Their program works by matching patients with a volunteer survivor or loved one based on factors like shared diagnoses, life experiences, and treatments. Their Peer Mentors are trained to provide empathetic support to people battling cancer and the relationship is overseen by the Programs Team, which is made up of social work and healthcare professionals. Furthermore, their Talking About Clinical Trials Peer Mentors are specifically trained to provide support to patients who are considering or currently participating in clinical trials.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Cancer Hope Network has connected more than 50,000 patients and caregivers with one of over 500 trained volunteer Peer Mentors to replace fear of the unknown with hope for the future. For example, in 2022, they partnered with leading technology company Unite Us to increase access to resources and services for people facing cancer. Moreover, in 2023, they announced the formation of the Young Professionals Advisory Committee to drive the direction of the organization’s support for young adults affected by cancer.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Cancer Hope Network via their website. You can also support the charity by hosting a fundraiser or attending an event. If you are a cancer survivor who is at least one year post-treatment or you served as a cancer caregiver, you can volunteer for their Peer Mentor program

9

Livestrong Foundation: More than just Hope

Logo for Livestrong Foundation
Which everyday cancer problem will we fix today?

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Livestrong Foundation holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Which everyday cancer problem can we fix today?”

The Livestrong Foundation

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What they do:

The Livestrong Foundation supports cancer patients, including those with brain cancer, by providing direct services, community connection, and advocacy. For example, their Help Starts Here site contains a collection of educational resources for all stages of cancer, from diagnosis to survivorship. As another example, their Livestrong Fertility program offers reproductive information, resources, and financial support to survivors whose cancer and its treatment pose risks to their fertility. And, their Livestrong at School program offers age-appropriate lessons designed to help educators, parents, and caregivers teach children about cancer in a way that’s inspiring and empowering.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Livestrong Foundation has enhanced the lives of millions of people impacted by cancer. For example, their Livestrong at School program has reached more than 4 million students and their Livestrong Fertility program has saved patients almost $75 million in fertility preservation expenses. Furthermore, more than 400,000 copies of their Livestrong Guidebook have been distributed to cancer survivors.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Livestrong Foundation via their website. You can also attend an event, or volunteer with the organization.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that support brain tumor/ cancer patients. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the websites of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to supporting brain tumor/ cancer patients—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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