The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Translating complex science into a clear ask


The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation fights for a world without multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. To accelerate their plan to find and deliver a cure, they needed high-net worth donors to invest in their model—now.

When lives are on the line, there’s no time to spare.

For over 20 years the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (the MMRF) has lead major advancements in the fight against cancer. When immuno-oncology research began to show promise for treating multiple myeloma, the MMRF developed a new strategic plan to harness it. To fuel the work it will take to achieve those goals, they planned a $100 million fundraising campaign. They needed a strong campaign concept and collateral to start facilitating conversations with prospects ASAP.

Speaking to the donor’s bottom line

Building on the MMRF’s tenacious brand and results-driven approach, Big Duck developed four concepts and presented them to their founder, Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient herself, and her colleagues. Two stood out from the pack—Smarter Faster Cure and Accept No [Excuses].

We tested each concept’s visuals and messages with a group of their major donors and discovered that though removing barriers between promising science and the patients who need it is one of the MMRF’s key strengths, most donors saw finding and delivering a cure the most motivating lead message overall. The Smarter Faster Cure Campaign was the winner.

Building on the brand
The case statement book built on the MMRF’s brand and introduced the opportunity as a key step toward achieving their mission.
Connecting to their research
Connecting their groundbreaking research to the larger fight against cancer.
MMRF campaign concept
The final campaign concept led with a message that resonated strongest with major donors.

Campaign microsite

Big Duck designed a powerful case statement book for major donors, collaborating with CCS Fundraising on the copy. Then, we translated that content into a Wix microsite the MMRF team could use during the public phase of the campaign for mid-level and general donors.

Results so far

The MMRF’s development team has been using the case statement book to lead initial conversations with major donors. Because the campaign aligns with their three-pillar plan to accelerate research, develop treatments, and deliver those treatments to patients when they need them most, development staff have the ability to tailor conversations according to their prospects’ individual mindsets with a focus on their bottom line: finding a cure in their lifetime.

And this is just the start. Big Duck is planning to use insights gained from this phase of the campaign to further edit the case statement and build out a robust suite of materials to take Smarter Faster Cure from the quiet to the public phase.

The multiple myeloma community looks to us for speed, rigor, and results. Big Duck kept pace with my team throughout our fast-moving project and delivered a dynamite campaign identity. The materials capture the urgency of our plan and make a strong case to support our next leap toward a cure.”

— Kathy Giusti, Founder and Chief Mission Officer, The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Fueling the next phase of your work with a capital campaign? Big Duck can help.