• American Cancer Society American Cancer Society


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Mission Statement

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.


We welcome you as you join more than three million Society volunteers nationwide and become a part of our organization’s proud legacy of volunteerism. In 1913, 15 physicians and business leaders in New York City got together to raise awareness about a feared and unmentionable disease: cancer. In 1936, a legion of new volunteers - the Women’s Field Army - was organized to wage war on cancer. This group was the catalyst that moved the American Cancer Society to the forefront of voluntary health organizations. Our millions of diverse volunteers have been - and continue to be - vital to carrying out the mission of the American Cancer Society.

Volunteering: A Commitment to Caring

The American Cancer Society listens, shares, heals, and helps nurture a spirit of hope and a culture of caring through voluntarism. We believe in and strive to live by these six key principles for voluntarism.


We believe that our volunteers and staff members are the greatest resources in the community. Staff members partner with volunteers as individuals, as groups, and within community systems to bring accurate, innovative, and compassionate answers to the people we serve. We organize our volunteers and staff members to deliver our mission in specific communities in the most effective way. Mobilizing volunteers is vital to how we prevent cancer, save lives, and diminish suffering from this disease.


We believe that delivery of our mission is most effectively accomplished through the volunteer/staff partnership. Our leadership actively encourages this value and holds volunteers and staff members accountable for accomplishing work through partnership. We work to strengthen volunteer/staff relationships by enhancing partnership skills and by cultivating trust, flexibility, and mutual respect.

Roles and Responsibilities

We respect the equally important yet different roles of volunteers and staff members. These roles complement each other and expand the ability of either partner working alone. Although responsibilities may differ, we believe that volunteers and staff members should both lead and serve. Volunteers actively participate in meaningful roles at all levels of the organization as governance volunteers, community leaders, and coordinators for events, services, and programs.


We strive to engage people of diverse backgrounds. We seek the involvement of volunteers with a variety of talents, skills, and abilities, and we welcome those similarities and differences. Our diverse volunteer base increases our understanding of communities and enables us to better reach and serve all people.

Volunteer Relationship Management

We cultivate our partnerships through an efficiently and flexibly run volunteer program that attracts, recruits, develops, and trains our volunteers and staff members in an environment that promotes personal and professional growth. We ensure strong communications between volunteers and staff members and provide meaningful recognition for our volunteers and partnerships. We actively seek and apply external and internal best practices in voluntarism.


We wisely and responsibly manage all human and financial resources entrusted to us, and demonstrate the highest moral and ethical behavior in all we do as volunteers and staff.

Interested in joining the fight against cancer?

Find out how you, your family, your friends, and your coworkers can get involved. It only takes a little time to do a lot of good. Make a difference today!



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