Our unique operating model

Unlike other hospitals, the majority of funding for St. Jude comes from generous donors.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), exists solely to raise the funds and awareness necessary to operate St. Jude. In fact, approximately 75 percent of the funds necessary to sustain and grow St. Jude must be raised each year by ALSAC from generous donors who are united with us in a common goal: Finding cures. Saving children®

We're dedicated to providing the best care for patients and research that leads to cures

To do that, we need to continue to be at the cutting-edge of the latest medicine and research in fighting life-threatening pediatric diseases such as cancer and sickle cell, all while freeing families from the biggest burden in getting life-saving healthcare: the cost.

Why your support matters

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because we believe all a family should worry about is helping their child live. While we accept insurance, St. Jude is a research hospital so much of the treatment and services we provide are not covered by insurance and will not be in the future. More than 50 percent of our patients are under- or uninsured. Only approximately 14% of the money to operate the hospital comes from insurance recoveries and approximately 9% comes from research grant funding which is why the majority of the funds to operate St. Jude must be raised. This is vastly different than most other hospitals that can generate 90-95% of their revenues from insurance recoveries and other sources. And it's a different financial and operating model than large grant-making charities.

St. Jude and ALSAC are proud that 82 cents of every dollar received for the past seven years has gone to support the treatment, research and future needs of St. Jude. Our donors can trust that their giving has helped save the lives of thousands of children. 

Our responsibility to our patients

The kids who come to St. Jude are suffering from life-threatening childhood illnesses such as cancer and sickle cell disease, and many of our treatment protocols are long. For example, the most common form of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, can cost about $300,000 to treat over a two- to three- year treatment plan. But at St. Jude, we often take the sickest patients, tailor treatment plans for their individual needs and conduct pioneering research that is changing how cancer and other diseases are treated worldwide. Cancer treatment may last years and can cost millions of dollars per patient. We also follow up with our patients to learn how to improve our treatments and their quality of life.

St. Jude sees approximately 8,500 patients each year and impacts the lives of hundreds more in communities everywhere by freely sharing our research, providing consultations and collaborating with doctors and scientists worldwide. At. St. Jude, we follow all patients for 10 years or more after active treatment ends as part of The St. Jude LIFE & After Completion of Therapy Clinic Presented by Kmart. Our After Completion of Therapy (ACT) program is the largest long-term follow-up clinic for childhood cancer patients in the U.S. As a global leader in research and care for childhood cancer survivors, we're studying more than 5,000 survivors through the St. Jude LIFE research study. We know it is vital to understand and address their unique health needs in order to improve quality of life for the nearly 500,000 childhood cancer survivors in the U.S. as well as those around the world.

Planning for the needs of today and tomorrow

Like any responsible, well-managed organization, St. Jude has a reserve fund. We have an obligation to provide care for patients throughout their treatment and to complete our research once started regardless of how the economy changes or if we were to face a disastrous event. At the core of our mission is our ability to research and treat life-threatening childhood diseases for the patients who come through our doors today as well as the children who will need us in the future. The reserve fund consists of restricted funds that St. Jude, ALSAC and our Board of Directors & Governors can only use according to donor stipulations and in accordance with financial regulations. It also consists of unrestricted funds that St. Jude, ALSAC and the Board could use in times of economic stress, for Board-approved strategic reasons, or in a disastrous event to ensure we can meet St. Jude operating costs and care for our patients. We have been fortunate to benefit, not only from generous donors, but from a strong economy and wise investments over the past seven years.

The availability of these funds has also enabled our plans for the future, which currently call for St. Jude and ALSAC to spend $9 billion over six years. We announced these plans publicly in 2015 and you can read the update on the plan and accomplishments to date here. The plan will expand the number of patients treated at St. Jude; seek to impact 30 percent of the global pediatric cancer burden; invest in critical research; and grow our facilities to support increased research and treatment to end childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Despite all the progress, 1 in 5 children in the U.S. will still die from cancer; and globally, the vast majority of childhood cancer patients do not have access to adequate care and will not survive. St. Jude, ALSAC and our supporters are working hard to change this.

What we've accomplished with your support

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from 20% when the hospital opened in 1962 to more than 80% today. In addition, St. Jude has achieved a 94% survival rate for ALL, up from 4% in 1962, and the survival rate for medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor, increased from 10 percent to 85% today. And, we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. 

Transparency is important to us

You can find ALSAC and St. Jude annual financial reports here. All St. Jude and ALSAC financial reports are prepared according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP); are audited annually by an outside, public accounting firm; approved by our Board of Directors & Governors; and are reported publicly as required by strict state and federal regulations. We are in full compliance with the non-profit standards of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The St. Jude financial assistance statement for patients is available here.

St. Jude and ALSAC are governed by a Board who is responsible for approving our strategic plans and budgets as well as reviewing our operational and financial performance. Our Board includes an audit committee, a finance committee, a conflict of interest committee and a compensation committee, among others. Our executive compensation is set by the Board compensation committee based on reasonableness opinions from outside, independent compensation experts. Our salaries fall within the 50-75 percentile of the market average for organizations of similar size and scope, and our CEO's compensation rank in the bottom tier of total compensation compared to the other top U.S. children's cancer hospitals and other major charities.


Contact us at annual.report@stjude.org or see our financial statements for more information, and learn more about why you should support St. Jude.