Close the Gap Campaign a resounding success

The Close the Gap Campaign of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) officially came to a close on December 31, 2014. This was the WFH’s first multi-year campaign, raising US$5.4 million to help improve care for those who need it most. The corporate portion of the campaign raised nearly US$3.5 million from existing and new WFH corporate partners. The community portion of the campaign raised an outstanding US$1.9 million.

The global bleeding disorders community demonstrated an unprecedented level of support during the three-year fundraising drive with a total of 991 donors, from 96 different countries, that made contributions ranging from $1 to $150,000 in a meaningful show of solidarity within the community. To honour this solidarity, WFH patron Jan Willem André de la Porte pledged to donate an additional $2 for every $1 donated to the campaign. Be sure to read the enclosed campaign bulletin for a full list of campaign supporters and key volunteers.

The Campaign was inaugurated at the WFH 2012 World Congress in Paris to honor the WFH’s 50th anniversary. This special anniversary was marked by a renewed commitment from the WFH to expand the care and services available to people with a bleeding disorder in some of the world’s poorest regions. Often these regions lack the medical and economic resources to fully benefit from established WFH programs. The Close the Gap Campaign was dedicated to raising funds to finance this new phase of programs. Special support from a number of WFH national member organizations (NMOs) during the Campaign enabled the WFH to introduce the Cornerstone Initiative. This project was developed to support those countries that may not have been able to adequately participate in WFH country programs and potentially the Global Alliance for Progress (GAP) Program.

This remarkable support for the Cornerstone Initiative was provided by the twelve countries that had representatives at the very first meeting of the WFH, just over fifty years ago. The NMOs from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.A. are considered to be the “founding members” of the WFH and showed tremendous leadership in giving during the campaign. The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) of the U.S.A. also took the additional initiative to match all contributions made by their chapters throughout the campaign. This resulted in nearly US$120,000 of contributions made directly from NHF chapters, in addition to NHF’s contribution.

However, NMO generosity went far beyond the founding members’ contributions, a total of 31 NMOs made a contribution to the Close the Gap Campaign, up from seven NMOs during 2009-2011. Martha Monteros, Secretary of the Federación de Hemofilia de la República Mexicana and Close the Gap Campaign regional co-chair said, “Whether attending the WFH Global NMO Training, downloading the new treatment guidelines, watching a conference webcast or participating in a Twinning or GAP Programs, we have all benefited from WFH programs. This is our chance to ensure these resources will continue to be available – to the Federación de Hemofilia de la República Mexicana and to anyone else around the globe who needs them. Too many patients still lack access to the most basic treatment and diagnosis.”

The Campaign regional co-chairs were a vital part of the campaign’s success, inspiring donors and leading grassroots initiatives in their respective regions, from bicycle races to “pass the hat” initiatives. Well-respected in their regions for having already made remarkable contributions to improving care for people with bleeding disorders, each of the regional co-chairs was instrumental in maintaining the global perspective of the Close the Gap Campaign. Please see the Campaign bulletin for a full list of its volunteers.

The Close the Gap Campaign has helped enable the WFH to continue its work and reach more patients than ever before. It’s not too late to be part of this legacy. You can contribute to help the WFH meet its ongoing needs and help those around the work gain access to the care they need and deserve. Because you care, we can accomplish so much together. Thank you for all your support.