Charity Review: METAvivor Research and Support

Posted by

One important way that we can make a difference in the fight against cancer is by donating to a worthy cancer research charity.

METAvivor is a unique breast cancer nonprofit that is dedicated to funding research to help improve the longevity and quality of life of metastatic breast cancer patients.

In this post, we’ll take a look at METAvivor–its mission, its approach and its accomplishments.

If you’re interested, you can also read my reviews of several other cancer research charities here.

The Organization’s History and Mission

METAvivor Research and Support, Inc. was incorporated in 2009. The organization began as a support group in Annapolis, Maryland for individuals living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). The group has evolved to have as its primary focus raising funds and awarding grants specifically for metastatic breast cancer research.

The organization says that its mission is to transition MBC from a terminal diagnosis to a chronic, manageable disease with a good quality of life. Also part of its mission are providing support and education for those living with MBC and promoting awareness of MBC to increase research funding.

The Organization’s Programs and Approaches

METAvivor is led by a small staff and volunteers, most of whom are living with MBC.

The organization primarily funds research grants through a scientific peer-review process that includes research experts, oncologists and patient advocates. Grants are awarded to individuals with a clinical or research doctoral degree who are actively engaged in areas of metastatic breast cancer research.

Proposals that get funded must be focused on treating established breast cancer metastases to improve outcomes for stage IV metastatic breast cancer patients.

METAvivor also works to bring attention to MBC, the issues faced by those living with MBC and to raise public awareness about the disease.

The organization’s original support program remains intact.  In addition, the organization offers a Peer-to-Peer Support Group leader webinar class and encourages people living with MBC to establish support programs in their communities.

Funding, Major Program Areas and Expenses

(Source for financial data: METAvivor’s IRS Form 990)

METAvivor reported $5.7 million in revenues for fiscal year 2019.  Its income is almost entirely from fundraising events, contributions, gifts and grants.

Of METAvivor’s total expenses, 97% were spent on its programs and services and 3% were spent on administrative expenses.

METAvivor notes that the organization works to obtain grants and corporate sponsors to support its operational expenses. It does this in order to ensure that donations can be entirely dedicated to research grants. It says: “unless otherwise specified by the donor, 100% of every donation and 100% of proceeds from every fundraiser (after event expenses) goes into our research grants.”

Ratings and Reviews from the Charity Watchdogs

METAvivor has been rated by Charity Navigator for four years and has received four consecutive ratings of 4 stars (CN’s highest rating).

On Guidestar, you can view a profile of METAvivor, access its IRS From 990 and read reviews from individuals such as professionals with expertise in the field, volunteers and donors.

Results: What Does the Organization Report?

In 2019, METAvivor awarded a total of $6.2 million in grants to 34 major cancer centers and academic research institutions (as reported on its IRS Form 990).

The organization’s website includes a list of active and past grant recipients together with abstracts summarizing their research projects.

Additional Reading

You can read more about METAvivor’s founding and its community support services and fundraising events in “Spotlight On: METAvivor” in Everyday Health.

Related Posts
Supporting Breast Cancer Charities: A Better Way
Making a Difference: Contributing to Cancer Charities
Charity Review: The Hope Foundation for Cancer Research
Charity Review: Stand Up To Cancer
Charity Review: Cancer Research Institute
Charity Review: Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
Charity Review: Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Image Credit: garagestock via Shutterstock


  1. Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for this review of METAvivor. It makes me feel even better about the fact that this is the organization I donate to annually. I love the fact 97% is spent on programs. And, the fact that for the most part, it’s run on a volunteer basis primarily by folks who live with MBC, also says a lot about their dedication to their mission. Thanks for highlighting their important work.

Comments are closed.