​By September 2015, the Board grew to five Board Members and two Advisors to the Board, and one non-voting Deputy Executive Directors position. 

Also in 2015, we saw a need for our clients and made a personal* investment, enrolled, and I  became certified in a 450 hours’ master’s program through The Institute of Professional Coaching (iPEC), which is one of the premier and top rated Life Coaching Institute in the country and as one of the largest accredited coach training schools in the world. 
* No organizational funding has been in in my certification.

My certifications is specializing in “Quality of living after… (whatever is in your life has thrown at you).” A WellBeing Dynamic™ project was designed to accommodate the needs of the clients whether one-on-one, support group or family coaching. This style of coaching motivates, inspires and move a client(s) forward in a process of goal setting, fulfilling dreams and taking the client from a functional lifestyle to an optimal level of living. 

During the summer of 2016, Cops Against Cancer applied and was excited when we were awarded the Guidestar Top Platinum Level Award for the organization. GuideStar USA, Inc. is the world’s largest information resource, services specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies. 

Also, two additional Board Members were appointed in the summer of 2016, and these appointments are for our Executive Committee. The appointees, have a specific background in large organizational management and operations and will play a critical role in strategic planning in the forthcoming year.  

In closing, the future of our organization is positive, as we move forward in creating and building stronger and more powerful governmental and corporate partnerships. We extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to your generosity as donors and we encourage your continued partnership with our organization as we strive to provide our clients with the quality of services they desire.


Craig A. Phinney
Craig A. Phinney
Executive Director & Founder

From 2004 to 2007, Craig was assigned to the Central Iowa Financial Investigators Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional State, and Federal Financial (Fraud) Crimes Task Force, here in the Des Moines (Iowa) Metro area. As a Task Force Officer, Craig initiated over 300 investigations, which included Felony Money Laundering, Counterfeiting, Forgeries, Credit Card Fraud, Internet Crimes /Scams and Child Pornography.

From July 2005 to July 2008, Craig held an elected State position as a Regional State Coordinator and Executive Board Member for the Iowa Law Enforcement Intelligence Network (ILEIN) organization covering a twenty county region in Central Iowa. ILEIN is nationally recognized and is considered a model for Law Enforcement Intelligence information gathering and sharing across the United States. 

Shirley Phinney grew up in a law enforcement family in Lineville and Des Moines, Iowa.
Shirley is a graduate of Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, and Grandview College in Des Moines with Degrees in Criminal Justice.  

Shirley has sixteen years affiliated in law enforcement experience including the Drug Enforcement Administration, as an Administrative Assistant, Reserve Police Officer for Altoona (Iowa) Police Department and as an Emergency Communications Specialist for Polk (Iowa) County Sheriff’s Communication Center and Wes Com Emergency Communications Center (Des Moines Metro Police). 

Shirley is currently a Corporate Investigator and District Loss Prevention Manager for Walgreens' Corporations in W Des Moines, Iowa responsible for 47 stores throughout central Iowa for the past eleven years. 

As a faith-based organization, Cops Against Cancer focuses on the acute financial, educational, and emotional needs of individual cancer patients and their families. Grants, donations from individuals and businesses, and our annual Cops Against Cancer Five-0 BBQ Classic in June fund the Cops Against Cancer organization.

Since 2012, Cops Against Cancer has raised over $200,000.00 and have assisted over 600 plus cancer families directly in 78 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Each year the needs increase for our organization to accommodate the increasing needs of our clients. Cops Against Cancer is proud for the past two years (2014 & 2015), 90 cents of every dollar raised goes to the client assistance programs. No one within the organization receives any financial benefit.

Cops Against Cancer has made it their commitment to making a difference in cancer patients’ lives. As a value-focused organization, we are built on the pillars of recovery and extending the quality of life for cancer families, providing one-on-one, family and group support transition and life purpose coaching, providing navigation and advocacy resource referrals, grief and loss coaching, survivor to survivor recovery programs and financial assistance.

Our goal is to not only provide assistance but also helps restore dreams, goal setting and normalcy to the lives of cancer patients and their families.

Community needs:
Cops Against Cancer provides ongoing assistance programs to cancer patients, Care coordinators, social workers, and families. Our organization works closely with the Des Moines, Iowa Metro Cancer Centers, Holden Cancer Center - University of Iowa, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, and other Iowa-based treatment facilities. We receive referrals from the aforementioned as well as Iowa Department of Public Health, National Cancer Call Center, and The American Cancer Society.

Ninety percent of the clients are single fixed income and low-income families, with limited medical insurance. Many families have depleted or limited medical leave and are receiving minimal or are unqualified for disability coverage. In most incidences, families are required to travel long distances, a minimum of 110 miles each way for needed medical treatments. Some of these treatments require 28 - 30 treatments over a 5 - 6-week period. Without financial assistance, many of these patients would be unable to receive treatments.

Our organization assists with monthly utility payments, home repairs, mortgage payments, and rent, as well with medical insurance premiums and co-payments, vehicle insurance and registration payments. We also assist with the purchase of commercial supplements and medical supplies not covered by medical insurance, which are all necessities for their day-to-day recovery.

Our mentoring, educational retreats & coaching programs assists the client to seize opportunities, achieve clarity, and get a glimpse of their true potential. By assisting our clients to break through their limiting thoughts and emotional responses, we replace them with supportive, empowering beliefs that lead to powerful and consistent action. 
No one should have to go through an illness battle alone. Learning to live as well as they can, for as long as they can require assistance. This is where our programs assist the individuals and families with the transition. 


  • Providing financial assistance and resources to cancer patients and families with some of the unexpected expenses associated with cancer treatments not covered by insurance. 

  • Providing and promoting cancer awareness and prevention within our communities through educational retreats and speakers’ forum. 

  • Providing cancer patients and families not only during treatment but also during post treatment by offering professionally certified WellBeing Coaching services 

We're about offering a hand-up,  not a handout
2016 Annual Report
(As of January 10, 2017)

About the Founders

Craig Phinney is a retired Police Officer with over thirty-five years of law enforcement experience to the State of Iowa. In 2013, Craig retired from the Ankeny (Iowa) Police Department after twenty-five years of service. 
During this time period, Craig served in several capacities in the Uniform Patrol Division, including Team Leader for Hotel/Motel Investigation Unit, Street Narcotics / Police Working Dog Handler, Law Enforcement Training Instructor and Field Training Officer. 

From 1984 to 2008, Craig was also a Law Enforcement Specialist for twenty-four years with the United States Air Force and the United States Air Force Reserves. 
A message from our Executive Director:

In December 2014, our organization accepted the resignation of two of our 5 Board Members. Their resignations came after a review of those members and their commitment to the organization. During their review, conflicts were presented in their personal lives that needed their attention. Respectfully, their resignations were accepted. 

The organization began interviewing prospective Board Members in January 2015 and by March 2015, our Board grew from three to five and the organization’s initial business for the first quarter was to reorganize and build a stronger, more effective Board, and Organization. 

The focus for 2015 was not on fundraising, but on the organization building and annual fundraising was suspended. 

Capital Campaign for 2017:

September 2016, Cops Against Cancer launched a capital campaign to raise monies for a mobile catering trailer. This trailer design is exclusive to fundraising. The campaign involves the purchase of a commercial concession BBQ trailer, a commercial BBQ smoker and state mandated commercial food prep equipment and appliances. The projected cost of this project is budgeted at $40,000.00
The mobile resource is a community-minded initiative that will be in state compliance as a mobile food preparation trailer, used to prepare fundraising meals for cancer families seeking assistance from our organization that has a much larger financial request.  

One of the largest expenses for a fundraising event is catering. We are not a business with a focus on making a profit. We are focused on providing our clients a low-cost alternative by catering and a huge return on their investment with our award winning BBQ. 

The ideal fundraiser is a cancer family contacting CAC for a financial assist. Our mobile team will be able to respond anywhere by preparing a fundraising dinner in connection with a community hall, VFW, or church. We will assist the request with the marketing of their event using our name as a marketing leveraging tool. PR for an event is expensive, marketing and promotion for a nonprofit are free or very low cost. Proceeds from the event would be split between our CAC organization; for our minimal event expenses, i.e. meat, side dishes, dessert (all of which prepared in the BBQ trailer), and the majority of the proceeds to going directly to the cancer family.

This type of assistance then does not take away monies for our other client's funding, whose request for assistance is of a smaller nature (i.e. under $1,500.00). This project will clearly generate funding for our client families, without affecting other cancer client funding. With this project, we assist an additional three families a month, providing a much larger donation per family. 

After the first year, the start-up costs have been covered, and anything monies generated after our first year will be pure client benefit.  

Cops Against Cancer is also reaching out to the state law enforcement agencies and proposing a partnership with the agencies and hosting bbq fundraising events in their communities, with the proceeds assisting the financial program for our cancer families. The second phase of this partnership is the agencies taking on an active role and making referrals of cancer families in need from their communities to our organization. The agencies will also play a critical role in personally making the direct donation contact with those families. 

The mobile trailer will clearly be identified as a community initiative project. We are seeking specific organizations and businesses within the state and will proudly display their support by their specific graphic logos on the trailer. This type of advertising generates additional inquiries from other business leaders attending the fundraiser and now inquiring how they can become involved and their logo on the trailer.

This project is expected to be functioning by Summer 2017.

News from 2016:

January 2016, the organization held its first strategy retreat. During the Retreat, an update on board positions that were still vacant and prospective candidates was discussed. Several areas of fundraising were discussed and to create a greater understanding how cancer survivorship coaching would create a unique resource for cancer families. 

During April 2016, we learned the fundraising venue for our annual BBQ Fundraiser that would accommodate 450 persons was lost due to a clerical error on behalf of the venue. Because of this, several other locations was researched, but because of either of a smaller holding size or extremely high dollar for rental, we were again without an annual fundraiser.

We were able to hold several smaller fundraisers, generating donations for client assistance throughout 2016. 

Also during 2016, a total of five financial grants were written for our Survivorship Retreats and Well-being Coaching programs and these grants were awarded totaling $18,000.00 towards these programs.  

April 2016, Cops Against Cancer held the second Survivorship Retreat with 62 families attending. Cops Against Cancer is committed to expanding the Retreat program into three additional regional areas in Iowa. The one-day format will be similar to the 2015 Retreat, with some improved additions.

The areas or regions selected is based on the demographic of our client base, the availability of cancer treatment centers to the area and if there are currently support groups for the families in place in those specific areas. 

Cops Against Cancer will be working with several of the Iowa-based cancer treatment centers on this program. Surveys will be presented to the individual centers to ascertain the needs and present services available to their clients and as well as for the centers to assist in promoting our events. 

Nationally and internationally recognized speakers in the field of cancer research and survivorship motivated and inspired those attending.

This project was 100% funded by two grants that were written specifically for this purpose. 

During 2015, grants were continued to be written on resource and educational programs to include, Survivorship Retreats and Coaching Services. A total of five grants were written and four grants awards were received totaling $9,100.00. 

There were requests from smaller fundraising efforts, which did not take away from the organization main focus but was able to generate donations and promoted educational awareness, totaling $17,479,.50. 

During 2015, a total of 9 client applications were received and processed for financial and resource assistance. 

News from 2015:

April 2015, was the first year that Cops Against Cancer presented the educational and resource Survivorship Retreat. A partnership was created with the John Stoddard Cancer Center in Des Moines, Iowa. 

During the Retreat, 68 attendees were provided a financial free experience presenting and educating the attendees on proper nutrition, physical fitness, prescription assistance, human services tools, and financial planning were presented by faith, medical and financial professionals. 
The organization worked with a local area community college with their internship program and a College Freshman was assigned and created the new Cops Against Cancer logo and brand. 
Also, two additional Board Members were appointed in the summer of 2016, and these appointments will be part of the Executive Committee. The appointees, have a specific background in large organizational management and operations and will play a critical role in the forthcoming years. There were several smaller fundraising events hosted by our awarding winning BBQ Team. 

In addition, in November, we hosted a Comics and Cop Fundraiser; showcasing the talents for four local comedians. This event was also extremely beneficial as a healing process for the Metro area Law Enforcement agencies that were impacted by the murders of two local police officers, just days prior to our fundraiser. The Comic night was truly successful and was well attended.

Cops Against Cancer.org
P.O. Box 1102
Ankeny, IA 50021
515- 783- 9833
www.copsagainstcancer.org copsagainstcancer.org@live.com