Cancer Research eyes young men and better off

Cancer Research UK is to target high value supporters and young male donors in a bid to boost fundraising after reporting a decline in income in recent years.


The charity is looking to broaden its support base and hopes to attract more high value “philanthropic” donors that can give between £100 and £1000 per month. It has traditionally relied on mass-market supporters who regularly donate £5 or £10.

In return, Cancer Research UK will demonstrate to supporters what the charity does, including opportunities to meet its scientists or visit its research facilities, to build deeper engagement with donors.

Nick Grant, strategy director at the research charity says that the charity needs to explore innovative fundraising initiatives to attract more donations.

“We grew fast between 2000 and 2010 thanks to [fun run] Race for Life and mainstream fundraising but it has plateaued and income has been flat. This is broadly economic but we’ve also relied on the same income streams. Now we’re looking for new ways for people to engage and fundraise.”

Cancer Research raised £433m in 2010 compared to £446m in the previous year.

The charity hopes to increase the number of young male supporters and plans to launch a number of fundraising initiatives targeting men in 2012 to achieve what Race for Life has achieved to connect with young female consumers.

He adds that the charity has not yet had its “Movember moment”, an annual event run by several men’s health charities that encourages men to grow moustaches during November, and found a way to appeal to young male consumers and encourage them to engage with the charity.

Cancer Research recently launched “Frocktober” a new fundraising event targeting women as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

It is currently looking for new sponsors for Race for Life after its 10-year partnership with Tesco came to an end.

Cancer Research UK in numbers

  • Fundraising income was £433m in 2010, a 3% decline from the previous year’s £446m.
  • Race for Life event has seen a 9% decline in participants to 640,000 compared to last year.
  • Income from the event fell by 12% to £58m in 2010.
  • Income from direct giving increased by £5m in 2010.

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