At a time when charities are facing a seemingly endless barrage of criticism over fundraising methods, at last some good news after Cancer Research UK hailed its direct marketing activity as a major factor in raising £100m towards the cost of building a pioneering medical research facility in the heart of London.
After launching its Create The Change campaign in 2011 and announcing plans to raise the ambitious figure, CRUK met its target in July 2016, making it the charity’s most successful high-value fundraising campaign. The charity is something of a rarity; although it has not once been accused of badgering potential donors, it became one of the first organisations to commit to use only opt-in marketing data.
The initiative has taken CRUK’s overall commitment to building the Crick to £160m, with the extra £60m arising from the sale of its existing research laboratories in London. The overall cost of the Francis Crick Institute will be £650m.
Although most of the money has been raised through major gifts, the general public was also encouraged to support through a fully integrated fundraising campaign which asked them to ‘Be Part of the Crick’s DNA’. This included channels such as direct mail, digital, social media, press, face-to-face and outdoor.
More than £3m was raised by the charity’s 2015 London Marathon runners and £250,000 from an auction of unique DNA-inspired sculptures created by world renowned artists and designers, including Ai Weiwei and the late Zaha Hadid.
The announcement comes as the new building in King’s Cross St Pancras is nearing completion and scientists are set to move in soon.
CRUK chief executive Sir Harpal Kumar said: “Cancer Research UK is proud to announce that the Create The Change campaign has reached its incredible £100m fundraising target towards the Francis Crick Institute. It’s thanks to the generosity of individual donors that we’ve been able to reach this ambitious sum in just four years.
“Through collaboration and sharing insights across many different disease areas, the Crick will make a unique global contribution to our understanding of their causes and drivers.
When it opens later this year, the Crick will see more than 1,200 scientists coming together under one roof to tackle the major diseases, such as cancer, that pose the greatest threat to humanity.
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