Cancer Research UK targets wealthy donors in £400m fundraising drive

22 Feb 2024 News

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Adobe Stock / Dilok

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has launched a campaign to raise £400m, the largest-ever philanthropic campaign by a British charity.  

CRUK’s More Research, Less Cancer campaign encourages high net worth donors and philanthropists to help the charity raise £400m within the next five years, to help accelerate cancer research.

The money will focus on work at the Francis Crick Institute, support the global cancer research initiative Cancer Grand Challenges and support scientists.

Its campaign comes at a time when philanthropists are being encouraged to increase their charitable donations. 

Culture secretary Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary, recently said the UK has a “squeamish” attitude to philanthropy at the launch of a report which described the “wealthiest in society not pulling their charitable weight”, with the richest 10% of households donating just half as much as a share of their incomes as the poorest 10%.

Charity Commission chair Orlando Fraser said last year it was a “personal priority” to encourage the wealthiest in society to give more to charity, as “the philanthropic culture here in England and Wales lags behind those in comparable countries”. 

‘Investment is the limiting factor’

CRUK said philanthropic giving has supported some of the charity’s key research achievements, including the significant progress made against cervical cancer, and the development of the HPV vaccine. 

The charity’s previous philanthropy campaign, Create the Change, also raised £100m to help build the Francis Crick Institute in London. 

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of CRUK, said: “We’re on the brink of discoveries that will transform how we understand and treat cancer – investment is the limiting factor.

“Philanthropic support is the key to unlocking this potential, empowering researchers to take risks, innovate and collaborate across borders to save and improve millions of lives. 

“We need those with the means and vision to help us bring about a world where everybody can lead longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. That’s why we’ve launched our new campaign today. Because more support means more research, and more research means less cancer.” 

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