CRUK reorganises to build links with supporters

Britain's largest fundraising charity, Cancer Research UK, is undergoing a major reorganisation aimed at promoting its new fundraising strategy of building deeper relationships with its current supporters.

The charity is also bringing together all of its communications and information activities in one directorate for the first time.

CRUK, which funds more than £300m of research a year, has doubled its research funding since it was formed by the merger of two charities in 2002 and plans to spend £400m a year by 2010.

Richard Taylor, executive director of fundraising and supporter marketing, has slimmed down his directorate into six departments: supporter relationship management; supporter marketing; high-value relationships; community and events; trading; and strategic development.

He said the charity’s current relationship with its supporters was fragmentary and there was a danger under the current organisational structure that different departments could be marketing to the same person at the same time, but in different ways.

“The new structure will bring all the information into one place and we will decide centrally which is the right channel to connect with each supporter,” he said.

The new arrangement also centralises contact with high-value donors, while the community and events department hopes to bring together scientists, patients and fundraisers in particular regions to make the most of “the power of local”.

Taylor said the rearrangements had been made after discussions with other charities and a study of how commercial companies organise their customer relations.

“People are all thinking in this way to a greater or lesser extent,” he said. “It is all done with a view to making people favourably disposed towards leaving us a legacy. We think it is a lot easier to do that if you build up a relationship with them in their lifetime.”

The new communications and information directorate will also consist of six departments: PR & press and brand; internet and new media; cancer information; health information; patient information; and strategy and operations.

The division will be led by Sarah Lyness, who will be known as executive director of communications and information. She said: “It is a huge opportunity to look at areas such as our media and online presence in an integrated way.”

Previously, communications were the responsibility of policy and communications director Maxine Taylor, who is leaving CRUK at the end of the month. Her replacement will focus wholly on policy.

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