IoF Convention star performer: Edward Aspel

The interim head of innovation delivery at Cancer Research UK says campaigning charities should think 'mobile first'

Edward Aspel
Edward Aspel

- Who is he?

Edward Aspel joined Cancer Research UK in September 2012 as its interim head of innovation delivery. He started his marketing career in the private sector at Unilever and Whitbread, then moved to the Cabinet Office before joining CRUK. His job entails taking innovative ideas identified by the charity and developing them for use.

- What's he doing at the convention?

Aspel will talk about two campaigns he has overseen - the Dryathlon and Click to Cure. The Dryathlon was a pilot fundraising campaign that called on people to give up alcohol during January and donate the money they saved to CRUK. The campaign aimed to get between 4,000 and 5,000 people involved and raise £500,000 - but 35,000 people got involved and it raised more than £4m. Click to Cure asks volunteers to help the charity's scientists identify cancer cells online. So far there have been 120,000 unique visitors to the site.

- What did he learn from the campaigns?

The main motivation for Dryathlon was for CRUK to increase its young male supporter base. Aspel says its success was largely due to listening to research findings about this group - that their motives were less about the cause and more about having fun.

- Did anything surprise him?

He says the number of sign-ups for the Dryathlon campaign through mobile devices was higher than expected. He thinks the shift to mobile is happing even faster than expected and that when charities are putting together digital campaigns they should build them for mobile first - if it works well there, it will work elsewhere.

- What's next?

The use of online games in the Dryathlon campaign was particularly successful, according to Aspel, and in order to tap into this success the charity is planning to launch a Click to Cure smartphone game in the autumn, which would allow people to help "cure" cancer on their way to work.

- Read more on this year's IoF National Convention

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