Case Study: Cancer Research UK

A website that lets supporters choose how their money is spent has raised £400,000 so far. Our reviewer Steven Dodds shares his thoughts

Organisation: Cancer Research UK
Campaign: MyProjects
Agency: Essence

The campaign

MyProjects is a website run by Cancer Research UK that gives details of specific research projects being funded by the charity.

It asks supporters to donate to individual projects rather than the charity as a whole. Current projects on the site include research work on leukaemia, breast cancer and bowel cancer.

Supporters can search for projects by category or location. As well as a text summary, each project is accompanied by a video explaining the venture in more detail.

The site displays information about the fundraising target for each project and how much money has been raised.

Why this approach?

The charity decided that letting donors decide how their money was spent would attract new donors and increase the amount given by existing donors.

The site also allows users to create 'giving groups', through which they invite their friends to donate to projects they have given money to.

"We wanted to offer people a way to donate online that gave them choice," said a spokeswoman for the charity. "We also wanted to make sure the site enabled supporters to share content with their friends and families."

What were the results?

CRUK spent about £200,000 developing the website, which has attracted more than 3,000 supporters and raised about £400,000.

The spokeswoman said 65 per cent of all MyProjects supporters had not previously supported CRUK, and the average value of donations was higher than that of other individual donors.

By Lizzie Rivera



Steven Dodds, head of planning, DMS

The MyProjects initiative is to be applauded. There is a pressing need for innovation in fundraising, and this initiative hits the spot. At its heart is the smart strategic shift from "What can the donor do for us?" to "What can we do for the donor?"

The site picks up on two important donor insights: the need for greater accountability and a growth in 'social fundraising' - the opportunity to involve friends, family and community.

In terms of delivery, however, it still needs a little work. The site is firmly positioned in the social networking arena, yet the Facebook buttons are given little prominence.

Expert rating

Creativity: 4

Delivery: 3

Total: 7 out of 10

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