CRUK prepares fundraising push

Anita Pati

Cancer Research UK plans to increase the amount it spends on research by £133m in the next five years.

The UK's largest charity announced it spent a record £217m on research last year. It has set itself a target of £350m by 2010.

The 60 per cent increase will be funded by a massive fundraising drive.

Richard Taylor, co-executive director of fundraising and marketing, said it was an ambitious but feasible target. "Since the merger in 2002 we've been very successful," he said. "In some respects, our fundraising has surpassed our expectations."

The charity will build on its five existing income streams - legacies, events, retail, committed fundraising and donor marketing. It also plans to stage the Race for Life more frequently.

Initiatives will include expanding the mixed-sex 10k race and pushing Relay for Life - a new, 24-hour race that Taylor predicts will be "very significant".

CRUK hopes to expand its chain of ten Wishes card shops, which attract a younger support base. This will be discussed at a post-Christmas evaluation.

The charity will also promote its Today youth brand for 18 to 25-year-olds. Fundraising activities will include selling merchandise, concerts, DJ events and text donations.

Taylor denied the anticipated growth posed a threat to other charities' fundraising activities. "What we're doing is raising awareness of the need to invest in cancer research generally," he said. "I don't think that is at the cost of smaller charities."

But Tara MacDowel, a spokeswoman for Beating Bowel Cancer, expressed concern that the increased number of races might have an impact.

"There's only so many runs that local fundraisers can take part in," she said.

"We suffer because some of the bigger charities spend huge amounts of money on marketing, so it's difficult to compete for funds.

"For example, we cannot get a place in the London Marathon and haven't had one for years. I don't know how many places Cancer Research UK and the other big charities have."

KEY POINTS

- Cancer Research UK has announced plans to increase its research budget to £350m by 2010

- The 60 per cent increase will be achieved by a massive fundraising drive - Activities are set to include expansion of the 10k Race for Life and the Wishes chain of card shops - Beating Bowel Cancer has expressed concern that CRUK's plans might hit their own fundraising.

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