Medical charities profit most from business ties

Cancer Research UK has remained the biggest beneficiary of cause-related marketing partnerships for the third year running, according to Business in the Community's latest annual CRM tracker.

More than £51.4m was raised for charities and good causes through 66 CRM programmes during 2004, up by £2.4m on the previous year. Health and medical charities continued to attract the most corporate support, with their £36.2m booty representing 70 per cent of the total funds raised, up from £25.5m on the previous year.

The British Heart Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer were the second and third biggest beneficiaries. Although education was the second most popular cause in 2004, its value dropped by £500,000 to £8.5m, with fewer programmes running. Charities working with older people received the least benefit.

The top corporate fundraisers were Tesco, Cereal Partners UK, which makes Nestle-brand cereals, and the Somerfield Group. Retailers and food and drink manufacturers were the top givers, with the media and entertainment sectors just behind. Three-quarters of CRUK's CRM income, or £21m, was derived from its Race for Life campaign with Tesco.

This year's tracker, now in its fourth year, followed 58 UK businesses that volunteered to be monitored. It tracked marketing partnerships and financial donations as well as support from customers, suppliers and employees.

"There's more realisation that cause-related marketing is a way to build the business by building the emotional bond with consumers," said Chris Holmes, CRM research and development manager at BitC.

"Our research shows that two-thirds of the public want companies to do CRM."

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