Cancer Research UK to lose “tens of millions”


​Charity defends move to ask donors to opt-in believing it's the "right thing to do" 

10th May 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

One of the UK’s biggest charities says it will lose tens of millions as a result of switching to opted-in fundraising.

Cancer Research UK said the move - in which donors can only be contacted if they have explicitly agreed so beforehand – will impact significantly on its income.

Its head of fundraising Ed Aspel said the switch was the right thing to do and would strengthen the charity’s position in the longer term - but not for up to 10 years.

“By moving from opt-out to opt-in there is an expectation that the number of people we are able to contact with our fundraising asks will decrease,” Aspel said. “So that will have an impact on our income.

“However, I think that will be in the short- to medium-term. We’re doing this because we think that it’s the right thing to do to respect the wishes of our supporters. 

“We think that if we communicate with supporters on their terms, if they can control the level of fundraising communication that they get, then actually that will lead to better relationships with our supporters.

"Also, starting to make us think about different ways in which we can work with supporters. If we can make them feel more part of the organisation, then we’ll get greater loyalty in return and be in a much stronger position.”

Last financial accounts posted with the Charity Commission showed Cancer Research UK's turnover just short of £635 million, making it one of the biggest earning charities in the world.