Cancer Research UK
Race for Life
Cancer Research UK's Race for Life is a major women-only fundraising event, which recruits a large number of supporters annually. However, the majority only take part once and then drift away from the charity. The challenge was to reconnect with former participants and encourage them to provide sustained financial support.
Choosing the telephone as the channel recognised the need to communicate with a mail non-responsive group, tailor the call to reflect the participant's original motivation and offer inspiring insights into the value of their support.
After a small test campaign, the first large-scale approach was conducted in 2005, utilising Cancer Research UK's dedicated team of highly trained callers at Pell & Bales. Over 6,000 new committed givers were recruited by Paperless Direct Debit (110% above target). The overall response rate was remarkable: 12.44% of supporters contacted started a regular gift (against a target of 7.15%). These supporters alone have now donated £1.3 million (more than £614,000 over target). The campaign's success was recognised with the 2006 Institute of Fundraising Award for 'Best Use of the Telephone'.
The campaign has since gone from strength to strength, and has been expanded year on year, with results maintained through extensive creative and prompt testing, supporter research and data analysis. It continues to provide a vital income stream for the charity's life-saving work and is now an integral part of its communications plan.