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Cancer Research UK announces ‘opt-in’ approach for fundraising communications

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by Cancer Research UK | News

22 March 2016

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Cancer Research UK announced today that from April 2016 the charity will begin to seek unambiguous and explicit permission from all new supporters before it contacts them for future fundraising support.

Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at Cancer Research UK said: “Cancer Research UK is the forefront of best practice in the sector. We uphold the highest possible fundraising standards, championing the principles of honesty, accountability and transparency.

“Our supporters are at the heart of everything we do and the move to an ‘opt-in’ approach for fundraising communications will give them the opportunity to decide the level of future fundraising communications they want from us. We always want people’s experience of donating to us to be a positive one and this move will help us to build more engaging and involved relationships with our supporters.

“Given recent media scrutiny of their fundraising practices, it is essential that charities improve trust and public confidence in the sector. With no Government funding, Cancer Research UK relies on people’s generosity to fund its life-saving work. Our announcement today demonstrates our ongoing commitment to prioritising the wishes of our supporters.”

From April, Cancer Research UK will start to ask new supporters to opt-in to receive future fundraising communications. The charity already uses opt-in for email and text communications but the new approach will extend to cover contact by letter or telephone, where supporters have, in the past, had to expressly ‘opt-out’ of receiving the charity’s new fundraising communications.

The charity will use the coming year to gather evidence to understand what supporters think about opt-in and use this information to determine what works best.  Supporters will be listened to and their feedback acted on before we extend this to all existing supporters’ fundraising communications a year later, from April 2017.


For media enquiries contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8315 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.