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Cancer Research UK targets major donors in campaign to raise £400mn

Melanie May | 23 February 2024 | News

Cancer researcher in the labs at the CRICK Institute in London. Credit: Jane Stockdale for Cancer Research UK
Cancer researcher in the labs at the CRICK Institute in London. Credit: Jane Stockdale for Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is reaching out to high value donors and philanthropists in what it says is the ‘largest ever philanthropic campaign by a UK charity’, with the aim of raising £400mn to accelerate cancer research.

The More Research, Less Cancer campaign calls for major donors’ support to accelerate a new ‘golden age’ of cancer research that changes the outlook for people now and in the future. 

The money raised will focus on work at the Francis Crick Institute, and support global cancer research initiative Cancer Grand Challenges, as well as scientists so that more effective therapies and diagnostics for patients can be developed.  


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The campaign film is introduced by BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire, and features key figures in the cancer research community. 

Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, Michelle Mitchell OBE, said:  

“We’re on the brink of discoveries that will transform how we understand and treat cancer – investment is the limiting factor. Philanthropic support is the key to unlocking this potential, empowering researchers to take risks, innovate and collaborate across borders to save and improve millions of lives.


“We need those with the means and vision to help us bring about a world where everybody can lead longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. That’s why we’ve launched our new campaign today. Because more support means more research, and more research means less cancer.”

The campaign has already seen support from The Chris Banton Foundation, the Kamini and Vindi Banga Family Trust, and founder of Segantii Capital Management and owner of Blackpool Football Club Simon Sadler and his wife Gillian. 

Philanthropic giving has supported some of the charity’s key research achievements, including the progress made against cervical cancer, and the development of the HPV vaccine. Philanthropic support has also helped fund Cancer Research UK’s TRACERx study to predict the likely reoccurance of lung cancer.  The charity’s previous philanthropy campaign, Create the Change, raised £100mn to help build the Francis Crick institute in London.

A recent report by thinktank Onward found that the wealthiest 10% of households now donate half as much as a proportion of their income as those in the poorest 10%. The report’s launch saw the Culture Secretary call for a ‘collective attitude shift’ to encourage more philanthropy from wealthy people.