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Cancer Research UK to only contact supporters who have ‘opted in’ from 1 July 2017

Cancer Research UK is to become an ‘opt in’ charity on 1 July 2017, meaning it will only contact supporters who have given unambiguous and explicit permission for the charity to contact them for marketing activity, including fundraising support.

Cancer Research UK announced its intention to become an opt in charity in March 2016, and started asking all new supporters to opt in from April 2016.  By 1 July 2017 this will extend to all existing supporters, making Cancer Research UK one of the first charities to make the move.

In the short term, the charity knows it will be communicating with fewer people and this will impact on the amount of money it is able to raise.  However, by putting its supporters’ wishes at the heart of fundraising communications, Cancer Research UK hopes to achieve a greater level of engagement, loyalty and value in the long term. 

Graham White, director of individual giving at Cancer Research UK said: “The move for us to become an opt in charity was driven by our desire to provide the best possible supporter experience.  Our supporters are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s really important that they understand what they’re opting in to, and actively choose to hear from us about all the things we are doing, the events we are running, our fundraising activities and how they can be involved. Whilst we are very aware that we may lose touch with some of our supporters through this change, which we know will affect our fundraising income in the short term, we believe putting our supporters first will help us protect the future income of Cancer Research UK and safeguard our ambition to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

The charity has launched a marketing campaign with the strapline ‘Your Tick Beats Cancer Sooner’, to highlight the simplicity of opting in to hear the charity’s fundraising activity and how important it is to its life-saving work.  The campaign will include press adverts, social media, YouTube advertising and PR.

To opt in to hear from Cancer Research UK, visit

For media enquiries please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on +44 203 469 8300 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on +44 7050 264 059.


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