Tag Archives: Charity

HOW THE RACE FOR LIFE CREATOR CONTINUED RAISING MILLIONS FOR CHARITIES DESPITE APPALLING TREATMENT BY CANCER RESEARCH UK

Having created the Race for Life only to see a member of staff at Cancer Research UK steal the idea and for the charity’s leadership to support a campaign of lies about the event’s origins (despite being offered evidence as to their claims being fiction), you could be forgiven for thinking that person would want nothing more to do with the charity sector.

Fortunately for a number of other charities that was not the case and Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life, has successfully helped to raise £millions for other causes over the intervening years.

The sheer volume of fundraising events that Jim has been behind is too large to list them all here, the following being just a sample.

For example Jim turned the Poppy Run into a national series of events taking place in all four countries as well as being the only fun run to be officially staged in Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. And armed forces charities further benefited through the creation of the People’s Run 2 Remember, another national series, organised nationally by Jim through a dedicated network of local organisers.

Indeed, if you have taken part in any event which included the term ‘People’s Run’ in its title, you have taken part in an event organised by Jim for the many good causes associated.

Beyond running, he organised the Rio Three Peaks Challenge events, modelled on the UK Three Peaks but using the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro and supporting street kids around the world.

Jim Cowan on top of Corcovado during the Rio Three Peaks Challenge in 2016.

From pub nights to dinners, from fun runs to challenge events, from local to national and international charities, Jim has created and managed hundreds of events.

And he has also tackled a number of challenge events himself to raise further funds. From completing the Three Peaks inside 24 hours to taking on Hadrian’s Wall non-stop in 31 hours, and  completing the Fan Dance in just outside 4 hours to his current project, Challenge 72.

Challenge 72 will involve Jim and a friend, Aide Myatt, walking 72 miles, in under 72 hours, while each carrying 72lbs on their back, supported by four other friends. It takes place between 27th and 29th August and raises funds for the Grenfell Foundation supporting a community still struggling over three years on from the tragic fire.

If you would like to find out more about Challenge 72, which Jim describes as his toughest challenge yet, full details can be found at www.challenge72.co.uk along with a link to the Just Giving page.

After Challenge 72, what will come next for Jim? He doesn’t know yet. But you can be assured that despite the negative experience provided by Cancer Research UK’s theft of the Race for Life, he is far from finished supporting other important causes.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CHARITY SECTOR’S FAVOURITE HYPOCRITE STRIKES AGAIN

She’s at it again.

The charity sector’s favourite hypocrite is, once again, accepting recognition while continuing to deny any recognition to Jim Cowan, the man who created Race for Life, her charity’s biggest fundraiser.

Yesterday, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) were recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their “outstanding contribution to tobacco control.” And CRUK’s CEO, Michelle Mitchell wasted no time in telling the world via Twitter.

We are not saying the recognition Mitchell and CRUK received from WHO is not merited, we are highlighting how hypocritical it is to accept recognition for yourself while knowingly denying it to someone else; someone whose creation has raised hundreds of millions of pounds for your charity.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines hypocrisy thus:

Hypocrisy (hɪˈpɒk.rɪ.si); a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time: “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.”

And in refusing to give the recognition rightly due to Jim Cowan, every time they accept recognition (individually or as an organisation), or bestow recognition on others, they are acting hypocritically.

Back in January we catalogued Mitchell and her charity’s shocking record of hypocrisy asking whether she is the UK charity sector’s biggest hypocrite?

It appears it is a crown she is proud to wear. But then, she does love a bit of recognition!

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

IS CANCER RESEARCH UK CEO MICHELLE MITCHELL THE UK CHARITY SECTOR’S BIGGEST HYPOCRITE?

One of the themes which keeps recurring when looking at the behaviours of those who lead Cancer Research UK is that of hypocrisy. At times that hypocrisy is so subtle it could be overlooked by those not aware of the facts of the charity’s treatment of Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life. And we can only wonder at what further hypocrisy they may be displaying in other areas we have less information about.

When the current Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, assumed her role a little over a year ago she was taking the reigns of an organisation where hypocrisy was already embedded as standard and acceptable behaviour by those at the top. We were hopeful that a new broom might bring more integrity and address the issue. Far from it. In fact, Mitchell has taken CRUK’s hypocrisy to new levels, and always delivered with a straight face and with no thought for the impact it has on others.

In 2018 we shared articles addressing CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy. We wondered at their then CEO, Sir Harpal Kumar, and his hypocrisy in steadfastly refusing to recognise (or even acknowledge) Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life while happily accepting recognition for his own work and achievements. Textbook hypocrisy.

We looked at the issue of hypocrisy across the charity and asked whether CRUK is the home of charity sector hypocrisy? And we looked at the charity’s Chairman, and its committees and Board of Trustees and exposed yet more examples of glaring hypocrisy.

So when CRUK announced that Michelle Mitchell would be succeeding Kumar we took the announcement with some optimism that a new leader might prove to be the turning point. That the charity might rediscover integrity and honesty and cease its hypocrisy.

It didn’t take long to discover that optimism was misplaced. Whether Mitchell brought her own hypocrisy with her or whether she just got consumed by CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy we don’t know. We do know that she has taken that hypocrisy to new levels.

On 20th January this year Mitchell tweeted, “A very important reminder today, and every day. Mental health matters, and mental health problems can be devastating. It’s something I’ve seen up close too many times, and proper support is vital.”

On the surface a positive tweet supporting an important issue. Except, and Mitchell is aware of this, her actions expose her comments as nothing more than PR, as spin. And as hypocrisy. 

It is hypocrisy. And it is hypocrisy she is aware of and therefore seemingly cares not a joy about. We know she is aware of it because in October last year when marking World Mental Health Day she also spoke about the importance of addressing mental health issues. We reminded her that neither her nor her organisation cared one jot about Jim Cowan’s mental health when spending 25 years lying about him, when covering up the fraud of their own employee who we have evidenced stole the idea for the Race for Life from Jim. When saying CRUK had never heard of Jim when a prospective employer was checking his CV, thus costing him a job offer. The list goes on. The stress, the pressure, the strain placed on Jim has been enormous. Mitchell’s response? Silence.

Does Mitchell or her organisation care about the possible toll on Jim’s mental health? No. Not a jot. To them mental health is a topic they are selective over, a topic with more value as a PR message than one requiring actions to back up their hollow words.

But hypocrisy demonstrated by her statements on mental health, while inexcusable, probably wouldn’t make Mitchell the charity sector’s biggest hypocrite. No, to award her with that title she would have to have displayed consistent hypocrisy across a range of topics, ably supported by statements from the the organisation she heads.

And, in the short time she has been in post as CEO at Cancer Research UK, we have already highlighted numerous examples of this hypocrisy. It is hypocrisy which comes from the top. It is hypocrisy deeply embedded with the charity’s culture.

27th January 2019: We reported on Mitchell’s tweet where she described as “amazing” meeting Grand Challenge winners. The hypocrisy of recognising some while refusing to recognise others was apparently lost on her.

4th February 2019: Mitchell tweeted about ‘volunteering’ at a Cancer Research UK event. No sign of any realisation that calling it volunteering when she is paid £240,000 p.a. to work for the organisation smacks of just a little hypocrisy.

15th April 2019: We reported how, following correspondence with Mitchell it had become abundantly clear that, while she was/is happy to receive recognition for her own work and achievements (including accepting an OBE), she was going to continue with Cancer Research UK’s policy of refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. An example of text book hypocrisy.

4th May 2019: We shared an analysis of correspondence between Jim Cowan and Michelle Mitchell which highlighted the ongoing hypocrisy of both the CEO and the organisation in refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for his amazing creation. The analysis also highlighted how Mitchell’s (delegated) response has failed to address a single issue raised in Jim’s correspondence. Given the importance Mitchell claims to place on collaboration (see 23rd October 2019 below) we can only wonder at her continued desire not to recognise the importance to her organisation of Jim choosing to collaborate with her charity when he created the Race for Life? It is clearly hypocritical and surely any sensible person or organisation would think twice before collaborating with CRUK in future, especially given their willingness to cover up the fraud of their employee who stole the idea from Jim. Textbook hypocrisy but definitely not textbook collaboration.

19th May 2019: We took a look at examples which demonstrate how deeply embedded hypocrisy is in the culture at Cancer Research UK, including examples of hypocrisy from those at the very top.

5th June 2019: To mark Volunteers Week, Cancer Research UK were again busy on social media, busy thanking and recognising their volunteers. This is as it should be but we questioned the sincerity of those thanks given that no such words of thanks, or even recognition has ever been extended to Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. Hypocritically given thank-yous are not thank-yous at all, merely hollow words.

11th June 2019: We gave Mitchell a new title as Cancer Research UK’s ‘Hypocrite in Chief’ when reporting how, yet again, she was gushing on Twitter about CRUK employees receiving recognition for their achievements in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Again, the hypocrisy of doing so while refusing any recognition to Jim Cowan for his incredible creation seemed to pass her by.

13th June 2019: Again the social media world was awash with posts and tweets from CRUK. This time they were asking people to nominate their Race for Life Hero (or Heroes). With a straight face they asked for nominations in the full knowledge that without Jim Cowan there would be no Race for Life and therefore no Race for Life Heroes. Our supporters rallied around and nominated Jim as their Hero. Sadly theirs were the only posts and tweets responding to the request which received no reply. Mitchell’s organisation once again providing an outstanding example of hypocrisy.

7th August 2019: We questioned the hypocrisy of Cancer Research UK selling pitches to caterers who were selling bacon rolls and other bacon products at 2019 Race for Life venues. Why? This is the same Cancer Research UK, the one led by Mitchell, which warns people that bacon is carcinogenic (cancer causing). We wondered whether they saw the hypocrisy in effectively saying, “Bacon is carcinogenic. It causes cancer. Here, have a bacon roll while we pop to the bank!”

15th August 2019: In an interview in Third Sector magazine, Ed Aspell, CRUK’s Director of Fundraising announced plans to retire at the end of the year. In the interview Aspel revealed that he would love to have come up with “that one, radical, transformational change that is different from the traditional model…” Had he done so, it is very reasonable to assume the charity would have lauded his achievement and praised him with recognition. The very opposite of what they have done with Jim Cowan who came up with just such a game changer when creating the Race for Life in 1993.

17th September 2019: Having tweeted about talking to Cancer Research UK supporters about the charity’s history, we replied to her asking how accurate that history is? After all, we know that her organisation has spent over a quarter of a century trying to rewrite the history of the Race for Life and attempting to erase its creator from its history. What we don’t know is what else the charity claims as its ‘history’ is also made up to fit whatever tale they would rather spin. How anyone could be expected to trust any organisation, let alone a charity, which acts in this way, we are at a loss to explain. The ensuing silence from Mitchell suggests she is too.

23rd October 2019: Addressing the NPC Ignites conference, Mitchell talked at length about the importance of collaboration to the charity sector. We can only wonder at her sincerity given her organisation’s history of stealing ideas from those seeking to collaborate with them. The Race for Life comes to mind. Maybe not sincerity, more hypocrisy. We raised the issue with her but, as per usual, the silence in response was deafening. And it wasn’t a one off oversight on her part. Mitchell has continued voicing her hypocritical line on collaboration since, for example in Civil Society magazine on 26th November.

4th November 2019: After a supporter got in touch to tell us about Mitchell’s hypocritical tweet on 10th October marking World Mental Health Day, we reported the facts, highlighted the hypocrisy, and via Twitter (seemingly her favourite platform for communication) asked Mitchell if she cared to reply? Other than as a tool for PR and spin, mental health is not as important a subject to Mitchell and her organisation as they would like us to believe. Or is it just Jim Cowan’s mental health she cares nothing about? Whichever it is, her hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see.

8th January 2020: Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s Media Relations Officer in Scotland, tweeted that she was “so proud to be a part of this” when retweeting a Race for Life tweet. Given her profile states ‘media with honesty’ we challenged her on whether she would be “applying some of that honesty and recognising the man who created the Race for Life? Or did she be support CRUK’s lies for the last 25 years, covering up of fraud, etc. Honesty: words or deeds?” Her response was to hide our tweet. Media with honesty? Or gross hypocrisy? You decide.

12th January 2020: In a repeat of their hypocrisy of 13th June 2019 (see above), the charity headed by Mitchell again asked for nominations for Race for Life Heroes. Race 4 Truth supporters again rallied round and nominated Jim Cowan. Again, they were the only nominations, to date, to be ignored.

20th January 2020: As reported above, Mitchell again used the issue of mental health for PR and spin purposes. At least we assume it to be PR and spin because, surely, if she really took the issue seriously she would give far greater consideration to Jim Cowan’s mental health given her charity’s shocking treatment of him.

It is quite a year (and a bit) Mitchell has had in her new role. It is far from easy to reach, let alone sustain, such levels of hypocrisy. That hypocrisy has, under her leadership, reached new levels and remained deeply embedded in the culture at Cancer Research UK. 

For 26 years this unethical, immoral, hypocritical organisation (and its leadership) have waged a campaign of lies about the origins of the Race for Life, inconsistent lies at that. They have attempted to erase the event’s creator from its history. They have covered up the fraud of Jill MacRae, the employee who originally stole the idea from Jim Cowan.

For the record, that Jim created the Race for Life can be evidenced and witnesses are willing to come forward. That Jill MacRae stole the event can also be evidenced. Sadly, the truth, the facts, do not fit the story Mitchell and Cancer Research UK want to tell the world. They have been offered the opportunity to view evidence, to see correspondence from 1993 and 1994 which prove the event’s origins. They have ignored these offers while acknowledging they have no records of their own

We find it hard to believe there can be a more hypocritical CEO in the charity sector, or a charity where hypocrisy is more deeply embedded than at Cancer Research UK. And we can only wonder at the breadth and depth of that hypocrisy given what we have discovered is likely to only scratch the surface given the size of the organisation.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘Hypocrisy’ thus: a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time: e.g “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.” 

Created by Jim Cowan, the Race for Life, is well on its way to raising its first £1 Billion. An astonishing amount. 

If that isn’t worthy of recognition, we struggle to figure out what is. And it is in the accepting of recognition for themselves while denying it to others that the hypocrisy of Michelle Mitchell and Cancer Research UK really stands out.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

ERASED! THE CREATOR OF RACE FOR LIFE SPEAKS OUT

Journalist Sonia Poulter asks, quite reasonably, “Jim Cowan created the phenomenally successful charity fundraiser, The Race for Life to honour his father who died with cancer. Why have Cancer Research UK erased Jim from history?”

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

CANCER RESEARCH UK CEO ONCE AGAIN DISPLAYS HYPOCRISY WITH ‘COLLABORATION’ COMMENT

October 10th saw an important conference for the charity sector take place when NPC, the think tank and consultancy for the sector, hosted its NPC Ignites Conference on 10th October.

Many charities gain valuable information and ideas from the conference and the value of one of the topics discussed, collaboration, should not be understated.

One of the topics for discussion was the uncertainty faced by the sector during the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. And, with a straight face, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell suggested that, for her, collaboration is key.

A good idea but here at Race 4 Truth we must question Mitchell’s own belief in what she espouses? We question how she could make such a statement with a straight face?

After all, this is the woman who runs the charity that Jim Cowan took the original idea of the Race for Life to in 1993; seeking to collaborate with them on building it into a significant fundraising event.

It is the charity which then stole that idea, ditched Jim, and then spent 25 years falsely citing a range of different sources for the event. Yes, the same charity which, when the lies were exposed, instead of correcting them and recognising (let alone thanking) Jim took a stance of, “we don’t recognise anyone.” That same charity which regularly recognises and thanks others. The one which happily accepts thanks and recognition from others. Indeed, Mitchell was happy to accept an OBE in recognition for her own work. And let’s not forget, Mitchell leads the same charity which has turned a blind eye to the fraud of their own employee who they now know stole the idea. Collaboration? 

The charity has a long record of hypocrisy and Mitchell’s belief that “collaboration is key” holds little or no water when examined.

Why would anyone consider seeking to collaborate with CRUK when that organisation’s own history clearly displays they do not collaborate on ideas from outside sources, they steal them and then claim then as their own.

And, should anyone having a similar big, creative, fundraising idea to Jim’s be seeking collaboration with a charity, why would they trust CRUK not to take their idea too?

The danger to the rest of the charity sector, one worthy of consideration by all those sector leaders attending NPC Ignites, is that Mitchell and CRUK’s actions and ensuing deceit and hypocrisy risk undermining ideas people like Jim’s trust in the entire sector.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

NO REPLY FROM CRUK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OVER CHARITY’S FAKE HISTORY BRINGS TRUST INTO QUESTION

Yesterday (16th September), in a Tweet Cancer Research UK Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, mentioned talking about, “the charity’s history, its impact & the big questions that will shape our future.”

We find it surprising that Mitchell, in the full knowledge that parts of the charity’s history are made up, could post such a Tweet with a straight face. 

We replied to her Tweet with the direct question, “how accurate is the history you talked about?” We then reminded her; “you have rewritten the history of @raceforlife to exclude the person who created it and then spent 25 years spreading different fictional versions.” We then posed the question, “how can anyone know for sure that you haven’t rewritten other bits?”

Mitchell might, for the uninformed claim that she knows nothing of this rewriting of history, although as CEO she should avail herself of the facts. Of course, she has had that opportunity but declined it. We posted another Tweet reminding her of this; “it is no good claiming, as you have, that you have no documentation from the event’s creation, we have offered to sit down and share documents/evidence with you but you were not interested.” We then asked, “how can you talk about @CR_UK history when you don’t even care that it is accurate?”

To date, predictably, Mitchell has maintained her organisation’s hypocritical and unethical ‘heads in the sand’ approach and offered neither explanation nor reply to our Tweets.

So, to go back to her Tweet, surely one of the big questions that will shape her organisation’s future is that of whether it can be trusted? 

With a track record of rewriting history, lies, hypocrisy, turning a blind eye to fraud, low integrity, poor ethics, and absent morals, we certainly would not trust them. But they could very quickly make a start on repairing the damage by recognising Jim Cowan, putting the record straight on their employee fraud, and acknowledging the many wrongs done in the last quarter of a century.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

NOTE: We should add that we also know that the Race for Life’s creator, Jim Cowan, has offered to sit down with Mitchell, but she declined that offer too. It appears that historical accuracy, and with it trust, is not high up her list of priorities.

OUTGOING CRUK DIRECTOR HIGHLIGHTS CHARITY’S HYPOCRISY

Cancer Research UK’s Director of Fundraising, Ed Aspel, has announced plans to retire at the end of the year. Third Sector interviewed Aspel about leaving the organisation and he revealed his regrets and discussed the changing face of fundraising making comments which highlight both the hypocrisy and the lack of will to tackle ethics and integrity issues at CRUK.

In the interview (which can be read here), Aspel revealed that he would love to have come up with “that one, radical, transformational change that is different from the traditional model…”

Had he done so, it is fair to assume that, given he is in their employ, CRUK would have, rightly, lauded him and made sure he was recognised for the achievement. And, in doing so, they would again reveal the culture of hypocrisy that riddles the charity.

How?

Twenty six years ago, Jim Cowan came up with just such a game changer, just such a transformational change. Jim’s idea was the Race for Life. Twenty six years later, it is easy to forget just what a game changer the creation of the Race for Life was.

In 1993, charity runners entered running events, such as the London Marathon or Great North Run, and asked for sponsorship but there was no such thing as the numerous ‘charity runs’ we have now in 2019. Whereas now almost every charity has its own fun run of one variety or another, 26 years ago none did. Jim creating the Race for Life in 1993 and launching it in1994 changed all that and, with it, the fundraising landscape in the UK changed for good.

You would think that CRUK would have thanked Jim, that they would heap praise and recognition on him. 

But no.

Instead, one of their employees stole Jim’s idea and CRUK spent 25 years telling a range of different tales about the events origins before two years ago, in the face of undeniable evidence, they changed tack and declared that they don’t recognise anyone with the event’s creation (but have never corrected the numerous untrue stories they had previously shared).

Hypocrisy? Absolutely.

This same charity happily acknowledge others for fundraising exploits, events, and other enterprises which support their fundraising. But not Jim.

This same charity happily accept recognition for their own executives, employees, and organisation as a whole, but hypocritically refuse to give Jim similar, or even any, recognition for the amazing event he created.

And what of ethics and integrity?

Later in the interview Aspel goes on to talk about how donations to CRUK are falling. He blamed changing attitudes and evolving consumer behaviour, and he may be correct. But isn’t a contributing factor in changing attitudes towards CRUK that they are trusted less?

People are seeing through the glossy adverts and beginning to ask why they are being lied to? Lies such as the frequent lies by omission about entry fees to their events not supporting any research; such as the misleading statements which suggest merchandise sales support research; or the exclusion of their high street shop, event, and merchandising income from how they calculate the percentage of income funding research.

They will happily talk about funds going to Cancer Research UK but challenge them as to how much of those funds actually fund research and the question is greeted with silence.

The charity is an ethics and integrity vacuum which shows no desire to amend its ways and restore faith and trust. Aspel may well be unaware of all of this but as a Director of the organisation, he should not be.

And, given the hypocrisy of CRUK towards recognising Jim Cowan, we can only wonder what Aspel’s stance might be should he be nominated for any form of award or recognition himself for his service to the charity? Recognition still denied to Jim Cowan, a man whose incredible creation played no small part in supporting Aspel’s success as Director of Fundraising.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

RACE FOR LIFE’S TRIPLE DECEPTION MISLEADING SUPPORTERS

Cancer Research UK and the Race for Life have been keen to tell anyone entering the event that “this is beating cancer.” The home page for the 2019 events proudly boasts; “Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is a series of events raising money for research into all 200 types of cancer.

But what they don’t share is the triple deception of where income generated by the event really goes (or doesn’t go). But then, that might slow the gravy train and spoil the narrative.

Deception number one is when you enter the Race for Life. You think ‘this is beating cancer’ because that is what Cancer Research UK have told you. You might think you are supporting research into cancer, because that is what they have led you to believe. What they don’t tell you, unless pressed, is that not a single penny of that entry fee supports research into cancer. It is all absorbed by sky high event costs. It is a lie by omission. It is a deliberate deception.

Deception number two is when you purchase some Race for Life merchandise. You again think ‘this is beating cancer’ because that is the story Cancer Research UK are telling. You might again think you are supporting research into cancer, because that is what they have led you to believe. And yet, Cancer Research UK’s own Annual Report tells us that no income from merchandising goes to research. Another lie by omission. Another deliberate deception.

Deception number three comes if and when you raise sponsorship for your Race for Life. You think ‘this is beating cancer’ because, again, that is what they tell you. And, again, you might think you are supporting research into cancer, because that is what they have led you to believe. But read that small print carefully; sponsorship does not go to research into cancer, it goes to Cancer Research UK, a subtle but important difference. Why? Because this means salaries, office costs, marketing, PR, and other costs come out of your fundraising before any finds it way to actual research. The choice of words used is deliberate. The deception is deliberate.

How much finds it way to research? It is impossible to say. Entry fees and merchandise sales (along with other income streams) are not even included in the figures they use to calculate the percentage of their income which actually does go to research, artificially increasing the percentage they use (80% but, given the numerous sleights of hand, likely considerably lower).

We have asked on numerous occasions for clarification but, to date, have not received a reply.

So, when Cancer Research UK and the Race for Life tell you, “this is beating cancer” take the statement with a large pinch of salt. When they tell you, “Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is a series of events raising money for research into all 200 types of cancer.” Take another large pinch of salt.

None of the event entry fee, none of the income from merchandising, and only an unclear percentage of sponsorship funds raised go to actual research into cancer. The rest? The gravy train has to be funded from somewhere. But they won’t tell you that.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK AND THE MISSING VALUES

Pretty much every organisation across every sector that is worth its salt will have a publicly stated set of values. The importance of ‘Values’ is so high that it has become standard practice that, in well run organisations, they are stated in the Mission Statement alongside the Vision and the Mission.

You know the kind of thing; we will act with integrity, we are customer focused, we source our products ethically, and so on.

Given the many issues with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Race for Life that Race 4 Truth has highlighted over the last year, we thought it would be interesting to seek out CRUK’s Values and compare them to reality.

We thought it would be as simple as visiting their website and looking their Values up. It wasn’t. Instead, after a couple of hours searching their site, we were left having to assume that they don’t have any values to share.

But then, they must do. Their website clearly states of its Council of Trustees; “Council’s role is to set the Charity’s strategic direction, monitor the delivery of the Charity’s objects, uphold its values and governance and guide, advise and support the Chief Executive, who leads the Senior Management Team towards achieving the Charity’s vision and purpose.”

So, we searched again. And, buried on page 39 of CRUK’s Annual Report, we found a list of “promises” to the organisation’s supporters. The first of these states; “To be transparent about where your money goes.” That sounded a lot like a Value to us so we searched the website for more information and finally found CRUK’s ‘Fundraising Promise.’

Here, they expand on the line in their Annual Report by stating that they promise “To be transparent about where your money goes.” They go on to say: “For every £1 donated, over 80p is used to beat cancer.”

Except, it isn’t. Their ‘transparency’ doesn’t stretch to telling their supporters that, according to CRUK’s own annual report, nothing from the following goes to funding research, and nothing from the following list is included when calculating that 80p:
-Income from event entries and tickets (eg Race for Life)
-Income from event merchandising
-Income from commercial sponsorship of events
-Income from high street ‘charity’ shops

Transparent? More like a broken promise.

The ‘Fundraising Promise’ goes on to state; “We are proud to champion the principles of honesty, accountability and transparency when fundraising.” Perhaps they should add; “as long as we don’t have to tell you that by entering the Race for Life you have given not a single penny to research.” Indeed, when advertising entries for the Race for Life they even use the (misleading) tag line ‘this is beating cancer.’ 

Honesty? They have lied about the origins of the Race for Life for 25 years and, once provided with evidence, refused to put the lies right by telling truth. They even supported a fraudulent claim by then employee Jill MacRae that she had created the event. They now know she didn’t but have failed to right that wrong.

Accountability? To whom exactly. Handily, they don’t say.

Transparency? Well, when directly asked how much of the sponsorship money raised by Race for Life participants funds research they were (again) very careful with their wording (ie not transparent). “100% of it goes to Cancer Research UK.”

Note, to “Cancer Research UK”, not to cancer research. Far from funding research, a chunk of that money funds sky high salaries, expensive offices, glossy TV commercials, and more.

Transparent?

And their CEO Michelle Mitchell cannot claim to be unaware of the importance of clear values. Under her leadership in her previous role as CEO at the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a clear set of values was put in place. But then, Mitchell is already rewriting the book in her new role, especially when it comes to hypocrisy. And what of the CRUK Council of Trustees responsible for “upholding its values?” Are none of them asking questions?

We were searching for Values, a set of standards to which Cancer Research UK hold themselves responsible. In their place we found empty promises already broken.

They have lied about the Race for Life for 25 years, they deliberately mislead their supporters while claiming transparency, they claim accountability without saying to whom. Why should we believe a single word they say? Cancer Research UK, an integrity free zone, would like you to trust them with your hard earned money. Just don’t ask them where it goes.

If it matters to you, why not ask Michelle Mitchell directly. Her Twitter handle is @Michelle_CRUK – we are sure she would love to hear from you and to explain CRUK’s values and (broken) promises.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CRUK TV APPEAL NEEDS 18000 DONORS JUST TO FUND HIGHLY PAID CEO

We have probably all seen those television advertisements pleading with you to “donate just £2 a month to cancer research.”

The glossy productions tug at the heartstrings and surely only the hardest of hearts would not be moved to being at least tempted to sign up?

But what the glossy advertisements don’t tell you is that Cancer Research UK need over 18,000 to sign up to donate “just £2 a month” for a year solely to cover the cost of Michelle Mitchell, their Chief Executive, one of, if not the, most expensive in the sector.

And that is without including the cost of making the commercial and of buying the prime time advertising slots!

A charity headed by someone on a basic (yes, without add ons) of £250,000 per annum, is asking hard working people on minimum wages and average salaries who are struggling to get by, to find extra to help fund corporate style excesses, cleverly disguised by playing on their emotions for a reaction.

Please, make sure that when you donate your hard earned money, it is more likely to be used for research into cancer than to pay the grossly inflated salaries at a charity which lies about the origins of its own largest fundraising event (the Race for Life) and refuses to to recognise the creator of that event while hypocritically giving and accepting all sorts of recognition to and from others.

How? Choose a different charity which funds and supports research into cancer as a priority over self serving salary packages, lying to its followers, and mind boggling hypocrisy.

*On-costs calculated using https://goodcalculators.com/true-cost-of-an-employee-calculator/