Tag Archives: Fundraising

CANCER RESEARCH UK DONATIONS SUPPORTING FAT CAT SALARIES

We have exposed the lack of transparency Cancer Research UK has when it comes to where your donations go on numerous occasions. We have exposed the creative exclusion  of certain income streams which give the impression that a higher percentage of funds raised support research than actually do. We exposed possible fraud, misinformation, hypocrisy, and more. Now, we turn our attention to how much of the money the public give to CRUK funds not research, but fat cat salaries. You may be surprised.

The Chief Executive’s salary alone (£240,000 + benefits) requires 18,000 people supporting CRUK’s “donate just £2 a month appeal” for twelve months each after ‘on-costs’ are applied.

Using that same calculation, how many people donating “just £2 per month” does it take to pay CRUK’s top earners? 

Starting at the very top, CRUK’s top five earners receive over £1 million between them each year. Yes, you read that correctly. Over £1 million.

According to the 10 Percent Campaign, a further 219 CRUK employees earn over £60,000 per annum. This is up from 160 in 2013 and second only to Save The Children, and three times more than the next highest.

Let’s be kind to CRUK and assume that those 219 earn £60,000 and not, as is likely, more, meaning our calculation will be on the low side. That is still a whopping £13,140,000 every year, without on costs.

Let’s add the top five earners £1 million and then calculate on costs to understand how much CRUK needs to raise just to fund these positions BEFORE it funds any other jobs, offices, marketing……..oh yes, and research.

The figure is a mind boggling £24,745,000. Yes, you read that correctly, nearly £25 million, and remember our calculation is on the LOW side. Paying that amount would require over 1 million people to donate “just £2 a month’ for the full year. One million. Just to pay their top salary earners.

And these 224 employees make up less than 6% of CRUK’s total workforce of 3964. Again, yes, you read that correctly. Nearly 4000 people need paying, 224 at mind boggling rates, before a single penny funds the research you thought you were supporting. 

And then, the cost of making that “just £2 a month” commercial, CRK’s other slick marketing, office costs, a legal team the size of which would make many corporates blush, and more, and more, also come before any research is funded.

When you donate your hard earned money, it is worth considering what you are supporting. Is it research into cancer or a large, slick machine, which misleads, misrepresents, and which acts both hypocritically and unethically, lying about the origins of its own largest fundraising event (the Race for Life).

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

Notes:

Article first published on 6th September 2018.

Using 2016 salaries.

On-costs calculated using www.icalculator.info 

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.

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.

CONTINUED SILENCE FROM CANCER RESEARCH UK SERVES ONLY TO INCRIMINATE THEM FURTHER

Since launching the Race 4 Truth in May 2018, we have uncovered and shared a whole host of instances exposing Cancer Research UK’s dishonesty, hypocrisy, support for fraud, poor ethics and low integrity, misleading of supporters, and more, much more. All of this in addition to their continued refusal to recognise the man who created the Race for Life.

The response from Cancer Research UK? A deafening silence. And that silence speaks volumes.

Some might suggest that silence is golden but in this instance, we would suggest it is far from that, instead incriminating Cancer Research UK by their failure to offer any explanation of their actions or any defence to the many issues we have raised.

They are one of the UK’s largest charities with their own large in-house legal department. Yet they have offered neither explanation nor defence to any of the many issues we have uncovered. No defence to the dishonesty (both blatant lies and lies by omission), the hypocrisy, the fraud, and more. Surely an innocent party would react, would respond?

But no, they haven’t.

But then, when you are not innocent, what can you say? What possible evidence can you offer? Maybe Cancer Research UK think silence is the best option? Maybe they think eventually we will give up and go away?

We won’t. Not until Cancer Research UK do the right thing and recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life instead of lying about it, making up fiction about it, hypocritically accepting recognition for themselves, and supporting fraudulent claims about it.

The continued silence from Cancer Research UK speaks volumes and serves only to incriminate them.

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

YOU CAN NOW CREATE YOUR VERY OWN RACE FOR LIFE “BACK SIGN”

The Race for Life are offering anyone who completed the event in 2018 the opportunity to create their very own ‘back sign’.

They say it is as a “thank you” to everyone who took part. However, where people should wear it once they have attached it to their back they don’t suggest.

To the supermarket? To sporting events? Doing the gardening? To dinner? We don’t know.

We find it a little bizarre. But not nearly as bizarre as the fact they continue to deny any recognition to the man who actually created the Race for Life, a man they unethically and hypocritically continue to ignore while making up a range of tales about the Race for Life’s origins, none of which are true.

You can read the true story here.

In the meantime, we used their ‘back sign’ to create a little reminder for them. Feel free to share it, only not on your back (unless you really want to). We feel on your social media and on their social media might be more appropriate and a little less bizarre.

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

CANCER PLAYS DIRTY AND “SO DO WE” ADMIT CANCER RESEARCH UK

During the summer, Cancer Research UK used a new strap line for its events; “Cancer Plays Dirty, So Do We” – a case of never a truer word spoken, demonstrated by their support for fraud, lies, hypocrisy and more over recent months.

Where to start? It’s not as if it is only one or two instances of Cancer Research UK “playing dirty”. No, “playing dirty” is deeply ingrained in the culture, the very fabric of the organisation.

Cancer Research UK “play dirty” when they refuse to recognise the man who created the Race for Life. Worse, not only have they consistently refused to give him the recognition due, they have made up a whole series of tales inventing different stories for the origins for the event. Misrepresentation at best.

Cancer Research UK “play dirty” when they mislead those considering entering the Race for Life and other events by telling them “this is beating cancer” but not telling them that not a single penny of their entry fee funds any research at all. Worse, they exclude all income from those events, from merchandise, from high street stores, from the figure they cite for percentage of income funding research. Misleading at best. (See Race for Life’s Triple Whammy).

Cancer Research UK “play dirty” when they pay themselves huge salaries, all of which need to be paid before a single penny of funds raised go to research. Their top five earners being paid over £1 million between them and 219 earning over £60,000 a year. More corporate greed that charitable act.

Cancer Research UK “play dirty” when they support the CV of former Head of Events Jill MacRae, who falsely claimed to be the creator of the Race for Life, probably supporting fraud in doing so given that a CV is used in order to make financial gain.

Cancer Research UK “play dirty” when they hypocritically accept awards and recognition for themselves, when they give recognition and awards to their own yet hypocritically deny recognition to the man who created their biggest fundraising event.

Cancer Research UK “play dirty” when they claim never to have heard of the man who created the Race for Life when a different charity asks about him to verify his CV, thus costing him a job offer.

Yes, Cancer Research UK, when you claim you ‘play dirty’ it may be the most (only?) honest claim you have made in months, if not years.

Unethical. hypocritical, dishonest, lacking transparency or integrity. Yes, Cancer Research UK definitely ‘play dirty’ – just not in the way they want you to think.

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

WILL NEW CEO ADDRESS INSTITUTIONAL HYPOCRISY AT CANCER RESEARCH UK?

The Race 4 Truth was established in order to bring public attention to the way Cancer Research UK have denied recognition for Jim Cowan who created the Race for Life.

Over the last quarter of a century, Cancer Research UK has told a range of tales about the origins of the event, all excluding its actual creator. There is evidence that, initially, this might have been because they were misled by former employee Jill MacRae who falsely (possibly fraudulently) laid claim to being the event’s originator.

More recently, perhaps realising they have believed (and promoted) fiction rather than fact, instead showing the sort of integrity you might expect from a charity and acknowledging their mistake, they have taken up a policy of refusing to recognise anyone for the Race for Life’s creation.

In doing so, they have left the door open to accusations of hypocrisy, accusations which reflect reality. How?

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.

Their previous Chief Executive, Sir Harpal Kumar, was happy to accept a knighthood in recognition of his own work. Yet refused to recognise Jim Cowan as creator of the Race for Life. Hypocrisy?

They Tweeted using Father’s Day as a marketing tool and calling on people to honour fathers affected by cancer while (still) ignoring Jim Cowan and denying him recognition for creating the event and in full knowledge of the fact that the inspiration behind Jim’s creating of the Race for Life was his own father’s cancer diagnosis in 1993. Hypocrisy?

Cancer Research UK have annual Flame of Hope awards in recognition of their volunteers achievements, something we applaud. But every time they Tweet or otherwise share details Flame of Hope Award winners without also recognising the man who created the Race for Life, isn’t it hypocrisy?

Nicholas McGranahan, group leader at the CRUK-UCL Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, recently won the MD Anderson Wilson Stone Memorial Award and Cancer Research UK were quick to applaud the award, to promote the achievements of one of their own. But what of Jim Cowan? Still nothing. Hypocrisy?

And what of their Chairman, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who was knighted in 2001 in recognition of his work. Where does he stand on recognising Jim Cowan for the creation of an event his charity has gained so much through? He refuses to recognise Jim at all. No, it is fine for others to recognise him but not for him to recognise Jim. Hypocrisy?

The above are examples of the dictionary definition hypocrisy which now runs through the fabric, the very culture, of Cancer Research UK. What is good for the charity, its people, its leadership, is not good for Jim Cowan. Hypocrisy? Without a shadow of a doubt.

We do not criticise the recognition of any of the above, we take that recognition at face value and assume it to be deserved. But we ask Cancer Research UK, doesn’t Jim Cowan deserve recognition too? Doesn’t the person who created your biggest fundraising event deserve recognition too?

The charity’s new Chief Executive Officer took up her new position last week. Michelle Mitchell already has an OBE so we know she is willing to accept recognition for her own achievements. We can only hope that, unlike those who preceded her, she is not a hypocrite and will be keen to ensure recognition to all who merit it both within the organisation and without.

Recognition for Jim Cowan is long, long overdue. Will change at the top at Cancer Research UK finally bring it or will hypocrisy continue to reign supreme? Time will tell.

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

NEW CANCER RESEARCH UK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FACING BIG CHALLENGES

Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, has now taken up her post following her appointment earlier this year. In her new role, she will face many of the same challenges facing all CEO’s, whether in the corporate or charity sector. Where is the organisation going? How will it maintain or increase growth? What will the broader economy mean to fundraising? And more, including understanding and improving public perceptions of the charity.

For over and above the recognised and accepted challenges, Michelle Mitchell faces some that should have no place in any organisation but especially not one in the charity sector, challenges which have festered for too long and which will continue to undermine confidence in the charity if left unaddressed.

They lie within the culture at Cancer Research UK, a culture whereby low integrity and dishonesty are acceptable, hypocrisy is the norm, and fraud by former employees is ignored.

Since launching the Race 4 Truth in May, we have reported on all of the above, citing examples and providing evidence where necessary. The deafening silence from Cancer Research UK speaks to integrity so low that the exposing of this sordid history is not deemed worthy of any comment whatsoever. But then, how do you defend the indefensible?

Our campaign started when Cancer Research UK lied about Jim Cowan having created the Race for Life, costing him a job.

It has traced the many and varied false claims from Cancer Research UK as to the origins of the event and provided evidence, including correspondence from a former employee crediting Jim with taking the original idea to them.

That same employee went on to falsely claim the idea as her own, a claim we queried as potentially fraudulent given it will undoubtedly have appeared on that individual’s CV thereby enhancing her career and gaining her monetary reward. And yet, Cancer Research UK have remained silent over the issue, other former employees even supporting the potentially fraudulent claims. And one can only ponder on whether those false claims were supported with references from Cancer Research UK which helped to embed the lie?

When it became apparent to the charity that the lie was exposed and that they could no longer deny that Jim Cowan created their most successful fundraising event, the policy shifted to one of not crediting anyone (barring one slip by an employee who credited yet another different source).

One can only wonder at the hypocrisy of an organisation, and individuals therein, who refuse to recognise the person who created their largest fundraising event, one which has raised over £1/2 Billion for the charity.

Hypocrisy? Absolutely. For although the charity and its leadership refuse to recognise Jim Cowan, they have been more than happy over the years to accept recognition for themselves; both the outgoing CEO (Harpal Kumar) and current Chairman (Leszek Borysiewicz) have accepted knighthoods in recognition of their own work. The charity and its staff have accepted awards for its work and they also hand out awards to others in recognition of their support.

All of the above in contrast to their refusal to recognise one man, a man who created an enormously successful event, one that changed the fundraising landscape in the UK forever. But who Cancer Research refuse to recognise, let alone thank.

Along the way we have uncovered other issues bringing the charity’s integrity into question. The (deliberate?) omission of any mention of the fact that not a single penny of the entry fee for the Race for Life supports research into cancer. Even asking a straight question as to how much of the funds raised via sponsorship funds research failed to elicit a straight answer, a straight answer we are still waiting for.

Low integrity, misleading supporters, dishonesty, support for fraudsters, hypocrisy. We can only imagine the depths to which these issues go when considered against the breadth of Cancer Research UK’s activities as oppose the recognition of one man’s brilliant creation.

The challenge of bringing about the cultural change needed to reverse the above wrongs cannot be underestimated. We wish Michelle Mitchell well as she takes up her new role and hope she will lead from the front and restore the integrity to Cancer Research UK, integrity which has been absent for far too long.

Not to do so, will only undermine public confidence further, in turn undermining the chances of success in those other challenges we mention at the beginning of this piece.

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

CANCER RESEARCH UK’S SILENCE SERVES ONLY TO INCRIMINATE THEM

In the relatively short space of time since we set up the Race 4 Truth we have uncovered and shared numerous instances of Cancer Research UK lying, being hypocritical, supporting fraud, demonstrating poor ethics and low integrity, misleading supporters, and more. All of this in addition to their continued refusal to recognise the man who created the Race for Life.

In response, the silence from Cancer Research UK has been deafening. But that silence speaks volumes.

Some might suggest that silence is golden but in this instance, we would suggest it is far from that, instead incriminating Cancer Research UK by their failure to offer any explanation of their actions or any defence to the many issues we have raised.

They are one of the UK’s largest charities with their own big in-house legal department. Yet they have offered no explanation and defence to any of the many issues we have uncovered. No defence to the lies (both blatant and by omission), the hypocrisy, the possible fraud, and more. Surely an innocent party would react, would respond?

But no, they haven’t.

But then, when you are not innocent, what can you say? What possible evidence can you offer? Maybe Cancer Research UK think silence is the best option? Maybe they think eventually we will give up and go away?

We won’t. Not until Cancer Research UK do the right thing and recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life instead of lying about it, making up fiction about it, hypocritically accepting recognition for themselves, and supporting fraudulent claims about it.

The continued silence from Cancer Research UK speaks volumes and serves only to incriminate them.

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

RACE FOR LIFE’S TRIPLE WHAMMY

Cancer Research UK and the Race for Life are keen to tell anyone entering the event that “this is beating cancer.” What they don’t share is the triple whammy of where the funds really go or don’t go, but then that might slow the gravy train and spoil the narrative.

Whammy 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. 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.

Whammy 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. And yet, CRUK’s own Annual Report tells us that no income from merchandising goes to research. Another lie by omission.

Whammy 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. 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.

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.

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. None of the entry fee, none of the 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.