This week on our podcast, Rich and Gabby are joined by Tom Lay. Tom is Senior Product Manager at Cancer Research UK and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fundraising. In our latest podcast episode, Tom joins us to discuss the crucial role he and his team have in working to fundraise towards beating cancer. Cancer Research UK have been working for the last 20 years to help fund life changing research into cancer treatments.
Tom’s Role within Cancer Research UK
After Tom found out his Father had been diagnosed with cancer, he felt he had to start working with a cancer charity, beginning his fundraising journey with McMillan in fundraising. Now with Cancer Research UK, Tom is working on some of their largest campaigns, such as the Bobby Moore Fund Keepy-Uppy challenge, helping to build communities, raise engagement and increase fundraising opportunities.
Using Tech to Build Communities
During Covid, fundraising changed drastically, and the use of social media marketing to drive engagement and create movements around fundraising campaigns became crucial to Tom’s work. By using social media to identify individuals who are likely to engage with the various campaigns that Cancer Research UK promotes. The fundraising team can then build Facebook groups around these campaigns and encourage conversations to spread both the campaign itself as well as generate fundraising opportunities. With some campaigns having Facebook groups with over 30,000 members, it’s easy to see how they encourage members to stick to their challenges! These groups help too with retention, as members of the groups can share helpful information such as what running shoes they are wearing for a running event, helping to keep members involved with both the event and with each other’s progress.
The impact of social media fundraising
Meta recently announced that Facebook and Instagram have been responsible for helping to raise $5 billion towards charitable causes, which is both an incredible figure and an indication into just how powerful social media can be for Fundraisers. Since Covid changed the way many fundraisers approached their work, Tom told us the importance of creating fundraising events that cater to both the digital and physical worlds, allowing participation for many.
Facebook is an amazing tool for creating community driven approaches to fundraising, but it’s not the only platform for generating fundraising opportunities. Tom told us of his plans to generate some more content lead campaigns in the future across other platforms such as Twitter and TikTok to create other opportunities and approaches for more users to get involved with the amazing work Cancer Research UK are doing.
The Future of Fundraising
Tom shared his thoughts too on the importance of moving forward with fundraising and bringing in a wider range of talents into the mix. For example, Tom and the product development team and Cancer Research UK are currently working on a strategy around gaming and more that can be done to involve the gaming community and sector within their fundraising offerings. By working with platforms such as Tiltify and building a team with gaming experience, Cancer Research UK can begin to move more into the gaming space.
Tom also spoke of the importance of embracing cashless giving and reputable, trustworthy platforms for effortless payments to charitable causes. By approaching fundraising with both emerging markets and technological shifts, charities can ensure that they are involving more participants, raising more money and helping many more lives.
Listen now for the full discussion
To hear more of the conversation with Tom, listen using the links below!
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