As household names with passionate public supporters and a visible public presence, medical research charities occupy a unique position in the R&D system. We brought together a group to understand how they engage the public with R&D through their fundraising campaigns and donor communications.
R&D in charity communications
30 Nov 2022
- Alzheimer’s Research UK
- Association of Medical
- Research Charities
- Blood Cancer UK
- British Heart Foundation
- Cancer Research UK
- Eve Appeal
- Stroke Association
- Medical research charities should be at the forefront of the R&D sector’s public image, with their high
street profile and experience blending emotive and pragmatic messages. However, the contribution
medical research charities make to R&D is too often overlooked, and more work is needed to
strengthen that connection in the public eye.
- R&D advocates should go further to champion the voices and experiences of patients and
researchers. Visibly linking the beneficiaries of research to those conducting it can help humanise
the R&D process, especially as researchers are generally well-trusted by the public.
- Audience segmentation could help tailor public-facing messages and ‘asks’. Framing messages
as participatory movements was seen as one way to engage younger people. Other public
audiences will respond better to messages about the progress made to date rather than how far
there is to go.
- Medical research charities should do more to highlight their collaborative work. Despite frequent
cooperation, these partnerships between charities are not necessarily seen by the public. Making
more of collaboration between funders can reinforce the value for money that charities extract from
This briefing explores attitudes to R&D across the UK’s regions, based on evidence from CaSE’s Discovery Decade 2022-23 public attitudes study.
A General Election year presents a real opportunity for the R&D sector to make our voices heard.
CaSE has launched its R&D Advocacy Toolkit with a pair of guides for organisations and individuals who want to make R&D matter to more people, whether that’s the public or politicians.
The Discovery Decade team discusses the results of the latest piece of polling from its major piece of research into public attitudes to R&D.