A Question for anyone who knows anything about cancer charities please

I’ll be running a marathon later in the year for charity and would very much like to support a cancer charity.

My first thought was Cancer Research as I’ve ran for them before and from what I know of them they’re a reputable charity - or at least I’ve always had positive experiences. Their marquee for runners and family to get refreshments and a free massage in at the end of the Brighton Marathon was very good.

Just asking for advice however as I’ve thought more recently about how little I know in light of the Oxfam ‘scandal’ and are there any other cancer charities anyone who knows more about this kind of thing would like to speak out for as being particularly good and ethical.

advice welcome. Thanks

Do you have a Charity Watch type of org available to help with that decision?

Hi, I worked in charity fundraising for 3 years. I’ve never heard good things about Cancer Research, mostly in light of wasting money due to major structural inefficiency. It’s hard to go wrong with Macmillan but in general I always advise going for a smaller charity. The money will be more appreciated and go further that way.


A good one is Bloodwise which supports blood cancer research (myeloma, lymphoma and leukaemia) - no idea what they’re like to run for though.

Depends if you want to raise funds for the cure of cancer… or a hospice that helps with care etc :man_shrugging:
You had anyone close to you impacted by cancer you could relate it to?

Don’t know a great deal about issues concerning cancer charities, but the Oxfam (in reality it covers many international development charities, not just Oxfam) issues are somewhat unique because of the involvement of staff in the field/in disaster zones etc. This very different from the operations of UK cancer charities owing to the specific breaches of safeguarding exposed. Oxfam came off VERY badly in that recent report.

I don’t know much about cancer charities and safeguarding, for instance. Although one area of ethical enquiry could be around who they might take donations from (although I assume most household name cancer charities have their checks and balances on that pretty damn watertight these days).

In terms of having a good ‘experience’ on the day the bigger charities are always going to have more things like post-race massages and family areas etc. I guess you can make an individual decision about whether or not they are good uses of your fundraised money.

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Actually, something to bear in mind is that the big medical charities get most of the money and the obscure ones really struggle - might be worth looking for an ‘unsexy’ charity


I’ve seen first hand the good work that the Princess Alice hospice do for end of life care and cancer relief so they could be worth a look-in.

Thanks that’s interesting to know and sadly shows how little I know so glad I asked. I’ll look into Macmillan, thank you.

Macmillan are very worthwhile, I’ve lost a few family members due to cancer and the work they do is fantastic. Alternatively find out who your local hospices are and consider those.

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Thanks for your reply. Sorry I see now I didn’t convey what I meant very well as I was thinking mainly around issues of mis-spending or paying out huge salaries/bonuses which (separate topic) may be questionnable. I’d just really like to be sure that I’m raising money for a charity who will spend it wisely. I’m not too fussed about any experience, just (almost by luck really) found CR at Brighton and they were very good post race.

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Cancer Research UK publish on their website how the money they raise is spent. It sounds like this would be a good read for you?


The issue is, this is very difficult to measure. Also in my opinion there isn’t much of a relationship between size of, for instance, senior manager remuneration and charitable impact. Again, I would question whether or not the amount of money spent by CRUK on their post-challenge event “aftercare” is a wise use of charitable funds myself. It’s very tricky.

Ultimately it comes down to how you feel about particular causes and charities yourself. Hope you find someone good to run for and that you’re happy to raise money for!

Getting back to this.

I’m actually thinking of doing something more specific like running for the Cancer treatment ward of my local hospital (Royal Berks, Reading) though having never done this before not sure how hard or easy it is and how much bureaucracy I’d need to go through to speak to the correct person.

Again, ideas and suggestions welcome.


I’m afraid I’m no help, but that department treated my mum and she said they were great :slightly_smiling_face:
The hospital has a charity you could donate to, I’m not sure if you can specify a department though