Case Study

Macmillan Cancer Support:
Reinventing the Organisation

The Challenge

Macmillan Cancer Support is one of UK’s largest charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer. On the eve of its 100th anniversary in 2011, Macmillan was facing a triple threat - new challenges and increased costs of service due to more people living with cancer for longer, reduced grant funding and operational pressures for a digital department unable and ill-equipped to cope with handling all the demands of the organisation. A radical reframing of their ways of working was needed if Macmillan were to handle these challenges in the future.

What We Did

Using the anniversary of Macmillan 100th year, we made a robust, case for digital business design and delivery that involved comprehensive culture change, arguing that, for the future, Macmillan would be working very differently. We implemented a three year rolling programme of activity to promote accelerated learning, data analytics and digital information, communications and community management, training over a hundred people across the organisation. Our work led directly to Macmillan’s ‘Inspiring Millions’ strategy, and it remains a central pillar of Macmillan’s fundraising activity today.

The Result

The effects of Macmillan becoming digitally networked were profound. When we began working with Macmillan it was an £89m charity by fundraising revenue, with an ambition to be a £150m charity by 2017. In 2015, it had become a £190m charity,
£50m and two years ahead of target.