• Kerry Vandersypen

It’s all in the name

Today CLIC Sargent changed their name to Young Lives vs Cancer.


No fanfare, no bells and whistles. As they say themselves…


“New name. Same purpose, same passion, same pride.”

They even look the same. So why have they done it and why will this rebrand not only succeed but be welcomed by their community?


Because fundraising is at the heart.


Young Lives vs Cancer says:


“Our research has shown that changing our name will mean we can reach more people who need us, and vitally, raise more money to support them.”

This isn’t about them – the organisation – raising awareness and stoking their own egos. This is about helping young people with cancer. It’s achieving their mission.


And the charity felt that their name was holding them back. Both from reaching people AND having the funds to actually support them.


“Research showed us that adopting the name Young Lives vs Cancer would increase the amount of people who understood what the charity does and would donate or accept support from our services.”

Even the most cynical person couldn’t argue with that and here is why.


Research – Great Fundraising and Brands: Help or Hindrance? – by Professor Adrian Sargeant and Harriet Day, Research Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy shows that:


“A distinctive personality is essential to drive fundraising growth.”

A distinct brand personality is one that is focused and energised, but also one that clearly differentiates the organisation from everyone else.


In other words, the brand.


The academic team were able to identify with a great deal of certainty, four key differentiators that fundraising can use to define this personality:


  1. Purpose: The Why of the organisation.

  2. Proposition: What is in it for the donor? What problem can the donor solve and what direct benefits can we give them.

  3. Personality: Tone of voice – the words, the images, the colour palette, etc. used by the organisation to create a distinctiveness.

  4. Passion: The emotions and the stories.


CLIC Sargent realised that they did not have a distinct brand personality to drive fundraising. The big headline being: If they carry on with the name they will not get the funds needed to support everyone who needs them – it doesn’t communicate the purpose, speak to their donors or reflect their personality.


And so, they stripped everything back, looked at their core and became Young Lives vs Cancer.


And I for one applaud them. It is a brilliant move and I wish them every success.




If you want to find out more about the awesome repositioning of CLIC Sargent to Young Lives vs Cancer you can find out more here:

Our name change: frequently asked questions - Young Lives vs Cancer


You can download the full branding report from the PFI website.



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