Charity: Marie Curie

Double award winning project harnesses geographical data to provide Marie Curie with powerful strategic insight

Project – The Big SHIFT


Now a multi award winning project, the principle objective of The Big SHIFT (Services and Hospices Impacting Fundraising Teams) was to understand and model how the provision of Marie Curie’s services on the ground affects localised fundraising performance.


The project used advanced predictive modelling and mapping techniques, incorporating Open Source and charity pool data. Marie Curie provided detailed financial data but at a very low geographic area. REaD Group provided data from its unique data universe at the same low-level geographies. These areas were then looked at in detail to create a baseline case i.e. what income should look like compared to other charities if Marie Curie did not have the local geographic influencers (shops, hospices etc).

REaD Group created models that included the baseline models as well as all other local factors. Separate models were built for individual giving, legacies and local fundraising. These were iterated over time to provide the optimal solution.

The final models were then examined in detail compared to the actual giving in each area and the differences minimised. These subsequent models can then be used to understand and explain the impact of localised factors.


For the first time, Marie Curie’s fundraising performance on the ground can be related directly to the spatial distribution of the charity’s service provision. Whether that be the radius of influence of each of the nine hospices, the wider effect of in-home nursing services, the impact of local fundraising groups or the location of branded shops. Inevitably every location experiences a different combination of these influences on fundraising and the Big SHIFT project breaks new ground in enabling us to understand and quantify these factors locally.

Understanding these impacts has not only provided invaluable insight for the charity to inform business and marketing decisions, it has also supported the business case for different areas of the organisation working more closely together. The impact of the results is expected to be felt for years ahead.

Right from the outset of this project, REaD Group have helped us clarify our objective and ensure we answer the right analysis questions before we jump in too soon with analysis. Their contribution to the Big SHIFT outcome has been on many levels from the expertise in statistical modelling to knowing how to work with various data sources and create the most meaningful factors, through to their outstanding collaborative and team approach to the overall project. I would recommend REaD Group for any project requiring use of open source data and building models at an appropriate geographical level to your business. And, of course, we are absolutely delighted that the project has been recognised at the IoF and National Fundraising Awards.
Steve White
Fundraising Data Strategy & Insight Manager

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