Alzheimer’s Research UK announces record year fuelled by 44% growth in donations

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By Philip Tubby | Tuesday 20 March 2018

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has announced record growth in 2016/17 with a total income of £30.5 million, an increase of 38% on the previous year. Growing public support for the charity’s work saw voluntary donations rise by 44%, 11 times the sector average.

This strong performance cements Alzheimer’s Research UK’s position as the country’s fastest growing medical research charity, and allowed it to put a record £24.6m towards its charitable activities in 2016/17, including £7m earmarked for ongoing commitments to the landmark UK Dementia Research Institute.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity dedicated to causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure. As well funding innovative research, the charity works to catalyse global efforts against dementia and confront misconceptions about the condition that still persist across society.

During 2016/17, strong public support enabled the charity to put £21.4m towards innovative research, with £7m of this earmarked for its long-term commitment to the UK Dementia Research Institute – the country’s single biggest initiative in dementia research, of which Alzheimer’s Research UK is a founding partner alongside the Medical Research Council and Alzheimer’s Society.

The charity awarded 88 new research grants, while work through strategic initiatives such as its Drug Discovery Alliance continued to make progress, with eight projects exploring potential new dementia treatments moving forward to the next stage of research. Through bold awareness campaigns such as Santa Forgot, the charity reached increasing numbers of people, driving important conversations about dementia and inspiring more people to back its work.

In 2016/17, Alzheimer’s Research UK saw a 50% rise in monthly donations, as well as a successful repeat of its award-winning Running Down Dementia summer fundraising challenge, while 3,800 quizzers put their knowledge to the test following the launch of the charity’s Mighty Quiz in March.

The charity’s work also received a significant boost in 2017 when the Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity donated £3.8m – among the largest gifts ever made to Alzheimer’s Research UK. An important strategic initiative to investigate ways of reducing dementia risk has been named in recognition of the donation. The Mike Gooley Trailfinders Charity Prevention and Risk Reduction Fund is the UK’s largest charitable investment in dementia risk reduction research and in 2017, it supported four innovative projects exploring strategies that can support healthy brain function into older age.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“This has been a fantastic year for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Everything we do is powered by thousands of people who donate, fundraise and volunteer for our cause and we are hugely grateful for their support. With no government funding for our research, we can’t do anything without our supporters. Over the past year record numbers have joined our fightback, helping us to take significant steps towards our mission of bringing about the first life-changing treatment for dementia. But this growing support also serves to remind us of the scale of the challenge we face. Dementia is now the leading cause of death in the UK, and with no treatments currently able to stop or slow the underlying diseases this makes our mission, and the efforts of all those who power our work, all the more important.”

To learn more about Alzheimer’s Research UK’s year, visit

About the author

Philip Tubby