The Challenge

Overthrowing old attitudes and stigma around dementia and Alzheimer’s, inspiring people to support dementia research

Meeting an immovable deadline for a campaign with ambitious fundraising and conversion goals

A unique partnership between two large charities with little history of working together in digital

The Result

A new website for the Dementia Revolution brand - used as a hub for runners to sign up, receive news and donate

Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer's Research UK become Virgin Money’s most successful corporate partnership

Over £3.5m raised for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon

Hugely successful PR campaign with massive celebrity support from the likes of Dame Barbara Windsor, Ray Winstone, Candice Brown and Saffron Barker

The Problem

Dementia is the biggest health threat facing society and there are currently no effective treatments to slow, prevent or cure it. Today, almost a million people are living with dementia in the UK and 50 million across the world. Too often they struggle alone, feeling as though their world has been turned upside down and often facing prejudice or misunderstanding. As Charity of the Year for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK joined forces for a special year-long campaign (the Dementia Revolution) to power groundbreaking dementia research, overthrow old attitudes and lead the charge towards a cure.

woman running the marathon for Dementia Revolution with hands raised
Crowd of dementia revolution supporters at the London marathon

As a bold campaign with an important mission, The Dementia Revolution needed a powerful new website to deliver their message and recruit revolutionaries to fundraise and run the marathon. The site needed to bring a new brand to life with a focus on powerful imagery and embedded video content.

Crucially, the site needed a robust integration with the fundraising and CRM systems chosen to manage runner and volunteer applications which were expected to spike with heavy traffic on key dates. Another requirement we needed to consider was the need for the website to deliver bespoke content and messaging aimed solely at Virgin Money employees.

With an immovable timeline, we had to carefully plan the delivery of the website to tie in with promotional activities, signup deadlines and internal milestones.

What we did

We collaborated with the teams at ARUK and Alzheimer’s Society to deliver a Drupal based website that integrates with Virgin Money Giving for automatic setting up of fundraising pages and a third-party supporter care agency which managed runner applications and stewardship.

Why did we choose Drupal?

Drupal was selected as it gave the Dementia Revolution powerful content management and user management out of the box. This combined with the paragraph modules allowed Dementia Revolution to create engaging content.

Drupal gave our team at Reason Digital a solid base on which to build an integration with Dementia Revolution’s CRM system, managed by NTT. In addition, a second integration was built with the Virgin Money Giving API to create fundraising pages for runners.


marathon volunteers supporting the runners on race day at 10 cheer points


pieces of media coverage

Our approach

We took a phased approach, delivering mission critical core functionality at launch and adding features and sign-up forms as the campaign demanded. We took a highly collaborative approach to design and functional specification, using online collaborative tools which enable multiple stakeholders to review and approve features in a streamlined process to allow for continuous delivery.


As the website was primarily a platform for converting runner and volunteer sign-ups it was essential to focus on the sign-up journey – making it as easy as possible for people to get the information they need and submit applications.

We also needed to consider specific requirements for data capture and protection, so we took a collaborative approach to specifying, designing, building and testing the various sign-up forms. The entire sign-up process underwent a Data Protection Impact Assessment to ensure careful management of personal data.

"You’ve been brilliant to work with on the campaign! Your flexible approach and can-do attitude were essential in enabling us to build the website in tight timescales. The website integrations were robust and provided the seamless supporter experience we hoped for, enabling excellent stewardships. We’ve been very grateful for your energy in bringing the Dementia Revolution to life."

Nina Ziaullah, Dementia Revolution Campaign Manager


What have we achieved from this collaboration? 

£3.5 million

amount raised by the year long Dementia Revolution campaign which will support research at the UK Dementia Research Institute


Dementia Revolution runners taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon


unique website visits

What else?

Barbara’s Revolutionaries – a team led by Scott Mitchell, husband of Dame Barbara Windsor, who was diagnosed with Dementia in 2014, and current and former EastEnders cast mates. They raised over £150,000 for the Dementia Revolution and enjoyed coverage in major UK press.

Post-marathon survey showed one third of UK adults were aware of the Dementia Revolution campaign; Greatest impacts reported by the public were ‘learning more about dementia’(27%) and ‘being aware of how underfunded research is’(22%) – main comms objectives

A case study of the technical solution was selected to feature on the official Drupal community.

Meet the team

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