Diabetes UK boosts participation & fundraising with Drupal

Campaign: Content and experience management, Integration and bespoke development | Experience: Engagement and acquisition

A new Drupal platform has opened the door to mass participation events and engaging campaigns

Diabetes UK cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all those affected by or at risk of diabetes. As part of their growing fundraising activities the charity has an increasing need to register supporters online for events and campaigns. Their existing form building solution for supporter registration had grown organically and no longer met their needs.

A need to take event registration fully digital

Diabetes UK had been organising sports fundraising campaigns successfully for a number of years. The growth in participation for these events, and the desire to expand the number of campaigns, prompted the need for a digital registration platform that would allow new campaigns to be trialled quickly.

Diabetes UK tasked Manifesto, a London-based digital agency, with creating a new form building solution using the Drupal open source CMS.

A powerful, flexible platform built on Drupal

Drupal’s superior form handling abilities allowed the creation of a solution that is both powerful and flexible. Custom modules were developed to integrate with the charity’s Supporter Relationship Management and email marketing software. Integration with major fundraising (JustGiving) and event management (Active Networks) platforms not only made for easier administration of campaigns but also provided more support for participants.

What all this adds up to is a platform that can be used to power a variety of campaign types – from sports challenges to mass participation events – with minimal barriers to entry and participation. The platform also provides the foundation of engaging websites and great digital experiences which support and encourage fundraising.

“The Drupal platform has given us the flexibility to purpose the platform for a variety of campaigns and fundraising activities across the organisation, enabling integration with other products on our digital platform.” – Simone Ranson, Digital Programme Manager, Diabetes UK

Swim22’s community of fundraisers

Swim22 is a sports challenge from Diabetes UK in which participants raise funds while swimming the equivalent of the English Channel between February and May.

The first campaign to utilise the new platform, Swim22 integrated with JustGiving – the online fundraising software – so that participants could easily track their progress and the amount of money raised. Gamification and activity feeds kept participants engaged and more likely to complete the challenge.


In 2015 Swim22 raised over £200k which is more than four times the amount raised in 2014 and £100k over target. The platform’s community building features – including activity feeds and social media integration – kept users encouraged and motivated throughout the challenge and led to a DADI Award commendation.

Dress Diabolical mobilises the masses on Hallowe’en

The new Drupal-based form building solution has moved Diabetes UK towards a standardised registration process, making mass participation events a reality. The first such event was Dress Diabolical, a campaign promoted by Tim Burton and Melanie C, which encouraged office workers to don spooky outfits for Hallowe’en 2015 while raising money for diabetes research.


The quick, easy sign-up process and integration with the JustGiving fundraising platform facilitated the participation of hundreds of fundraisers who are on track to hit the charity’s target amount.


London based digital agency Manifesto built the new registration platform for Diabetes UK, making extensive use of Acquia’s cloud hosting platform.

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cost of trials

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