Cancer Research is using a cloud-based fund raising platform which is now available to UK charities for the first time.

Convio TeamRaiser provides charities with a fully branded online platform that allows registration, online donations, real-time fundraising reporting, event management, email capability and social media integration. It is designed to maintain engagement with participants all in one easy-to-use package.

As TeamRaiser is an entirely cloud-based service, it also prevents the need for charities to invest in any additional IT or server support.

Cancer Research has begun using the technology for its Relay For Life, which is organised by volunteer committees. Months of fundraising culminates in a family and team event, with the aim of uniting communities to help beat cancer.

TeamRaiser issues step-by-step prompts to help team captains and event participants raise money, involve others and share what they’re doing with other volunteers. Event, team and personal fundraising pages are all fully branded with the Relay For Life identity.

The system also empowers participants to send and track emails to their contacts, share pictures and messages via social networks, and track their progress against team and individual targets.

"Investment in Convio TeamRaiser is central to our ambitions for growing Relay For Life," said Simon O’Leary, head of volunteer fundraising at Cancer Research UK. "TeamRaiser allows us to provide a better experience to members of the public who are registering for our Relay For Life events, and crucially provides a more integrated fundraising capability that we can use to drive incremental income growth."

The same system is used by the American Cancer Society, which developed its own Relay For Life in the 1980s. Since 2005, the American Cancer Society claims that it has increased its online revenue by 48 percent with the help of TeamRaiser.

At the end of last year, Cancer Research announced that a new supercomputing workload management system was aiding its scientific work as part of the human genome project. Cancer Research is using Platform Computing's LSF software to improve cluster efficiency and reduce IT costs on genome research.