Meeting a worm with a mission


Parkinson’s UK wanted us to inspire younger donors to support their work with a regular gift. As we see it, there’s nothing more inspiring than a worm called Dave.


Heroes are found in unlikely places. The C. elegans worm is used in Parkinson’s research because it happens to have eight nerve cells that are almost identical to those found in the human brain. Isn’t that amazing? By studying this tiny 1mm worm, researchers hope to develop a cure for Parkinson’s.

We were going to ask people to sponsor a C. elegans worm, but we prefer to operate on a less formal footing. Having made contact with the worm community, we asked people to sponsor Dave.

Dave is a gregarious, outgoing worm who is completely committed to helping Parkinson’s UK find better treatments and a cure. He’s also inspiring younger donors to play their part by giving a regular gift.


Dave the Worm is an online regular giving product. Dave promotes regular giving by tweeting, a canny use of ad words and generally being in the right places online.


Dave’s microsite inspires donors to give a regular gift to fund research into Parkinson’s.


Dave has seen first hand the exciting research being carried out by Parkinson’s UK.


Dave likes to welcome each regular giver personally.


Dave is a modest worm generally but he can’t help sharing a copy of Worm magazine (featuring Worm of the year, Dave) with new supporters.


Dave shares his every mood with new supporters, via this fridge magnet. He’s usually very happy because he’s helping Parkinson’s UK recruit regular givers.


Worm sponsors are emailed with news of how their support is helping research into Parkinson’s move forward.


Since going live Dave the worm has gained over 200 new regular givers with more donating every day.

Dave is winning friends fast. Here are some of the answers he got when he asked his followers on Twitter to complete this sentence:

I love Dave the Worm because …
‘…He could make a huge difference to my mum’s life.’
‘…He is very cute! But also because he is doing something really important.’
‘…He’s only tiny but could make a big difference.’

Client: Parkinson's UK