The UK’s 25 biggest fundraising events

Kiltwalk

Events company Massive has compiled a list of the largest fundraising events in the UK and how much they raise in 2016

10th August 2017 by Georgina Harris 0 Comments

1. Cancer Research UK - Race for Life

1. Cancer Research UK - Race for Life

Money raised in 2016: £48m

Cancer Research UK’s annual Race for Life take the crown as the UK’s most successful fundraising event. It’s actually a series of events for women that aim to empower participants while raising money for research into cancer. Women can take part with by running 5k or 10K, taking part in the Pretty Muddy obstacle courses, or nature lovers can do a long hike instead.

CRUK offers lists of fundraising ideas on its website with an A-Z of potential events to encourage as many people as possible to get involved.

Sign up for a Race for Life event

2. Macmillan Cancer Support - World's Biggest Coffee Morning

2. Macmillan Cancer Support - World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Money raised in 2016: £29.5m

Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is a simple idea that rakes in the cash for this cancer charity. It asks people to host their own coffee mornings with a group of friends, family or co-workers. The money goes towards providing medical and emotional support to both people with cancer and their loved ones.

This is a really easy way of fundraising as anyone can sign up on Macmillan’s website and receive a coffee morning pack in the post within a fortnight – all it involves is having cake and coffee with friends. Macmillan even provides a list of potential coffee morning ideas, either quirky or easy, to do at home, in the office, at school, or out and about. 2017’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning will take place on Friday 29 September.

Sign up for the World Biggest Coffee Morning

3. Walk the Walk - Moonwalk

3. Walk the Walk - Moonwalk

Money raised in 2016: £8m

Walk the Walk is a charity committed to tackling breast cancer and hosts the annual Moonwalks, which take place in Scotland and London. Signing up to both events costs just under £50 and participants can choose the distance they walk, from a New Moon walk of 6.55 miles in Edinburgh to the Over the Moon challenge of 52.4 miles. The one fun and unusual rule is that everyone has to come wearing a bra – even men.

Walk the Walk’s online resources include training tips, fundraising ideas and how to set up your own fundraising page.

Sign up at for a Moonwalk event

4. Macmillan Cancer Support - Brave the Shave

4. Macmillan Cancer Support - Brave the Shave

Money raised in 2016: £7.2m

Individuals or groups can sign up to become brave shavers and shave their heads for donations. Although Macmillan’s official Brave the Shave month takes place in August, anyone can get involved throughout the year.

Macmillan offers “shaver tools” from information to put on social media, to posters, to sponsorship forms and Brave the Shave email signatures, which are all useful ways of raising awareness about the fundraising event and encouraging people to donate, even if it just means friends laughing at your newly bald head.

Sign up at to Brave the Shave

5. Alzheimer's Society - Memory Walk

5. Alzheimer's Society - Memory Walk

Money raised in 2016: £6.6m

Alzheimer’s Society is a leading charity raising money for dementia research and supporting people with dementia. Memory Walk is an annual event taking place all across Scotland and the rest of the UK, a slightly more relaxed option for less sporty people than a sponsored run.

Their website offers some fundraising tips and advice for raising donations, with a separate Memory Walk Scotland website.

Sign up for a Memory Walk

6. The Movember Foundation - Movember

6. The Movember Foundation - Movember

Money raised in 2016: £5m

The Movember Foundation is a charity committed to tackling men’s health, from issues such as prostate and testicular cancer to men’s mental health and suicide prevention. Movember takes places every November, when men are given an excuse to stop shaving and grow a moustache for the month.

Movember is a unique way of fundraising as it doesn’t have to involve a singular event, with men aiming to grow a moustache over the month and raise awareness with regular selfies and updates on their facial hair progress, competing to see who can grow the most impressive fuzz.

Sign up at for Movember

7. Cancer Research UK - Shine

7. Cancer Research UK - Shine

Money raised in 2016: £4.5m

Shine is a night-time walk by CRUK and this year events are taking place in Glasgow and London in August and September respectively. Participants have to pay an entry fee of £15 in Glasgow and £40 in London, as well as raising donations.

London participants can choose between either a half or full marathon while Glasgow walkers can enjoy a shorter challenge and have to complete a 10k walk. Participants can also choose which type of cancer they would like to raise money for when entering the Shine Night Walk and the event is advertised as a sociable and fun event with neon face paint and glow in the dark accessories.

Sign up for a Shine night-time walk

8. Macmillan Cancer Support - Go Sober October

8. Macmillan Cancer Support - Go Sober October

Money raised in 2016: £4.2m

British people are well known for liking their drink and Go Sober October encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of October to raise money for Macmillan. This fundraising initiative does a lot of great work – helping people’s bank balances and livers as well as raising a lot of important money towards helping people with cancer.

This is another more flexible fundraising event as it relies on continual effort over a month and maybe even the goodwill of people who are sympathetic that their friend will only be having an orange juice with them at the pub. Participants raise money via an online giving page which makes the process easier.

Sign up to Go Sober October

9. Save the Children - Christmas Jumper Day

9. Save the Children - Christmas Jumper Day

Money raised in 2016: £4m

Save the Children hosts a Christmas Jumper Day each year to fundraise for this charity that provides healthcare, food and education to children around the world. Last year people all over the UK wore their Christmas jumpers to work or school, paying £1 or 2 each for the cause and getting to enjoy each other’s terrible knitwear.

This year’s event is on Friday 15 December and participants can sign up on the Christmas Jumper Day website to receive a fundraising pack and tips.

Sign up for Christmas Jumper Day

10. Cancer Research UK - Dryathlon

10. Cancer Research UK - Dryathlon

Money raised in 2016: £2.8m

Dryathlon is an event similar to Go Sober October as CRUK challenges people to avoid alcohol for the month of January – maybe more challenging given the post New Year blues and awful weather.

The information page on its website offers a wide range of fundraising event ideas, such as a organising a “sober disco” instead of a silent disco, as well as resources like Facebook cover photo graphics to attract attention for the Dryathlon.

Sign up to Dryathalon

11. Cancer Research UK - Relay for Life

11. Cancer Research UK - Relay for Life

Money raised in 2016: £2.5m

Relay for Life is a year-round fundraising event that aims to bring together communities in supporting CRUK. Teams of eight to fifteen people raise money then join together for a 24 hour event involving music, games, food and drink. Each team member takes it in turns to walk around a track, symbolising that cancer never sleeps.

People can either form their own teams or join other teams and events happening all throughout the year, usually with the actual relay taking place at a local school. The event also celebrates those who have survived cancer by encouraging them to take part in a survivors’ lap of honour. Events are still on-going – people can enter their postcode to find their local relay.

Sign up to Realy for Life

12. British Heart Foundation - London to Brighton Bike Ride

12. British Heart Foundation - London to Brighton Bike Ride

Money raised in 2016: £2.5m

Every year the British Heart Foundation organises a 54 mile bike ride from London to Brighton via scenic countryside. The ride isn’t a race, but cyclists are on the go from early in the morning and have to arrive in Brighton by 7pm.

BHF’s minimum recommended sponsorship target is £200 per participant and all participants must be 14 and over to take part. Thousands of people take part but the event is definitely a challenge, with BHF offering training tips and tricks, as well as fundraising ideas, to whoever wants to get involved.

Sign up to the London to Brighton bike ride

13. Royal Marsden Hospital - Marsden March

13. Royal Marsden Hospital - Marsden March

Money raised in 2016: £1.7m

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity started its fundraiser the Marsden March in 2011 and raises money towards people affected by cancer. The march goes between the Royal Marsden’s two hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton in London and is fourteen miles long, with the option of joining just for the final five miles.

Although this event is only in London, the Royal Marsden offers a wide range of fundraising ideas for anyone to use, as well as suggesting overseas fundraising challenges and downloadable tips.

Sign up to the Marsden March

14. Macmillan Cancer Support - Longest Day Golf Challenge

14. Macmillan Cancer Support - Longest Day Golf Challenge

Money raised in 2016: £1.6m

The Longest Day Golf Challenge is an event created by Macmillan that takes place yearly on or around the 21 June in which teams of up to four players take on four rounds of golf in one day. Last year saw over 3,000 teams across the UK take part.

This is definitely an event for sportier people and Macmillan offers a range of resources, such as a team scorecard and posters for social media, as well as useful FAQs about fundraising in general.

Sign up for the Longest Day Golf Challenge

15. Breast Cancer Now - Wear It Pink

15. Breast Cancer Now - Wear It Pink

Money raised in 2016: £1.3m

Breast Cancer Now is a UK charity focusing on raising money to combat breast cancer and develop new research, and its annual Wear It Pink event invites people to wear something pink whether they’re at work, at school or just out and about for the day.

The charity offers lots of fundraising ideas, such as getting back at anyone who hasn’t turned up to work wearing something pink by fining them a few pounds, and encourages people to tweet and Instagram their pink selfies and photos with the hashtag #wearitpink. This year’s Wear It Pink event will be on Friday 20 October.

Sign up to Wear it Pink

16. Action for Children - Byte Night

16. Action for Children - Byte Night

Money raised in 2016: £1.2m

Every year Action for Children hosts a national event in which hundreds of people from the technology and business industry sleep out on the streets for the night to raise money for vulnerable young children. In 2016 over 1,200 people slept out in ten locations across the UK, braving the cold and the rain for a worthwhile cause.

The charity recommends each participant raises a minimum of £500 and has provided a variety of tips “for putting the fun into fundraising”. The Byte Night Scotland sleep-out is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year on Friday 6 October, marking 20 years of Byte Night sleep-outs UK wide, and events are happening in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Sign up to Byte Night

17. Prince's Trust - Palace to Palace

17. Prince's Trust - Palace to Palace

Money raised in 2016: £1.2m

The Prince’s Trust is a charity aiming to help out young people aged 11 to 30 who are unemployed or struggling in school. Palace to Palace is a London-based event where participants cycle from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, with either a 45 mile Classic route or a 90 mile Ultra route depending on how active people are feeling.

Participants have to be 16 or over and the bike ride will last between four and seven hours, depending on which route you choose. This year’s event will take place on Sunday 1 October.

Sign up for Palace to Palace

18. Great Ormond Street Hospital - Race for the Kids

18. Great Ormond Street Hospital - Race for the Kids

Money raised in 2016: £1m

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is constantly raising money to help seriously ill children and young people, and hosts its annual Race for the Kids in a London park. The event is a 5k family fun run that is perfect for encouraging young children to get active and give back to a deserving charity.

Children aged four or under go free, but GOSHCC charges a registration fee for other participants and recommends that individuals raise £150, with fundraising tips and the option to sign up as a team. The event this year is on Saturday 7 October.

Sign up to Race for Kids

19. British Heart Foundation - MyMarathon

19. British Heart Foundation - MyMarathon

Money raised in 2016: £1m

In May the BHF hosts a unique fundraising event called MyMarathon, which allows people to run 26.2 miles however they want, whenever they want, as long as they complete the target over the month. Whether you’re an experienced runner and finish it within a day, or run a little every day over the whole month, MyMarathon is accessible for a range of participants.

BHF also provides fundraising materials such as pre-written emails you can simply copy and paste to friends and family to pester them for donations.

Sign up for MyMarathon

20. Macmillan Cancer Support - Your Walk

20. Macmillan Cancer Support - Your Walk

Money raised in 2016: £1m

Your Walk is a flexible fundraising service by Macmillan which invites people to go on a walk, either by themselves or with friends and family, wherever and whenever they choose. They offer suggested routes, such as up the West Highland Way, but you can base your walk on your own preferences and fitness levels.

Once signed up to Your Walk, Macmillan sends out a free fundraising pack with tips and tools for raising money and planning the perfect walk – making this fundraiser adaptable and easy to personalise.

Sign up to Your Walk

21. Cancer Research UK - Walk All Over Cancer

21. Cancer Research UK - Walk All Over Cancer

Money raised in 2016: £1m

Walk All Over Cancer is a CRUK initiative asking people to walk 10,000 steps every day over the month of June and fundraise for donations. 10,000 steps is around 5 miles (or 8km) and is also the recommended number of steps per day for an active person so is easily doable if you walk to work instead of hopping on a bus, or even go on a shopping trip to get in those steps.

CRUK offers lots of fundraising tips and materials, as well as motivational badges and a handy wallchart to track your progress. As walking fundraisers go, this is definitely a very achievable one.

Sign up to Walk All Over Cancer

22. Macmillan Cancer Support - OutRun

22. Macmillan Cancer Support - OutRun

Money raised in 2016: £902,000

OutRun is a challenge that participants set themselves for the month of May depending on how many miles they want to run to raise money for cancer support. The aim is not to beat anyone else but your own target, encouraging people to push themselves.

Macmillan offers tips about how best to beat your personal target, from fitness and nutrition tips, to exercise recommendations. Participants are also encouraged to upload selfies of their progress with the hashtag #outrunmay to see how far they have come and to gently encourage their Instagram followers to donate.

Sign up to Out Run

23. Jeans for Genes - Jeans for Genes Day

23. Jeans for Genes - Jeans for Genes Day

Money raised in 2016: £900,000

Every year in the UK half a million children are diagnosed with a life changing genetic disorder. Jeans for Genes is a charity aiming to raise money to support these children and their families, with a simple fundraising event which encourages people to come to work or school in jeans and pay a couple of pounds for the cause.

This is a really easy event and Jeans for Genes even offers other ideas for people who want to participate but can’t wear jeans or even those who always wear jeans, such as wearing something blue, painting people’s nails blue, or even wearing as much denim as possible.

Sign up for Jeans for Genes

24. Breast Cancer Care - Pink Ribbonwalk

24. Breast Cancer Care - Pink Ribbonwalk

Money raised in 2016: £881,000

A Pink Ribbonwalk fundraising event allows people to plan their own walk to raise money for breast cancer support – whenever, wherever, and however they want. These events are happening all over the UK throughout the year, though Breast Cancer Care suggests which months may be best or most significant, such as for Mother’s Day in March.

Once you register your walk you receive a free kit to organise the walk, as well as download an organiser’s guide, a training guide, invitations for participants, and posters to show off your event.

Sign up to a Pink Ribbonwalk

25. Kiltwalk - The Kiltwalk

25. Kiltwalk - The Kiltwalk

Money raised in 2016: £878,000

Kiltwalk is a unique charity that organises walking events across Scotland and allows walkers to raise money for any Scottish charity of their choice. From 2017, thanks to support from The Hunter Foundation (THF), 110% of the money walkers raise will go to their chosen charity, as THF have promised to add £10 for every £100 raised.

There will be a Kiltwalk in Dundee on 20 August and in Edinburgh on 17 September, and each event offers three different walks depending on how keen participants are: the 26 mile Mighty Stride, the 12 mile Big Stroll, and the five mile Wee Wander.

Sign up for a Kiltwalk