Revealed: top 25 mass fundraising events

Race for life cropped

​Long term events prove enduringly popular while viral fundraisers tail off

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25th July 2016 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Cancer Research’s Race for Life has been crowned the highest-earning mass participation event for the third year running.

The fundraiser raised an astonishing £52.8 million across the UK last year – double the amount brought in by Macmillan Cancer Support's World's Biggest Coffee Morning.

Events company Massive has compiled a top 25 of UK-wide mass participation events, which shows they raised a combined £136m, with 3.5 million people taking part.

There are no specifically Scottish events in the top 25, though that could change next year with the on-going success of the revitalised Kiltwalk.

A long term approach retains and attracts new participants to build income year-on-year

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Macmillan accounted for 75 per cent of the income generated in 2015 by the ten biggest fundraisers in the top-25 list, with just over £80m raised. 

Fastest growing campaigns included baby health charity Tommy’s Splashathon, the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk and Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Race for the Kids. 

John Tasker, Massive’s strategy director, said that over the past few years there has been evidence of a decline in income for events such as Dryathlon, Sober October and Movember, which are to a large extent reliant on peer-to-peer methods to spread.

However, while their best years may be behind them, they are still reliable bankers for the charities which run them, bringing in £3.7m, £3.3m and £5.2m respectively for the Movember Foundation, CRUK and Macmillan. 

Tasker said: “Away from digital social events, the continued rise of Memory Walk, and the appearance in the Top 25 of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Race for the Kids and Tommy’s Splashathon, both more than five years old, demonstrate the profit in a more long-term approach.

“They keep the cause front and centre, activity relevant to their audience and delivers an experience that retains and attracts new participants to build income year-on-year.”

The top 25 mass participation fundraisers

1.    Cancer Research UK, Race for Life, £52.8m

2.    Macmillan Cancer Support, World's Biggest Coffee Morning, £27.7m 

3.    Walk the Walk, Moonwalk, £6.8m

4.    The Movember Foundation, Movember, £5.2m

5.    Macmillan Cancer Support, Brave the Shave, £4.4m

6.    Cancer Research UK, Shine, £4.3m

7.    Alzheimer's Society, Memory Walk, £3.9m

8.    British Heart Foundation, London to Brighton, £3.8m

9.    Cancer Research UK, Dryathlon, £3.7m

10.  Macmillan Cancer Support, Go Sober for October, £3.3m

11.  Marie Curie, Swimathon, £2.7m

12.  Cancer Research UK, Relay for Life, £2.4m

13.  Breast Cancer Now, Wear it Pink, £1.9m

14.  Royal Marsden Hospital, Marsden March, £1.7m

15.  Macmillan Cancer Support, A Really Good Night In, £1.4m

16.  British Heart Foundation, Wear It Beat It, £1.2m

17.  Action for Children, Byte Night, £1.2m

18.  Breast Cancer Care, Pink Ribbonwalk, £1.2m

19.  Macmillan Cancer Support, Longest Day Golf Challenge, £1,1m

20.  Macmillan Cancer Support, Your Walk, £1.1m

21.  Great Ormond Street Hospital, Race for the Kids, £1m

22.  Jeans for Genes, Jeans for Genes, £980,000

23.  Tommys, Splashathon, £909,000

24.  Prince's Trust, Palace to Palace, £899,000

25.  British Heart Foundation, Dechox, £704,000