Top charity fundraisers revealed

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An annual list of the top 25 charity fundraising events in the UK has been published - with no great change in the total amount brought in

29th July 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The top fundraising events in the UK for 2018 have been revealed.

Social causes such as homelessness and international development are starting to see the impact mass participation events can have on both engagement and fundraising according to the massive Top 25, the annual report produced by the mass events agency which ranks the most successful charity run mass fundraising events for the year.

Historically, the Top 25 has been dominated by medical charities, with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support regularly accounting for almost 70% of total income, leading some to suspect that only medical causes work for mass participation events.

However, 2018 highlighted that coupled with the right activity, mass participation events can be just as relevant to someone who cares about social causes as those close to medical ones.

“This can only be good news for the sector and shows that even in a crowded market with the right offering there is strong demand,” said massive’s John Tasker.

Overall there was no significant change in the fundraising income from the 25 largest events in 2018, with income down by just 1% from the previous year. The Top 25 raised a combined total of £133.6m in 2018 with 14 events growing their income, 10 seeing a decline and one remaining flat. The three events which grew the fastest were Dryathlon (53% increase from 2017) Kiltwalk (46%) and Cupcake Day (25%).

Walking events continue to see substantial growth with big increases for Macmillan’s Mighty Hikes and Memory Walk, highlighting again that whilst activity alone can drive participation, getting the messaging and fundraising ask right are critical to delivering a successful campaign.

In the six years since massive began the Top 25, this is the first year that there has been no new events entering the annual list. This coupled with the fact that income was flat or falling for some of the ‘older’ events, most notably Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and Walk the Walk’s Moonwalk, suggests that there is a need for innovation both to introduce new events to the market and to refresh and renew some existing campaigns.

Tasker added: “Over the last six years we’ve regularly seen new events successfully launch and deliver significant income in their first year and older campaigns refresh to reverse declines so it does feel like there is space for more innovation. 

“Two of the fastest growing events in the Top 25 were introduced less than two years ago and four out of five of events that are less than four years old grew in 2018, suggesting there is an opportunity and appetite out there for new mass participation events.”

Top five fundraisers in 2018

1. Race for Life (Cancer Research UK) - £37,100,000

2. World’s Biggest Coffee Morning (Macmillan Cancer Support) - £27,000,000

3. Memory Walk (Alzheimer’s Society) - £7,700,000

4. Mighty Hikes (Macmillan Cancer Support) - £5,800,000

5. Kiltwalk (Kiltwalk) - £5,000,000 / Movember  (Movember Foundation) - £5,000,000