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Biggest fundraising events made less money for charity for the second year running 

29 Jul 2019 News

The income of the largest 25 fundraising events fell by 1 per cent to £133.6m in 2018, according to research by an agency. 

It is the second year in a row that Massive’s research into the largest mass participation events has found a fall in income. In 2017 the cohort of events collectively raised £135.5m and in 2016 it raised £139m. 

Massive has been conducting the research for six years, and has warned that there might be a lack of innovation in the sector. 

Income down at the largest two events

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is still the largest fundraiser, but has seen its total fall again to £37.1m from £38m in 2017 and over £50m in 2015. 

The charity revamped the event for 2019, opening it up to men for the first time.

Meanwhile CRUK’s Dryathlon was the fastest growing event, raising £1m. This is 53 per cent more than the previous year. 

The charity expanded Dryathlon last year, encouraging people to take part in October, the same month as Macmillan’s abstinence fundraiser, as well as in January.

CRUK also saw increases in the amount raised by its Shine night walk events, and Relay for Life events. But a drop in income from Walking All Over Cancer, which challenges people to walk 10,000 steps over a month. 

Ten of the 25 events saw their incomes fall, including the second largest event, Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, which was down by £500,000 to £27m. 

Macmillan saw falls in three of its other events: Brave the Shave, Go Sober and Longest Day Golf Challenge. But it did see income from its Mighty Hikes event grow to £5.8m.

Walk the Walk’s Moonwalk and Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day also saw incomes decrease.   

Space for more innovation 

With CRUK and Macmillan less dominant than in previous years, the report said there was more space for other types of charity. 

In previous years, the two biggest fundraising charities have accounted for up to 70 per cent of income between them. 

Massive said that the percentage raised by non-medical charities rose by almost 35 per cent. 

Lack of innovation 

The report noted that this is the first year where there are no new events coming into the top 25 list. 

John Tasker, director at Massive, said: “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.”

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