Fundraising income from the largest 25 mass participation charity events increased by almost 60% in 2021, but is still below pre-pandemic levels, an agency’s research has revealed.
According to Massive’s annual report, the top 25 charity-owned mass participation events raised £119.5m from events from thirteen charities, which still trails pre-pandemic levels of income significantly, with £143m made in 2019.
Massive said it was unreasonable to expect income in 2022 to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, but described the total for 2021 as evidence of a “steady recovery”.
Cancer Research UK raised the most with £19.6m for the Race for Life. This is a 227% increase from the year prior.
Macmillan Cancer Research came second with £13.2m for its World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. It’s Mighty Hikes event came third by raising £12.3m for the charity. Macmillan has five events in the top 25, which collectively raised over £33m – which is a 30% increase from 2020.
Cancer Research UK’s Walk All Over Cancer event came fourth in the list by raising £10.4m. This is an increase of 390%.
In-person events made the most money
Last year saw a return to some in-person events as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in the summer.
Despite only five events on the top 25 list being in-person, they account for more than half of income raised by the top 25.
Collectively, they generated on average 75% more than the rest of the events.
Walking challenges raised more than £40m, with these events accounting for more than 50% of the total top 25 income.
‘Really positive growth for the sector’
John Tasker, a partner at Massive, said: “This year’s Top 25 shows really positive growth for the sector, which is really encouraging and welcomed.
“It’s evident from the Massive Top 25 that events which got people together outdoors did really well. After the last two years, people were seeking connection and opportunities to come together for a good cause.”