Income from largest mass participation charity events nearly halves due to lockdown

03 Aug 2021 News

The largest 25 mass participation fundraising events raised just over half the amount similar events raised before the pandemic, after most charities switched to virtual options. 

Massive, the agency which produces an annual report that identifies and ranks the largest mass participation fundraising events, last year warned that Covid-19 could mean the sector lost out on £100m

In fact, things were not as bad as predicted, and in 2020 charities on the list made £74.6m, around £70m down on the £143m raised in 2019.

Nineteen of last year’s 25 events were not able to go ahead, but charities expanded existing virtual events and launched new ones. 

John Tasker, a partner at massive, said: “Most of the physical events we normally see weren't able to happen. Events representing more than 90% of last year's list by income were affected.

“But many charities successfully pivoted their events from physical to virtual. On average, when a physical event went virtual they raised 40% of what they would normally.” 

Movember takes top place 

The Movember Foundation’s Grow your Mo event claimed the top spot, raising £11.5m through its social event. 

Move for Movember also secured seventh place after raising £4.15m, making this the first year that the Movember Foundation has had two events in the list. 

The report says: “Part of the renewed success of Movember is likely down to a continued focus on the cause and innovation around the offer to participants. Movember also potentially benefited from changes in behaviour during lockdown with some home workers keener to grow and take up the month-long move challenge.” 

Macmillan Cancer Support’s World Biggest Coffee Morning came second with £10m, followed by Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, which raised £6m. 

Top ten: 

  1. Grow your Mo by Movember Foundation - £11.5m 
  2. World’s Biggest Coffee Morning by Macmillan - £10m 
  3. Race For Life by Cancer Research UK - £6m 
  4. Go Sober by Macmillan - £5.4m
  5. Kiltwalk - £5m 
  6. Brave the Shave by Macmillan - £4.15m 
  7. Move for Movember by Movember Foundation - £4.14m 
  8. Cycle 300 by Cancer Research UK - £3.35m 
  9. Memory Walk by Alzheimer’s Society - £3.1m 
  10. Christmas Jumper Day by Save the Children - £2.8m 
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