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Macmillan expects 'staggering' £20m drop in money raised via Coffee Morning event

07 Sep 2020 News

Macmillan’s Coffee Morning fundraiser is set to raise £20m less than last year, the charity has warned.

The event, which takes place across cafes, shops, schools, offices and hospitals around the UK every September, was the second biggest mass-participation fundraiser organised by a charity in 2019.

It raised £27.5m last year, but is expected to perform much worse this year because of the pandemic. In its announcement the charity described the drop as “staggering”, and appealed for support from the public. 

Macmillan Cancer Support revamped the event to account for social distancing measures, and is encouraging people to hold coffee mornings virtually, from their doorsteps or by donating online and sharing a picture of their coffee on social media.

However, the charity said the event is “on track” to raise less than a third than last year (29%) and is concerned that people will assume it is not possible to take part at all this year.

The charity said that £20m represents about 9% of its total fundraising income, and is an amount that could fund its cancer support helpline for more than three years.

Call for support

Like many charities, Macmillan is facing a drop in income at a time when its services are seeing an increase in demand, and is calling for public support.

It said its free support services were “inundated” at the peak of the pandemic, with more than 10,000 calls to its helpline. It also expects demand to grow again as the furlough scheme ends and winter approaches. 

Claire Rowney, executive director of fundraising, marketing and communications at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are going through one of the biggest crises in living memory and we want the public to know that the ‘new normal’ doesn’t mean that they can’t get involved with Coffee Morning this year. There are so many ways they can still show their support in whatever way they can and we’ve never needed their help more.

“Macmillan relies on donations to provide care and support for 1.9 million people affected by cancer every year — and sadly this support could be at risk without income from events like Coffee Morning. People with cancer need us more than ever.

“Coffee Morning has thrived for 30 years thanks to the enormous generosity of our supporters – and we need to act now to ensure it can continue to raise vital funds for people living with cancer for years to come.”

London Marathon raised a quarter of budget

Macmillan is heavily reliant on fundraising for its income – in 2018, some £213m of its £235.7m total came from donations and legacies.

The charity warned that coronavirus could result in a loss of about a third of its fundraising income this year, mostly because of the cancellation of events.

It also said the London Marathon has raised about a quarter of the expected £1m so far. The physical event, which had initially been postponed from April to October, has now been cancelled and replaced with a virtual one.

Macmillan launched an emergency coronavirus appeal in April, which had raised about £900,000 as of early August.

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