Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

London Marathon runners raised record £54.1m in 2015

London Marathon runners raised record £54.1m in 2015

Runners in the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon raised £54.1 million, the ninth year in a row that the world record has been broken for an annual single-day charity fundraising event.

An estimated three quarters of participants ran for a good cause. Runners have now raised over £770 million since the event was founded in 1981.

This year over £22 million, including Gift Aid, was raised through Virgin Money Giving, the official fundraising partner of the London Marathon. Over £40 million was raised online this year by runners using Virgin Money Giving and JustGiving. is free for fundraisers, charges a flat registration fee of £100 + VAT for charities and a 2% fee on all donations before Gift Aid. For every £10 raised, charities receive £12.15.

Five ways to raise more at the London Marathon

Wth the aim of making it 10 record-breaking years in a row, Virgin Money Giving has shared tips on how individual runners can raise the most money at the London Marathon. They are based on a post-Marathon online survey of 315 Marathon fundraisers conducted in June 2015.

1. Set up a fundraising page early

Those who set up a fundraising page as soon as they receive their Virgin Money London Marathon place on average raise up to £700 more than those who only start to fundraise in the two-month period before the race in April.

2. Set a fundraising target

81% of fundraisers set a target and those who do raise on average £1,495, compared to an average of £914 raised by those who leave their goal unspecified – a 64% increase.

3. Use social media

Those who don’t use social media channels to seek support raise on average £1,276, compared to averages of over £1,900 through the use of Instagram and Linkedin, over £1,500 using Twitter, and over £1,400 via Facebook.

4. Use the mobile app

If you are fundraising and interacting with supporters on-the-go, you are likely to raise more. Those who downloaded the Virgin Money Giving app raised on average 19% more than those who do not.

5. Create a personalised Stephen Fry fundraising video


Stephen Fry's personalised video includes the name of the runner and the charity they are supporting.

Stephen Fry’s personalised video includes the name of the runner and the charity they are supporting.

To give runners and their fundraising activities a novel way to stand out, Virgin Money Giving offered 2015 London Marathon runners the opportunity create a personalised video appeal featuring Stephen Fry. Over 6,000 films were created by those who used the tool raised on average 10% more than those who did not, say Virgin Money Giving. The site will be available for the 2016 race.
Jo Barnett, Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving, said:

“Our analysis of the 2015 London Marathon reveals the secrets to fundraising success. To help those who will run to raise money for charity in the 2016 event, and maximise their fundraising potential, we wanted to share the news in a series of top tips…

“By raising money through Virgin Money Giving, those who will put themselves through ‘untold pain’ next April to run those 26 miles in aid of a good cause, can also rest assured that we won’t take a penny in profit from their hard won cash.”


Main photo: Runners cross Tower Bridge in the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon. Photo: Bob Martin for Virgin Money London Marathon.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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