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Top 25 sports events raised over £150m for charities in 2018

Top 25 sports events raised over £150m for charities in 2018

The total collectively raised from the UK’s 25 largest sports events rose by more than 10% last year, to over £150 million, according to a report by mass participation events agency massive.

The annual Sports Fundraising Monitor report analyses information from leading charities and over 1.5 million fundraising pages. It found that the amount charities raised from sports events grew for the fifth consecutive year in 2018.

The launch last year of both the Big Half and London Landmarks Half Marathon helped grow this total, with half marathons the fastest growing activity, followed by treks and marathons. MOB events (those involving Mud, Obstacles and Beer) however are falling in popularity with 2018 the third consecutive there has been a drop in the number of MOB fundraisers, according to the Monitor.

The top five sports events in terms of money raised included in massive’s Sports Fundraising Monitor are:

  • Virgin London Marathon
  • Simplyhealth Great North Run
  • Prudential Ride London
  • Royal Parks Half Marathon
  • Brighton Marathon Weekend

However, while the biggest events in the UK, including The London Marathon, Great North Run, and The Royal Parks Half, grew the amount they enabled charities to raise from their events, the agency found that across the wider market a number of charities saw both the number of fundraisers taking part in events and the total amount raised fall.

Since massive began its reporting on sports fundraising five years ago, the agency has seen peaks in interest in cycling, swimming, triathlon and MOB events but the one constant driver of growth has been running. In 2014 this accounted for 56% of all the online sports fundraising pages reviewed, reaching 62% in 2018.

John Tasker from massive commented:

“The growth in how much these events help raise has slowed but the success of these new events highlights that there is space and appetite for the right events even in a seemingly crowded market.

“Over the last five years, we’ve seen the potential of events to excite and engage people in the work charities do. It’s great to see even in tough times for fundraisers, new and existing events still have the power to help charities do more.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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