Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Insights into pandemic’s virtual fundraising event performance revealed in new report

Insights into pandemic’s virtual fundraising event performance revealed in new report

The move to digital and virtual activity seen during the Covid-19 pandemic has created opportunities for charities of all types and sizes, as well as individuals, research by mass participation agency massive in partnership with JustGiving has found.

The findings are detailed in a new report The Virtual Fundraising Monitor, which examines data shared from 150 virtual fundraising events delivered since lockdown began along with publicly available figures.

45% of these were new campaigns launched in response to the pandemic while 38% were pivots of planned events that were unable to take place, and the remainder were existing campaigns that were already planned or upweighted to take advantage of the situation. Most were based around physical activity.

Focusing specifically on peer-to-peer fundraising activities, the report provides a picture of campaign activity and virtual fundraising event performance during this time and explores the opportunities open to charities, including insight and guidance to help charities with their own campaigns in the virtual arena.

It also includes input from JustGiving, and covers a range of campaigns by charities including British Red Cross, Breast Cancer Now, ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity, and Alzheimer’s Society, revealing which activities, from running, to walking, and cycling, have been most popular, how they have performed in terms of income and participant numbers, as well as the key determiners of campaign success.

Harder challenges, for example, tended to raise more per participant than easier ones, with cycling and climbing the activities that raised the most per participant. Clear and simple asks, and events that had a clear connection to the cause, also did better, while offering participants opportunities to connect remotely, such as through Facebook groups was also important.

The report also compares the performance of virtual vs. non-virtual campaigns, showing that while costs are lower for virtual events, on average they tend to bring in lower average fundraising values than non-virtual events. It also reveals the impact of converting an existing event into a virtual one on income and participation.

John Tasker, partner at massive said:

“In a year that’s been like no other, we’ve seen an unprecedented level of innovation and creativity from charities and events providers.”

“We were really excited to be able to get under the skin of what drives the most successful virtual campaigns and most importantly to be able to share that insight, so others can get more out of their virtual and non-virtual events in the challenging months and years ahead.”

Sally Falvey, Head of Corporate Marketing at JustGiving said:

“The Virtual Fundraising Monitor shines a light on the incredible wave of creativity and innovation that has been unlocked in the charity sector this year in response to COVID-19, and the dramatic acceleration we’ve seen at JustGiving in the number of charities launching virtual events.”

“It’s reassuring to see that the report reveals that some of the bedrocks of event fundraising remain the same – we don’t have to throw out the entire rule book just yet, but there are emerging trends and differences shared that will help all charities benchmark their virtual events performance as they continue to adapt their fundraising.”


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

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />