Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

1 in 5 have already committed to a charity mass event in 2024, report suggests

Melanie May | 9 November 2023 | News

a racer's hand reaches out to touch a child's hand during a race. By 117O8734 on pixabay

Nearly 9 out of 10 people (86%) say that they donate to fundraisers taking part in mass participation events when asked, while 1 in 5 say they have already committed to a charity mass event next year, according to research from Enthuse.

The second edition of Enthuse’s annual Mass Events report surveyed over 2,500 people to look at the public’s appetite for taking part in mass participation events, the effectiveness of fundraisers, and the most impactful social media platforms for event participants. 

One in five people surveyed say they have already committed to taking part in a charity mass event in 2024 with another 42% thinking about it. The findings also suggests that participants are signing up 30% faster than last year. Just under half (47%) of charity participants sign up with less than three months to go to an event, compared to 65% a year ago, although this is still below pre-pandemic rates of around 40%.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Research into disease is the most popular type of cause for event participants to fundraise for with a quarter of people raising money for this type of charity in their last event. 16% fundraised for the NHS, hospitals and hospices, and 15% for mental health charities. Only 3% of people said they participated in their last mass event for an animal charity, and 6% took part in their last event for a cause supporting those in poverty.

Commenting on the research, Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Enthuse Founder and CEO, said: 

“With the mass events cycle returning to its usual frequency post-Covid, we’ve been able to have a fresh look at how events are performing. It’s great to see that participants are signing up for events faster than last year, giving them more time to fundraise, and charities more time to provide a meaningful stewardship programme.”


“It’s clear from the data that charities will want to advise participants to start fundraising as soon as they set up their page, as this drives the best results. Good causes should also encourage fundraisers to share their fundraising pages and ask for donations over social as much as possible. Information on how to ask people to give during a cost of living crisis may prove useful for those who feel unsure of how to broach the topic.”

Sarah Ball, Head of Community and Events Fundraising, Samaritans, added:

“Whilst there are challenges, most importantly the results of this research leave me feeling hopeful – especially as Samaritans is the Charity of the Year for the 2024 TCS London Marathon. There’s a real appetite amongst the public to take part in mass events and results show there’s clearly a willingness to donate to those who do. Like many charities, it’s the public’s generosity that enables Samaritans to continue providing life-changing emotional support.”

Participants’ social media use

Nearly a third (29%) of participants set up a fundraising page on the same day they registered or were awarded a place. A further 40% get started within the week, meaning a total of 69% have it done within just seven days, with another 21% doing it inside a month. 

The most popular social platforms for supporters promoting event fundraising are Facebook (69%) and Instagram (49%), followed by WhatsApp at 40%. TikTok came in at 28%, rising to 47% of those raising over £3,000. X was used by 27%, with workplace platforms LinkedIn (15%) and Slack (14%) coming lower. 

Nearly two thirds of mass event participants (64%) post two to three times a week or more on social media. Within that, a quarter post most days and more than one in ten (12%) post at least every day and sometimes more often. A total of 28% of those raising up to £500 post most or every day. More than double (56%) this number of people raising £3,000+ post a similar amount.

The study also asked people why they don’t donate – 23% of those surveyed said it is because they either forget or didn’t have time to do it when asked.