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Virgin Money Giving's top tips to help London Marathon runners set fundraising World Record for 10th year in a row

30 September 2015

  • Over 75% of the field in the Virgin Money London Marathon run to raise money for charity
  • Many charitable organisations offer marathon places, with their runners given a fundraising challenge
  • Virgin Money Giving, the official fundraising partner of the London Marathon, has revealed the secrets of success that will help charity runners boost their fundraising potential in 2016

As a single-day charity fundraising event, there is no race in the world that comes close to the Virgin Money London Marathon and it is estimated that more than three quarters of competitors now run for a good cause, with many charitable organisations offering places to runners who will take up a fundraising challenge on their behalf.

Following the confirmation of funds raised from the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon, the total raised for charity by the world’s greatest marathon has now passed £770 million since the event was founded in 1981. Runners in the 2015 event raised £54.1 million for charity, which set a new World Record for an annual single-day charity fundraising event for the ninth successive year – and naturally the race is on for the 2016 event to make it a perfect 10.

Of the £54.1 million raised in 2015, over £22 million of that total (including Gift Aid) was raised through Virgin Money Giving, the official fundraising partner of the London Marathon. Due to Virgin Money Giving’s not-for-profit business model and lower fees, an estimated £625,000 extra reached charities as a result of fundraisers choosing to use Virgin Money Giving rather than its key competitor, Just Giving. With over £40 million raised online in total during the Marathon across these two platforms, the potential benefit to charities if all of those funds had been raised through Virgin Money Giving is over £1.2 million.

As runners begin their preparation for the 2016 race and start their charity fundraising, Virgin Money Giving reveals important findings from its latest research1 that shows the techniques that help fundraisers maximise the amount raised.

Successful fundraisers....

  1. Set-up a Virgin Money Giving 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. Are social media-savvy:
    The use of social media channels offers a great opportunity to maximise fundraising potential. Those who don’t use this medium 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 Virgin Money Giving mobile app:
    Embracing fundraising on-the-move, those who download the Virgin Money Giving app raise on average 19% more than those who do not.

  5. Create a personalised Stephen Fry fundraising video:
    Recognising that fundraising can be tough, and it helps if you ‘ask with style’, Virgin Money Giving launched a unique website - – ahead of the 2015 London Marathon enabling runners to create, in a matter of minutes, a personalised appeal video featuring Stephen Fry. Over 6,000 videos have been created to date and those fundraisers who created a personalised film were able to raise on average 10% more, during the 2015 event. remains 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. While next year’s race may seem a long way off, our research shows that fundraisers should start now, set a target, and exploit all of our tools to help.

“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.”

- Ends -

Media Contacts
Virgin Money Giving press office
0191 279 4676


1 Based on 315 Marathon fundraisers who took part in a post Marathon online survey in June 2015

About Virgin Money Giving

  • Virgin Money Giving is the not-for-profit online fundraising website from Virgin Money and was established in 2009. Virgin Money uses its infrastructure and expertise as a financial services business to ensure that Virgin Money Giving is efficient and secure
  • 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. Virgin Money Giving charges charities the minimum fees needed to cover the running costs of the site. Any profit achieved after covering operating costs will go towards reducing fees further or improving services for fundraisers and charities
  • Fundraisers can personalise their fundraising pages, send out email alerts and manage their fundraising events. They can include their own content, photos and links to their page as well as customise messages for their supporters. Fundraisers can also link their page to social networking sites. Virgin Money Giving also contains fundraising ideas and tips, offering help and advice to fundraisers on how to raise more for charity
  • is the official fundraising partner of events that include the Virgin Money London Marathon, Royal Parks Half Marathon, Nike Run to the Beat and the Virgin Money Cyclone