Highest-grossing charity fundraising event of 2021 revealed

Cancer Research UK's Race for Life was the highest-grossing charity-run fundraising event last year, new figures show.

Data produced by the events company Massive shows that CRUK's flagship event brought in £19.6m in 2021 to reclaim top spot in the latest version of the annual list of the 25 largest fundraising events run by charities.

Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning was in second place with £13.2m while its Mighty Hikes trekking event was in third with £12.3m raised.

Macmillan had three other events in the top 25.

Massive said the total raised by the top 25 events last year was up by 60 per cent on 2020 to £119.5m, which was raised by 13 different charities.

But this figure is significantly down on the £143m raised by events before the coronavirus pandemic in 2019.

Massive said all events in the top 25 had raised more than £1m for the first time since it began producing the list in 2013.

The top 25 was shaken up last year because of the impact of the pandemic on fundraising events, with the annual moustache-growing event by the men’s health campaign Movember claiming the top spot for the first time.

Movember fell to seventh place this year.

Massive said that, given coronavirus restrictions did not allow in-person events to return for the first half of the year, the results were impressive.

It said that in-person events accounted for more than half of the income generated by the top 25.

The Run The Month running event, organised by Prostate Cancer UK, was the fastest-growing event in the top 25, up 525 per cent year on year to £2.6m.

John Tasker, a partner at Massive, said the list showed “really positive growth for the sector”, but it was not reasonable to expect income this year to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.

“The years ahead will undoubtedly require fresh and innovative thinking,” he said. “Doing what worked previously and expecting the same results is unlikely to deliver success.

“But if we’ve learnt anything from the previous 18 months, it is that every situation brings new opportunities for those that are ready to adapt and take risks.”

- The article was updated extensively on 7 July 2022 after Massive became aware of omissions in the initial version of its report


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