Mass-participation fundraising will get harder, survey suggests

A survey of more than 300 finds that 74 per cent disagreed with the statement 'fundraising will be easier in 2020 than in 2019'

London Marathon (Photograph: Chris Radburn/Alamy)
London Marathon (Photograph: Chris Radburn/Alamy)

Almost three-quarters of charity event professionals expect fundraising from mass-participation events to be harder in 2020 than it was last year, new research suggests. 

A survey of more than 300 event professionals, conducted by the events company Massive, found that 60 per cent of respondents disagreed with the statement “fundraising will be easier in 2020 than in 2019”, while 14 per cent strongly disagreed. 

Only 4 per cent agreed, with the remainder unsure. 

The report says this will be “driven by falls in both the value of donations and the number of people returning sponsorship income”.

But the report says the view is not entirely negative. 

“We are seeing charities planning a more long-term approach, combining the power of events to recruit supporters and better charity messaging to develop long-term relationships with participants, which go beyond one event to deliver greater value over the lifetime of that relationship,” it says. 

John Tasker, director of Massive, said: “In a changing and increasingly competitive market, where charities need to work harder to recruit participants, it makes absolute sense to focus on inspiring, retaining and focusing those supporters who have been acquired through events. 

“Everything we see suggests this delivers greater income over the long term.”

The survey also found that 86 per cent of events professionals expected their jobs would be more demanding over the coming year. 

Pressure on budgets, competition with other events to recruit participants and the challenge of securing sponsorship or commercial partners will all be factors in this, the report says.

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