Third Sector Awards: Fundraising Team of the Year – Age UK

Awarded to a fundraising team that has worked effectively together to achieve or exceed its fundraising targets.

Fundraising Team of the Year – Age UK

How much money was raised?

Amid a global pandemic, the Age UK Fundraising Team delivered the charity's single most successful year of fundraising, raising £74.83m against a target of £57.6m. This was a particular challenge as Age UK was losing £850,000 every week that its charity shops were shut due to coronavirus restrictions, and key fundraising events were cancelled.

What is the team’s approach?

Older people, identified as the most at risk from the deadly effects of the pandemic, have never needed Age UK more than during this past year. The Age UK Fundraising team launched the Age UK Coronavirus Emergency Appeal, the charity’s first ever national UK emergency appeal, turning the entire campaign creative around in just two weeks. The appeal raised £12.2m against a target of £10m in less than three months.

What did they do?

The team also delivered a 168 per cent increase in community fundraising on the previous year, by harnessing increased public empathy for older people. It launched four new digital fundraisers including Run Your Age, challenging people to walk or run their age in miles, kilometres or even steps. It engaged 84 celebrity supporters, including David Beckham, who handed over his Instagram account to the team for a day.

Staff members who would have been furloughed were trained as corporate fundraisers: the team raised £15m from corporate fundraising against a target of £4.5m. Some of the Legacy team took on temporary roles answering the fundraising hotline, as legacy marketing was put on hold at the height of the pandemic for reasons of sensitivity.

What did the judges say?

“Great use of public empathy to capitalise on opportunities and work in an agile way to maximise returns. Love the retraining and redeployment of staff.”

Highly commended

  • The Royal British Legion


  • ActionAid UK: Philanthropy & Partnerships Team
  • Family Action
  • Mind Partnerships Team
  • Samaritans Income Department
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