Virgin Money London Marathon fundraisers raise over £250Million

When Virgin was announced as the title sponsor of the London Marathon in 2010, the ambition was to work together to reach a charity fundraising target of £1/4 billion in five years. We are now pleased to announce that this figure has been broken, with the total raised for charity in the five years of Virgin Money sponsorship now standing at £261.4 million.

Individual runners in the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon set yet another record figure for charity fundraising for good causes by generating £53.2 million. The average amount raised by every London Marathon Golden Bond charity runner was £2,407.

It is the eighth consecutive year that London Marathon entrants have broken the Guinness World Record for the largest annual single-day charity
fundraising event worldwide.

These figures bring the total raised for hundreds of charitable causes since the race began in 1981 to more than £716 million.

There were 35,868 London Marathon finishers on Sunday 13 April 2014, with the number of runners raising money for charity increasing by two per cent on 2013, with 77 per cent of these runners raising money for good causes. The total who have completed the race, since it started 34 years ago now stands at 924,741 runners.

Virgin Money London Marathon race director Hugh Brasher said: “We are extremely pleased to reach the quarter of a billion pound figure in only five years with our partnership with Virgin Money, and especially delighted that this year’s amazing London Marathon runners have, once again, raised a record-breaking amount of money for charity.

Our official charity of the year, Anthony Nolan raised over £1.3 million, smashing their own target of £1.1 million. It was a pleasure to support this exciting and lifesaving charity in its fortieth anniversary year, and to welcome its biggest team of runners yet. Anthony Nolan’s passionate supporters who lined the streets of London carried people around the route, and summed up the uplifting spirit of marathon day”.

Sir Richard Branson said: “When Virgin first got involved with the London Marathon we set the bar high and challenged runners to not only complete their 26 miles, but within five years also help raise £¼ billion for good causes. Today’s news shows that not only have we all risen to that challenge, but during the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon we smashed right through it.

“Lots of charity runners raise their money through Virgin Money Giving, our not-for-profit fundraising website. Over £77m has been raised to date by Marathon fundraisers using Virgin Money Giving, and long may they continue to do so.

We’re doing a little maintenance tomorrow night

We're doing a little work on the website

Tomorrow evening we will be carrying out overnight maintenance to the Virgin Money Giving website.

As a result the website will be unavailable between: 22:00 on 17 September and 06:00 on 18 September

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but it’s important for us to carry out this type of maintenance to ensure the system runs efficiently to support your fundraising.

If you have any questions please call our team on 08456 10 10 45 or email us at theteam@virginmoneygiving.com. We’re here Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:30.

Big Bird’s Charity Challenge



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We often feature fundraisers taking on an incredible challenge for a charity close to their heart, however Jackie is slightly different. She didn’t just decide to take on a challenge, she gave herself an incredible fundraising target to be divided between four charities, and will continue to fundraise – by any means – until she reaches that target. Jackie told us her story.

Big Bird’s Charity Challenge began in 2010 when I turned 40.  I decided that I wanted to do something different to celebrate my milestone birthday.

BBCC is all about raising £40,000 for four different charities and inspiring friends and family to help raise money towards the target as everyone can do something, no matter how big or small to raise money.  It’s all the little amounts that soon add up to make a big amount.

The money is divided between four different charities that have a personal meaning to me.  The charities are Help the Hospices UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Diabetes UK and Help For Heroes.

Unfortunately, my mum had cancer and passed away in 1997 when she was 60.  Without the support of Macmillan Cancer Support and St Michael’s Hospice, I am not sure how my family and I would have coped.  In 2007, I lost a dear friend, Graham Goldsmith to a brain tumour and it was the help and support of the Iain Rennie Hospice that helped his family through a very difficult time, which is why I chose Help the Hospices UK as the second charity.  My old pops, now in his 80s, has diabetes and my friend was serving in the RAF and so Diabetes UK and Help For Heroes were chosen as the other two charities.

I started the BBCC fundraising with a 40th birthday party and held a silent auction, raffle and had fun games to play and the evening raised over £4,000, which was a great start.  Since then, I have held various events which have included:  me training and taking part in three half marathons, a team of 16 doing the three peaks challenge,  cake bakes, fancy dress discos, pub quizzes, Christmas fêtes and ‘Come Dine With Me’ evenings.  A friend very generously donated her wedding money and even my godson and his sister iced biscuits and sold them for 50p each!  I have also done numerous car boot sales, sold items on eBay and recycled mobile phones, CDs and DVDs.

As you can see, it really is a case of all the little amounts add up.  I am looking to hold a black tie event in April next year and a possible abseil down the Spinnaker Tower which will take me completely out of my comfort zone as I hate heights!  But to me, what’s a challenge like that against the challenges that my Mum and Graham faced?   

It hasn’t all been easy; having a full-time job, finding time to train for my half marathons and organise events – but it has been fun!  It does all take time but, with the help of my friends and family, I am pleased to say the total now – including gift aid – is over £39,000, so not far from the big £40,000 now!

To help support Jackie reach her incredible target, visit her Virgin Money Giving page.

Virgin Money Giving present ‘Campaigns’

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Virgin Money Giving are proud to announce our new Campaigns tool; a new resource for charities to be able to create new ways of bringing supporters together for a cause or an activity.

This flexible tool has a number of options such as linking fundraisers to a hub page, viewing donors who give to the specific cause  and adding widgets – such as videos and Twitter feeds – to allow charities to tell their story. It also allows charities to create customised donation amounts with images, so they can tell donors what the money could be used for.

The options available within the tool include:

  • Linking fundraisers
  • Showing all donors
  • Adding a campaign logo
  • Adding custom donation amounts with images
  • Adding  a widget such as Twitter, video, an image gallery and social sharing links
  • Adding a target and a total amount raised
  • Being able to switch off Gift Aid for a campaign

You can use the tool in three ways; to create Appeals, to create Charity of the Year pages for corporate partners and to create Event hubs for key events.

The first of these, Appeals Pages, are to raise money for a specific objective; such as a disaster appeal or a church roof appeal. The second, Event Hubs, are for charities that have teams or groups of people running for a specific event such as the Virgin Money London Marathon. By bringing people together to see who else is taking part and how much is raised, the aim is to help fundraisers feel part of something bigger and  want  to raise more. The final use, the Charity of the Year pages, bring together various fundraising activity undertaken by your corporate partners and colleagues and allow the charity and the corporate partner to see how much has been raised.

Our most recent #FundraiserFriday star, Paul Prothero, used the Campaigns tool for his most recent campaign, read his story here.

Hiking in Meggings

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Many different things can inspire a fundraiser to take on a challenge and, in some cases, change their lives. Sadly, fundraising challenges often start with a painful event when a friend or family member requires the help of a charity. This is the case of our Fundraiser Friday star, Alex Waddington.

Tomorrow, Alex Waddington will be hiking 56 miles through the Peak District, home to the Bullock Smithy Hike. He was inspired to take on the challenge after his dad died, very suddenly, of cancer in January of this year. He tells us “It was only weeks after my daughter had been born and, sadly, dad never got to meet Aggie. So it was a bad start to the year, but it provided some great motivation for me to do something good. “

And so, Alex decided to take on the Bullock Smithy Hike. A 56 mile trek through the dramatic Peak District which Alex says “takes in some of the finest parts of the Peaks, offers lots of dramatic climbs and descents, and features, among other things, some rather frisky cattle!“.

Alex will be fundraising for two charities, the first of which is Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity who work with those who have cancer, the families of cancer sufferers, as well as health and social care professionals to improve the lives of the 1 in 3 people in the UK who will be diagnosed in their lifetime. He also decided to fundraise for the smaller charity, Strathcarron Hospice in Scotland, who say their aim “is to sustain, develop and deliver a full range of quality services – in-patient, day hospice, community, bereavement, pastoral care, lymphoedema, reasearch and education.”  Alex set himself a £3,000 target for the charities which “both provided some great support and care during [his] Dad’s short illness.”

The challenge which Alex took on doesn’t just involve the hike itself, Alex has undertaken a 6 month training schedule to get himself in shape which he admits has been hard work, but something he has enjoyed and that has been successful in getting him fit. He has also faced challenges in the shape of leggings and cows. Alex tells us more;

To help push my fundraising along in the early days, I offered to wear some garish “meggings” (men’s leggings) on my Monday morning training to the station run if we hit £1,000 by a certain date. My friends and colleagues responded magnificently and sure enough, one morning I ran five miles looking absolutely ridiculous – but with a huge smile on my face! They never got a second airing – they were so tight they ripped in some unfortunate places! As well as keeping my feet and body going across 56 miles of challenging terrain, and through the night, I will have to tackle my fear of cows. I have never trusted them but during my training I have been forced to go through some fields where in previous years the cows have been reported to have charged at walkers! My response has been to take a walking pole and follow advice, which is not to run but face them down and shout at them. It’s worked so far – I still don’t trust the things, but I am less worried about them now!”

So far, including gift aid, Alex has raised over £3,500. His warm-ups have included walking 42 miles across remote North Yorkshire moorland, through the night, as a warm up hike. “I finished in 15 hours and having been awake for 33 hours by the end, promptly laid down and fell asleep in the long grass for an hour.”

Alex concludes by telling us “After such a bad start to the year, things are set to end on a positive note.

To support Alex in his fundraising challenge, visit his Virgin Money Giving page.

Mission Marrakech

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Imagine if the entire population of Chelmsford City suddenly had no access to water, taps ran dry, and there was no bottled water in sight. This is the reality for nearly 800 million people around the world who live without access to sources of drinking water”. This is how fundraiser Jonathan Collard begins the fundraising appeal on his website and, to emphasise his point, on 10 September, Jonathan will cycle from Chelmsford to Marrakech unaided, fundraising for Pump Aid.
Pump Aid, a charity with more than 15 years of experience working in Africa, aims to ensure everyone has access to clean water. In their words, they are “committed to achieving lasting positive change in people’s lives by improving the quality, availability and use of water with communities in need“. An average of 4000 or so children die in Africa each day due to dirty drinking water and disease caused by poor sanitation. When asked what motivates him, Jonathan quotes this statistic, saying “I think it is everyone’s basic human right to have clean drinking water and appropriate sanitation“.
 Jonathan is hoping to cover 100 miles per day and his journey will include Paris, Barcelona, Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco. He aims to complete the incredible challenge in under 28 days!
Jonathan’s amazing task is made even more challenging as he battles with schizo-affective disorder. He says “It’s a serious mental health problem and makes every day tougher than usual and by doing this I am making a milestone in my life to look back on and be able to see what I am able to do with sheer perseverance and the will to succeed.” Although he knows the challenge will be daunting and that the hills and valleys will make it tough, he has planned a special treat to look forward to. He tells us “I have arranged a VIP ticket to go to one of the closing parties in Ibiza which is approximately half way on my journey and will provide a much needed rest for a couple of days. The club has it’s own swimming pool and VIP lounge areas so a few cocktails might be in order.”
To support Jonathan and donate to Pump Aid, visit his Virgin Money Giving page.

A Marathon for The Children’s Trust

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Paul Prothero, the leader of the Reigate and Cheam British Military Fitness  (BMF)  group, is taking on a new challenge for 2015. As an ex-member of the military and a personal trainer, he is a seasoned Marathon runner, regularly completing sub- 3 hour marathons.

For 2015, Paul is taking on a different kind of marathon challenge. He hopes to inspire a group of people from his BMF group to take on their own challenge by bringing together a group of non-runners, old and young members to run the marathon – the dream team were selected from 75 applications.  And whilst he is at it, he is looking to hit a massive new fundraising target; £50,000.

Paul has chosen The Children’s Trust, a local charity based in Tadworth.  The Children’s Trust provide rehabilitation, education, therapy and care at their specialist centre which supports children and families from across the UK. They also offer services in communities around the country as well as online support for parents. The Events Manager at The Children’s Trust is a long standing member of the BMF group and has given them team bond places in the event.

Paul and his team are aiming to raise £50,000 for the Children’s Trust through various fundraising activities leading up to the big day, £18,000 over the target the charity itself set. 2014 signifies the 5 year anniversary of the BMF group and Paul used this anniversary to hold a charity ball for all its past and present members. Using local contacts and volunteers, Paul managed to raise over £14,000 from this event alone.

As a parent himself, and due to be a Dad again for the third time in September, Paul admires the efforts of the charity. “As a parent I can only imagine the heart ache of having to live with a child with significant medical needs.”

You can keep track of Paul’s amazing progress and help support the team via their Virgin Money Giving page.

Paul’s charity is using the newly launched Virgin Money Giving Campaigns tool to create Paul’s fundraising page. The tool allows a charity to create event hubs such as this, as well as charity of the year pages and appeals pages. Find out more via the website.


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