An update on ‘Great Friday’ matched donations


Great Friday and our PayPal matched donations promotion before the Bank Holiday weekend was hugely popular. Lots and lots of people donated, which means a fantastic amount more has been raised for charity on Good Friday than we’ve seen in previous years through Virgin Money Giving.

Looking through the donations so many donors stayed up until midnight to support their Virgin London Marathon runner. Not only were they up late, but some were exceptionally generous.

This meant the pot of money available from PayPal was allocated in just 2 minutes!

All eligible matched donations were awarded on a ‘first donation made, first donations matched’ basis. With the largest amount donated by an individual being £1000, the average matched donation amount was also high being £271!

A huge well done to everyone who promoted their fundraising page to their friends and family on Good Friday, whether your donation was matched or not, hopefully you’re all a lot closer to your Marathon charity fundraising targets!

And finally a big thank you to PayPal for matching the donations for us.

10 Responses to “An update on ‘Great Friday’ matched donations”

  1. 1 Jamie April 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

    It’s great that this generated so much response and helped boost donations, but to call and promote it as ‘Great Friday’ is very misleading, this was a ‘great 2 minutes’ of donation matching, not a day. Based on average match of £271 and top donation of £1000, does this mean that less than 100 runners benefited?

    Well done again on a successful campaign, anything that helps raise money for worthy causes certainly is great, but the paypal contribution to this day wasn’t ‘great’, that came from all the people who sponsored me and other runners throughout the day!

  2. 2 Antony (Virgin Money Giving) April 4, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Hi Jamie

    We really weren’t expecting quite so many large donations so early. There were lots of generous people having a late night it would seem.

    As you say, for everyone who promoted their fundraising page they’ve had a boost to their fundraising total ahead of the marathon, which will help lots of runners to reach their targets whether their donations were matched or not.

    Sorry you weren’t one of the lucky ones, but best of luck with your final marathon preparations, we’ll see you on race day hopefully!

    Virgin Money Giving

  3. 3 Keelie Cook April 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Thankyou so much to Virgin Money Giving and PayPal for this excellent campaign. Fundraising has been really hard for us this year as we ran the 2011 London Marathon and raised over £3000 and so trying to do the same again this year has been tough. We managed to raise £950 in cash donations through raffles, cake sales and a charity gala evening which we paid in at 1 minute past midnight on Good Friday. We werent holding our breath that our donation would be doubled – but it was and we are so grateful as we are now only £415 away from our target. Thankyou again for doubling our donation, its really taken the pressure off……now all we have to do is run 26.2 miles :) x

  4. 4 Antony (Virgin Money Giving) April 4, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Well done Keelie to get such a large donation matched!

    Best of luck for Marathon day, make sure you pop and see us at the Virgin London Marathon Expo in the week before, would be great to say hello!

    Virgin Money Giving

  5. 5 Keelie Cook April 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Thanks Antony, see you there!

  6. 6 London Runner April 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    2 minutes? Bit of a rubbish promotion to be honest.

  7. 7 Martin Wintermeyer April 10, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I’m not sure if paying in money raised at a gala was really within the spirit of the Great Friday and many charities, with supporters who stayed up to pay in smaller individual donations, would have lost out through this ‘corporate donation’. I Gift Aid would not apply in this case?

    I have raised 1500 off line and could have done the same but didn’t think this would have been fair – I guess Who Dares Wins!!

    It may be more appropriate next year if there is a maximum amount that people can donate to ensure that the footprint is wider?

    Best wishes to all for the Marathon and, more imortantly, the fundraising for our charities.

  8. 8 Martyn Coe April 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Hi, I would just like to say a HUGE thankyou to you on behalf of my son who was lucky enough to get a matched donation of £1000 for his chosen Charity TOMMY. This charity helps premature babies and mothers and is very dear to us as his daughter was born 6 weeks early and need intensive care when she was born. So running in this marathon is his way of giving something back to those that helped his family.
    Once again many thanks, Martyn

  9. 9 Charlotte Belcher April 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Parents waited up but didn’t want to do it bang on midnight in case the clock wasn’t quite right and it was classed as the wrong day so started the process at like 1 minute past which obviously ended up being just outside the 2 minutes. Great idea but massive shame – a 2 minute window didn’t really leave much chance – especially when some people got so much matched and were just lucky enough – congratulations to them but sorry for the rest of us!

  10. 10 May 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm


    I would like to say thank you to Paypal for the match funding. This was my first Marathon and I ran for the charity VICTA. It was an awesome day! Thanks again.


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