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Virgin Money Giving sponsor Commonwealth Games Athlete Lynsey Sharp

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We’re thrilled to announce our sponsorship of Team GB 800m athlete Lynsey Sharp, who will compete at the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow.

Lynsey learned the importance of charity and charitable giving through personal experience. A close university friend of hers has a daughter who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Whilst partial treatment was available in the UK, Bella’s Benefit was set up to raise funds to allow the child to receive essential support and specialist treatment that could only be found in the ISA. Lynsey has been instrumental in promoting the cause through her own social media channels , and that is how she became acquainted with Virgin Money Giving.

We understand that all of our fundraisers strive hard to achieve their own goals just like Lynsey has to focus and keep herself motivated in her sport. It’s important to get the right work-life balance and Lynsey intends to use her own experience as an athlete to help inspire fundraisers to keep striving and meet their personal goals. So watch out for more news, events and blogs where Lynsey will give her own top tips.

Lynsey said: “Having seen first hand how important fundraising for a good cause can be, I hope I can do my little bit to help inspire Virgin Money Giving fundraisers to keep going to cross their own personal finish line, especially when it gets tough. It will mean so much for the charities involved.”

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to keep updated on Lynsey’s progress throughout the Commonwealth Games.

Virgin Money Giving sees value of online donations to charity increase by 26%

At Virgin Money Giving we’ve seen Online charitable donations through the website increase by 26% in value during 2011/2012

- Virgin Money Giving has seen a 26% increase in the value of online donations in 2011/2012
- The not-for-profit business has helped raise almost £150 million for charities since 2009
- Sport, Culture & Animal charities see biggest increase in online donations this year

Total donations were up from £53.5m to £67.4m. While the average donation was down slightly by 4%, the number of actual donations increased by 31%.1

This is in contrast to the recent Charities Aid Foundation report, which showed donations down by 20% with the public giving £1.7bn less to charity than the previous year.

“I am pleased to be able to announce an increase in online giving through Virgin Money Giving when other forms of giving are under strain. Whilst overall giving is down, according to the authoritative CAF study, I believe online giving has so much potential to help close the donations gap and help charities continue with essential front line services.” commented Joanna Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving.

“We support CAF’s campaign to ‘Back Britain’s Charities’ and, alongside that, would implore people to go online to give. Gift Aid penetration at Virgin Money Giving is 85% which compares to 39% for all giving – a drop of 3% according to the CAF UK Giving Report – and gives a big boost to overall donations. Online giving is a highly effective and efficient way to give to good causes.”

Virgin Money’s survey showed that running, and in particular marathon running, still tops the charts when it comes to fundraising activity, but it is clear that many people have caught the cycling bug as a result of British success in the Olympics and Tour de France. Cycling activities have seen a 33% increase in donations over the past 12 months.

The Olympic theme and influence is also borne out when looking at donations by charity type. Sport and Culture have seen the biggest increases in donations followed by Animals, Religion and Social Welfare. The biggest overall charity recipients by type on were Health, Children, Social Welfare, Education, Disability, International, Elderly, Homeless, Human Rights and the Environment in 2012.

A nationwide study has shown 4.13 million people have used online or mobile services in the past year and that is set to grow by 20% in the next year – equivalent to 5.9 million.2

1 All figures from, January to November 11th comparison of 2011 vs. 2012.  Donations include Gift Aid.

Research conducted between September 10th and 14th 2012 by Vision Critical among 2,008 adults aged 18+ who regularly give to charity. UK Giving 2011 estimates that 29.5 million people are regularly charity donors.

Entering into a Wonderland for ‘Read for RNIB Day’

A three day literary wonderland will descend on the banks of the River Thames from 18 October, where some of the nation’s best-loved authors will transport families to a magical world of stories to mark Read for RNIB Day.

Decorated with imagery from Alice in Wonderland, the area will be divided into five sections, each designed for families to get stuck in, have fun and learn about Read for RNIB Day.

Starting with ‘falling’ through the rabbit hole just like Alice, guests will be able to sit in the enchanting Mad Hatter’s story corner and listen to well-known children’s tales or visit the forest of talking mushrooms to hear quotes from familiar novels. 

Authors and celebrities including TV presenter and children’s author Jason Bradbury, children’s author Sally Gardner, author of the Monstrous Maud books A. B. Saddlewick and CBBC presenter Ben Hanlin will be joining activities throughout the three days.

Actor Michael Sheen OBE has recorded quotes from well known children’s books which will be played at the event. He said: “Reading and stories are such an important part of childhood; they’re what inspired me to write. It’s terrible to think that some people are denied this because they can’t see.

“I heard about RNIB’s work and wanted to get involved in Read for RNIB Day. We hope to inspire and encourage people to read and get involved in the campaign which raises funds for services such as RNIB’s National Library Service which offers books in alternative formats to blind and partially sighted people.”

RNIB’s literary wonderland is free. Open 18-20 October 2012, 9-6pm. Cathedral Square, Hibernia Wharf, London Bridge, London SE1 9DA. For more information visit or call 0845 345 0054.

Majority of Marathon-ers do it for Charity

And Marathon runners who set targets raised 58% more than those who didn’t

Over 80% of runners who took part in the Virgin London Marathon raised money for charity, new analysis from not-for-profit online giving site shows.

Analysis of fundraising at the 2011 event revealed that 86% of those who took part in the race raised money for charity. These ranged from club runners and marathon veterans, to first-timers.

And those who set charity targets raised on average 58% more than those who didn’t publish a fundraising target, the research shows.

Analysis of fundraising at the 2011 event indicates the average amount raised for good causes by those who set a fundraising target was £1,328 excluding Gift Aid, compared with £842 excluding Gift Aid by those who did not.

Using Gift Aid also helped. On Gift Aid was reclaimed on 88% of all donations, and meant that the average fundraiser accrued £1,436 including Gift Aid.

The figures are contained in a report produced for charities by Virgin Money Giving in conjunction with the Virgin London Marathon, aimed at helping to maximise donations for the 2012 event.

Fundraising figures for the 2011 Marathon show that Virgin is well on course to hit its target of helping to raise £250 million for good causes through the London Marathon by 2015. Runners in the 2011 race raised £51.8 million for charity.

Fundraisers who used contributed £13.8 million to charity compared with £8.3 million in its first year of operation. 10,231 people used the service in 2011 compared with 6,246 in 2010.

Jo Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving said: “Training for, and running a marathon is no easy feat and our research shows that the main driver for people taking part in the London Marathon is to raise funds for charity. It is great that so many runners see their involvement in the event as a way of encouraging people to donate to charity.

“Setting a target clearly pays off, even if fundraisers do not hit the target, as the 58% difference in average amounts raised demonstrates.

“Charities need all the money they can raise and it is great to see that the vast majority of runners, whatever their aim for the race, are committed to raising money for charity.

The report shows 2011Marathonrunners who set up their fundraising pages when their place was first confirmed in 2010 raised an average of £1,511, including Gift Aid compared with £1,374 for those who waited and started in 2011.

A total of 364,500 donations for theMarathonwere received through for the 2011 race – 70% higher than the 214,405 in 2010.

Through Virgin Money Giving, for every £10 donated, £12.15 will make its way to the good cause, assuming donors are eligible to sign up to give Gift Aid. Since its launch in October 2009 has raised close to £75 million.

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To view more of our press releases click here. or for further information visit our press centre.

Marathon Donations Race Ahead On Virgin Money Giving

And Gift Aid keeps on giving with £2 million extra

Charity donations from the 2011 Virgin London Marathon raced ahead by 67% to nearly £14 million at Virgin Money Giving, new figures show.

The not-for-profit online fundraising website saw total donations hit £13.88 million including Gift Aid from the 2011 Marathon compared with £8.3 million from the 2010 event, which was the first year of Virgin’s sponsorship.

Strong uptake of Gift Aid, which boosts every £1 donated to £1.25, meant that £2.2 million was added to donations.

86% of all donations on claimed the tax relief, compared with around 40% of all donations made through other means.

More than 350,000 people donated to charity through for the Marathon compared with 214,405 in 2010 and the average donation was virtually unchanged at £31.34, analysis shows.

The research also showed that those aged 50 years old and above typically benefited from higher average donations than those aged between 25-40. 65 year olds obtained the highest average donation, at just under £50, nearly £20 higher than the average donation.

Grant Bather, spokesman at Virgin Money Giving, said: “The Virgin London Marathon is the biggest annual fundraising event in the world and the contribution of online giving services is helping it to continue to grow.

“Online giving is the most efficient and cost effective way of donating to charity.”

The Virgin London Marathon on 17 April saw 35,000 runners taking part.

They ranged from the world’s best elite athletes to celebrities such as Dwight Yorke, Agyness Deyn and James Cracknell as well as fundraisers including Steve Chalke who broke the world record for the most donated, seeing his fundraising go through the £2 million barrier.

Other runners such as Danny Baker will have a permanent reminder of the day – he had a tattoo of the Virgin London Marathon logo etched onto his leg following the event.

A total of 13,031 fundraiser pages were set up on during the run-up to the Marathon compared with 7,189 in 2010 while the average amount raised per fundraiser was around £1,436, including Gift Aid., the not-for-profit online fundraising website from banking group Virgin Money, has achieved 86% uptake of Gift Aid through its service and has raised more than £50 million for good causes since its launch. has over 3,813 charities registered and 100,000 fundraisers taking part in a range of activities, from the Virgin London Marathon to a team of fundraisers driving a fire engine across the globe.

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To view more of our press releases click here. or for further information visit our press centre.

Marathon runners raise £1,411 on Virgin Money Giving

Data recently released by JustGiving suggested that more money is raised by London Marathon fundraisers through its site compared to the service provided by our not-for-profit online fundraising site Virgin Money Giving. This research used a small sample of two charities and 500 fundraisers. It stated that the average fundraiser raised £714 on Virgin Money Giving compared to £1,173 on JustGiving.

A comprehensive marathon performance report published by us showed that the average 2010 Virgin London Marathon fundraiser on Virgin Money Giving raised £1,411. This figure is based on the entire population of London Marathon fundraisers and charities using, not a sample.

Jo Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving, said: “Virgin Money Giving was launched in 2009 to grow the overall online fundraising market. When we launched, only 2% of all charitable donations were donated online and it is Virgin Money Giving’s aim to help increase this figure.

“Evidence has proved that online giving is the most beneficial form of giving – boosting Gift Aid as well as cutting costs, time and administration associated with offline donations.

“We are very proud of the work that we have done so far – and that through online giving more money is able to reach good causes.”

The recent Virgin Money Giving Index indicated that the average donation now stands at £34.93, across all fundraising activity – not just marathon donations.

Gift Aid penetration is currently at 87%.

Virgin Money Giving urges charities to go digital

Virgin Money Giving boosts online fundraising market by £20 million

Virgin Money Giving is celebrating its first birthday after boosting the online giving market by more than £21 million in its first 12 months.

And it is urging charities and fundraisers to fully embrace technology as the best way to maximise money for good causes in the face of the ongoing squeeze on charitable giving.

Online giving cuts administration costs, improves Gift Aid uptake and is more convenient and easier to use for charities and fundraisers, Virgin Money Giving says.

Its own not-for-profit model and 2% fee to cover costs means it was able to channel £1 million more to charities during its first year than if the cash had been donated through other online donation services.

But the biggest boost for charities was in the increased take-up of Gift Aid through online services – a key challenge outlined by a report from leading think tank ResPublica which warned that charities were missing out on Gift Aid on donations of under £5.

More than 82% of donations of less than £5 through Virgin Money Giving were boosted by Gift Aid – ResPublica says 80% of charities fail to chase up Gift Aid on donations of less than £5. Total Gift Aid uptake through Virgin Money Giving is 87% compared with just 40% through other fundraising methods according to the Charities Aid Foundation. As a result of Gift Aid on donations, the £20 million raised on Virgin Money Giving has been boosted to £25 million.

Holly Branson, patron of Virgin Money Giving, said: “Charities and fundraisers are having to work extra hard to raise money which makes it even more important that costs are kept to a minimum.

“I am pleased that Virgin Money Giving has been able to increase the money going to good causes in its first year but there is a lot more to do.”

For every £10 donated on Virgin Money Giving £12.47 makes its way to charity assuming Gift Aid donors are UK taxpayers.

Virgin Money Giving has over 2,400 charities registered and 40,000 fundraisers taking part in a range of activities, from the Virgin London Marathon to a team of fundraisers driving a fire engine across the globe.

Jo Barnett, executive director at Virgin Money Giving, said: “Since launch we have helped charities raise £25 million which is a fantastic achievement. With continued uncertainty around the economic situation, charities need to make the most of every single donation.

“Having been in the market for a year it is great that we have been able to drive more fundraisers and donors online – enabling charities to make the most of donations and the added Gift Aid.”

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