2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

Looking back at a record Virgin Money London Marathon

Our goal as the official fundraising partner of the Virgin Money London Marathon, has always been to help you raise more and to use our partnership to give your supporters an experience they won’t forget. In fact, when asked in our survey at Expo, more fundraisers said they would recommend Virgin Money Giving over JustGiving.

So with the Virgin Money London Marathon over for another year, we look back at a record £24.2 million raised on Virgin Money Giving alone, what we did for your supporters and what they told us in our Marathon survey.

The value of a page keeps on rising

This year we saw the average donation per page increase to over £43 and the value of fundraising pages increase by nearly 10%. The average amount raised by London Marathon fundraisers was £2,047 including Gift Aid – the highest ever on Virgin Money Giving and this is an average of both own place and bond places!

And as Marathon fever took over in the lead up to the race, runners and their supporters dug deep resulting in three consecutive £1 million donation days on Virgin Money Giving.

Inspiring and rewarding runners

We know from experience that runners love the little extras and unique experiences we add to their Marathon journey, only possible because we’re the official fundraising partner. This year we did even more.

New Balance Reward

Research has shown that the earlier runners set up their fundraising page, the more they raise for charity. In January of this year we partnered with official clothing sponsor New Balance, rewarding runners with 26.2% off running kit if they got going with at least 10 donations by the end of January. As a result we saw over 1,200 more runners start fundraising earlier for great causes, raising on average 65% more than those who set their page late in the day in April.


To keep runners motivated right up to race day, we reached out to them regularly on social media and sent regular newsletters to share fundraising tips, stories, and weekly #MarathonChallenge competitions.

Facebook interactions alone during race week
Views of #RunningLondon articles
#MarathonChallenge competition entries


Grandstand tickets for loved ones to cheer their runners on
Spot in the lead car to watch the elites race
Green Start upgrades to start in style

It really was the most fantastic weekend and my friend and I loved every minute.

The experience was amazing. My guests had a selfie with Mo Farah, so they were made up…without competitions like this one, the small charities wouldn’t get a look in.

Bowling at the Virgin Money Giving Challenge Zone at Expo

The Virgin Money Giving Challenge Zone

And in the final week we ramped up the FUN in fundraising by celebrating runners taking on the #MarathonChallenge at Expo. Over 41,000 registered runners and their supporters passed through our Virgin Money Giving Challenge Zone at the Virgin Money London Marathon Expo resulting in:

3,408 x £5
7,856 photos
93% rated
Donations being made to charities to winners of our fundraising challenges
Were taken – with the giant medal being the most popular
The Virgin Money Giving Challenge Zone as 4 or 5 out of 5 stars

2018 runner fundraising insight

As part of their fundraising experience on Virgin Money Giving we took the opportunity to survey runners. Our survey results are based on 898 responses.

Being not-for-profit matters

When Marathon runners were surveyed, only 2% of runners found it acceptable for online fundraising platforms to make a profit from collecting and processing charitable donations, while 85% were not comfortable with charities fundraising platforms charging up to 5% to collect Gift Aid on behalf of a charity. This highlights just how important Virgin Money Giving’s fundraising platform being not-for-profit is.

Asking for donations

We found that Virgin Money London Marathon fundraisers, look for help in a variety of places, but family and friends are still a key source of inspiration.

Over the Marathon period, fundraisers highlighted the importance of social media as part of their fundraising, with 53% saying it was one of the most effective ways to fundraise. However, runners indicated Facebook was the most effective network overall.


Virgin Money London Marathon

As one challenge ends another one begins

We’re already working on some exciting plans for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, so stay tuned! As the official fundraising partner we’ll be bringing more exclusive Marathon experiences to help you and your runners raise more.

We look forward to working with you again on another successful Virgin Money London Marathon.