About London Marathon Events
London Marathon Events (LME), together with its parent charity, the London Marathon Foundation, works to inspire, champion and increase activity in all ages, abilities and demographics.
LME is a world-leading mass participation events organiser and every year more than 500,000 people take part in its mass or virtual events, primarily in running, cycling and swimming. Its event portfolio includes the TCS London Marathon, Ford RideLondon, the Vitality London 10,000, The Big Half and Swim Serpentine.
Participants in LME’s events have raised more than £1.2 billion for charities since 1981 and the TCS London Marathon is the world’s biggest annual one day fundraising event. LME also delivers extensive outreach programmes to schools and communities to inspire activity beyond its events.
Finding a new official online fundraising partner
With LME’s previous online fundraising partner, Virgin Money Giving leaving the market in November 2021, the event organiser was left looking for a replacement platform. So while time was of the essence, LME was also keen to undertake a thorough RFP process and find a new online fundraising partner that aligned with its values, put charities first and created a seamless fundraising experience.
After a rigorous process, LME chose Enthuse as the official online fundraising partner for its entire events portfolio from 2022 until 2024, with an optional extension period until the end of 2025, which has already been confirmed due to the success of the partnership to date.
Bringing a charity-first approach to London Marathon Events
LME was keen to work with Enthuse so it could support each event with an official branded fundraising platform that provides the best experience for charities, event participants and donors.
From day one, it was clear LME valued Enthuse’s charity-first approach to fundraising, which was a new and innovative approach. Traditionally, mass event fundraising had been heavily focused on the participant, but the Enthuse approach had the best interest of the charity sector at heart. LME wanted people to feel as though their fundraising page belonged to their cause as well as a world-leading event organiser. Having an official page for the event with the charity logo, brand colours and story pre-loaded would help achieve that and build better brand awareness for the chosen cause. And importantly, it would enable charities to build better relationships with their donors long term.
Ease of use was also an important consideration. LME has a portfolio of well-established, successful fundraising events in running, cycling and swimming. The event organiser wanted to make fundraising easy for charities and their supporters.
Training for an event is difficult, LME wanted the fundraising process to be easy.
With Enthuse, fundraising page creation is integrated with the event registration process. This means supporters are ready to raise money from the get-go. The importance of this is highlighted by the Enthuse Mass Events Report, where 44% of experienced fundraisers identified starting fundraising right away as a key tip for maximising mass event donations.
The Enthuse-powered fundraising pages also have an ‘Updates’ section to help participants keep supporters informed on their progress. This could be pictures, a written update, a live stream or even a run or cycle from their Strava account to try and inspire some more donations. The fundraising page gives the participant the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ directly underneath a donation as well. Fundraisers that do this raise 48% more on average.
What’s more, the partnership means charities have full access to real-time fundraising and donations data, insights and analytics for their supporters participating in any LME event via a centralised account.
Enthuse and LME want the charity brand to shine.
A series of new innovative features will give charities the ability to capture any custom data they require. The availability of match giving funds will also be shown.
It’s this emphasis on constantly improving the user experience and the energy and spirit of the team that stood out to LME in the pitch phase.
Throughout the pitch process, Enthuse’s passion for putting charities at the centre of the fundraising experience was clear to see. They wanted the brand of good causes to be put first, not their own.Hugh Brasher – Events Director, London Marathon Events
A charity’s view
Dementia UK’s experience
When asked about using Enthuse for its 2023 TCS London Marathon fundraising, Dementia UK said it was able to get to grips with the platform very quickly and felt it was extremely user friendly for supporters too. The automatic fundraising page creation was key to making life easy for participants and it made the stewardship programme easier for the charity as well. So much so that the charity has now upgraded to the Enthuse Fundraising and Events solution for its wider digital fundraising efforts.
Because the platform was simple to use, the average charity place member ended up raising well over the £2,500 minimum sponsorship target. The charity also had plenty of success with participants who initially got a place via the ballot rather than through the charity, raising £1,600 on average.
The charity profile page with team leaderboard was another helpful addition to the fundraising process. This helped reporting up to and after the event, and also meant Dementia UK always had the latest fundraiser totals to share whether that was at an event or internally.
Dementia UK and its fundraisers had all the tools they needed to do something special.
Since the start of the partnership in 2022, Enthuse has brought a charity-first approach to some of the world’s biggest and most famous mass participation events and has become the only player in the digital fundraising space to offer a dedicated platform for event organisers.
Having a branded platform that’s easy for charities, fundraisers and supporters to use is paramount to helping good causes raise as much as possible – and Dementia UK is a great example of how that can be done. The charity raised £230,404 on Enthuse for the 2023 TCS London Marathon.
LME has seen great progress from Enthuse in its first year, demonstrated by the 87% increase in donors using the official TCS London Marathon fundraising platform from 2022 to 2023. This resulted in £19m being raised for good causes through Enthuse for the 2023 TCS London Marathon; the busiest hour for donations coming between 8:00 – 9:00am, with £1.1m raised on the busiest day.
Additionally, the official TCS London Marathon app allowed people to donate to participants on event day, exclusively through the official fundraising platform. In 2023 this raised £184,000 for good causes, a 40% increase from 2022.
The number of official fundraising pages activated also saw a 56% rise from 2022 to 2023. Enthuse is committed to aiding this growth with useful content and advice for charities, hosting an annual Mass Events conference and providing the Mass Events insights report.
The partnership between LME and Enthuse continues to go from strength to strength, with 2024 event performance already tracking well ahead of 2023.
Since working with LME, Enthuse has gone on to win an additional 6 mass event partnerships including the Great Run Series. What’s more, 242 new charities have signed up across Enthuse’s core subscription solutions after having success with the official fundraising platform.
We’re really pleased that Enthuse has been able to hit the ground running as the official online fundraising partner. We’re confident the relationship will continue to grow over the coming years, as we both strive to help charities raise as much as possible through our events.Hugh Brasher – Events Director, London Marathon Events