Crunch 2011 Summit – Marathon HQ

Yesterday I was the guest speaker for Crunch – the Charity Runners Clearing House, who held their annual Summit among the medals and history at Marathon House “Race HQ” in Southwark, London.

I gave a preso to some 36 Charity CEOs and Fundraisers on social media alongside one from Vince O’Donovan from VirginMoneyGiving and a few words from Dave Bedford and his soon to be replacement Hugh Brasher.  Concerned though I was in case Dave mistook my burgeoning “Mo” for a mickey-taking gesture, it was a very sociable day out and a good learning environment for us all.

For over a decade former Runners World Publisher and Crunch founder Andy Etchells has helped Charities fill slow-moving Marathon Gold Bond places.  Now with some 36 charities on the books he handles around 1,000 London Marathon places and helps them to raise over £1.5m in Marathon fundraising.  As Dave Bedford said, his work represents an invaluable part of the marathon ecosystem (I think his actual words were a bloody big help).

Talking to some of the small charities that Crunch looks after it struck me how much they rely on London Marathon fundrasing to stay afloat.  When pledges are not met it really hurts their cashflow as Bond places are pricey (not pricey enough says Dave) and pledges are not rising in line with costs.

Virgin’s Vince told us that they handled £13.8m of marathon money last year – a massive leap in share taken from other giving intermediaries with online donations now over 60% of funds raised and a huge 24% coming from Facebook clickthroughs.  Text giving (offered by certain other sites) while attractive as an idea actually drives down donation levels (the max is only £10 by text) so Virgin are launching a mobile giving site instead so watch that space.

Charities are feeling the pinch these days like the rest of us but without funds raised from running events and the support of government tax relief (Giftaid) many would be unable to do the excellent work they do.  Dig deep people and run for money when you can.

Video to follow.


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