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Top UK charity fundraising events revealed

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Race For Life takes top spot ahead of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and Movember

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life was the top fundraising event in the UK last year.

The event which has been run for over 20 years raised a whopping £51.5 million, twice as much as the second biggest earner – Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee morning.

The top 25 fundraising events in the UK in 2014 raised a combined total of £154m – an increase of £21m from last year – figures from events company Massive show.

Making up the top five are the Movember Foundation’s moustache growing Movember fundraiser which raised £11m, Walk the Walk raised £8,168,992 from its Moonwalk events and Cancer Research UK made £8m from the No Makeup Selfie phenomenon.

(See the full top 10 here)

Rachel Carr, Cancer Research UK’s head of event marketing and sponsorship, said one of the reasons Race for Life is so successful is because it has continued to grow but remained true to its priniciples – that is that women of all shapes and sizes, ages and levels of fitness can take part.

2014 may be the year that mass participation fundraising changed forever with supporters generating all the big new ideas

“Race for Life started as one 5k event in 1994 at Battersea Park, London, with 680 participants," she said.

"Since then an incredible 7.7 million participants across the UK have raised over £691 million for our research to help beat 200 different types of cancer.

“Race for Life has remained women-only and non-competitive but now includes 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and marathon events.

"We’ve been overwhelmed by the commitment women in Scotland have shown to the cause and the way they wholeheartedly embraced our new Pretty Muddy event in June. Thanks to this, Pretty Muddy will return to Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, on 19 September, so that women who missed out first time round can have the opportunity to take part."

Of the top 25 campaigns in 2014, three of them were new viral campaigns.

The ice bucket challenge made the list for both MND Associaton and Macmillan Cancer Support, and No Make Up Selfie ­– which raised money for Cancer Research UK, accounted for around 12% of all money raised last year.

Of the 25 events six of them raised less cash than the previous year. Movember, which raises money for Prostate Cancer UK among other charities, dropped nearly 50%.

Health charities continue to have a monopoly on the big fundraising campaigns though with only four of the top 25 events not raising cash for health causes.

Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day was the highest earning non health fundraising event.

It raised £4.3m, which was an increase of 235% from last year making it the fastest growing event of the top 25.

A spokesperson for Massive, which specialises in strategy, innovation and delivery for mass participation events, said: “2014 may be the year that mass participation fundraising changed forever with supporters generating all the big new ideas, but look beyond the headlines and there’s strong growth for some of our more traditional activities.

“Whilst viral campaigns captured the headlines, Memory Walk, Relay for Life and Pink Ribbon Walk showed the power of a good strategy delivered well to drive income growth.

"All three walking programmes averaged over 50% growth in 2014.”

Find out if your charity or favourite cause made the top 10 by viewing our handy list.