Charity running up by a third as more men join the boom – research

13 April 2014

Nearly seven million Britons have raised money for charity through running in the last 12 months, according to a survey released today.

This is a 36% rise since the previous year, as two million more people join the continuing boom for fun runs. Each runner is also raising £78 more than in 2012/13, the average increasing to £358.

The figures, from a survey conducted for CAF, which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector, also found that men are moving ahead when it comes to running for charity, a trend which could account for the overall rise.

Whilst 52% of runners are men, just 48% of runners are women. This is a reversal of last year’s results, where 44% of runners were men and 56% were women.

There has been a surge in the number of men taking part in fun runs this year, with 16% saying they have taken part in one previously, compared to just 10% last year. This year, men raised on average £396 compared to women raising an average of £319.

The results come in time for this year’s London Marathon hits the streets of the capital, which has raised over £600 million for good causes since the race began in 1981.

The survey found:

  • 4.9m people have raised money for charity through running in the year ending April 2013, growing to 6.8m in the year to April 2014
  • The number of people claiming to have raised money through running for charity in their lifetime jumped up by five percentage points – from 14% to 19%
  • The average age of a runner is 42
  • Medical research is the most popular cause overall (48%), followed by Hospitals and hospices (20%) and then Children and Young people (16%).

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many people out there willing to push themselves to the limit and go the extra mile for the causes they care about.

“Charities are clearly getting better at making running events attractive to men, a space which has previously been dominated by ‘pink’ events like Race for Life.

“With issues of male health more in the public eye and higher endurance events such as Tough Mudder gaining popularity, it’s unsurprising that more men are stepping up to the mark and getting involved.

“Sponsorship plays such an important part for all UK charities – not just in terms of the money it brings in, but as a platform to raise awareness about the great work being done by groups across the UK – large and small.”

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