Celebrating fundraising heroes on Giving Tuesday

A marathon runner runs towards the camera with arms raised
Matt Thomas
by Jo Barnett
1 December 2020

Today is Giving Tuesday, and although charities have faced a tough year with reduced fundraising, Jo Barnett, executive director of Virgin Money Giving, is still feeling positive. She shares why young people are giving her hope this year...

2020 has been a turbulent year for UK charities. With cancelled events, closed shops and volunteers shielding due to the coronavirus, charities (including some of the most well-known) have seen their incomes fall by 24%.

At the same time, many charities are seeing an increase in demand for their services. Whether it’s food banks, mental health help or bereavement support, COVID-19 has caused the need for these services to go up. Charities are experiencing a crunch between their income and the level of support they are being asked to deliver.

But, there is some hope out there in the form of young people who are stepping up to do their bit. During 2020 we’ve seen young people raising money for their favourite charities in huge numbers. 

Take the Run For Heroes campaign as an example. Olivia Strong set up the campaign, challenging people to run 5K, donate £5 and challenge five friends to do the same. 1.5 million people took part – 70% of them were young people – and together they raised £7 million for charity.

But Olivia’s not the only one who’s done something amazing for charity this year. We’ve been hugely inspired by the young people who have taken on sponsored walks, runs, bike rides, bake sales and silences. Everyone who has set up a fundraising campaign on Virgin Money Giving and done their bit to support a charity during a tough year is a hero to us.

A woman with pink hair has it shaved off for charity
Virgin Money Giving

And the year’s not over yet. There’s still plenty of time to set up a campaign and raise some much-needed funds for your favourite charity. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are resources on the Virgin Money Giving website to help you get started – there’s even a ready-made virtual quiz pack that you can download!

If you’d rather raise money in a different way, Virgin Money Giving has teamed up with Ziffit to turn unwanted books, DVDs and video games into donations for your favourite charities. If you’re planning a clearout before Santa arrives, simply download the Ziffit app and get scanning to start raising money for charity.

And if you’re shopping online this Christmas, you can use the Kindred app to look for deals from all your favourite retailers – ASOS, Waterstones, Levi’s and more – and nominate a charity to benefit from any cashback payments.

Virgin Red, the new Virgin rewards club, is also making it easier to donate to charities. Users can turn their Virgin Points into donations for charities such as the Edinburgh Food Project and the National Autistic Society. At the moment it’s invitation-only, but look out for Virgin Red launching next year and get ready to nominate the charities and community groups you’d like to see on the app.

Now, more than ever, charities need our support. So how will you bring some cheer this Christmas and raise money for your favourite charity?