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How Much Do You Need To Raise To Run The London Marathon?

If you managed to obtain a place in the London Marathon via a ballot entry, then there is no set amount that you’ll have to raise to run the marathon.

However, most people will try to raise as much money as possible for their favorite charity when they’re running the marathon.


Charities do a Golden Bond Scheme where they buy guaranteed entry places for around £300 each which is then offered to runners who want to run for a particular charity or to people who missed out on the ballot entry.

However, to get one of these places at a charity, you must commit to raising a certain amount when you agree to take the place.

When you apply for the London Marathon your name may be put forth for both the ballot and the charity entry, so you may be able to obtain a charity place that way.

Another way to run for a certain charity is by getting in direct contact with them and expressing your desire to run for them in the marathon to raise money. 

Some charities will require you to raise a minimum amount before running the marathon and some charities will only have runners who have a close personal connection to the charity to run and raise money for them. 

The minimum amount to raise to be able to run for charities is a four-figure sum and there is great importance to be able to raise the minimum amount otherwise they may not let you run or you’ll have to make up the remaining amount of money from your own pocket. 

Below is the average minimum amount of money that needs to be raised across various charities:

  • Macmillan - £2,500
  • Mind - £2,000
  • Mencap - £2,000
  • Great Ormond Street - £2,000
  • St John’s Ambulance - £1,900

The biggest charities in the UK will require some of the largest minimum sponsorships as places on their teams are in demand and they want people to be able to raise as much money as possible.

Charities also need to cover the costs of securing these entry places by the Golden and Silver Bond Scheme each year and also be able to raise money for the charity on top of that.

London Marathon

If you’re unsure on how much the minimum amount a charity requires you to raise to be able to run for them, then we’d recommend communicating with them directly or visiting their websites as they should have a vast amount of information available. 

Follow this link for a list of some of the charities that participate in the London Marathon.

How much do charities pay for London Marathon places?

There are around 15,000 spaces for charity runners at the London Marathon and there is a Golden Bond Scheme where charities can buy places for £370 per entry every year.

There is also a Silver Bond Scheme which guarantees one entry place every five years. Charities who are unsuccessful when entering the Golden Bond Scheme one year will be given preference but the next time they apply for the following year. 

Due to the expense of obtaining these hard to come by entries at the London Marathon, charities will require anyone who wants to run for them to raise a fairly large amount in sponsorship before running the marathon. 

What happens if you don't raise enough money for the London Marathon?

If you don’t manage to raise the minimum amount of money required by the charity for the London Marathon then you will be liable to make up the remaining funds for you to run.

Charities will often set a deadline of which you should have raised the minimum sponsorship by which will be a considerable time before the date of the marathon.

The sponsorship page will remain open for the duration of the marathon and after so people can continue to donate to the charity through your page. 

However, some charities are more lenient and will allow you several months after you’ve run the marathon to reach or exceed your minimum sponsorship amount.

A charity will rarely prevent you from running, but very in-demand charities may require you to withdraw to allow someone who can raise the minimum sponsorship funds to take your place. 

There are some circumstances where charities will use the credit card details that you entered when you signed up for your place to be charged to deliver the remaining sponsorship funds if you were unsuccessful at raising the full amount.

Charities will offer lots of support and advice to those who are struggling to obtain sponsorships for the marathon, so if you are worried about or struggling to find people who will donate to your charity of choice then get in touch with the charity and they’ll be able to advise you of what to do.

You don’t just have to use running the London Marathon as a draw in for sponsorships for your charity, you can also do other fundraising activities to help reach your minimum fundraising goal. 

One easy way to obtain sponsorships is by oversharing your fundraising page all across your various social media platforms frequently and get your friends and family to share it so it can reach as many people as possible.

Even a donation of £5 from a friend of a friend can go a long way.  

You could even reach out to people personally via email or private messages to explain the importance of the charity, what it means to you and why their donation will be so appreciated.

Some people struggle to get donations because they have no personal connection to the charity i.e they/a family member/a close friend has not been affected by a cause that the charity helps.

If people can see that the charity is close to your heart and has had a personal impact on your life then they’ll be more inclined to donate.

What are the chances of getting into the London Marathon?

As the years go on, it becomes progressively more difficult to acquire a place in the London Marathon. There are around 40,000 running spots available each year and some of those are ballot entries whilst some are charity entries.

The ballot is chosen at complete random so there is no other way to boost your chances of getting a place this way.

The best way to guarantee a place would be to go through a charity that is close to your heart instead of changing a spot by the ballot entry. 

However, other factors will improve your chances of getting a running place in the marathon, for example, there is a category called Good For Age which provides entries for certain age groups who have the fastest qualifying times. 

Can you defer the London Marathon?

Yes, if you have injuries or personal circumstances that prevent you from running the marathon then you may be able to defer your entry to a later year. 

How much is the entry fee for the London Marathon?

The entry fee for regular ballot entries is £49, whereas entry fees for charity runners can vary from £50 to over £100. 

How much does it cost to run in the London Marathon?

For a regular runner, it will cost £49 to run the London Marathon. This figure is excluding any training, transport, or accommodation costs you’ll need to pay to be able to go and run the marathon. 


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