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Mass runners hug at the finish line after completing The 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon

Opportunities for charities

New ways for charities to engage with the TCS London Marathon

In January 2021 we announced a series of new initiatives giving charities the opportunity to engage with the TCS London Marathon – the world's biggest one-day annual fundraising event.

These initiatives include our new Charity Bond scheme, the Charity Advertising Partnership Programme and the existing Charity Ballot – and you can find out more about each of them below.


1.
New Charity Bond scheme

In 2019, we started our first detailed review of our Golden Bond, Silver Bond, Charity Ballot and One Year Charity Bond schemes. The results of this review mean that, in future, approximately 2,500 charities will engage directly with the TCS London Marathon every year (up from 1,500).

Our review followed an extensive consultation with charities to get their views on how we could improve the service we offer. More than 80 per cent of charities that responded to a survey agreed or strongly agreed that the allocation of bonds should be reviewed – so that's what we did! The changes to the Charity Bond scheme are explained below.

    • From the 2026 London Marathon onwards, charities that currently hold Golden Bonds will retain 80 per cent of those places (four out of the five places in each Golden Bond) and the Golden Bonds will be held for four years rather than the current five.
    • From 2024, any charity that does not currently hold a Golden Bond will be able to apply for two-year charity places in a new ballot.
    • From 2026, any charity that does not currently hold a Golden Bond will be able to apply for four-year charity places in a new ballot.
    • From 2026, there will be no One Year Charity Bonds, as these will also be reduced to 80 per cent of current levels and become Golden Bonds (on a four-year term).
    • The current Silver Bond scheme (one place every five years) will end in 2025. Charities will be able to apply for the new two-year charity places, so long as they do not hold a Silver Bond place for 2024 or 2025.
    • The Charity Ballot (500 one-year places) will continue and will be open to any charity that does not hold any guaranteed charity places.
    • There will be a further review of the system at the end of 2029, with any changes then implemented from 2034.
    • Due to challenge of reallocating places from the cancelled mass 2020 London Marathon into the 2021, 2022 and 2023 events, there will be no One Year Charity Bonds available for the 2022 London Marathon – but, all existing One Year Charity Bond holders will be able to renew their One Year Charity Bonds in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

If you'd like to find out more about the new Charity Bond scheme, you can register your interest now by completing the form below.

2. Charity Advertising Partnership Programme

In another first, we have also taken our Charity Advertising Partnership Programme in-house, which gives us the opportunity to tailor it even more closely to the needs of our charity partners.

This means that our new programme is simpler and better value than ever before. Our new and improved TCS London Marathon website is a hugely powerful marketing tool featuring a range of advertising options and support for participants, including marathon-specific training advice from coach Martin Yelling and exclusive opportunities for our charity partners to recruit ballot runners. We also offer a number of guaranteed charity places to maximise fundraising at the event, build awareness and create a wider pool of supporters.

The Charity Advertising Partnership Programme for the 2022 TCS London Marathon opened in early February, and we offered existing advertising charity partners a priority window to join. We also gave new charities the chance to enter the programme for the 2022 and 2023 TCS London Marathons.

3. Charity Ballot

The TCS London Marathon Charity Ballot will not take place in 2022 because of a unique combination of factors. The number of charity places rolled over from the cancelled 2020 mass event and the number of unused charity entries in 2021 (only 59 per cent were used), means we need to reduce the number of entries for the 2022 and 2023 TCS London Marathons.

Runner at 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon

About the TCS London Marathon Charity Ballot

The Charity Ballot is a unique opportunity for UK-registered charities to secure a much-coveted entry into the TCS London Marathon. We are planning to hold the Charity Ballot again in 2023, so please click below to register your charity's interest – we'll then be in touch closer to the time.