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Virgin Money Giving is up and ’Running with Richard’


Sir Richard Branson today launched Virgin Money’s revolutionary not-for-profit online fund-raising service Virgin Money Giving with a unique nationwide competition aimed at delivering a massive boost for charity.

The Virgin Group chairman has announced he will run the 2010 Virgin London Marathon - and is looking for a running partner to help him deliver Virgin Money’s ambition of helping all runners raise £1/4 billion over five years for charities.

Entrants need to tell Sir Richard what they will do with the fundraising chance of a lifetime, by submitting either 50 words or a 30 second video clip at

Virgin Money Giving, which is now open to all fundraisers for all charity events, will provide a further boost for charities by operating as a not-for-profit business unlike other online fundraising services.

As a not-for-profit business, charities and donors can be confident Virgin Money Giving has the right balance between charging the lowest fees possible while investing in the high-tech systems that will ensure the service’s security and stability when processing donations.

At a launch beside Tower Bridge, an icon of the London Marathon course, Sir Richard joined over 200 charity runners to begin his training programme with a massed “running man” dance.

They were accompanied by leading musician and beat boxer Beardyman & former UK DMC champion JFB, who created a “Run with Richard” anthem live at the event. The ’Running Man’ dance was choreographed by Andy Instone from Urban Strides.

For those who don’t want to run with Richard but would rather dance to show their support, Virgin Money is challenging people to upload their own “running man” dance videos. For every video uploaded to, the company will donate £5 to Sir Richard’s marathon sponsorship up to a maximum of £10,000. Sir Richard is raising money for the Virgin Unite Foundation.

Sir Richard Branson said: "Virgin Money Giving is a company I am very proud of and I don’t think there’s a better way of showing my commitment than to undertake the 26.2 miles myself.

"I look forward to seeing the entrants for the Run with Richard competition and to running the Marathon with the winner. We won’t set the best times on the day but we want to raise as much money as we can. I’m also eager to see whether anyone can better my performance of the running man dance!

“I believe that company profits can be used to do something good for society at large and that’s exactly what Virgin Money has done in creating Virgin Money Giving. As a not-for-profit business, we believe more money will go directly where it’s needed most. Fundraisers give their all for the causes close to their hearts and only the charities should benefit from their hard work.”

Virgin Money Giving will charge charities the minimum fees needed to cover the running costs of the site. Any money left over after covering operating costs will go towards reducing fees further or improving services for fundraisers and charities.

Commenting on the launch of Virgin Money Giving, Scott Jacobson, Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Communications at St John Ambulance, said: “Online giving websites have revolutionised the way people fundraise. They make it much easier for fundraisers, like marathon runners, to collect donations from friends, family and colleagues. Virgin Money Giving has gone the extra mile by being not-for-profit, meaning that charities take home more of the funds raised, helping us move closer to our charitable aims.”

Fundraisers can personalise their pages, send out email alerts and manage the different events they might be taking part in. Users will be able to include their own content, photos and links to their page and will be able to customise messages for their supporters. Fundraisers will also be able to link their page to social networking sites.

To enter the Run with Richard competition go to Entrants need to say in 50 words or less why they want to run with Sir Richard and their chosen charity. is the official sponsorship website of the Virgin London Marathon, Royal Parks Half Marathon and Sony ’Run to the Beat’.


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