How MOB events are changing the event fundraising landscape

MOB Events

JustGiving’s head of insight, Elizabeth Kessick, and Breast Cancer Care’s sporting and challenge events manager, Tom Whitehead, presented yesterday at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention on the Rise of Mob events – how experience led events have changed the fundraising landscape. 

There’s a new wave of charity supporters looking to have a party-like experience while raising some money. They may be participating in what we cheekily call a ‘MOB’ (Mud, Obstacles and Beer) event like Tough Mudder, or taking part in an experiential event, like the Electric Run, which combines running with a party atmosphere.

MOB and experiential events are on the rise

Both categories of event have increased by over 200% on JustGiving in the past two years, and it doesn’t look like they will be slowing down any time soon.

What’s different about these events?

  • They are hyper-visual, offering participants many opportunities to snap photos and selfies along the way
  • They often introduce a new twist on existing challenges: such as taking place at night or running to music
  • These events are ‘born social’ – created when social media was already part of everyday life, so marketing, engagement and sharing via social channels are vital
  • People often like to participate in these events as part of a team who share the experience (and the photos!)

Who’s participating? *

  • Young people are hooked on these events – 69% of MOB participants and 71% of experiential eventers are 35 and under
  • More men (62%) than women (38%) participate in MOB events, however experiential events are extremely popular with women (86% of participants)
  • These participants are very social-media savvy – almost all of them are on Facebook, with a good number also using WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat

What charities need to know:

  • Both MOB and experiential events represent opportunities to enhance your events mix and grow your event fundraising outside of the traditional channels
  • Getting involved with these events is a great way of getting your charity in front of a wider audience – especially young people and first time supporters

*data from a recent JustGiving survey to event participants

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Elizabeth helped transform JustGiving from a tiny start-up in 2001 into becoming the world's largest online fundraising community. As head of insight she’s responsible for understanding the behaviour and needs of JustGiving’s 13 million + users.