Virgin Money Giving to close down

Virgin Money will close its charitable giving arm, Virgin Money Giving, in a cost-cutting move.

The company reportedly plans to announce next week that it has decided to close the charitable arm 12 years after it was set up to coincide with the advent of its sponsorship of the London Marathon.

Sources said to Sky News that Virgin Money executives had decided the continued operation of the fundraising platform was no longer sustainable because it was costing the bank millions of pounds each year to operate.

The move will affect roughly 50 jobs, most of which are based in Norwich, and those impacted will be consulted on potential openings elsewhere in the group, according to an insider.

The charitable arm's closure will not take place until the end of November, meaning that London Marathon-runners' fundraising campaigns on the giving site will continue as planned this year.

Although the giving platform was originally established to help marathon-runners raise money for good causes, it has become more widely used by thousands of people during its 12-year existence.

In total, roughly £900m is understood to have been raised for charities in that time.

Commenting on the announcement, Enthuse CEO Chester Mojay-Sinclare said: "It’s always a shame to see businesses leave the sector, especially for the company’s customers and staff in this challenging period - a time when the sector needs more competition and independent players to drive innovation.

"Household brands and multinationals have helped support the early adoption of digital fundraising in our sector, but as technology has developed, alternative approaches have emerged that can help drive the next generation of digital fundraising."

Last year, the Virgin Money Giving London Marathon was rescheduled as an elite-only event with fundraising participants able to take part in their local area, to adhere to social distancing. This rescheduled event raised over £36m.

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