Macmil­lan Can­cer Sup­port: the World’s Biggest Cof­fee Morning

Exhibited by
Rachel Beer.
June 18, 2012
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

When a group of Macmillan supporters got together for a coffee morning to raise money for a favourite cause did they have any idea what they were starting? Primarily supporter-led, as the illustrations show, it is a terrific example of collaboration between a charity, its supporters and corporate partners. Congratulations to the Macmillan supporters in Kent.

Creator / originator

Macmillan Cancer Support.

Summary / objectives

A record-breaking mass participation fundraising event.


The World’s Biggest Coffee was started in Kent by the local Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising committee back in 1990. The campaign was rolled out nationally the next year through local committee relationships. It has been running annually, and growing, ever since and is now in its twenty-second year.

Special characteristics

Volunteer-led, record-breaking, longevity.

Influence / impact

The Coffee Morning has inspired a huge range of lookalike charity tea, coffee and cake events, attempting to emulate its success.


Over 500,000 people have registered to host a Coffee Morning to date.

Since the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning began it has raised £80 million from supporter-led fundraising, with additional fundraising and financial support provided by corporate partners that have both sponsored the event and taken part themselves over the years.

In 2011, there were 52,292 registered hosts, over 10,000 of these were new supporters and 48 per cent of the people that had registered to hold a Coffee Morning in 2010 registered to hold one again.


The Macmillan Coffee Morning is effective for supporter acquisition, is an excellent income generator and it builds brand awareness.

It is one of the longest-running charity campaigns in existence, which is testament to the ongoing commitment, focus and investment from the charity. This illustrates the enormous gains that are possible when campaigns are sustained and developed long-term.

SOFII’s I Wish I’d Thought Of That 2012 – Rachel Beer presents Macmillan Cancer Support.

View original image
Thanks to Rachel Beer for letting us have these illustrations which show so vividly how Macmillan’s supporters have been the essence of this campaign.
They look as if they’re having fun.