Focus on a Funder: The Big Give and match funding

18 Nov 2021 Jocelyn Horton    Last updated: 23 Nov 2021

The Big Give is the UK's number 1 match funding platform specialising in connecting charities, philanthropists and the public to make a greater impact through the power of match funding.

The Big Give was set up in 2007 by Sir Alec Reed to enable philanthropists to better support charities. Sir Alec provided £1 million of match funding for the first ever Christmas Challenge in 2008 - this lasted just 45 minutes. Since that first campaign over £160 million has been raised through match funding on the Big Give website. Today the Big Give is the leading match funding platform in the UK.

Christmas Challenge

The Big Give runs the UK’s biggest digital match funding campaign, the Christmas Challenge. For seven days, it offers supporters of participating charities the opportunity to have their donation doubled. Any charity registered in the UK including Northern Ireland with an income of at least £25k can apply to take part in the Christmas Challenge. There will be 924 charities taking part in 2021.

In 2020, over £20 million was raised across 764 charities. Over 90% of charities that participated in last year’s campaign received donations from a completely new supporter and the average donation during the campaign was £134. This tallies with the Big Give’s study into match funding which showed that donors are not only more likely to give when match funding is available, they are also more likely to give more.

Green Match Fund

The Christmas Challenge isn’t the only match funding campaign the Big Give runs, it also launched its first ever environmentally focussed match funding campaign in 2021, the Green Match Fund, with the launch day coinciding with Earth Day. The campaign was a huge success, raising £1.8m for 112 charities. Applications for the 2022 edition of the campaign will open on Monday 10th January 2022 and close on Friday 25th February.

Webinar: To help you get involved in this funding campaign, the Big Give will be hosting a webinar Introduction to the Big Give | NICVA - 19 January 2022 at 10:30am to 11:30am. The session is suitable for registered charities interested in learning more about developing effective and impactful matched-fundraising campaigns via the Big Give online platform. Registration is now open.

Run your own Match Fund

The Big Give is keen to make match funding a part of charities’ fundraising strategy and charities can now set up and run their own match funding campaigns on the Big Give website at any time of the year, if they can provide their own match funds.

With the financial year end approaching, major donors may be considering their giving strategy. This provides an opportune time to approach them about using their gift as match funding to incentivise other supporters to give.

If you are interested in running a match funding campaign on the Big Give website, it is easy to set up and launch:

Log in / Sign up to your account (registration is absolutely free)

  • Click on My Campaigns
  • Click on Start a new campaign
  • Click on Create a match funding campaign
  • Fill in your campaign details and submit your campaign
  • Once approved by them, you can secure your match funds (pledges) by sharing the pledge form link from your campaign dashboard with your match funders
  • Once your campaign has been ended, upload proof of transfer of match funds via your campaign dashboard

You can find further information on running your own match funded campaign here.

Author: Sahil Shah, Partnerships Manager at The Big Give.'s picture
by Jocelyn Horton

Fundraising Advice Officer

[email protected]

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