Credit: The Big Give

Match funding campaigns can help raise thousands for your NGO

2 June 2017
Author: Rachel Earnshaw

The Christmas Challenge is the Big Give’s flagship online match funding campaign which raises millions for charities in just a few short days. International development charities have quickly realised the strength of this opportunity, capitalising on their strong supporter bases to raise some of the highest figures in the campaign.

Leveraging the power of match funding for your cause

The Big Give, an online donation platform that specialises in match funding campaigns, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the Big Give will be working with charities to raise even more money than in previous years.

The Christmas Challenge has raised over £78 million for more than 2,800 charity projects since it launched. Last year over £7.2 million was raised in just 7 days when over 300 charities worked together to simultaneously raise funds for their causes.

How the campaign works

Online donations to participating charities are doubled by funds secured in the run up to the campaign. These funds come from two sources: a Champion (a Trust, Foundation, Philanthropist or Corporate sourced by the Big Give) and Pledgers (charities’ major supporters).

Charities use this matching pot to double donations made online during the campaign which kicks off on #GivingTuesday. The Christmas Challenge stands out because it brings together all types of charity supporters into one campaign, allowing charities to develop multiple income streams as they raise funds.

Charities are responsible for selecting a project to fundraise for, and marketing this to their supporters. In 2016, these projects collectively raised an impressive £1.3m for the international development sector. Send A Cow, who won 1st prize in the Christmas Challenge Awards which recognised the most successful charities taking part in the campaign, have spoken about their experience:

"We were amazed at how all our audiences got behind the campaign from individuals to churches and volunteers. For pledgers, encouraging others to support Send a Cow was very rewarding and deepened their relationship with us, particularly as we could talk to them throughout the campaign and with feedback afterwards. …We are now successfully using this learning to create more matched funding opportunities across our individual and major donor programmes." - Vickie Wood, head of individual giving at Send a Cow

Why matching works

Research commissioned by the Big Give in 2016 (see full report) shows that match funding helps to:

  • Get more people giving - 95% of charities who took part in the 2016 campaign received donations from new supporters
  • Get people giving more - 63% said that current supporters gave more than they usually would.
  • Build fundraising capacity - 83% increased their confidence in fundraising. The Big Give provides coaching and resources to help charities make the most of the opportunity.

Find out how to capitalise on the benefits of match funding

To hear more about how changes to the Christmas Challenge have had significant impact on charities, join Rachel and Vickie at Bond’s Funding for Development Conference in July where they’ll be showing you how to capitalise on the benefits of innovative match funding models at our "Innovations in Digital Fundraising" session.

Join the movement of online match funding

Charities can now apply for the Christmas Challenge 2017.

About the author

The Big Give

Rachel is the charity relationship manager at The Big Give.