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350 charities take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012

350 charities take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012

Challenge 2012 gets underway tomorrow at 10am, with the aim of doubling online donations to hundreds of charities to match pledges from the charities' major donors.

Individual donors will be able to 'Double Their Donation' up to £5,000 per charity. As many charities will remember from previous Big Give challenges, donations are matched on a first come, first served basis, and funds available for matching often run out very quickly.

Since the Big Give was founded in 2007, its four Christmas Challenges have helped to raise over £30 million for charity projects all around the world, with £3 million being claimed in Gift Aid.

The fundraising began earlier this week with the Christmas Challenge Launch Party, held at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly. Online tickets for this event sold out in only 13 minutes last month, helping to raise over £60,000 for charities registered on

How the Christmas Challenge works

The Christmas Challenge 2012 is divided into sectors, each of them with a Charity Champion – private individuals, companies, trusts and foundations offering to match online donations to their chosen charities. Charities within each sector compete with each other for the Charity Champion's matched funding.

Matching funds will be released at 10am on Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Saturday 8th December. The Big Give urged donors to "get online at, or as close as possible to, 10am on one of these three days to maximise the chance of making a matched donation".

Once the matched funding has been used up on a given day, that sector will pause until more funds are released on the next day. If a donor is unable to make a matched donation, they will receive a message encouraging them to come back the next day for another chance to “Double Their Donation”.

Thai Children's Trust

One of the charities taking part is Thai Children’s Trust. It is hoping to raise £50,000 from the Big Give for the Burma Children Medical Fund which funds medical care for Burmese migrant children in Thailand who have long-term health conditions and serious injuries.

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Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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