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Improvements announced for The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge match-funding campaign

Improvements announced for The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge match-funding campaign

Applications to take part in the UK’s largest online match-funding campaign will open later this month. This year’s Christmas Challenge from The Big Give will include new and improved functions.

Applications for The Christmas Challenge open on Monday 13th June. Charities will have three weeks to complete the initial applications.

The Christmas Challenge, first held in 2008, helps UK-registered charities raise funds for their cause. So far it has raised over £71 million for 2,500 charity projects.

Doubling donations

The Christmas Challenge gives supporters of participating charities the chance to have their donation doubled during a short and intense campaign period a month before Christmas. This year The Christmas Challenge campaign will tie in with GivingTuesday.

It will run for 72 hours, from midday on 29th November (#GivingTuesday) and closing on Friday 2nd December.

The matched-funding is provided by a range of philanthropic organisations, called ‘Champions’, which in previous years have included The Reed Foundation, The Childhood Trust, Candis Magazine, The Waterloo Foundation, among many others. These Champion funds are joined with pledges from participating charities’ own major donors to double online donations during the Christmas Challenge.

The Christmas Challenge 2016

Changes for 2016

Changes for this year’s Christmas Challenge include:

  • Match funding to be “ring-fenced” for each charity i.e. no competition.
  • The campaign will run over 72 hours with no pausing.
  • The Christmas Challenge to launch on #GivingTuesday.
  • No fees for charities taking part in the campaign.

The changes have been introduced based on feedback from charities, donors and philanthropic partners, according to Alex Day, Director of The Big Give.

He added:

“This past year has unfortunately seen a lot of negative press about the UK charity sector and its fundraising methods. We know from recent research (available from that match-funding is an incredible way to incentivise donations. We hope this year’s Christmas Challenge will provide a fantastic opportunity for charities to engage with their donors in an innovative way and provide a boost to their fundraising efforts.”

Applications to take part in the Christmas Challenge close on 4 July 2016, but The Big Give encourages early applications.




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 and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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