A record-breaking £15.6m has been raised in this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.
The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge, which closed at midday today (10 December) saw matched funding of over £7.2 million provided by over 20 funding champions, including Reed Foundation, The Childhood Trust, Four Acre Trust and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and through charities’ major donors and philanthropists.
BBC presenter and actor Alexander Armstrong backed the campaign, which was also supported by charity patrons and celebrities including Hugh Dennis, Gyles Brandreth, Bob Wilson and Clare Balding.
It ran from 03-10 December and inspired tens of thousands of people to donate with some 590 charities participating, and donations matched, pound for pound.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Alec Reed CBE, founder of The Big Give, said:
“The public’s generosity to this year’s Christmas Challenge has been phenomenal. It demonstrates just how much the public values the work of UK charities and the services they provide. Donations raised through the campaign will address some of the most critical issues in society from funding life-saving research to tackling climate change.
“Match funding has proved to be an incredibly powerful incentive to give, enabling the public to maximise their impact on good causes. We’re deeply thankful to our funding champions for their crucial role in this campaign and inspiring the nation to give.”
This year’s appeal far exceeds the previous Christmas Challenge record of £13.3 million in 2018 and brings the total raised since 2007 – when The Big Give launched – to £129 million.
Having raised over £100,000 through this year’s appeal, Friends of the Earth’s Philanthropy Manager, Jo Finburgh underlined the importance of the Christmas Challenge for the charity:
“We are completely bowled over by the public’s generosity in response to this year’s Christmas Challenge, with so many people choosing to take action and support our Climate Ambition campaign.
“Friends of the Earth has taken part in The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge for the past 9 years, raising tens of thousands of pounds for our climate change, air pollution and anti-fracking work. We see the Christmas Challenge as a fantastic platform to engage our supporters, inspiring them to give by enabling them to double their donations toward our vital work.”
Hannah Young, Head of Fundraising at Unseen UK, said that funding raised through this year’s campaign will enable the anti-slavery charity to keep its helpline open.
“There are tens of thousands of victims trapped in slavery across the UK right now. Unseen’s Big Give campaign was launched to help save the UK Modern Slavery helpline – a lifeline for victims who are trying to escape exploitation. In three days, Unseen smashed its target of £75,000, providing critical funding to keep the lines open. With over 7,000 potential victims of modern slavery being identified through the Helpline each year, Unseen’s Big Give campaign will be a vital part of ensuring the Helpline survives.”
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