BIG Give’s Christmas Challenge match fund campaign, which finished midday on Tuesday 5 December, has raised a record £33 million in only a week.
Members of the public made over 94,000 donations to the 1,077 charities taking part. The total raised is a 15% increase on last year’s total of £28.6m. 74% of the charities participating met or exceeded their fundraising target, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.
This amount raised is particularly notable given the expected impact the cost of living crisis is having on people’s ability to make charitable donations. Big Give was aiming to raise more than last year’s campaign. The funds raised this year via Big Give will make a huge difference to charities facing challenges over the winter period due to increased costs and increased demand for their services.
The Christmas Challenge doubles the difference in the public’s donations, which are matched by Big Give’s ‘Champion’ partners, i.e. philanthropists, foundations and companies. This year, there were 31 Champions for the campaign, including, The Reed Foundation, Julia & Hans Rausing Trust, The Childhood Trust, Candis, EQ Foundation, The Hospital Saturday Fund, Coles-Medlock Foundation, Monday Charitable Trust and many more.
The campaign was trending on the X platform (formerly Twitter) on the opening day and was backed by a number of celebrities, including Dame Judi Dench, Jenny Agutter, Alan Carr, Dame Joanna Lumley, Jason Watkins, Megan McCubbin, Jeremy Irons, Kate Humble, Larry Lamb and Emilia Fox.
The Christmas Challenge is Big Give’s annual flagship campaign and accounts for around three-quarters of the £280 million raised by Big Give since 2008. Almost half of the money raised by the Christmas Challenge was for small charities with an annual income of less than £1 million.
Alex Day, Managing Director of Big Give, said:
“We have been blown away by people’s generosity this year, smashing last year’s record by £4.5 million. It is quite extraordinary. Behind every £1 raised and every target hit are stories of incredible, life-changing, heart-warming impact delivered by our 1,077 charity partners. The donations they’ve received will make such a massive difference, especially as they are facing the hardships of the cost of living crisis.”
Netty Doyle, Trusts & Grants Fundraiser, Stick ‘n’ Step said:
“This was cerebral palsy charity, Stick ‘n’ Step’s first year participating in the Big Give Campaign, and we managed to exceed our target! It costs in the region of £7,000 per year for a child to receive free weekly sessions at Stick ‘n’ Step. We raised over £21,000, a fine number to celebrate our 21st birthday year, and this also equates to supporting 3 children for an entire year.”
Philip Holmes, OBE Founder/CEO, Pipal Tree said:
“I have been driving Big Give campaigns for my charity for the past eight years, and once again, this has been time well spent with us hitting our ambitious target! We will probably raise around a third of our annual income during Challenge Week, and these funds will underpin our programmes in Nepal into the first half of next year. I am grateful to everyone involved in donating and the brilliant staff at Big Give who have been unflagging in their support too.”
Eloise Armstrong, Fundraising Manager, of Children on the Edge said:
“This was the fifth time Children on the Edge has taken part in the Big Give, and we had our most ambitious target to date. We raised an incredible £114,715 during the Big Give, which will help thousands of the youngest refugee children in Uganda learn, play and develop the skills they need for the future. Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign and to the Big Give team.”
Summer Hales, Fundraising & Communications Officer, UK Wild Otter Trust said:
“At the UK Wild Otter Trust, you helped us raise just over £5,000 (including Gift Aid), exceeding our target! This money will make a huge difference for our charity and the otters we work to save. We rescue, rehabilitate, and release orphaned and injured otters back into the wild. We’ve rescued 25 otters this year alone and released 19 rehabilitated otters back into the wild. With rehabilitation for one otter costing around £3,500, this money is going to make a big difference to us. Thank you to the Big Give, our Champion, The Reed Foundation and all our amazing supporters.”
Angie Tuner, Senior Philanthropy Manager, at The Children’s Trust said:
“This is our 5th year participating and we are thrilled we reached our ambitious target of £100,000. We are so grateful to Candis Magazine and everyone who has donated. When children and young people suffer an acquired brain injury, they can lose the ability to walk and talk. Music therapy and play activities have a powerful effect. Our teams can help young people with brain injury to reconnect with the world and relearn the skills they’ve lost.”