Big Give calls on government to match-fund its 2013 Christmas Challenge

Petition signed by more than 1,200 people will be presented to Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society

Big Give
Big Give

The Big Give has launched a petition calling on the government to provide match funding for its 2013 Christmas Challenge.

Last year’s challenge, an online match-funding scheme, raised £10.5m for 356 charities by doubling 11,000 public donations placed between 6 and 8 December.

Since its launch last month, the petition has gained more than 1,200 signatories and will be presented to Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, at a meeting with Helen Cable, managing director of the Big Give, later this month.

Cable said the charity, which is funded by the Reed Foundation, is not asking for any specific amount. Any contribution from the government would sit alongside funding from philanthropists, foundations and corporations, she said. 

The challenge involves matching donations matched pound for pound, with 75 per cent of the match funding coming initially from the ‘pledge fund’, which is made up in advance by major donors and trustees of the charities taking part. Twenty-five per cent of the match funding comes from the Charity Champion Fund, which is money contributed by philanthropists, foundations and corporations.

Once the pledge fund has been used up, online donations are matched pound for pound by the Charity Champion fund until this runs out. 

Cable said: "Statutory funding is already provided for similar online initiatives, yet the benefits of the challenge reach even further than those of traditional match funding.

"For example, the 2012 challenge helped charities to attract new donors, increase donations and Gift Aid claims, try new online fundraising techniques and gain new funding sources.

"Alongside these benefits for charities, there are also benefits for challenge funders – if the government were willing to get involved, their funding would go up to five times further."

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