Big Give Christmas Challenge raises £15.6m for nearly 600 charities

The Big Give Christmas Challenge has raised a record £15.6m for almost 600 charities, organisers have said.

The challenge, which ran for a week until midday yesterday, invites charities to ask supporters to make donations that are then match-funded, either by a group of "funding champions" arranged by The Big Give, or by major donors arranged by the charities themselves, or both.

A statement from The Big Give said the total exceeded the previous record of £13.3m raised last year and brought the amount raised through the scheme to £129m since it was launched in 2007.

There were 20 funding champions in this year’s campaign, including the Reed Foundation, the Childhood Trust and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which pledge to match donations to support certain types of projects.

Charities can apply for match funding from the funding champions of up to £25,000.

Sir Alec Reed, who founded The Big Give, said: "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."

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