The Department for International Development has launched a £30m fund that will match public donations to fundraising appeals for international development causes.
The UK Aid Match fund will allow charities to apply for up to £5m from the fund. Applications can be made by any not-for-profit organisation, or by an organisation publicising an appeal for such organisations, such as a newspaper.
A DfID statement says that once the public appeal is completed by a successful applicant, it will match the sum raised. The pilot scheme will be run for one year, starting this week.
For each successful application, UK Aid Match will provide £1 for every £1 given by the public, up to a maximum of £5m. The appeal must be expected to raise a minimum of £100,000 and can run for up to three months. It will not be available for emergency appeals.
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, said the fund would give the public a say in how part of the aid budget was spent.
"By match-funding public donations to development appeals, the government will recognise the public's choice by directing funds from the aid budget to the international development organisations they support," he said.
Deadlines for applications to the fund end in June 2012. Further details about application criteria can be found on the DfID website.