The Big Give Christmas Challenge, a multi-million pound online match funding initiative raising money for UK charities, ran once again in 2015. Since its first campaign in 2008, the Big Give has now raised over £71m through the Christmas Challenge.

The 2015 campaign launched on Friday 4th December and closed on Monday 14th December. There were 258 participating charities which covered a broad range of interests, size and geography.

Match funding was provided by a range of philanthropic organisations, called ‘Champions’ who included The Reed Foundation, The Childhood Trust, Candis Magazine, and The Lake House Foundation amongst others. These Champions’ funds were joined with pledges from the charities’ own major donors to double online donations during the Christmas Challenge on a first-come, first-served basis.

The campaign gained traction on social media with tweets from Sting and British Paralympians, Libby Clegg and Millie Knight. The campaign also proved a big hit with donors. The Big Give processed 10,450 donations during the campaign with an average donation size of £320.

“We were delighted with the result of the 2015 Christmas Challenge which demonstrates the power of the ‘match fund’ offering,” said Alex Day, Director of the Big Give. “This year’s Challenge ran extremely smoothly and we’re delighted to have supported some fantastic charities. We know the funds raised will have a wide and deep impact. Our thanks go to all those who donated, our generous Champions who provided the match funding and to for providing ongoing support to the Big Give operation.”

Richard Smith, Head of Individual Giving at Cheltenham Festivals, a charity who raised £48,750 in the 2015 Christmas Challenge, commented, “I have been a fundraiser for well over a decade and have never seen donors so excited about giving. The Big Give really does allow us to make the perfect ask – rather than just asking people to make a donation, we are able to tell them about a pressing opportunity to help us release matched funding. Importantly it also gives a strong message about our charity – that we will make the most of every pound our donors give.”