Lisa Gagliani MBE, Chief Executive of The Childhood Trust tells us more about the importance of match funding and why they choose to channel funds via the Big Give.

Charitable organisations have been under fire recently and charity spending has been going through intense scrutiny. This has made the public more sceptical when it comes to donating; how can they be sure that the money they are donating is maximised to its full potential, as well as going to a charity that will spend it making the most impact?

Why we believe in this approach

The Childhood Trust prefers to foster a very close working relationship with its chosen charity partners. We want to fund projects that make a direct, often uncomplicated impact for children growing up in poverty in London. This includes activities and healthy food during the school holidays and funding emotional support therapies for vulnerable families.

As a trust who wants to make an impact on small grassroots charities, it would be easy to just give away money traditionally through a grant application process, but how do we know that the trustees are really supportive of the project to be funded and how can we track the outcomes on our agreed beneficiaries? This is one of the reasons we believe in match funding.

The benefits of match funding

Match funding initiatives such as the Big Give’s Christmas Challenge and Summer Give mean that the charity itself seeks the pledge or commitment first from its closest advocates – meaning trustees and major donors can be asked specifically to give and their gift endorses the reputation of the charity. Rarely are trustees of a charity openly ‘asked’ to make such a significant contribution – and we find this is often a liberating and telling experience for the charity. Of course not all trustees are very wealthy, but typically a number of them are, and I feel that all trustees should be expected to be asked to give according to their means at least once a year. This pledge, when combined with our match fund, means that there is a pot to double all online donations when the campaign goes live

Using the Big Give platform

Match funding, using a platform like the Big Give to facilitate it, adds an extra level of credibility and security to online giving. The platform is free to join for charities and the charges of 4% are comparably attractive to other digital giving platforms. 50% of match funding comes from trustees and closest donors that already know and support your charity which, in turn, gives the public greater confidence to give, at a time when most charities could do with this confidence boost.

The Big Give has sought out Champion Funders such as The Childhood Trust who have a keen interest in supporting the sector. It would take years for a small charity to forge such a potentially lucrative relationship with some of these funders – and most funders wouldn’t want to enter into such a relationship directly – we are the exception to the rule.

Additional benefits

Another great reason to use a fundraising platform like the Big Give is that its campaigns are designed to gain maximum exposure on social media, to grab the public’s attention and inform them about how and when to donate via their phone, tablet or PC. They also provide free advice and guidance on a range of issues to help charities enhance their digital fundraising success.

Using the Big Give as your platform brings additional benefits. It provides increased visibility for your charity due to the Big Give’s donor base. It also enables you to collect data on donations received via the Big Give, allowing you to build your own donor database for future campaigns and to cultivate regular giving.