Huge success for Christmas campaign
Christmas fundraising campaign, the Big Give Christmas Challenge, has broken its fundraising record with £20.1m donated during the week-long matched funding campaign, which ended on 8 December.
The money raised will be a vital lifeline for the 764 charities that took part this year, including homelessness/refuge charities, which were the hardest hit by Covid-19.
These charities saw the greatest demand in their services, up 81% since the pandemic hit, it was revealed in an industry-wide report conducted by the Big Give in a survey of over 1,000 UK charities last month.
As the campaign came to a close, 71,000 donations had been made via the Big Give Christmas Challenge website an increase of 70% on last year. Donations poured in from across the world, as 107 countries supported charities in need.
James Reed, chair of The Big Give and chief executive of recruitment company REED, commented: “We’re delighted to have raised a record-breaking £20m for 764 good causes. This year people have been especially generous and I would like to thank everyone for their incredible generosity, kindness and support.”
This year, dozens of celebrities took part in promoting the campaign. Famous faces including that of Sir Michael Palin, Tom Kerridge, Jo Brand, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Dame Darcey Bussell, featured in the official campaign video.
Meanwhile, throughout the week, celebrities including Emilia Fox, Gordon Ramsey, Stephen Fry and Will Greenwood took to social media to encourage the public to donate.
Will Greenwood, ex-professional rugby player and Patron of Borne, said: "It's been a difficult year for so many charities including Borne, a medical research charity that is very close to mine and my wife's hearts, with the mission of ending preterm birth.
The Big Give Christmas Challenge was the perfect way to end the year on a positive note - and we were blown away by the response of supporters who helped us raise over £158,000, smashing our target. I want to thank everyone who got on board with the campaign - from Dame Darcey Bussell, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Luke Cowan-Dickie, to our network of supporters on social media who helped us spread the word.”
The Christmas Challenge broke two further fundraising records; on day one of the campaign, #GivingTuesday (1st December), donations were almost double (48%) in the first 12-hours of the campaign going live, than last year, raising a staggering £7.6million. While an incredible £1m was raised in the first 20 minutes of the Christmas Challenge launching.
The report, which the Big Give conducted in November, found that one in five (22%) charities would usually secure more than a quarter of their voluntary income during the Christmas period. But that this year, nearly two-thirds (63%) expected donations to be lower than usual due to the pandemic.