The Big Give was launched in 2007 by Sir Alec Reed as an online portal to help philanthropists to discover charities and promote intelligent giving. One year later, he identified a way he could use his philanthropy to leverage even more support for charities registered on the site. He decided to give £1 million in match funding: for every £1 someone donated, he would match it. This proved wildly successful, as director Alex Day explains: ‘In just 45 minutes The Big Give raised £2 million for hundreds of charities.’ It has since helped to raise over £83 million for thousands of charities through match funding. Day has been pivotal in driving the growth of match funding in the UK, helping to drive their annual Christmas Challenge and more recently leading the Grenfell Tower appeal to raise over £2.6 million. Day is keen to point out the benefits of match funding. Having commissioned research last year into the impact, he says that ‘typically every pound that’s given by one of the match funders will generate at least £4 of support for the charities in their fund. It encourages more people to give and people to give more.’ This outsize impact has attracted philanthropists such as Grant Gordon to raise almost £2 million in 2016 to alleviate the poverty of disadvantaged children in London. These sums prove that match funding can help HNW individuals to get the most bang for the buck for their charitable causes.
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