Match funding platform Big Give’s Christmas Challenge campaign this year raised £33m, up 15% on last year’s total and a record for the event.
The weeklong campaign finished on 5 December and raised its record sum for 1,077 charities from more than 94,000 donations that was matched by its funding partners, including foundations and philanthropists.
The funding increase is despite the cost-of-living crisis seeing donations for other notable national fundraising events falter, such as BBC Children in Need's telethon.
Three quarters of charities taking part either met or exceeded their fundraising target. Half the money raised was for small charities with an annual income of less than £1m.
“This amount raised is particularly notable given the expected impact the cost of living crisis is having on people’s ability to make charitable donations,” said Big Give.
Last year’s total of £28.6m was also a marked improvement on the previous year, when £24.1m was raised.
Funding partners involved include the Reed Foundation, Julia & Hans Rausing Trust, The Childhood Trust, Candis, EQ Foundation, The Hospital Saturday Fund, Coles-Medlock Foundation and Monday Charitable Trust.
Thanks to you, together, we've made double the difference.— Big Give (@BigGive) December 5, 2023
💰Over £33,000,000 raised!
🎅31 fantastic Big Give Champion partners helping to double donations
🎄795 charities reached their fundraising target, with many very close.
🔗https://t.co/5fAbyTdVvB #Magic pic.twitter.com/I2aiOQiVmL
Among charities taking part was Stick ‘n’ Step which support children with cerebral palsy.
“We raised over £21,000, a fine number to celebrate our 21st birthday year, and this also equates to supporting 3 children for an entire year,” said the charity’s trusts and grants fundraiser Netty Doyle.
The Children’s Trust is another to benefit. “This is our 5th year participating and we are thrilled we reached our ambitious target of £100,000,” said the charity’s senior philanthropy manager Angie Turner.
This year’s event was backed by celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Jenny Agutter, Alan Carr, Dame Joanna Lumley, Jason Watkins, Megan McCubbin, Jeremy Irons, Kate Humble, Larry Lamb and Emilia Fox.
“We have been blown away by people’s generosity this year, smashing last year’s record by £4.5 million,” said Big Give managing director Alex Day.
“It is quite extraordinary. Behind every £1 raised and every target hit are stories of incredible, life-changing, heart-warming impact delivered by our 1,077 charity partners.
"The donations they’ve received will make such a massive difference, especially as they are facing the hardships of the cost of living crisis.”