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The Big Give Christmas Challenge!

Every year, the Big Give runs a matched funding event called the Christmas Challenge where you could have your donation matched, making your support to your favourite charity go even further! Our previous five Challenges have already raised over £40million for charities working all around the world – and we hope you will enjoy participating in our 2013 extravaganza!

Please keep reading to find the answers to all your questions on this year’s Christmas Challenge:

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I make my donation during the Christmas Challenge?
Matched funds will be released at 10am GMT on the morning of the 5th, 6th and 7th December.  Online donations are matched on a first come, first serve basis and your online donation will be matched as long as there are matched funds still available.  As such, you should try to make your online donation as close to 10am on these three mornings as possible.  The Christmas Challenge will conclude once all of the matched funds have been exhausted.  In the event that matched funds continue to remain available, the Christmas Challenge will finally close on 18th December at 5pm.

What if I am donating from abroad?
As the Christmas Challenge is hosted in the UK, all references to time are Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT. If you are donating from abroad, you will need to donate via the Big Give from 10am GMT and you can check what time that is where you are by clicking here.

Where should I make my online donation during the Christmas Challenge?
To have a chance of making a matched donation, you must click the ‘Donate Online Now’ button on the Christmas Challenge project page of the charity that you wish to donate to.   Please note that only online donations made to the project selected for the Christmas Challenge will be matched.

Is it secure to make an online donation via The Big Give?
Yes.  All of the online donations are processed by Charities Trust, our payment processors.  Charities Trust’s system is PCI Compliant Level One and incorporates 3D Secure – the highest level possible – and they hold a security certificate on the site as well, which is an industry standard certificate.  Furthermore, your connection to The Big Give is encrypted so it is perfectly safe to donate via our systems.  You can read more about 3D Secure by clicking here.

What is a project and a Christmas Challenge project?
A project is a specific activity that a charity carefully plans to achieve a specific goal or aim, such as building a school.  A charity may run one or more projects at a time. However, each participating charity has only one project that has been selected for this year’s Christmas Challenge; and it is only donations made to this project that can be matched during the Christmas Challenge.

Can I make a donation to a project not in the Christmas Challenge by mistake?
We have taken steps to ensure that you cannot unknowingly make an unmatched donation to a project not selected for the Christmas Challenge.  Only projects within the Christmas Challenge can be found via The Big Give home page during the Challenge. If you attempt to make a donation to a project not involved in the Christmas Challenge, a warning message will appear explaining that your donation will not be doubled with an option to direct you to the correct Christmas Challenge donation page for that charity.

How do you choose which charities are in the Christmas Challenge?
Any charity that is registered with The Big Give is eligible to apply to take part in the Christmas Challenge.  Once the application period has closed, the list of charities and the projects are forwarded on to the various Charity Champions.  The Charity Champions each select the projects that they would like to support and this is how the participants are selected.

What is a Charity Champion?
Charity Champions are trusts, foundations, corporations and philanthropists who support charities through the Big Give Christmas Challenge. They provide the funds to help match donations during the December Challenge Phase, alongside pledges secured by the charities themselves.

What happens when the matching funds run out?
If the matched funds are completely used up on either the 5th or 6th December, the Challenge will pause until more funds are released at 10am on the following morning. When matched funds are not available, a message stating this will appear on the donation page and will encourage you to come back at 10am the following morning when more matched funds will be released.  If you wish to proceed in any event, you can still make an unmatched donation. The final release of funds will be at 10am on Saturday 7th December and these funds will continue matching donations until they are exhausted. If funds are not exhausted, matching will finish at 5pm, 18th December.

Who is matching my donation?
Online donations will be matched using a combination of pledges from charities’ major donors and trustees, and externally sourced Charity Champion funding.

How much Charity Champion Funding is available?
There is over £2m in Charity Champion funding available between the participating charities.

Can I make a matched donation to a charity if I am one of their Christmas Challenge pledgers?
No.  If you have already pledged to match online donations made to a given project, you are not able to also make a matched donation – as you would effectively be helping to match your own donation! However, you are welcome to give to any other project in the Challenge.

Why are some charities still offering to match donations whilst others have paused?
Each Charity Champion has selected a group of charities they wish to support through the Christmas Challenge. This group of charities will form their ‘Sector’ and they will compete for their funding during the Christmas Challenge. Although Sectors will contain different numbers of charities, each Sector will have the same proportion of Charity Champion funding available. So it can be the case that some Sectors have exhausted all of the matched funding, whereas others have not and therefore remain open.

How long will the Charity Champion Funds last each day?
It is impossible for us to guarantee how long the Charity Champion Funds will last each day, as this is dependent on how quickly and how many online donations are made – so try and donate as close to 10am as possible on the  5th, 6th and 7th of December to maximise your chances of having your donation doubled!

How much can I donate during the Challenge?
Up to £5,000 will be matched per donor to any given charity. Donations over this amount will have the first £5,000 doubled (if funds are available) and the surplus will be processed as a normal unmatched donation. Please note that the minimum online donation is £5.

Will offline donations be doubled during the December Challenge Phase?
No. All donations during the December Challenge Phase must be made online through the ‘Donate Online Now’ button on your chosen charity’s project page on the Big Give website, without exception. This is because we need to have a live record of donations in order to manage the various matching funds for the duration of the Christmas Challenge and cannot, therefore, allow for offline donations.

Will the charity be able to see my donation details?
When you make your donation you will be asked whether you would like to pass your contact details onto your charity. If you agree, the charity will receive your full contact details, if you choose not to, the charity will simply receive your name.

Will the Big Give contact me?
When you make your donation you will be asked whether you would like to be kept up to date with the latest news from The Big Give.  If you would like to receive updates, make sure the box is checked.  If you uncheck the box, then you will not be contacted by us in the future.

How will I know my donation has been successful?
Once you have made your online donation, you will be automatically redirected to a thank you page with a receipt.  You will also receive an email thanking you for your donation.  This automatic email may well find it’s way into your spam folder, so don’t forget to check there!

What payment methods are accepted?
Donations must be made online using a debit/credit card. The following card types are accepted:
Mastercard / Visa / Maestro / Switch / Solo / Delta / American Express

Can I make an online donation from my CAF account?
No.  At present, we are unable to accept online donations made via CAF accounts. Given the nature of the Christmas Challenge, we need to have rapid confirmation that there are sufficient funds held in donors’ accounts and this confirmation can take several days from CAF.

Can I make a donation from abroad?
Yes, so long as you have one of the accepted card types. (Please be aware that the Challenge begins at 10am GMT on Thursday 5th December, Friday  6th December and Saturday 7th December)

What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is a way for charities to increase the value of donations made to them by UK taxpayers.  This is done by claiming back the basic rate tax paid by the donor and can increase the donation by a quarter at no cost to you, the donor.

Can I claim Gift Aid on my online donation made during the December Challenge phase?
Yes.  If you are eligible, you can claim Gift Aid on the donation itself, although the Gift Aid can only be claimed in relation to your actual donation, and not on the matched amount as well  - you can read more about claiming Gift Aid on the HMRC website by clicking here.  All Gift Aid claims are made on the charity’s behalf by our payment processor, Charities Trust.

Are the donations received restricted to the project selected for the Christmas Challenge?
Yes. All online donations, pledges and Charity Champion Funds are restricted to the specific project which has been accepted into the Christmas Challenge.

What charges are involved?
Online donations are processed by Charities Trust (themselves a charity) who deduct a fee of 4% from the online donation and any Gift Aid claimed.

To view a full glossary of terms used in the Christmas Challenge, click here.