The Big Give: online fundraising

Exhibited by
Hanna Lewis.
June 20, 2011
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Awareness, individuals, single gift, corporations, granting organisations
Type of Charity
Umbrella body
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
October, 2007

SOFII’s view

We're sure many fundraisers will find it hard to believe that for some donors, particularly major donors, it can be difficult to find a trustworthy, donor-friendly organisation to give their money to. But it's true, some people don't respond to direct mail because they're concerned that they'll end up as just another statistic on a database, a marketing target to be bombarded with 'urgent' requests for ever more. Some feel unsure about signing up to regular giving on the street; can they really believe everything they're being told? How do donors find out about charities, causes and projects that need and deserve support but don't have the resources to carry out huge campaigns?

Go to the Big Give. It has all the information that any donor could want and it's really very easy to use.

Creator / originator

Mr Alec Reed CBE – founder of Reed Recruitment Group, Ethiopiaid and Women at Risk.

Summary / objectives

The Big Give is a website which matches donors with charities that meet their interests. It aims to facilitate an easier giving process for donors whilst creating a more effective way of fundraising for charities.

Further to the search facilities, The Big Give provides an ethical alternative to gifts in the form of Big Give vouchers which can be donated to any charity on the website.

The Big Give launched a matched donation facility in December 2008 that creates specific schemes for donors who wish to make their money go further for their favourite charities. The launch was marked by the Reed Foundation donating a £1 million matched fund, which led to £2million being donated on the website in 45 minutes.

The matched giving facility is now open to any donor who wishes to give £10,000 or over. By giving a donation as a matching fund, it is hoped that charities will be able to use this fund to leverage more donations, attract new donors and boost fundraising.

The site is completely free to join and is open to all UK registered charities.


The Big Give was created by Alec Reed CBE following his frustration at how difficult he found it to identify and fund new charitable projects that matched his interests. Reed pledged to give £1 million to charity every year and believed that major donors needed a site to discover projects to fund.

Thus, The Big Give was born as a website for major donors to search for projects in their field of interest using various search facilities, including location, funding amount needed and beneficiaries. More recently The Big Give has become accessible to all donors wishing to be proactive with their giving.

Special characteristics

The Big Give also runs a web service for UK Trusts and Foundations which aggregates news, events and resources. See

Influence / impact

Popular features include the ability to showcase a charity's work, to add multiple projects and the online donation facility.


Free to all UK registered charities.


The largest known donation made as a result of a charity being found on The Big Give was for £175,000.

The first matched giving scheme from The Big Give raised £2million in 45 minutes.


The Big Give is an innovation that meets the needs of both donors and fundraisers. The website promotes intelligent giving, encouraging the donor to find a charity that contributes to their favoured cause and to use the various links to perform due diligence.

For charities, the website is a fantastic, and free, opportunity to showcase their projects, the real and relevant work that much of the public will fail to see, or realise needs funding.

The Big Give promotes more intelligent, more effective, more innovative giving.

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A range of extremely deserving causes can be found quickly and easily on the Big Give, with all the background necessary for donors to make an informed choice comfortably and securely from the convenience of their own computer. Interesting graphics and easy-to-use layouts enhance the process and make it more appealing too.