In 2007 Sir Alec Reed, founder of UK’s No1 job site and legendary charity donor, had a philanthropic brainwave; he noticed there was no online vehicle for a philanthropist to research, compare and donate to worthwhile causes. Sir Alec wanted a portal where simultaneously charities could appeal and donors could give. In 2007 he established The Big Give, a non-profit online umbrella for several charities, his Reed Foundation was inundated with requests but Sir Alec did not feel the portal was giving enough bang for bucks. In 2008 he introduced his concept of match funding, putting up £1million of match funding which was exhausted in 45 minutes, hugely benefitting charities on the platform.
Since 2007, the Big Give has grown into the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign running on an annual basis, raising over £7.2 million last year. The Big Give runs other match funding campaigns to support specific causes or emergencies. The recent Big Give Grenfell Tower appeal is the largest single charity recipient, so far £2.4million with a target of £3million. The funds raised via the Big Give Grenfell Tower Appeal are directed to the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation who are responding to the crisis, working with organisations on the frontline, collaborating with other charities in a joint initiative to provide financial support to victims and their next of kin, as well as coordinating a long-term response to the needs of all those affected. All funds from the K&C Foundation will go to families and the local community.
Entries for the ambitious Big Give Christmas Challenge 2017 have just closed, the fund-raising campaign goes live in November and runs for a week. Over the years the Christmas Challenge has raised over £78 million for more than 2,800 charity projects internationally.
Today The Big Give is the pre-eminent site for matched funding and has gained national recognition having received several awards. James Reed, son of Sir Alec, is leading The Big Give into the next decade; Reed has added Trusts, Foundations, Corporate Funders and high-net worth individuals to the team of philanthropic “Champions”, at the moment there is over £2million in the kitty. “Champions” wishing to support charities operating in sectors supporting women or children and health, education or the arts may make large contributions, then the charities are tasked with finding high net worth supporters to match a portion of it, the effect is double the money. James Reed has big plans for his father’s real time generosity multiplier, he wants the Big Give to lead in what he calls the “PhilTech” space, he wants to break all records and raise £1billion.