For the past two years, World Land Trust (WLT) has raised a considerable sum of money in a short space of time thanks to Big Give’s Christmas Challenge. However, before we commit to taking part in 2013, we are asking our supporters’ opinions about the Challenge and future appeals.
There is a link to an online questionnaire at the end of this page, and we hope our supporters will complete the survey. (You don't have to have donated to the Big Give to complete it.) However, before clicking on the survey, please read the following article which explains our reasons for the questionnaire.
The purpose of Big Give is to attract new donors and to raise significant funding for a charity project in a short space of time, with all online donations being matched.
However, the structure of the matching involves WLT supporters making advance pledges plus online donations during the Big Give week, so the proportion of external match funding from the Big Give’s Charity Champions is in fact only 25%.
We have also found that for us the annual event attracts relatively few new donors: in 2012 just nine new supporters. We are also, of course, competing against other charities for the matching funds, and we have found that these run out very quickly, with our Challenge open for not much longer than three hours in 2012.
Should WLT go it alone this year?
We have had suggestions that WLT could fund its own fundraising campaign along the lines of the Big Give, by inviting our supporters to pledge to match funds raised during a specific time period.
Clearly there are pros and cons, but two of our donors have neatly summed up the two sides of the argument.
Dominic Belfield, on the one hand, believes now is the time for WLT to run its own Challenge. If WLT can find funders to put up £30,000, he suggests, then an email to all WLT supporters requesting donations to match this seed money would work just as well.
Dominic believes that with a longer donations period – not just three hours over three days – WLT will have a rewarding response, as well as being free from Big Give’s admin fees of 4%.
Dominic also argues that with a longer time period in which to donate, people who don't want to make online payments can donate by credit card or send a cheque through the post. At the same time, those that are happy to make online payments don’t have to jump through hoops to make a donation, and to compete with other charities.
He also queries the timing of the Big Give: “Why not choose a better time of year, ie not Christmas? Maybe more like October, so that it doesn't clash with any other major events such as Children In Need?”
John Smart, on the other hand, tells us: “This is really an excellent way to contribute knowing that one's gift is doubled and then topped with Gift Aid.”
For John this is a worthwhile event. The Big Give website worked reasonably well in 2012 and even referring back to 2011 when their website did have problems, he comments the “determined won through”. He goes on to say: “Yes to having another 'BG' Event next year.”
So, what do you think?
Should we continue to take part in the 2013 Big Give Christmas Challenge? Or should we take on the challenge and extra commitment of running one ourselves?
Please complete our simple questionnaire to let us know your views as we will base our 2013 decision on your responses. It will only take a few minutes and you don't have to have donated to WLT to take part.