By John Burton, WLT Founder CEO
The Big Give Christmas Challenges starts tomorrow – Thursday 5 December 2013 – but after taking part in the Big Give in 2011 and 2012, World Land Trust (WLT) is not participating this year.
There a several reasons for this decision, but in general the returns in previous years simply didn’t match the input required.
One of the attractions of Big Give is the potential it offers to expand a charity’s supporting base by attracting new donors. Unfortunately for WLT this didn’t happen in 2011 and 2012. And, by running our own match funded appeal in 2013 (Big Match Fortnight), WLT attracted more than 10 times as many new donors as through Big Give. (We were delighted to welcome 536 new donors through Big Match Fortnight.)
We wanted to offer the widest possible range of donations methods and felt that Big Give’s online-donations-only approach excluded some of our most loyal supporters. We also wanted to give donors the confidence of knowing that all donations would be matched. (The Big Give matching funds seemed to run out very fast.)
But perhaps the most important reason for running our own campaign is that Big Give is aimed at a very general audience. The run up to Christmas is not a time when wildlife and environmental charities tend to be at the forefront. Many people are thinking closer to home – focusing on local and national charities – and charities that work to alleviate poverty traditionally do well in December.
In the first two weeks of October 2013, WLT’s Big Match Fortnight raised more than £725,000, including match funding pledges, which was double the original target of £300,000.