The Big Give have launched a research report, ‘A Great Match: How match-funding incentivises charitable giving in the UK and unites funders and donors in tackling social issues‘. The report, which was co-commissioned by Charities Trust and RBS and undertaken by The Researchery, is the first in-depth exploration of match-funding in the UK.

Evidence is drawn from a literature review, analysis of one of the UK’s largest online matching facilitators for charitable appeals (the Big Give), a survey of donors, and interviews with practitioners and experts in the fields of matching charitable appeals, matching employee engagement and cause marketing (as a special case of matching).

With regards to the matching of charitable appeals, the research found:

  • More people give when their donations are match-funded. 84% of respondents felt that they were more likely to give if matching was offered. 
  • Some donors give more when their donations are match-funded. The average matched gift made through the Big Give is £333 while the average unmatched gift is £132 and one in three donors said that they gave a larger gift because matching was applied to their donation.
  • Match-funding is currently the most likely factor to make donors give more. Match-funding was rated the most likely factor to encourage donors to give more, scoring more highly than emergency appeals, and Christmas or other religious or cultural festivals.
  • Matching can give an extra boost to charities fundraising. Matching can help charities both to engage new supporters and to re-engage less engaged/lapsed supporters.
  • Match-funding success depends largely on contextual factors. ‘The ask’ need to be optimised for match-funding to work most effectively,
  • Middle-aged, male, high earners respond to match-funding most strongly. 

The research highlights examples of innovation through Case Studies as well as giving recommendations for best practice for all those involved in match funding campaigns.

The research is available to download here.

For further queries about the research, please contact