It’s that time of year again, our search for the ultimate charity champion is back!

Every year we launch our search for the ultimate charity champion to help us inspire the nation to do good stuff.

If you or someone you know has shown extraordinary commitment to a charity and has the potential to inspire others, then nominate them to be our champion now.

The person we’re searching for will have gone above and beyond to support a charity in some way. They might have raised loads of money or maybe they’ve volunteered hundreds of hours. They might even work for a charity and have committed their whole lives to doing good stuff, or done something completely out of the ordinary to make the world a better place.

Whatever they have done, we want you to tell us why they deserve to be our #givingtuesday champion.

Our #givingtuesday champion will chosen by a panel of incredible judges including our amazing winner from 2016 Courtney Hughes. Courtney won the title after handing out 4,000 presents to people in her local hospital in the run up to Christmas time, and this year she has already collected hundreds more gifts for people who will be spending the festive season away from their loved ones. Courtney is joined on the judging panel by two new faces; #givingtuesday’s very own Hannah Iqbal. Hannah is the campaign’s social media manager and can’t wait to read all of the applications, and Janek Seevaratnam from Charities Aid Foundation. Janek is a corporate advisor and works with companies to help them do good stuff.

Our judges. From left to right: Hannah, Janek and Courtney.

The judges will be looking for one special person who has taken doing good stuff to new heights. Someone who’s raised the bar when it comes to doing something amazing for charity and who they believe will inspire others to do good stuff this #givingtuesday.

This year’s winner will be awarded with a donation to a charity of their choice and will become the face of #givingtuesday, receiving national recognition and media attention for their work and the charity they support.

If you think you or someone you know deserves to be our champion then enter our competition here. Entries must be made by 12pm on Friday 27th October. Late entries will not be accepted.

Good luck!

A team of National Lottery winners will be handing over the keys of a giant Gingerbread playhouse to a hospice in Middlesbrough to mark this year’s #givingtuesday.

With a combined wealth of over £25 million, the lottery winners will be giving Santa and his elves a run for their money, when they turn a simple wood cabin into a magical super-sized gingerbread playhouse for the charity.

Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice provides incredible palliative, respite and end-of-life care to very young children aged from birth to five years suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Designed to be a ‘home away from home’, the hospice ensures families have the opportunity to spend valuable time with their other children or have the chance to catch up on much needed sleep.

The lottery winners from across the region will have to work tirelessly over 24 hours to create the Gingerbread house and transform it into a winter wonderland, filling it with gifts and toys for the hospice and young visitors to enjoy. They will be using more than 100 litres of paint, 60 paintbrushes, 30 rollers, 40 bespoke wooden shapes, 6 sacks of fake snow and 25 metres of twinkly lights, to finish the cabin for the Zoe’s Place team.

And the very next day (29th November 2017), the new Gingerbread House will be used as Santa’s grotto when the Hospice officially turns on its Christmas lights for staff, families and supporters to enjoy.

Mark Guidery, General Manager at Zoe’s Place said:

“We are absolutely over-joyed that lottery winners have chosen to come to us and spend their time creating something so wonderful.

“We could never have dreamed of owning something like this. It is absolutely fantastic and will bring hours of joy to so many children, including the siblings of our poorly children. We genuinely cannot thank everyone enough for their kindness, time and generosity”

Anya Reynolds from The National Lottery team said: “Zoe’s Place has a magical feel about it and the staff are incredible. We are delighted to be able to create such a colourful gingerbread playhouse which will hopefully bring lots of joy to the young people here, their siblings and their families. We can’t wait to get stuck in!”

#givingtuesday is an international campaign led in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). It encourages people to ‘do good stuff’ for causes they care about following the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More than 1,600 organisations including major charities and businesses are signed up to take part.

Recently, our wonderful #givingtuesday partners GOOD Agency hosted 30 or so people at their offices for a special workshop – to discuss how to make #givingtuesday 2017 a brilliant success.

According to GOOD Agency’s creative director Reuben Turner the day is an opportunity for charities to raise money and for businesses to engage staff and customers in CSR and social purpose initiatives. But that’s not all. What if we approached the day slightly differently and instead of thinking about how we can get partners, volunteers and fundraisers to give to charity again, thought about what we could do for our supporters?

To help explore that thinking a bit more the team at GOOD Agency have produced a brand new resource for charity partners: ‘#givingtuesday, a chance to give back

The brand new resource offers ten ideas for things your organisation could do on #givingtuesday and has a whole host of examples of how they’ve worked for others. Take a look and consider whether you want to use #givingtuesday to give back this year.

And you can read more of Reuben’s thoughts on #givingtuesday by visiting the GOOD Agency’s blog here.

Hopefully by now you know what #givingtuesday is and how it works. But did you know this fast-growing charity campaign is actually a multi million pound, record-breaking day with a whole host of success stories behind it? Here are ten fun facts we bet you never knew about #givingtuesday:

1. It’s a record breaker. That’s right, for the past two years in a row #givingtuesday has set, and then broken, the Guinness World Record for the most amount of money donated online to charity in 24 hours: a whopping £35m globally!

2. We’re way more popular than the football. Well, sort of. Over 4.5million people told us they took part in #givingtuesday in 2016, all doing something special for a cause they care about. That’s more than double the number of people (1.69) who tune in every week to watch a live Premier League game on TV.

3. Politicians love us. Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon, Boris Johnson, Tony Blair, David Cameron – they are just a handful of the politicians who have publicly backed the campaign in the UK. And overseas, former US President Barack Obama absolutely loved #givingtuesday when he was in office calling #givingtuesday a “grassroots movement that illustrates the impact we can have when we all pull together.”

4. It’s making a real difference to people’s lives. It’s easy to talk about the big numbers when it comes to #givingtuesday, but do you know the impact the day is having on real lives? In 2016 Clic Sargent raised £7,600. That money paid for an extra 360 hours of nursing care for young patients receiving treatment for cancer.

5. It’s a global craze. But unlike fidget spinners, #givingtuesday actually has a purpose; celebrating charity and encouraging giving to some amazing causes. It now runs officially in 30 countries including Russia, Germany, USA, India, Argentina, Italy, Armenia, Slovakia, and the list goes on.

6. It has its own puppy. That’s right – a cute, adorable puppy. Meet Lacey, a Golden Retriever who’s first year of assistance dog training was funded through donations on #givingtuesday. Dogs for Good have since been updating everyone on Lacey’s progress and she’s doing incredibly well!

7. We’re supported by some of the UK’s most loved brands. Over 1,600 organisations are official partners of #givingtuesday in the UK, meaning they do something special to celebrate the day. That list includes big brands like Costa, Sainsbury’s, O2, Natwest, Wilko and Co-op, as well as some of the biggest national charities including Cancer Research UK, Save the Children, Movember and Age UK.

8. It’s becoming a tradition. Some of our favourite partners are those who use #givingtuesday to do the same thing every year and have made it into a tradition. Like Marie Curie, where staff spend the day writing thank you cards to supporters, or Send a Cow where every year they spoof the John Lewis Christmas ad using, you guessed it, a cow!

9. We’ve had it’s very own telly ad. Last year Sky TV and BT both donated over 250 ad spots for our special #givingtuesday TV ad voiced by Doc Martin star Martin Clunes. We challenge you to watch the ad and not spend your afternoon humming the song (which was written especially for the ad). Impossible.

10. Thousands goes to charity every minute. Visa Europe told us that in 2015 more than £6,250 was donated to charity every minute by people using their payment cards. There’s 1440 minutes in a day, so that’s a lot of cash! housands goes to charity every minute. Visa Europe told us that in 2015 more than £6,250 was donated to charity every minute by people using their payment cards. There’s 1440 minutes in a day, so that’s a lot of cash!


Remember A Charity in your Will Week, 11-17 September 2017


Remember A Charity will be launching a national radio station as a platform for charities, their supporters, the general public and celebrities to have their say about the world they want to pass on. 

Charities and supporters will be invited to record their vision about the world they want to pass on for future generations and share it on social media using #HaveYourSay. But the station will inspire conversations about passing on something even more special; a gift to charity in your Will.

In its most ambitious awareness campaign to date, Remember A Charity, a campaign set up to make legacy giving a social norm, will take charitable legacies on tour to five UK cities, showcasing the impact and opportunity for legacy giving.  The roadshow kicks off in London on 11th September 2017, travelling to Bournemouth, Norwich, Liverpool and Edinburgh, spending a day in each major city to 15th September.

To find out more about how you can get involved in the roadshow, or to learn more about Remember a Charity visit

Read our top tips for planning your activity for #givingtuesday

#givingtuesday is getting closer, and as July rolls into August now is the time that you need to start thinking about your plans for #givingtuesday. 

With over 1,600 partners taking part in #givingtuesday we know that the day is going to be a busy one. That means, that if you’re going to get the most out of the day then it’s absolutely vital that you start to think about what you want to achieve, and the best way to do that.

So take a look at our 5 top tips to help kick start your planning for #givingtuesday 2017:

Start by establishing your objective(s). It’s all too easy to see #givingtuesday happening and jump right in, but what’s the point if you don’t know what you want to achieve? You should start to think now about what you want to get out of the day, and consider your options for the best route to achieving that. Once you’ve established your objectives you’re ready to go!

Our second tip is start planning early. #givingtuesday is just one day, but if you’re going to make the most of the day the likelihood is you’ll want to do lots of stuff like emailing stakeholders, sending out press releases, making a poster, sharing stuff on social media. All of this stuff will need designing, creating, scheduling – so get ahead of the game and do it now. You can always tweak things later.

Make the most of free stuff. The #givingtuesday campaign, powered by CAF, gives partners a whole host of free resources to use (and there’s more on the way). You can download the #givingtuesday logo and use it on stuff, or you can re-watch a whole host of webinars on everything from using social media to creating winning charity emails. If you’re a charity take a look here or a business visit here.

Think about teaming up with someone else. There are loads of people out there doing stuff for #givingtuesday. If you’re stuck for an idea why not think about joining forces with someone else and making double the impact? For inspiration have a look at this case study from 2016 where an estate agent teamed up with a children’s hospice with amazing results.

Tell us what you’re doing. There’s a whole team of us here at CAF HQ dedicated to running #givingtuesday and making the day an amazing experience for you. If you’re stuck for ideas or want a bit of extra support then get in touch. Or if you’ve already started planning the day then be sure to tell us what you’re up to (use the ‘submit your story form at the bottom of this page) and our press team and social media team will help you spread the word.

Kim Roberts is Senior Campaigns Officer at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and works on the #givingtuesday campaign in the UK. 

How do you teach your children the importance of charity work?

Help build a foundation of charitable giving for your children and show them that their actions, no matter how small, can make a real difference.

If doing good stuff is important to you, you probably want to share your passion with your family. Here are some easy ways to teach your children about charity:

Show them that they already do it. Smiling at someone on the street, holding doors open for people who need a hand or visiting a sick relative is still charity because it warms someone’s heart. Most children already do these things, but they will be pleased to learn that they’re helping out.

Let them choose their own causes. Suggest some causes to your child and let them choose one that matters to them. They’re more likely to want to support a cause that they know about and identify with. Be sensitive to their age and introduce causes that match their interests. Children’s hospitals where they can donate old toys or local farms where they can play with the animals and donate money often work well for children. You can also Use CAF’s Charity Search to help find a charity that is local to you and matches their chosen cause. CAF allows you to search for any charity online and make a donation straight from their site.

Make it a family affair. Lead by example and let them see you drop money into charity boxes, ask them to help you pick out canned foods during a food drive or take them along when you participate in fundraising events. It gives you an opportunity to discuss why it’s important to give and how rewarding it can be.

You can also create family traditions by giving to the same cause every year during the holidays or setting up a charity box at home which the whole family can contribute to, then decide together how to use the money.

Teach them the value of time. With limited financial means it can be hard for children to donate money. Use this as a chance to teach them that they have a much more valuable resource than cash – they have time, which can be just as powerful. Encourage them to help neighbours with small jobs and if they are older, help them to volunteer at local clubs, hospitals and take part in charitable events at school.

Celebrate. When your children give, tell them that you’re proud of them. Show them pictures and thank you notes from the places they have helped, so they can see the impact and feel appreciated for their contributions.

P.S. Why not get your childrens’ creative juices flowing and set them one of these challenges:

  • Random act of kindness: Get the whole family involved and reward the most creative person with a non-financial treat, such as their favourite dinner.
  • Pay it forward: Ask your children to do something nice for three other people each time someone does something nice for them, and teach them to share the joy of receiving
  • #givingtuesday: why not get them to plan something special for the whole family to celebrate this year’s #givingtuesday!

Louise Paul is Internal Communications Manager at Charities Aid Foundation, the organisation that brings you #givingtuesday

GivenGain announces special package for #givingtuesday partners

GivenGain, the online fundraising platform has revealed its #givingtuesday plans for 2017; an exclusive fundraising support package for partners worth £2,000!

GivenGain enables cross-border donations and online fundraising anywhere in the world, in multiple currencies. Since 2001, they’ve helped donors in 193 countries support charities in more than 60 countries.

The special offer includes:

  • Set up: GivenGain cause account activation and cause profile / campaign page set up, including 12 months free subscription on the Premium option with a total value of £850.
  • Advisory services: An introduction to GivenGain cause account features, a one hour online fundraising campaign planning session, a 30 minute social media audit, 30 minute website integration audit, and general recommendations report . Value: £650.
  • Ongoing support: Dedicated email and Skype support for #givingtuesday partners for any ongoing questions or on-demand campaign assistance, with a value of £500.
  • A dedicated online fundraising starter pack for #givingtuesday partners available here.

To find out more about the offer, or to sign up then take a look here: Givengain – GivingTuesday UK Support Package or email to find out more.

Compassion Direct UK becomes one of the first charities to announce #givingtuesday plans!

This #givingtuesday CDUK are planning on holding a Bring and Buy Sale to raise money to transport aid to refugees.

CDUK is a registered charity supporting children and families living in shanty towns, streets, barren mountains and rural schools. The charity works for the alleviation of child poverty & the support of under-privileged people as they struggle for survival, progress & social justice, and will join #givingtuesday for the first time in 2017.

The special bring and buy sale will also act as a collection point for people to make donations to the refugees. For the past couple of years CDUK have been liaising with other registered charities to help to fill containers of material aid, sending everything from tents and back packs to baby bottles and formula; warm coats to razors and underwear. The donations, which in the past have been sent to Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Europe, will also include many boxes of knitting – hats, scarves, jumpers, mittens & blankets from the volunteer Knit for Kids program.

At the Bring & Buy volunteers will be selling gifts, cakes, teas and coffees as well as hand made Christmas cards and calendars. Guests will also have a chance to win prizes in the charity raffle. As well as sending aid to refugees, any additional money raised on the day will go towards the first stage of the most recent project to supply a well and water pump to a rural school in Ghana. The project will then supply solar panels and go on to rebuild and equip the school.

To find out more information about CDUK, or their plans for #givingtuesday visit their website: 

The Christmas Challenge is the Big Give’s flagship online match funding campaign which raises millions for charities in just a few short days.

Charities have been unsurprisingly quick to realise the strength of this opportunity, capitalising on the powerful match funding incentive to raise funds for their causes. With the implementation of charity-led improvements to the campaign, appetite can only be set to continue to grow.

Leveraging the power of match funding for your cause

The Big Give, an online donation platform that specialises in match funding campaigns, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the Big Give will be working with charities to raise even more money than in previous years. This is no mean feat when you learn that its flagship campaign, the Christmas Challenge, has raised over £78 million for more than 2,800 charity projects since it launched. Last year the campaign launched on #givingtuesday and over £7.2 million was raised in just 7 days when over 300 charities worked together to simultaneously raise funds for their causes.

How the campaign works

In a nutshell, online donations to participating charities are doubled by funds secured in the run up to the campaign. These funds come from two sources: a Champion (a Trust, Foundation, Philanthropist or Corporate sourced by the Big Give) and Pledgers (charities’ major supporters). Charities use this matching pot to double donations made online during the campaign which kicks off on #givingtuesday once again. The Christmas Challenge stands out because it so neatly brings together all types of charity supporters into one campaign, allowing charities to develop multiple income streams as they raise funds.

Charities are responsible for selecting a project to fundraise for, and marketing this to their supporters. In 2016, these projects collectively raised an impressive £1.3m for the international development sector. Send A Cow, a #givingtuesday partner, won 1st prize in our Christmas Challenge Awards which recognised the most successful charities taking part in the campaign. They have spoken about their Christmas Challenge experience:

We were really excited to take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge because we knew from previous experience that matched funding can be popular.  However we were really amazed at how all our audiences got behind the campaign from individuals to churches and volunteers.  It was so positive to see how an integrated channel approach to drive online response worked so well with what is, in the main, a direct mail recruited audience.  For pledgers, encouraging others to support Send a Cow was very rewarding and deepened their relationship with us, particularly as we could talk to them throughout the campaign and with feedback afterwards. We are now successfully taking this learning into creating more matched funding opportunities across our Individual and major donor programmes as a result. ~ Vickie Wood, Head of Individual Giving at Send a Cow

The evolution of the Christmas Challenge

The Christmas Challenge campaign has evolved since its conception in order to improve the experience for charities and donors alike. Significant changes to the model were successfully trialled in 2016 following an extensive charity consultation. For the first time, match funds were ring-fenced for participating charities according to their own individual fundraising targets. This ensured that funds lasted longer than in previous years when charities had been competing with each other. Secondly, the campaign was simplified by the release of all match funding in one go so that a donation could be doubled at any time during the campaign. In previous years there had been a stop-start structure to the campaign, necessary because of its competitive nature. The Big Give also removed the fees for charities to ensure even greater value for money for those taking part.

The results

The changes have made a significant positive impact on the benefit to charities, which corresponds to research commissioned by the Big Give in 2016 (see full report). Survey results show that match funding helps to:

  • Get more people giving – 95% of charities who took part in the 2016 campaign received donations from new supporters
  • Get people giving more –  63% said that current supporters gave more than they usually would
  • Build fundraising capacity – the benefits go beyond the financials with 83% increasing their confidence in fundraising.The Big Give provides coaching and resources in order to help charities make the most of the opportunity.

Join the movement of online match funding

Charities can apply for the Christmas Challenge 2017 by visiting Applications close on 7th July.

Rachel Earnshaw, Charity Relationship Manager, The Big Give @BigGive