Press release

UK Aid Match: £120 million boost for British charities

Britain to match public donations to major international development charity appeals.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


British charities will get a £120 million boost over the next three years thanks to the launch today of a new scheme to match public charitable donations with funding from the international development budget, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

The UK Aid Match programme will help British charities change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people by matching public donations to charity appeals with funding from the international development budget, up to a total of £5 million per appeal. The extra funding will help millions of people in the developing world, from those lacking access to safe water in Africa to those affected by the Syria crisis.

The launch follows completion of a successful pilot scheme which saw a total of £42 million in public donations to 17 different charities matched by the UK government. An estimated 3.8 million people in the UK donated to the appeals match-funded during the pilot stage, with some six million of the poorest people in the developing world expected to benefit as a result.

UK Aid Match was set up to give a boost to public support for charities working in the developing world.

It matches with government funding appeals run by some of the charities closest to the British public’s heart, in recognition of both the public’s generosity and the wide range of causes they support.

Justine Greening said:

Aid Match matters for people donating to charities because it means we take the overseas development priorities of the public and make them ours too.

People power is literally doubling the amount that great causes are receiving from the public. And when individual donors know about our match funding scheme they tend to give more because they recognise that each pound they give doubles up.

Notes to editors

  1. Quotes from charities that took part in the pilot are available on request.
  2. Match funded appeals in the pilot ranged from Christian Aid Week’s work to help people in Africa and Asia grow and sell their own food, through to Unicef’s ‘Soccer Aid’ fund raiser to ensure hundreds of thousands more children under the age of five got better healthcare and more nutritious food.
  3. The new scheme is also designed to make sure that charities with an annual income of £1 million or less can access matched funding, with a portion of total funds specifically ringfenced for small charities.
  4. The key requirements for the match funding scheme are that the organisation running the appeal is based in the UK; that it is working in the developing world in one of 26 ‘priority countries’; and that the appeal is set to raise at least £100,000.
  5. Because the scheme is set up to give an extra boost to the causes the British public support, the appeal must also have a good chance of reaching a large section of the population. So organisations need a plan in place to make sure that at least 400,000 people have the chance to find out about their appeal.
  6. DFID welcomes applications from UK-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisations at

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Published 29 September 2013