Report Finds Match Funds Stimulate Higher & More Frequent Donations

  • A new Localgiving report explores how match funding and other financial incentives stimulate charitable giving
  • In 2015, Localgiving’s Incentivised Giving Programme raised £834,224 for 1,288 groups from 16,561 donors

A new report by Localgiving has given an insight into how financial incentives affect people’s donation decisions. The findings show that different incentives – ranging from match funding to competition prizes – can be used to engage supporters in charitable causes, as well as stimulate higher, more frequent donations.

In 2015, Localgiving ran six match fund campaigns featuring a range of different incentives to encourage donations. These included 1:1 match funding, ‘randomised’ match funding (in which donations had a chance of being matched) and fundraiser competitions.

Using donation data and donor feedback, Striking a Match: Incentivised Giving Report 2016 looks at the impact of each campaign on the overall amount raised; charity and donor participation rates; donation size and frequency; donor sentiment and retention.

The report finds that:

  • The vast majority of donor survey respondents see campaign incentives as a crucial factor in their decision to donate. In the February 2015 #GiveMe5 survey 83.4% of respondents said that match funding had influenced their decision “a lot” or was the “only reason” that they had donated.
  • Donor surveys show a clear, positive correlation between the likelihood of a donation being matched and the amount donors are willing to donate.
  • Deterministic match funds (in which donations are guaranteed to be matched) see the highest participation levels, but require substantial initial investment in terms of match funding.
  • Competitions increase the average donation size and provide the best leverage for campaign funders, but show lower participation rates amongst charities.

Download the full PDF report

Localgiving is the UK’s leading online giving and support network for local charities and community groups. Localgiving’s Incentivised Giving Programme is designed to support grassroots groups to engage with digital technology and develop practical fundraising experience, whilst reaching new donors and raising funds for their cause.

Stephen Mallinson, Chief Executive of Localgiving said:

“In recent years Localgiving has been exploring incentivisation as a way to engage people with their local charities and community groups. In 2015 we gathered these ideas into a coherent calendar programme for the first time.

This report compares and contrasts the six Incentivised Giving Campaigns we ran in 2015 – not only proving conclusively that match funding works as a concept, but also showing how different incentives can be used to achieve different outcomes.

The findings will be used to inform Localgiving’s future initiatives .We also hope that this report can stimulate debate in the wider fundraising sector about the huge potential of incentivised giving.”

For more information about Local Hero or any other Localgiving campaigns, please visit, email or call 0300 111 2340.


For more information please contact:

Lou Coady, Head of Marketing - / 0300 111 2340 or

Lewis Garland, Communications Manager -

About Localgiving

Localgiving is the UK’s leading membership and support network for local charities and community groups. It aims to empower grassroots organisations to fundraise online, connect with supporters and take control of their financial future. In addition, it provides advocacy for the local voluntary sector and works to secure third party funding for its members. It provides free training opportunities, fundraising resources and regular incentivised giving campaigns to help groups raise funds online.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Localgiving, on Thursday 4 August, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow

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Report Finds Match Funds Stimulate Higher & More Frequent Donations