• Partner: Big Give
  • Sector: Philanthrophy & Impact Investing

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  • Purpose Advertising & Campaigns

Big Give is the UK’s leading match fundraising charity and has raised over £1bn for good causes in the last decade. At a time when Britain was facing an acute cost of living crisis, the Big Give team tasked Shape History to help them supercharge their Christmas Challenge 2023 and fundraise more than ever before for charities across the UK.

And we didn’t just surpass 2022, we absolutely smashed it!

£33,015,000 raised in just 1 week
15% YoY increase in fundraising
373.9m opportunities to view

The challenge

The Christmas period is the busiest time of year for charity fundraising campaigns. Big Give challenged us with helping them stand out from the rest. Following years of growth and in the face of the cost of living crisis, it was going to be harder than ever to breathe new life and interest in the Christmas Challenge 2023.

Big Give needed to drive more members of the public to donate through their match funding platform, to support charities in navigating these challenging financial times.

The solution

To make the concept of Big Give’s match funding challenge both easy to understand and more fun than your usual fundraising, we created The Big Give Doubler. A magical machine found inside Santa’s Grotto that doubles every gift. For Christmas, but for donations too.

The campaign was heroed by a quirky flagship video that recruited the dulcet tones of acclaimed actor Jeremy Irons to tell the story of the Big Give Doubling Machine. The festive feature and its protagonists captured people’s hearts, appearing all over social media and on commuters’ journeys home via radios and train station billboards across the country. It even snuck its way into mainstream media, including Good Morning Britain, HELLO!, and Sky News, and generated over 373m opportunities to view through our PR partner.

Talk about impact! In just 1 week, Big Give raised over £33,000,000, their biggest fundraising campaign ever and a 15% increase on 2022.

Keep it simple, stupid
Match funding as a concept can be confusing to get your head around. Fundraising for hundreds of charities at once also makes it pretty overwhelming. But for audiences, it doesn’t have to be. 

A lot of charity advertising leans on sad stories and guilt tactics… and sometimes, that works. Standing out from the crowd, however, meant not shying away from putting on a positive spin.


We couldn’t make Santa a real, movie-magic grotto, but we didn’t let that stop us. Instead, we made him a miniature set and a magical machine – using a green screen to bring it to life. When the idea is there, production limitations can fit around it. The same can’t be said in reverse.

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    Storytelling with shapes

    Shape History’s creative brilliance, commitment to meaningful storytelling, and the support of their exceptional team have been instrumental in making Big Give’s Christmas marketing campaign a resounding success this year. Their collaborative spirit and dedication to our cause have not only met but exceeded our expectations. Over the past two years, through multiple creative partnerships across various projects, Shape History has consistently proven to be a delight to work with, always delivering on key objectives with an innovative approach. We wholeheartedly recommend them, and am sure we will work on more impactful projects together.

    Alex Day
    CEO, Big Give

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