29 April 2011, the date of the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, continues to draw attention from the nation’s public and media alike. Charities should certainly not ignore it either.
The Big Give, a website founded by Sir Alec Reed which allows donors to support their favourite charity projects, has recently announced a commemorative Royal Wedding Challenge Fund. This will involve major sponsors, donors and philanthropic organisations – including The Reed Foundation – doubling all online donations made by the public to charities.
In adherence with his wish for a ‘People’s Wedding’, our future king is demonstrating his concern for charities during these harsh times with suggestions that guests should donate to charities rather than provide the usual lavish gifts. Should other charitable foundations be doing the same? Could The Big Give’s efforts inspire others to embrace this historic occasion and capitalise (literally) on the couple’s wide-spread popularity?
The Big Give’s match funding has already brought enormous success. Its Christmas Challenge in 2009 raised over £8 million in a week, four times the amount of the Matched Funding Challenge in 2008 when £1 million was attributed to online donations made in the space of a mere 45 minutes! If awareness of The Royal Wedding Challenge matches the scale of the occasion, charitable giving will surely break records.
Prince William is a Patron of 23 charities, including Centrepoint, National Aids Trust and the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. His notable volunteering work and intentions with his bride to take on more charitable roles marks him out as a man who understands what charities can achieve with the right support.