Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Big Match Fortnight: so far we’ve raised a magnificent £636,000

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17 October, 2013 - 10:50 -- World Land Trust
Baby Orang-utan in the wild. © Chris Perrett /

In the space of just two weeks, World Land Trust (WLT) has achieved its greatest ever fundraising success.

By 5pm on the last day of Big Match Fortnight, WLT had raised just over £636,000 in a combination of public donations and matched funding pledges. This figure excludes Gift Aid, and donations are still being processed, so the final total is going to be even higher.

The funds are being used to purchase crucial parcels of land to secure a wildlife corridor in Sabah, north east Borneo, which is vital habitat for wild Orang-utans in particular.

Big Match Fortnight

During Big Match Fortnight (2-16 October 2013), all donations to WLT's Borneo Rainforest Appeal were matched by funds pledged in advance by a small group of very generous benefactors.

WLT’s initial target was £300,000 on the strength of £150,000 committed in match funds. But when more match funding was promised, it became clear that there was potential to raise a lot more money.

Added to this, a national advertising campaign, run at no cost to WLT, and Simon Barnes’ articles in The Times helped raise awareness of Big Match Fortnight and the plight of Orang-utans, both before and during the fortnight.

Just two days before the end of Big Match Fortnight, the appeal was highlighted at Controversial Conservation, a public debate organised by WLT at the Royal Society. After the event, many of those attending went on to make generous donations to the appeal.

“Public support for Big Match Fortnight has been overwhelming,” said John Burton, WLT Chief Executive. “We felt confident that the offer of match funds would inspire more people to donate, but the public response has exceeded all expectations. Thank you to those who pledged the match funds and to everyone who donated to the Borneo Rainforest Appeal during Big Match Fortnight.”

WLT's Borneo Rainforest Appeal has an overall target of one million pounds, and more events and activities are planned for 2014 - WLT’s 25th anniversary year - to raise funds to conserve as much forest in Malaysian Borneo as possible while there is still time.

“On the eve of our 25th anniversary, the outstanding success of Big Match Fortnight and the Borneo Rainforest Appeal is hugely inspiring and encouraging,” said John. “We are looking forward to an action-packed anniversary year and saving as much habitat and threatened species as we can. A big thank you to everyone who has helped us with this remarkable achievement.”

More information

After Big Match Fortnight, please help WLT reach its million pound target to safeguard Orang-utan forest habitat by donating to the Borneo Rainforest Appeal.

Donate to Borneo Rainforest Appeal »


Submitted by Dominic Belfield on

What an enormously uplifting piece of news. And a truly great result; as an agitator in favour of a home produced fund raising drive (instead of via the Big Give) it gives me particular relief and satisfaction that you have done so well.

It just goes to show that, get your message, your subject and your objective right, and have it backed up with some fine hearted sponsors (match funders) and the great British public (and good people beyond) will rise superbly to the challenge.

Very Well Done to you all.

Now for the difficult bit... Secure the rainforest ! Your track record here is first rate, go get 'em !

Submitted by Chris Redston on

Very pleased that this has been a big success and I would imagine this will become an annual fixture in the WLT calendar. Following on from Dominic's comment, it's worth noting that this event might not have happened at all if we hadn't given the Big Give a go for the last couple of years. All fundraising efforts are worth trying and perhaps there is room in the calendar for both, if the Big Match Fortnight was earlier in the year. Also, I hope that all the people who donated to the Borneo appeal are followed up with a personalised email or letter telling them what we have achieved together, thanking them for their help and - crucially - encouraging them to become Friends and make regular donations. Given the urgency of the current situation and the need to increase our income as much as possible, we urgently need to increase our donor base, and this seems like it would be a productive way to do so.
Finally, congratulations again and thanks to all the staff who put so much effort into this promotion.

Submitted by lynn thompson on

fabulous news

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