Your nonprofit is likely using a broad variety of fundraising methods to bring in donations.
Is corporate philanthropy included in those fundraising strategies?
Corporate philanthropy can take a lot of different forms, but matching gift programs are one of the most common ways that companies reward employee giving.
Matching gifts are exactly what they sound like: they are donations that a company will make to a nonprofit after an employee has made a contribution. They are often the same amount (thus, the term “matching”), but some companies offer matching gift programs at higher ratios.
Of course, there are numerous variations that occur from company to company; some employers will only match full-time employees’ donations while others will double donations from the CEO down to part-time workers.
Others will match donations as low as $1 and up to $15,000, while others’ regulations are a bit stricter.
If your nonprofit isn’t promoting matching gifts, you could be missing out on significant donations from your supporters and their employers.
As a sneak peek, here’s what we’ll be covering in this article:
- Matching Gifts and Online Donation Pages
- Matching Gifts and Major Gifts
- Matching Gifts and Fundraising Events
- Matching Gifts and Nonprofit Updates
Let’s get started.
1. Matching Gifts + Online Donation Pages
Online fundraising in all of its forms is taking the nonprofit world by storm. People are following a link to a donation form from Facebook, giving via text message, and looking at emailed donation appeals on their tablets.
Why not bring up matching gifts during your online fundraising conversations?
Let’s look at a couple of ways you can include matching gifts on your online donation page.
Including a Matching Gift Tool on Your Donation Page
Donor engagement is at its highest when supporters are in the middle of giving.
It’s the perfect opportunity to let them know that they might be able to double their contribution!
The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta demonstrates how a matching gift tool can be implemented directly on a donation form for an enhanced donor experience.
Note that the button is large and colorful, drawing the user’s eye. It is also near the top of the donation form, making it easy for donors to look into matching gifts early in the donation process.
Incorporating a matching gift tool on your donation page is a simple way to encourage donors to look into doubling their donation!
Matching Gifts on an Acknowledgement Page
Some donors might not have looked into matching gifts on your donation page, but all is not lost! You can still incorporate matching gifts on your online acknowledgment page for fundraising success.
The American Cancer Fund uses their acknowledgment page as a way to genuinely thank donors and let them know about matching gifts.
The acknowledgment page accomplishes two things:
- It thanks donors for the contribution and reminds them of what their donations go toward.
- It mentions matching gifts and gives users a tool to look up their employers’ matching gift programs.
By incorporating matching gifts on the acknowledgment page, the American Cancer Fund is potentially able to double the donations that they’re already receiving.
Your nonprofit can do the same.
By mentioning matching gifts on your online donation form and on your acknowledgment page, you encourage your strongest supporters to look into having their gifts doubled.
Bonus: Take a look at these successful online fundraising campaigns.
2. Matching Gifts + Major Gifts
Your major gift donors can be a fundraising blessing to your organization. One major gift can be the difference between an organization meeting its fundraising goal and that same organization coming up short.
While you should already have a substantive major gift solicitation and cultivation process, you can integrate matching gifts into that strategy to meet with greater fundraising success.
For instance, you could:
- Mention matching gifts during your in-person meetings. Fundraising, and specifically major gift solicitation, requires talking to your donors. These meetings are ideal for spelling out the matching gift process and encouraging your biggest donors to have their donations doubled.
- Encourage your major gift donors to start their own matching gift programs. Whether Marjorie Major-Donor is a board member of a large company or the owner of a local business, she’s likely part of some kind of corporate leadership. If the company she’s a part of doesn’t have a matching gift program, you can use your meetings to encourage her to start her own.
- Combine the power of matching gifts, major gifts, and prospect research. You’re likely using prospect research to locate your major gift donors in the first place. You can also use it to help pin down who your matching-gift-eligible donors might be!
Not all of your major gift donors will be able to have all of their donations matched. There are maximums set forth by companies, after all. But it’s worth mentioning matching gifts to your major gift donors.
You might end up with two sizeable donations!
3. Matching Gifts + Fundraising Events
Fundraising events can be an excellent way for your nonprofit to get to know your donors a bit better.
It’s one thing to ask for a donation over the phone or with an email, but it’s quite another to see your donors face-to-face and demonstrate your gratitude in person.
Fundraising events are also great opportunities to talk about matching gifts!
You have a captive audience — check!
You have a motivating speaker — check!
You have matching gift information — check, check!
The timing will never be better!
Ask your most animated speaker to mention matching gifts during a presentation or speech and show your donors an example of a matching gift submission form.
Even though your donors will likely have to wait until they’re at home or work to submit their request, your fundraising event speaker will have planted the seed in their minds.
Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing more donations come in with the help of matching gifts.
Bonus: Check out the 6 biggest mistakes that nonprofits make when planning a fundraising event (and how you can avoid them!).
4. Matching Gifts + Nonprofit Updates
Your organization might be sending out regular direct mail newsletters or emailing updates to your supporters.
In any case, you can use these communications to mention matching gifts.
Part of the magic of matching gifts is that they aren’t direct donation appeals. You can educate donors about matching gifts without asking them to open their wallets again.
Donors do not like being repeatedly asked for donations. They want to know what their previous donations are accomplishing and where your organization is heading.
Sending out general updates via email, direct mail, and even social media is well-received by donors, but you can also include information about matching gifts in these updates!
For instance, you could try doing what the National Kidney Foundation does in their email newsletter.
The National Kidney Foundation tells supporters that their fundraising goal has been surpassed and lets them know that they might be able to double or triple their donations.
Note that the newsletter doesn’t explicitly ask for a donation. Instead, it lets donors know the good news and gives them more information about matching gifts.
Your communications with donors don’t have to be solely donation appeals. Provide them with updates paired with matching gift info to see more fundraising success!
Whether you’re just getting started in the matching gifts game or you’ve been mentioning matching gifts in your fundraising appeals for years, you can always stand to improve a little (or a lot!).
Hopefully, these four matching gift pairings will get your creative fundraising ideas flowing.
What about your nonprofit? What success have you had with matching gifts? When is the best time to mention them to donors?
This blog was authored and provided to us by Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation.