The end of the year is an incredibly significant fundraising period for many nonprofits. If this is true for your organization, and it probably is, you’re probably always on the lookout for new ways to make the most of your fundraising strategy during these last few months. But watch out— you don’t want to wait too long to start planning!
One simple way to increase your donation revenue by up to 100% is by tapping into the power of matching gifts as a fundraising tactic.
Even if you’ve heard of matching gifts before or have received some in the past, it’s important to put some strategic thought into how best to market them to donors. Too many nonprofits miss out on this major opportunity, so taking the time to develop and implement a matching gifts strategy now will go a long way to boost its effectiveness once Giving Tuesday rolls around your fundraising needs to really kick into high gear.
Plus, you’ll get a headstart on fundraising before your team gets too busy to develop a brand new marketing plan. Let’s walk through the basics of matching gifts and 3 of the most effective tools for promoting them to donors.
What are matching gifts?
Matching gifts are one type of corporate philanthropy in which employers match donations that their employees make to qualified nonprofit organizations. The most common matching ratio is 1:1, although some companies will match up to $2, $3, or even $4 for every dollar given.
However, only a small percentage of corporate giving is actually being taken advantage of— an estimated $4-7 billion worth of matching gifts are not being utilized each year. In fact, the majority of qualified donors have no idea about their matching gift eligibility.
This means that if you want to start taking advantage of matching gifts and lay a strong foundation for your 2020 year-end fundraising, your organization must take the initiative to inform donors of these programs ahead of time!
As proud partners, GiveGab and Double the Donation are working together to empower nonprofits to start raising more support through corporate philanthropy. By making use of Double the Donation’s matching gifts software within GiveGab’s suite of online fundraising tools, nonprofits can more easily secure two donations in one! However, you have to lay some groundwork first.
These 3 tools and strategies will help prepare your donors to take advantage of matching gift opportunities:
- Social media marketing to raise awareness.
- Company search widget to streamline employer eligibility confirmation.
- Giving day platform to promote the urgency of giving.
By examining these three strategies, we will come to a greater understanding of how to best utilize matching gifts in your nonprofit’s year-end fundraising.
1) Social Media Marketing
Utilizing your social media platforms is a great way to increase awareness for matching gifts. These are three of the main ways social media can help you:
- Donors can interact with and share your posts. One of the key benefits of using social media as a marketing tool is the high levels of interactivity. Donors are able to like, comment, and share your posts, which in turn increases the number of potential new donors exposed to your message. These tips can help you create posts that are 40 times more likely to be shared!
- Repeat exposure can lead to an increase in conversions. Because matching gift programs are a new concept to many donors, it may take a few tries to catch their interest. Many marketing specialists believe 7 to be that lucky number, meaning it may take up to 7 attempts at reaching a target before they really begin to take notice of your message.
- You can link directly back to your website. Thanks to the digital nature of social media, you are able to grab donors’ attention with your social blasts, and then direct their attention right to your website. You may choose to send donors straight to a donation page, to an informative page on matching gifts, etc., which is a direct, easily-followed call to action.
Check out these 12 sample social media posts promoting matching gifts, customized for both Facebook and Twitter, and consider taking advantage of these strategies for your nonprofit.
Starting to raise awareness for matching gifts now will give you a stronger foundation to build on when more intense fundraising occurs throughout the rest of the year. That way when it comes time to really gather donations, donors will already have a good amount of background knowledge in place.
2) Company Search Widget
Promoting matching gift programs to donors is only an effective strategy if you also make sure to provide a way to take advantage of them! The most direct way to empower your donors is to give them a search tool right on your donation page or ways to give page.
Double the Donation’s employer database is the simplest way for a donor to find out whether they are eligible for their gift to be matched.
Here’s why Double the Donation’s tool really stands out:
- A comprehensive database: Double the Donation offers the most exhaustive list of participating employers, and it’s continually being updated. Currently, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, and over 18 million individuals are employed by eligible companies. This database widget allows donors to quickly check whether they are one of these eligible employees.
- Next steps: Once a donor sees their eligibility status, the widget automatically pulls suggested next steps in the submission process, depending on their employer. This includes any links to electronic request forms, contact information for the employer, etc. The less research the donor has to do themselves, the more likely they will follow through with submitting their match request!
Donors love knowing that their gifts will be going even further via corporate philanthropy— and so will you! If made aware of their matching gifts eligibility prior to completing the donation, 1 in 3 donors will be more likely to give a larger gift. Additionally, 84% of survey participants reported a higher likelihood to donate if a match were offered.
By raising awareness and then providing a streamlined way to initiate the process, you can get your matching gifts strategy off to a strong start.
3) Giving Day Platform
Once you’ve laid the groundwork with social media promotions and search tools, it’s time to turn your attention more specifically to the year-end giving season. Giving Days are a popular tactic to employ during the last few months of the year. One of the most well-known Giving Days is referred to as Giving Tuesday, taking place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
A Giving Day is defined as a 24-hour online fundraising challenge dedicated to increasing awareness and collecting donations for a particular cause during that limited time period.
So, why run a Giving Day? Here are just a few reasons:
- The hype surrounding a Giving Day gets donors (both new and returning) excited about your organization and the specific cause you are working towards.
- The bandwagon effect can increase gifts from donors who may otherwise have opted not to get involved.
- The 24-hour time period creates a sense of short-term urgency, which leads to higher rates of immediate follow-through. Giving Days have had a great impact on fundraising in that they are fighting against the “I’ll just donate tomorrow, or maybe another day,” mentality.
You’ve more than likely experienced firsthand the impact that a well-planned Giving Day campaign can have on a nonprofit. In order to make sure your Giving Day runs smoothly, consider taking advantage of an online fundraising platform dedicated specifically to running the perfect Giving Day.
For example, GiveGab’s Giving Day platform includes assistance with strategy development and educational materials for your team, the most up-to-date technology and data analytics, and automated donor correspondence including thank-you’s and gift receipts.
Additionally, through GiveGab’s integration with Double the Donation, you will be able to create a customized donation page for your Giving Day that includes the build-in matching gifts database.
Successful Giving Days have raised millions in a 24-hour period. And, when combined with corporate matching gifts, each new donation has the potential to be doubled.
By utilizing a specially crafted combination of social media, matching gifts, and Giving Days, the donations will soon begin streaming into your nonprofit. Taking advantage of these fundraising strategies now will prepare you and your donors for the charitable giving season at the end of the year. This will allow your organization to maximize revenue and have you all set for the upcoming year. Good luck!
About the Author:
Adam Weinger is one of the leading experts on corporate giving programs. He’s the
President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of matching gift tools to nonprofit
organizations and educational institutions.