President, Double the Donation
Did you know that approximately $4-7 billion in matching gift funding is left unclaimed each year? Just imagine what nonprofits could accomplish if they fully utilized that untapped source of fundraising revenue. Imagine what your nonprofit could do!
As proud partners, Totem and Double the Donation are working to bridge that gap. By combining insightful fundraising software with a comprehensive and intuitive matching gift platform, we seek to provide nonprofits everywhere with the tools they need to thrive.
If you’re a nonprofit professional looking to begin leveraging matching gifts for your organization, here are five crucial things to know:
- Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy.
- Donors are more likely to give if their donation is matched.
- Most donors don’t realize they’re eligible.
- A matching gift database and search tool is key.
- Automation tools can triple your matching gift revenue.
Matching gifts can be a powerful fundraising tool when used effectively, essentially providing charitable causes like yours with free, bonus funding. Who wouldn’t want that?
1. Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy.
Before we dive into matching gift strategy, it’s important to understand the basics. Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy in which companies financially match donations made by employees to eligible nonprofits.
These corporate giving programs are truly a win-win for both the businesses and organizations involved. Take a look at some of the key benefits to each group:
- Corporations benefit by bolstering their corporate social responsibility, as businesses that support charitable causes are more appealing in the eyes of the consumer. Plus, employees appreciate the support to their favorite causes as well, which can even boost workplace morale.
- Nonprofits benefit by receiving extra funding to go toward their overall mission. You probably worked hard to solicit the original donation from a dedicated supporter. Now, all they have to do is request a match from their employer and you get two gifts for the cost of securing one!
Matching gift programs are fantastic opportunities for corporations and nonprofits to create strengthened partnerships built on a mutually beneficial relationship.
2. Donors are more likely to give if their donation is matched.
In addition to obvious perks to the businesses and organizations partaking in matching gift programs, the donor can benefit from the partnership as well. After all, donors want to support your cause, which is why they made a gift in the first place! If they can make an even bigger impact without reaching back into their own wallet, that’s an exciting opportunity.
In fact, studies show that 84% of supporters report a higher likelihood of making a gift if they know it will be matched. Further, 1 in 3 donors indicates that they’d make a larger donation if it’s being matched. Leveraging matching gifts is a great way to boost supporter engagement in a way that’s not always asking for another financial contribution on their part.
3. Most donors don’t realize they’re eligible.
Now you might be asking yourself, if matching gifts are such a win-win-win for everyone involved, (donor, employer, and organization) why are they so significantly underutilized? The answer to this question is largely due to a severe lack of awareness.
Over 18 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs. Yet most eligible donors are completely unaware of the fact that their donations could be matched. That’s where optimized marketing strategies come in. Promoting matching gifts in high-traffic locations is the key to informing eligible donors.
Here are three recommended strategies for getting the word out about the power of matching gifts:
- Email outreach: Email marketing is always a good way to communicate with donors. Be sure to include a section on matching gifts in your donation follow-up and thank-you emails, reminding the donor that their impact can be doubled with just a few simple steps. Plus, you can send out more general email campaigns promoting matching gifts to your entire network of support. As you know, this can increase the likelihood of a supporter making a gift!
- Matching gift web pages: It’s also a good idea to create optimized web pages to share information about matching gift programs and provide an easy way for donors to check their own eligibility. You can promote matching gifts on your donation pages, “ways to give” pages, and even create dedicated matching gift web pages chock full of useful information.
- Social media: Your own social media platforms are another effective way to spread the word about matching gifts. Many of your supporters likely already follow your accounts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, meaning it’s a great way to grab their attention. Send out blurbs such as “Millions of employers match employees’ charitable gifts. See if you’re eligible here,” with a link to your matching gift web page.
The more you promote matching gifts, the more donors will be likely to pursue the process. After all, you can’t expect your network to support you in a way they’ve never even heard of.
4. A matching gift database and search tool is key.
Once you’ve informed your supporters about matching gift programs and the ways in which they can benefit your organization, it’s important to make their next steps as simple as possible.
As much as they want to help your nonprofit, most individuals are not likely to complete a lengthy research and request process. That’s why an easy-to-use, searchable matching gift database (like the one offered by Double the Donation) is essential. The process goes like this:
- An individual submits a gift through an online donation page.
- The donor searches for their employer in an embedded matching gift search tool.
- The matching gift database automatically provides relevant information and suggested next steps based on the donor’s employer.
- The donor is encouraged to take the next steps to request a match for their donation.
An optimized database streamlines the entire process by essentially walking with the donor every step of the way. It only takes a few seconds for the donor to look up their employer in the search tool and get the ball rolling.
5. Automation tools can triple your matching gift revenue.
So what about donors who opt not to search their matching gift eligibility? Luckily, that’s not your last chance to grab their attention and solicit a match. With matching gift automation tools like 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, the software takes the process a few steps further on its own. Take a look at what automation tools can bring to your matching gift strategy:
- Screen donors for matching gift eligibility. By analyzing donor contact information (such as email domain) provided in your online donation forms, 360MatchPro can determine whether a gift is likely eligible for a match. That way, even if a donor didn’t include their employer information, a prediction can be made anyway.
- Automatically follow up with donors after their gift. Then, donors are categorized by their likelihood of match eligibility— likely eligible, likely ineligible, or unknown eligibility. Based on which category they fall into, a prewritten email will be automatically sent (taking the burden of following up with each donor off your team).
- Track matches and drive more to completion. Between the following two steps and 360MatchPro’s top-tier reporting capabilities, eligible matches are more likely to be tracked and driven to completion. With an intuitive fundraising dashboard, you can easily predict and make note of potential revenue coming in from matches.
The less effort that’s required on the part of the donor, the more matches you’re likely to receive. And the less effort that’s required from your nonprofit staff is time and energy that can be used elsewhere! That’s why automating the matching gift process is the most efficient way to go.
Now that we’ve walked through the basics of matching gifts and how to maximize the benefits for your nonprofit, you’re all set to get started. And with the right tools in your fundraising toolkit, you’re fully equipped to reap the benefits of corporate philanthropy. Good luck!