President, Double the Donation
Making the most of corporate matching gifts is one of the simplest and most impactful ways for nonprofits to increase their fundraising revenue substantially. These types of programs drive additional funding through corporate donations made to match employees’ initial gifts. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!
Yet if your fundraising team is new to matching gifts, you might be overlooking a few best practices that can help scale your program up, allowing you to collect more corporate dollars than ever before.
Here’s what we suggest you do to bring your matching gifts to the next level:
- Promote matching gifts throughout your marketing efforts.
- Embed a matching gift database in your online giving forms.
- Segment your donor follow-up messaging.
- Automate the matching gift process.
Are you ready to increase the results of your corporate matching gift program? Let’s dive in with our first best practice.
1. Promote matching gifts throughout your marketing efforts.
A big part of any nonprofit strategic plan concerns its marketing efforts and communicating with supporters in the most effective way possible. The same is true with matching gifts!
In fact, marketing matching gifts is one of the most critical stages in the process—especially considering the number 1 roadblock to successful gift-matching programs is the widespread lack of awareness among donors. To combat this lack of awareness, consider which of your marketing channels you’ll use to promote matching gifts:
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok)
- Email (personalized messaging and mass e-blasts)
- Direct mail (letters, postcards, inserts)
Regardless of the channel(s) you choose, informing your network about the impact and availability of corporate gift-matching programs is a must. Not only can it help drive existing donors to request matches from their employers, but it may also encourage on-the-fence supporters to take that next step to give, knowing that it will make twice the impact on your mission.
2. Embed a matching gift database in your online giving forms.
Implementing an easily searchable matching gift database tool directly within your online donation forms is one of the best ways to promote matching gift opportunities while donor engagement is at its highest. Here’s how the integrated process might work:
- A donor begins filling out your online donation form.
- Within the form, they are prompted to input their employer’s name in an optional search field.
- The donor submits their gift.
- Company-specific guidelines are automatically emailed to the donor with information on donation minimums and maximums, match ratios, qualifying types of employees and nonprofits, submission deadlines, and more.
- If available, donors will be directed to their employer’s online request forms or instructions on how to request a match.
Another key perk of incorporating matching gifts into the donation process is notably larger gifts. Studies show that the offer of a matching donation will lead 1 in 3 donors to increase their gift size! This way, not only will you receive a bonus donation from their employer, but you’ll also reap the benefits of their extra-generous initial gift in the first place.
3. Segment your donor follow-up messaging.
Many donors should complete the match request process immediately following their donation. But for others, they’ll likely need a few reminders to ensure the submission process is completed. When you do, you’ll want to take a personalized approach to ensure each donor receives the most relevant and targeted messaging possible.
We recommend segmenting by:
- Matching gift eligibility (such as match-eligible, match-ineligible, and unknown eligibility): Sending multiple reminders to match-eligible donors can be a great way to encourage match requests and effectively secure those corporate dollars. But for those whose employers don’t offer matching gifts, you don’t want to flood their inboxes with match requests. Be sure to adjust your communications in terms of both messaging and frequency to ensure supporters receive the most relevant outreach possible.
- Gift size (small, mid-size, or major donations): You’ll want to take a more personalized approach to communication with your highest value donors. For instance, you might employ email follow-ups for small and mid-sized contributors while going a few steps further for your major gift-givers, such as a personalized phone call from a member of your leadership team.
- Type of supporter (one-time, lapsed, or recurring donors): The type of donor you’re targeting will affect the kind of messages you’ll be sending. For example, a one-time donor will need to be stewarded strategically to keep them supporting in the future. In contrast, recurring givers might benefit from additional information on how to batch matches from several gifts.
The way you go about these follow-ups can make a massive difference in the resulting matching gift revenue. When you ensure each message is carefully crafted with the donor in mind, you can ensure maximal results in terms of both revenue and engagement.
4. Automate the matching gift process.
Promoting and incorporating matching gifts can seem like a lot to manage if you’re flagging eligible donors and sending each message manually.
When you take an automated approach to matching gifts, you can leverage innovative software that handles the personalization and timing of communications from start to finish. For example, you can employ an automation tool to scan donor information collected through your donation forms (such as corporate email addresses or employers selected). Then, this system can easily determine supporter eligibility for matching gift programs and segment communications to ensure no match prospects fall through the cracks. Plus, this way, you’ll have more time and resources to devote to other mission needs!
Don’t let available matching gift dollars go to waste by lacking a detailed plan regarding the funding source. When you take a strategic marketing approach, leverage matching gift database software, and employ automation tactics to drive results, you’ll see higher levels of matched gifts and more revenue for your cause. Plus, your donors will appreciate the opportunity to give more in meaningful ways. Good luck!