Did you know that 30% of nonprofit giving happens in December? Or that approximately 10% of all annual donations come in the last three days of the year?
The end-of-the-year giving season is essential for nonprofits across the globe, and matching gifts have the power to elevate fundraising even further. If you’re looking for impactful ways to bring your organization’s corporate gift-matching to the next level in time for the year-end giving season, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk through four key strategies in this guide.
- Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals.
- Collecting employment info in donation forms.
- Sending targeted gift follow-up emails.
- Reminding eligible donors about prior matchable donations.
Remember, ensuring your organization and its fundraising efforts are designed to grab your supporters’ attention is essential. Especially come year-end giving season, it’s equally important to craft your strategy in a way that allows your cause to stand out from the crowds—and effective corporate fundraising initiatives can do exactly that.
Let’s dive in to these key action steps!
1. Mention matching gifts in fundraising appeals.
Matching gifts allow organizations to raise more through corporate giving programs. For that reason alone, teams like yours should be adjusting their strategies to incorporate the opportunity. What some may not realize, however, is that promoting matching gifts in fundraising appeals is also a key way to get more donors to give individually—not to mention getting those donors to give more.
Thus, we recommend highlighting matching gifts in your nonprofit’s fundraising communications, especially as you’re ramping up your strategy for the year-end giving season. In fact, Double the Donation research shows that over 84% of survey participants say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered, and 1 in 3 donors indicate they’d give a larger gift if matching is applied.
All in all, mentioning matching leads to more than a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount, which can be particularly impactful for elevating your team’s end-of-year giving. Individual giving is already up—why not make the most of it by driving more donor funding and matching gifts at the same time?
2. Collect employment info in donation forms.
Let’s say your end-of-year fundraising appeals were extremely effective, and now all your donors are flooding your nonprofit’s donation form. That’s great—and you have even more opportunities to incorporate matching gifts directly into your online giving process.
One of the best (and simplest) things you can do to set your organization up for matching gifts with your donation pages involves collecting employment information from donors as they complete their gifts.
It can even be as quick and easy as asking for the name of the company an individual works for! Your donors are already providing a number of other data points—such as their name, gift information, payment method, and more. Many will be willing to provide their employing company as well, especially when the ask is framed with an opportunity for corporate matching.
(Hint: You can further streamline this process by embedding Double the Donation’s matching gift tool into your Humanitru giving forms. The seamless technical integration enables donors to begin typing and select their employer’s name in a featured auto-complete search tool. This information is then stored in their donor record and compared against thousands of companies’ matching gift programs to determine match eligibility.)
3. Send targeted gift follow-up emails.
Once you have your donors’ employment data on hand (and hopefully, matching gift eligibility), you’ll want to communicate their eligibility status to them. Unfortunately, millions of individuals who qualify for matching gift programs have never been made aware of the opportunity—so when in doubt, it’s good to communicate as much as possible, especially when it comes to the commotion of the year-end season.
One of our favorite ways to do this is by sending targeted follow-up emails in the hours or days after an individual submits their initial donation. The same studies by Double the Donation also indicate that sending matching gift reminder emails within 24 hours of a donation results in an average 53% open rate. That’s over 2-3 times higher than the average nonprofit email open rate, meaning these follow-up communications can be a particularly effective way to keep in touch with your donors regarding match opportunities and grow your matching gift revenue overall.
And when it comes to the contents of your follow-up messaging, the more specific the information, the better. If you have access to a donor’s employing company, be sure to share program-specific details. For example, if Donor A works for Coca-Cola, you’ll want them to know that their most recent donation of $500 to your organization qualifies for a 2:1 match. Don’t forget to include a direct link to their employer’s match portal, if available, too!
4. Remind eligible donors about prior matchable donations.
Finally, one of the most powerful strategies for driving matching gifts at the end of the year doesn’t have to concern gifts made during the year-end giving season at all. Instead, we recommend taking the time to look into match-eligible donors who have given previously in the year without submitting their match requests.
Those individuals may still qualify for corporate matching, which can help them increase their impact on your organization without having to reach back into their own wallets. Consider sending a message to all match-eligible donors from the last year, reminding them about matching gift opportunities and encouraging them to take the next steps now before it’s too late.
This can be a particularly effective strategy when you consider that tons of companies align their matching gift program deadlines with the end of the calendar year. In many cases, highlighting remaining matching gift opportunities in year-end materials can truly function as a last call for participation. And the urgency can help drive completed matches as well!
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A well-thought-out end-of-the-year giving strategy can be exactly what your organization needs to increase your annual giving and set your team up for ongoing success the following year. Keep in mind that donors love participating in workplace giving programs, too. They just often need to be informed and then reminded about the opportunities in the first place.
Embed these tactics in your EOY fundraising plan, promoting and encouraging matching gifts at multiple touch points throughout the donor experience.