Donor excited about his donation match

June 8, 2023 | Categories DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured

How to Motivate Donors with a Matching Donation Program

What is a matching gift campaign?

A matching gift campaign is just like any fundraising campaign you’ve organized, except in this instance, you have a benefactor (a company, individual, foundation, etc.) that is going to contribute a gift that equals the donations you receive from your individual donors. 

The ratio of the matching gift can vary. Often, the benefactor will match $0.50 for each dollar (1:2 ratio), dollar for dollar (1:1), or double the amount you receive (2:1), and they typically set a maximum on the amount that they will match.

What is the ideal gift match ratio?

Turns out, all you really need is a 1:1 matching ratio. Studies have shown that 2:1 matches, while extremely generous, do not provide the additional motivation you might expect. However, matches with a ratio lower than 1:1 are not as motivating to your donors. So when you’re looking for a matching donor, do your best to secure a 1:1 to match.

Pro tip: If you’re struggling to find a matching donor for your campaign, make sure you promote corporate matching gifts. A lot of donors – in fact, 78% – don’t realize that their companies offer a matching gift program that allows them to double their impact. Plus, most matching gift submission forms only take about 5 minutes for your donor to complete.

To make it even easier for your donors, you can add a matching gift lookup widget to your online forms.

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5 Ways to Motivate Donors with Matching Gifts

Matching gifts are a proven way to increase your likelihood of receiving a gift, and it also increases your probability of receiving a larger gift. Donors who care about your cause want to maximize their impact. The best thing you can do is show them how.

1. Illustrate your donors’ impact

In your campaign message, outline the good work you’ve done with the money you raised in a previous campaign. Then, create a message that emphasizes the good you could do with double that amount or even more. This is a time to get creative. Think along the lines of “What would I do if I won the lottery?” 

2. Try a limited-time offer

While you want to avoid gimmicks like “act now” and “limited time opportunity” in your messaging, setting a time limit on your matching campaign is often necessary and can be beneficial. A matching company isn’t going to offer a match on any donation that ever comes in. Typically, they will match donations made during a set time period up to a certain limit. Providing a deadline will give your donors a sense of urgency and encourage a donation sooner rather than later. 

3. Increase your ask amounts

Matching campaigns often result in larger donations from individuals because they want to seize the opportunity of the matching gift. If you plan on sending out segmented appeals based on previous giving levels, this is a great time to strategically increase the ask amounts on your tailored giving forms. 

Pro tip: This is another opportunity to illustrate a donor’s impact. Use your giving forms to outline what incremental gift values can help you accomplish. DonorPerfect’s online forms make it easy to include impact statements on your custom forms. 

4. Remind donors of corporate matching gifts

If a donor’s company offers a matching gift program, this is actually an opportunity for them to triple the impact of their gift. They will be donating their original gift amount and your organization will receive two matches: one from the matching gift sponsor you’ve secured for your campaign and one from the donor’s employee matching gift program. 

Make sure your staff is well-versed in matching gift programs. It is estimated that $4-$7 billion of eligible matching gift money goes unclaimed each year, according to Double the Donation, DonorPerfect’s matching gift integration partner.

The more you educate your staff and donors on corporate matching gifts, the more likely you will be to see some added revenue from this source. If you need some more suggestions on how to spread the word, check out 12 Ideas to Promote Matching Gifts

Double the Donation form

5. Give your donors a voice

The corporate sponsor you’ve found to match your campaign gifts is an important donor. During or before the campaign, provide them with a platform to share their why. What is important to them about your cause? Why are they willing to support you in such a big way? A donor sharing their motivation may go a long way in providing the impetus other donors need to give, too. 

Pro tip: Consider having all of your donors share their why with a social media campaign. Once they make a donation, they can post online, sharing what prompted them to give to your cause.

Looking for a CRM that can help you create and manage your matching gift campaign? Schedule a demo of DonorPerfect today.

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Christy S
Meet the author: Christy Smaglio

Christy attended Kutztown University, receiving a degree in English Literature. During her final year of school, she interned for a non-profit domestic violence agency writing grants, thank-you letters, and aiding in their fundraising events. She continued her non-profit work for another four...

Learn more about Christy Smaglio
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