Written by Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation
Many nonprofits don’t leverage the power of matching gifts. Matching gifts double donations, so $25 gifts turn into $50 gifts, a $100 gift doubles into $200, and a $1,000 donation morphs into $2,000 to make for one really happy nonprofit.
Matching gifts don’t need to be your go-to player, but they deserve to be on the playing field. In fact, an estimated $6-$10 billion in matching gift funds go unclaimed every year.
The challenge is that many would-be donors aren’t aware their employers offer a matching gift program.
Here are 4 ways you can get the word out about matching gifts:
An acknowledgement letter presents the opportunity to ask for matching gifts, but the core of the message is gratefulness, so begin with a thank you. Then, as Piedmont does, you can jump into a call for matching gifts. Piedmont includes a text link and a clickable graphic to send donors to a page where they can search to discover if their employer offers matching gifts.
Here are some examples:
Dedicating newsletter space to matching gifts can go a long way. Ideally, you allocate one newsletter to being entirely about matching gifts, but you can spread awareness for corporate giving in almost any email. The National Kidney Foundation provides a good newsletter template:
#2: Social Media
Your messages can include pictures and videos and have no character limits. The CMTA shows how to implement text and a graphic together:
140-characters might sound like a limitation, but its plenty of space to provide an authoritative ask for matching gifts, such as the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) does in this tweet:
#3: A Dedicated Matching Gift Page
A matching gift page should inform donors. You can include a definition, benefits, statistics, links, last year’s totals, and participating companies. Check out the Trinity School’s dedicated matching gift page:
Another strategy is to list out companies with employee giving programs so that donors can discover right then and there if their employer will match their donations. The Children’s Restoration Network’s dedicated page uses a list:
While lists effectively convey information, they must be updated and can be cumbersome to read. If you want to make matching gifts as easy as possible for donors, a plugin is the way to go.
HNF provides a widget for donors to search to discover if their employer has a corporate giving program. The widget is a nice addition if you can afford a matching gift service, but the basic idea is to create a landing page where donors can find out if their donations can go twice as far.
They incorporate Double the Donation’s matching gift plugin directly into the dedicated matching gift page. This allows donors to access all the information they need to submit a matching gift including company-specific:
- Matching gift submission forms
- Employee eligibility
- Links to electronic portals where donors can instantly submit their matching gifts
- Detailed instructions
#4: In the Donation Process
We see organizations promoting matching gifts on the donation page using a few methods:
- Text saying “Check with your HR Department to see if your company will match your donation”
- A hyperlink or graphic that says “Click here to learn about companies that match donations and to see if your donation can be doubled”. When a donor clicks on it, a new window takes them to a dedicated matching gift page with a list of matching gift companies or Double the Donation’s searchable database.
- A matching gift search box directly on the donation page so donors can easily access matching gift forms, guidelines, and instructions.
On Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students’ donation form they provide a link to their dedicated matching gift page where donors can access additional information on matching gifts.
When you click the matching gift information button…
…you are taken to a matching gift search widget without leaving the page. You don’t need a widget, but it’s a great tool and makes discovering various corporate giving programs a breeze. What’s necessary for your donation page is to include both a reminder and a call to action about matching gifts.
Some donors might miss the matching gift link on your donation page or you may be hesitant to change your donation form. Fortunately, the internet is a forgiving place, and you have a second chance to raise awareness on your confirmation screen.
Here’s a sample confirmation screen from Charity Navigator:
In this case, a thank you earns the chance to market matching gifts.
Within DonorPerfect’s WebLink they modified the receipt page to include Double the Donation’s searchable matching gift plugin. Learn more about the integration options.
When included on a confirmation page, a matching gift appeal is a soft urge to increase a donation at the cost of five minutes worth of time. The included widget makes it easy both to search companies and to navigate to the relevant forms.
With the widget, donors can search for companies with employee giving programs directly on the confirmation page.
Once you find your company, you are given links to company program guidelines, submission forms, and detailed instructions. If you can make matching gifts that easy then chances are that you’ll receive more doubled donations.
Increase matching gift awareness through a dedication to presenting the pertinent information across all of your fundraising channels. The process requires time and effort upfront, but you’ll be receiving twice the money on additional donations, so you’re trading a little extra effort for a lot of extra cash.
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Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of employee matching gift and volunteer grant tools and services to nonprofits. You can connect with Adam via LinkedIn if you have any questions about Double the Donation or matching gifts in general.
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