Drive More Revenue With Matching Gifts: 4 Best Practices 8103

Drive More Revenue With Matching Gifts: 4 Best Practices


Inviting donors to increase the value of their gifts to your cause - without taking more money out of their pockets - can be a win-win. Our partner Double the Donation shares a few key insights to boost matching gift revenue for your year end campaigns and beyond.

As the online fundraising landscape grows and changes, you want to change with it. Corporate gift-matching can give you the edge you need to stay on top of the online fundraising game by maximizing your donors’ impact without asking them to reach deeper into their own pockets.

Gift-matching programs are one of the fundraising industry’s best-kept secrets. Essentially, matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy in which companies match donations made by their employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. The process typically looks like this:

  1. A donor makes a gift to a nonprofit.

  2. The donor is encouraged to request a match from their employer (or to determine whether their employer offers this type of program).

  3. The donor fills out an online form or downloadable PDF to submit a request with their employer.

  4. The employer confirms the initial donation with the nonprofit organization.

  5. The employer submits their own, matching gift (often at a 1:1 ratio).

Even though over 18 million individuals work for companies that offer matching gift programs, there are still 4 to 7 billion dollars in matching gift funds going unclaimed each year. Because so many donors don’t even know if their employer offers a matching gift program, they are inadvertently leaving dollars on the table that could be going to your nonprofit mission.

By informing donors about their match status and helping them drive those matches to completion, you can generate more revenue for your organization. Let’s find out how with these tried-and-true best practices!

1. Share employer-specific program guidelines.

Every company offers different guidelines and eligibility criteria (such as donation minimums and maximums, request deadlines, and submission forms) for its corporate giving programs. When it comes to promoting matching gifts, be sure to guide donors through the steps of securing a corporate match for their gift from the specific company they work for. If you’re unsure of a donor’s employer, consider:

  1. Looking at their email domain (if they used a corporate email address)

  2. Conducting an online search of LinkedIn and other public resources

  3. Directly asking them either via email or within a field in your donation form

Then, once you’ve determined their employer, you can:

  1. Find relevant data based on top matching gift programs online

  2. Determine if other donors from the same companies have been eligible for gift matches

  3. Direct donors to contact their employers to learn more

When you can provide this information directly to the donor, rather than requiring them to do a ton of solo research, it will simplify the process and increase the likelihood that they secure a match.

2. Inform donors of matching gift opportunities.

Regardless of the specific employer, millions of match-eligible donors are uninformed of available corporate giving programs. As a result, the responsibility often falls on nonprofits to promote and explain these opportunities. Follow these steps to get the word out about matching gifts effectively:

  • Craft and post engaging social media content related to matching gifts.

    • E.g., “Does your employer match gifts? Thousands do⁠—which allows us to raise significantly more for our mission. Find out about your company’s giving programs on our website.”

  • Send out email blasts with information on matching gifts and where to learn more.

    • E.g., “Your employer might be willing to match your recent gift. Quickly determine your eligibility using a searchable company database!”

  • Incorporate matching gift information in your physical and digital nonprofit newsletters.

    • E.g., “If you’re interested in supporting our cause, a corporate matching gift can allow you to make double the impact!”

  • Create a dedicated matching gifts page on your website and add this to your navigation.

    • E.g., “Matching gifts are a type of corporate giving where companies match their employees’ donations to nonprofit causes. You might be eligible!”

  • Include matching gift information on your campaign pages and “ways to give” page.

    • E.g., “Find out if the gift you make will be eligible for a corporate match. Search our employer database here!”

  • Send direct mailings such as postcards and letters to high-value match-eligible donors encouraging recipients to request matching gifts.

    • E.g., “Thank you for your generous gift of $5,000. Did you know that your employer, Verizon, will match your donation, allowing it go to twice as far?”

Through a combination of these channels and messages, you can educate donors on gift-matching opportunities and encourage your supporters to take the next steps for their specific company.

3. Personalize your follow-up messaging.

After a donor gives, be sure that your messages are entirely tailored to the recipient and allow you to maintain your organization’s unique voice. This will ensure donors recognize the outreach as a personalized communication effort rather than writing it off as just another piece of junk mail.

Take a look at this example (and the bolded instances of personalization):

“Dear Brenda, thank you for your generous donation of $100 to help support unhomed animals in your Chicago neighborhood. Did you know that your gift might be eligible for a match from The Home Depot to save twice as many furry friends? Learn more about your employer’s matching gift program here!”

Whether it’s sending customizable thank you messages or reminding donors to check their match eligibility, effectively targeting each recipient with personalized content enables you to engage with your donors on a deeper level. They’ll also be more likely to read your message and less likely to send your email to spam.

4. Track and analyze matching gift data.

Leverage valuable insights on gift-matching rates, donor response tendencies, and more to improve your outreach and fundraising strategies significantly. Consider these metrics:

  • Number and types of emails a supporter has been sent

  • Whether or not they have opened or responded to those emails

  • Where they are in the matching gifts process

  • Your total number of matching gifts collected

  • Total number of match-eligible gifts

  • Total matching gift revenue

  • Average matching gift size

Effective data tracking can help you not only determine how each supporter interacts with your matching gift efforts, but it can also lead to a better understanding of the impact matching gifts have on your overall fundraising. You can also analyze your data year-over-year to easily visualize the way your matching gift fundraising continues to grow.

Bonus Tip! Automate matching gift efforts with 360MatchPro.

While the above steps are possible to pull off with the tools already in your fundraising toolkit, consider taking things a few steps further with matching gifts software that automates matching gift processes for greater productivity.

Recently Double the Donation and Blackbaud teamed up to enhance matching gift functionality available through our existing integration. As a Premier ISV Partner in the Blackbaud ecosystem, Double the Donation already offered a robust CRM integration, designed to automate matching gift outreach to donors post-contribution. This new integration update now functions specifically with RENXT donation forms, allowing donors to identify themselves as match-eligible during the donation process – leading to greater donor reporting along with more tailored, personalized messaging and next steps.

This integration enhancement provides an additional touchpoint to donors when they’re most engaged: during the donation process. As the donor navigates through their typical giving flow, 360MatchPro will work to identify matching gift opportunities and drive matching gift requests to completion.

“Many donors have trouble navigating the matching gift process, leaving nonprofits responsible for donor follow ups and outreach efforts,” said Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation. “Our enhanced RE NXT integration allows nonprofits to transfer that responsibility to an automated solution so that they can increase their matching gifts while focusing their energy and effort on top priority tasks within their organization.”

360MatchPro works seamlessly with RENXT, providing fundraisers with leading matching gift automation across nonprofit and educational industries. Using this enhanced integration, users can expect simple matching gift solutions to drive fundraising success.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Once a donor submits their gift, the information will be sent to your RE NXT platform as usual.

  2. Donation records also flow into your matching gifts software so that the tool can begin pursuing match opportunities.

  3. Automated outreach emails are triggered to provide company-specific program guidelines.

  4. Match-eligible donors are encouraged to complete the request process with their employer.

  5. Valuable information collected from the gift matching process flows back into your CRM.

As donor insights transfer between the tools, you can track information and plan outreach strategies accordingly. This integrated solution allows you to make the most of powerful data and analytics, automated yet personalized engagement, and consistent branding strategies from start to finish.

Learn more about the enhanced RENXT integration with our premier matching gift partner, 360MatchPro. This tool, powered by Double the Donation’s comprehensive company database, can help your team collect more corporate dollars while saving significant amounts of time and increasing donor conversions.

News Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT® Blog 12/09/2021 2:46am EST

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