Matching Gifts and Donor Communication: The Ultimate Guide

Adam Weinger
November 17, 2021

As you continue to develop your nonprofit fundraising strategies, it’s important to consider where matching gifts fit in.

Your nonprofit’s donor communication efforts directly impact each donor’s journey of support with your organization⁠—including through the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship stages for each individual. And matching gift opportunities can play a critical role every step of the way!

In this guide, we’ll explore the relationship between effective donor communication and matching gift efforts, discuss why these concepts are so critical for optimal nonprofit fundraising, and share key tips for making the most of each. This includes:

  • The Importance of Matching Gifts + Donor Communication
  • Integrating Wealth Screening and Matching Gifts
  • Employing Predictive Analytics for Fundraising
  • Investing in Donor Management Software

Are you ready to grasp a better understanding of matching gift fundraising, donor communication, and how the two fit together? Let’s dive in.

The Importance of Matching Gifts + Donor Communication

Thousands of businesses offer to match donations that their employees make to qualifying nonprofit causes through corporate matching gift programs. But of the 26+ million individuals working for gift-matching companies, more than 78% have never been informed about these programs in place.

As a result, it often falls on the nonprofit to educate supporters about available matching gift opportunities and streamline the process to drive additional matches⁠—which is where effective donor communication is critical.

Without strategic communication surrounding matching gifts, your eligible donors will continue to leave available dollars on the table, adding to the $4 to $7 billion in unclaimed matching gift funding each year.

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Our Best Matching Gift + Donor Communication Tips

Are you looking to elevate your matching gift initiatives through effective donor communication⁠—or vice versa? Consider these tried-and-true best practices for doing so.

1. Integrate wealth screening and matching gifts.

Wealth screening is a component of prospect research in which organizations analyze donor characteristics to determine an individual’s estimated capacity to give. When done right, this can have significant benefits on both matching gift fundraising strategies and donor communication.

Getting started with wealth screening involves identifying donors and prospective givers in your network based on common wealth markers such as real estate ownership, previously made political and nonprofit donations, stock holdings, business affiliations, and more.

Once you have this information, you’ll be able to increase and improve matching gift efforts by doing the following:

  • Determine your donors’ employers. Strategic wealth screening can help you look for donors who work for companies with particularly generous matching gift programs. After all, the companies your donors work for are some of the most critical data points in effective matching gift efforts. “Employer” should be a standard field in your nonprofit CRM or fundraising software package. Once you have this information, you can figure out which of your donors will likely be eligible to have their gifts matched for your cause.
  • Identify your highest-value matching gift donors. Did you know that your highest-value matching gift donors aren’t necessarily those with the largest initial investment? Picture this: Donor A gives $10,000, which is then matched by their employer at a 0.5:1 rate, making the total gift value $15,000. Donor B, on the other hand, gives $8,000, which is matched at a 2:1 rate, bringing its value to $24,000. Although Donor A’s own gift was more significant than Donor B’s, Donor B would take priority when it comes to matching gift value overall.
  • Tailor communications for each individual. The more personalized your donor outreach, the more likely the recipient is to take the intended action of your appeal. For example, when you know who your donors work for, you can make sure to send company-specific matching gift guidelines, next steps, and request forms! Nonprofit email marketing programs make easy work of this task.

Wealth screening essentially allows you to get a better understanding of your audience, which is especially crucial for effective matching gift fundraising. You’ll know where to focus your efforts, and what types of matching gift outreach will be the most beneficial for each supporter!

2. Employ predictive analytics for fundraising.

Predictive analytics in fundraising involves collecting data and determining trends in key performance indicators, which are then used to make educated guesses about how similar fundraising initiatives will result in the future.

When it comes to matching gifts, predictive analytics helps you account for donors’ future behavior surrounding the programs and have a better understanding of expected results. For example, you might take a look at the following information:

  • Number of match-eligible donations made
  • Total number of corporate matches secured
  • Percentage of available company matches secured
  • Average corporate matching gift size

By keeping track of these data points over time and establishing patterns, your team will be able to better prepare for the future.

Although it may seem complicated, predictive analytics leverage machine learning software and detailed algorithms to streamline the process and create the most accurate fundraising predictions possible.

3. Invest in donor management software.

One of the most important pieces of any nonprofit’s communication strategy is the donor management software in their toolkit. This allows organizations to keep track of supporter interactions, segment and personalize messaging based on collected information, and overall simplify behind-the-scenes operations.

To maximize corporate funding, you’ll want to ensure your donor management solution can easily integrate with powerful matching gift software to further streamline the process for your donors as well as your fundraising team.

When your matching gift tools seamlessly work alongside your other fundraising software, you can easily ensure donors are informed about company gift-matching opportunities, provided with tailored outreach for their employer’s programs, and are encouraged from start to finish throughout the match request process.

Plus, you can make sure to keep track of all of the employer information you obtain in order to set your team up for future successes⁠—just by recording it in your nonprofit CRM! 


Both matching gifts and donor communication efforts can be significantly elevated with the right fundraising tools. Make sure you have what you need for streamlined prospect research, improved and data-driven initiatives, and integrated matching gift and donor management solutions. Good luck!


If you want to unlock more strategic fundraising tips, check out these additional resources:

  • E-Guide to Nonprofit Fundraising on Giving Tuesday - Best practices for communicating your Giving Tuesday fundraising events with email and social templates, a branded donation form template, and a roadmap for 6 weeks of donor communication.

  • Nonprofit KPIs and How To Measure Your Impact - The most comprehensive post on key performance indicators for nonprofits. Download our template and learn how to measure your own nonprofit KPIs.

  • Nonprofit Editorial Calendar - Download our Guide on creating your own nonprofit content and download our editorial calendar you can use right away to help you plan.

  • Want More Volunteers and Donors? - Read our article on the Nonprofit Ladder of Engagement and learn how to engage your audience at every level of their relationship with your organization.

  • Ultimate Guide to Advocacy Campaigns. If you're planning an advocacy campaign our Ultimate Guide to Advocacy Campaigns is the place to start, with communication templates, relationship mapping tools, and more.

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