One of the best fundraising strategies for all sorts of nonprofit organizations involves making the most of matching gifts—which are essentially a two-for-one sale on donations. As Giving Tuesday approaches this year, ensuring impactful matching gift practices is more critical than ever before.
Millions of donors are eligible to participate in corporate gift-matching programs through their employers. However, the vast majority of them are not aware, which (unfortunately) means that you can’t just sit back and hope for all of your corporate matches to come through.
Instead, you must take a strategic approach to matching gift promotion, fundraising software, and donor follow-ups with these tried-and-true best practices. In this guide, we’ve divided our top tips into three distinct categories to help guide your planning every step of the way:
- Before Giving Tuesday
- During Giving Tuesday
- After Giving Tuesday
Are you ready to explore the power of matching gifts and determine what your team can do to prepare for a Giving Tuesday of doubled donations? Let’s dive in with what you can get started with right now.
Accepting Matching Gifts Before Giving Tuesday
1. Create a dedicated matching gift web page.
One of the most critical ways to market matching gifts effectively is through your nonprofit website. We recommend creating a dedicated matching gift web page with each of these types of information incorporated:
- Background on matching gifts (what these programs are, why they’re valued giving opportunities, how they benefit donors)
- Instructions on how to determine matching gift eligibility (reach out to a company’s HR department, contact a specific matching gift coordinator within the business, conduct a search of a company database)
- Nonprofit information that is required on match submission forms (nonprofit name, tax ID (EIN) number, address, phone number)
Whenever donors have questions about the matching gift process—including while completing the request form for their employer—they have an informative resource to refer back to. It will be a valuable tool once Giving Tuesday arrives, but it’s a good idea to draft and publish this page on your site beforehand.
2. Promote matching gifts in your marketing efforts.
More than likely, your marketing and communications team already has a plan for promoting your cause and your fundraising efforts this Giving Tuesday. You might even have your messages scheduled to send already!
However, one thing you don’t want to forget about is incorporating matching gifts into these efforts. Consider these easy ways to leverage the channels you’re likely already using:
- Social media: Send a post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any of your other favorite platforms informing your network about the importance and availability of matching gifts. Be sure to include an eye-catching graphic, carefully worded caption, and call to action directing readers to learn more on your website!
- Email: Email is a quick and low-cost channel for communicating with supporters, making it a great way to promote matching gift opportunities. In fact, matching gift emails are significantly more likely to be opened and responded to than a typical nonprofit marketing email.
- Text-to-give: Nowadays, text is one of the most popular methods of communication, both on a personal level and in a mass messaging approach. If you’re sending texts to supporters leading up to and on Giving Tuesday, be sure to incorporate matching gifts in your phrasing.
The more you promote matching gifts leading up to the giving day itself, the more prepared your supporters will feel about participating in these programs. Many donors have never heard of matching gifts, so a few well-timed messages will ensure they’re educated on and acquainted with the opportunities before the start of Giving Tuesday.
To provide supporters with more information, be sure to link back to your comprehensive matching gift web page as an invaluable resource.
Accepting Matching Gifts During Giving Tuesday
3. Highlight matching gifts in your day-of communications.
When Giving Tuesday arrives, be sure to include matching gift information in all of your donor communications. Not only will this help you secure matching corporate donations, but it can also be just what you need to drive on-the-fence supporters to make their gifts as well.
Whether you’re posting on social media, sending donation appeals, or making personal phone calls to top supporters, you’ll want to incorporate matching gifts throughout it all.
4. Incorporate a matching gift search tool in your donation form.
Many nonprofits rely heavily on virtual fundraising strategies to raise money effectively on Giving Tuesday. Regardless of what your specific plan entails, it will more than likely involve an online donation form. If you embed a matching gift search tool directly into your donation form, you can make it easier than ever for donors to research and determine their eligibility. Following the transaction, the following information will be emailed to the donor:
- Donation minimums and maximums
- Match ratios
- Qualifying types of nonprofits and employees
- Submission forms and deadlines
It’s easy to use, too! As donors complete your online form, they’ll be met with an optional search widget where they’re prompted to input their employer’s name. Then, the tool will provide the user with all sorts of company-specific details and next steps once they submit their gift.
Accepting Matching Gifts After Giving Tuesday
5. Follow up with match-eligible donors.
Your post-donation communication practices are critical for building solid donor relationships with supporters who give time and time again. This is especially true during a time-based campaign like Giving Tuesday.
When you know a donor’s employer (via email screening or the donation page search tool), providing company-specific next steps is simple. Be sure to include the following information to encourage individuals to submit a match request with their employer:
- Eligibility criteria such as donation minimums and maximums and qualified types of nonprofits and employees
- Submission deadlines such as within 90 days of the initial donation or by the end of the calendar year
- Online request forms or downloadable PDFs for donors to complete to secure a match from their employer
To take things even further, you can leverage matching gift automation to save your team a significant amount of time and resources during the prospect identification and donor follow-up processes.
6. Thank matching gift donors for their support.
Don’t forget to thank all of your donors after Giving Tuesday concludes—and take a special approach to recognize those that supported your campaign through matching gifts. We recommend that you acknowledge donors at the following three milestones:
- After the initial donation is made (directly after Giving Tuesday), thank your donors for their generosity and encourage them to make their gift go even further with a corporate match.
- Once the donor indicates that they’ve requested a match from their employer, show your appreciation for them taking the next step in the matching gift process and let them know that you’re eagerly awaiting their employer’s gift.
- Upon receiving the corporate match, let your donors know that you’ve secured the gift from their employer and thank them once again for participating.
Although the original donor is not the one contributing the matching gift, it’s important to acknowledge that you were only able to receive the additional donation because of their efforts. Since they went above and beyond in supporting your cause this Giving Tuesday, your team should follow suit by demonstrating significant appreciation.
Matching gifts can be an essential part of any fundraising campaign. If you follow the six steps outlined above to get your team ready to make the most of Giving Tuesday, you’ll be reaping the benefits of corporate giving for months and years to come. Good luck!
By Adam Weinger
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Double the Donation's robust solution, 360MatchPro, provides nonprofits with automated tools to identify match-eligible donors, drive matches to completion, and gain actionable insights. 360MatchPro integrates directly into donation forms, CRMs, social fundraising software, and other nonprofit technology solutions to capture employment information and follow up appropriately with donors about matching gifts.
If you want to unlock more strategic fundraising tips, check out these additional resources:
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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.
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