What are Corporate Matching Gifts and Donation Matching?
Many organizations find donation matching overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ll walk you through the basics of donation matching and give you action items to begin you on your journey. Opportunities to increase giving to your nonprofit and tapping into corporate gift funds are right at your fingertips. Many organizations may not realize these opportunities are even available.
Donation matching is any program where a nonprofit uses funds to increase the value of other donors' gifts. Examples include crowdfunding campaigns, corporate matching gifts and donor matching gifts. Let’s break each of these down.
What Are the Types of Donation Matching?
Corporate Matching Gifts
Corporate Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility programs are becoming increasingly more important to employees. Many companies are now offering donation matching to their employees. There are programs that integrate with your Online giving pages that make corporate matching easy. One example is Double the Donation’s corporate search function. An integration with this program allows donors to see whether their company offers a matching gifts fund. Additionally, it enables donors to pursue those donation opportunities while they are donating. Double the Donation found that 73% of donors will use a matching gift search field on a donation form.
Private donors can increase their impact on your organization. Donors can choose to make their donations part of a matching gifts campaign. Contacting private donors may seem intimidating. However, if you’ve been tracking donations and engagement of major donors, you can discover which major donors may be excited to turn their annual giving from a recurring gift to a recurring matching gift.
Crowdfunding campaigns allow donors who are passionate about your organization’s mission to bring additional donations and resources. They may not but be able to give larger gifts but they can make an impact. Using your donor analytics, your organization can create targeted marketing campaigns to increase the success of crowdfunding campaigns and help your donors see the positive ways that they are contributing to change in their community around initiatives that are important to them.
Challenges are a time sensitive giving window where a major donor matches donations if –and only if– you hit a specific fundraising goal. These challenges have a deadline which creates a sense of urgency for donors. Major donors can be individuals, businesses or organizations who are already passionate and excited about your organization’s mission and want to see the contributions they are giving have a larger impact.
Donation matching events take place at a local, regional, national and even global level. These events celebrate generosity and giving which increases community engagement and excitement around contributing to nonprofits.
How Can Donation Matching Benefit Your Nonprofit?
You might think the main benefit of donation matching is that you are getting twice the funds. However, a major benefit is it increases the likelihood of a donation being given. Donors excitement around giving increases when they see their contributions having a larger impact. This impact happens without them having to give more financially. According to Double the Donation, 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. Similarly, 1 in 3 donors indicate they’d give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation.
Corporate gift matching opens up funds that may already be available to you but are not being utilized.
While roughly $2-3 billion is donated through corporate matching gifts programs annually, it is estimated that $4-10 billion in corporate matching gift funds go unclaimed per year.
Donation matching campaigns create a touchpoint with your donors.
As an organization, you are able to follow up with your donors to solicit corporate donations without asking your donors to increase their giving. 52% of emails asking donors to submit a corporate matching gift request were opened, which is 2.6x higher than the average email open rate for nonprofits.
Donation matching campaigns increase engagement during typically slower giving months.
This can either be through a donation matching challenge where donations given during this time are matched or through a crowdfunding campaign where all funds raised during this time will be used to match future donations.
How to Get Started?
You may be wondering, “Where do I start?” Below we’ve outlined three steps your organization can take to begin your donation matching journey
Make a plan
This step is simple and straightforward: decide which avenues of donation matching you’d like to pursue–corporate matching gifts, private donors or crowdfunding. Then you can decide if you’d like to participate in donation matching events or challenges.
In this step, you should also set a budget for any crowd funding or private donor goals you hope to reach.
Increase visibility and awareness
The biggest barrier to accessing donation matching and corporate matching gifts is a lack of awareness for your donors.
To increase visibility you can:
- Create a matching gifts page on your website
This is an easy way for donors to access information about donation matches, especially when your giving page integrates with Double the Donation’s corporate matching database.
- Link to your matching gifts page and mention donation matching in email signatures
By including a link to your matching gifts page in your email signature, you are connecting your donors directly to the donation matching information with each email you send.
Connect with donors
You’ve decided the types of donation matching you plan to use, made a budget and have created your matching gifts page. Now it’s time to connect with your donors. It’s important to know who to talk to and when to reach out to them.
- Send a thank you email with a call to action
After a donor has given, send out a thank you email and be sure to include the exciting news that their company may have a corporate matching gifts program that could double their impact! You can link to your matching gifts page and ask your donors to see if their company offers corporate gift matching. This creates an additional point of engagement between you and the email recipient and increases the relationship between you and your donors.
- Reach out to private donors who are passionate about your nonprofit
- Create a marketing campaign to announce any crowdfunding, events or challenges you plan for the future.
It’s important to track how you’ll be reaching out to donors and how they’ve responded, as well as next steps to follow-up with them.
Now that you have an understanding of donation matching and ways to incorporate it into your nonprofit, this is the perfect time to get started!