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How to Market Matching Gifts | 4 Tips for Nonprofits
Matching gift programs are a powerful form of nonprofit-corporate partnership. In fact, they’re one of the most commonly offered company giving programs and are loved by the businesses, nonprofits, and donors who participate.
And they have big potential, too. According to matching gift research by Double the Donation, more than 26 million individuals work for companies that offer matching gift programs. However, 78% of these individuals have no idea their employers provide such initiatives at all.
As a result, over $4 to $7 billion in available matching gift revenue goes unclaimed each year. These are dollars that are being offered by partaking companies but are never secured by the donors who qualify for them on behalf of organizations like yours.
That’s why more and more nonprofits are looking into marketing strategies to drive awareness of the opportunities at hand. The better acquainted donors are with the concepts and guidelines behind matching gift programs, the more likely they are to complete the process when the time comes.
If you’re interested in knowing how to market matching gifts to your audience, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll share these four tried-and-true best practices for nonprofits to increase knowledge of matching initiatives:
- Create a dedicated matching gift page on your site.
- Incorporate matching gifts within the donation process.
- Send follow-up emails to inform or remind donors about matching gifts.
- Share information on social media channels.
Tons of companies donate to nonprofits through employee matching (and more are rolling out programs every day), but if the employees themselves are never made aware of the opportunities, organizations will continue to lose out on possible revenue that could otherwise drive forward their causes.
So get ready to build these tips into your matching gift strategy, then sit back and watch the corporate dollars flowing in. Let’s begin!
1. Create a dedicated matching gift page on your site.
Your website is an essential marketing tool for all of your organization’s efforts and, as such, should incorporate ample information about matching gift fundraising opportunities. And one of the best ways to do so is by creating a landing page dedicated to matching gift programs and how your donors can get involved.
Specifically, your matching gift web page should:
- Provide a background on matching gift programs, including influential matching gift statistics (e.g., 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gifts) or previous giving metrics (e.g., our organization collected $50K in match funds in the last year).
- Include information about how a donor can determine match eligibility (such as reaching out to their employer’s human resources department or searching in a matching gift database).
- Highlight the benefits of matching gift programs to each party involved (emphasizing the tangible impact on your nonprofit’s mission).
- Share details commonly required for a company’s matching gift request process (often tax ID numbers, mailing addresses, and more).
- Be linked to in your website navigation menu for ease of accessibility. It hardly matters how built-out your web page is if nobody can ever find it!
Your matching gift page should essentially be the foundation of your overall matching gift marketing strategy. Once you have this invaluable resource live, you can begin expanding your efforts in other ways as well.
2. Incorporate matching gifts within the donation process.
Do you know when your donors tend to be at their highest level of engagement with an organization they support? If you guessed while they’re actively making a donation to the cause, you’d be correct! At that point, they’ve already been inspired to give to a mission they care about. It makes sense that you’d also want to use the opportunity to market matching gift programs to these individuals directly within the giving experience.
A few of our favorite ways to highlight matching gifts in the donation process include:
Mentioning matching gifts (and collecting employment information) on your giving forms.
Donors already provide a ton of personal information on donation pages, including their names, emails, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and more. Oftentimes, they’ll be willing to provide employment data (i.e., what company they work for), particularly when the question is being framed as to identify matching gift eligibility. This can be as simple as an optional donation form field asking for the company name!
Providing company-specific matching gift guidelines on confirmation screens.
Once you have record of your donors’ employment, we recommend utilizing your confirmation screen to market matching gift programs in more detail. In fact, providing corporate matching guidelines and links to the employer’s giving portal can be one of the most impactful ways to drive forward matches.
The less research a donor has to conduct on their own, the more likely they are to complete the process. And if you use matching gift software, this part is as easy as can be—because your team doesn’t have to conduct the research, either. Instead, it’s all pulled from a comprehensive database of thousands of matching gift programs for easy access to donors and nonprofits.
3. Send follow-up emails to inform or remind donors about matching gifts.
Hopefully, tons of donors will head straight to their employers’ matching gift portals to submit matching gift requests directly after completing their initial contributions. Unfortunately, not all will do so, which means you’ll need to develop a strategy to re-engage that audience at a later time. (But not too much later because you don’t want them to lose their giving momentum altogether!)
Our solution? Send follow-up emails within 24 hours of your donors completing their initial gifts. Keep in mind that this should be a separate dealing than your automated transaction receipt or confirmation message—unfortunately, those often get written off as having no action needed—though you can always include a mention of matching gifts in your immediate follow-ups as well.
Here’s an example:
“Dear Diane, we recently received a donation from you for $100 toward our Every Dog Deserves a Home campaign. Did you know that your employer, the Home Depot, will match your gift to our organization to help us provide for twice as many furry friends? Click here to request your donation match!”
These digital communications can be an excellent way to remind donors about their eligibility for matching gift programs (or inform them if they overlooked the opportunity initially) and inspire them to take the next actions required for a match.
4. Share information on social media channels.
More than likely, you already have a few social media pages dedicated to your organization, whether that’s a Facebook profile, a LinkedIn account, a Twitter page, or even a TikTok. These can be excellent sources of valuable real estate when it comes to highlighting matching gifts.
Consider these best practices as you incorporate matching gifts into your organization’s social media management plan:
- Utilize eye-catching (and relevant) visuals to represent matching gift programs. Because matching gifts can be a fairly abstract concept, we recommend utilizing symbols that represent matching—such as wrapped presents, mismatched pairs of socks, twins or lookalikes, buy-one, get-one sales, and more. A video can be a great addition as well!
- Link back to additional resources on matching gifts for further information. You can’t say everything there is to know about matching gift programs in a Tweet or even a lengthier Facebook post. Instead, share the basics to grab your audience’s attention, then direct them to your website (and specifically your matching gift web page) to learn more.
- Ramp up your social media postings during times of high donation volume. Though you’ll want to share matching gift resources year-round, it’s a good idea to increase your social posting when donors are likely to be particularly interested in giving in the first place (such as during the end-of-the-year giving season). This content can drive additional gifts and encourage those who are supporting your cause to do so further with a matching gift.
Especially for the younger generations of nonprofit supporters, an organization’s social media postings can be some of the most inspirational drivers of giving. When you incorporate matching gift promotions in that strategy, you can effectively increase individual and corporate funding with ease.
With the right online tools, marketing matching gifts to your nonprofit’s supporters doesn’t have to be difficult. In doing so, you can effectively scale up your efforts to inform more donors about their eligibility for the programs and drive those matches to completion. And you’re in luck because GiveForms integrates seamlessly with the leading provider of matching gift marketing technology for nonprofits—Double the Donation—to make big results as easy as possible.