Matching gift programs are exactly like those sales. You put in the work to get a contribution from a donor, and with a little extra work, you can have a matching donation from their employer within no time.
To help you make the most of matching gift programs, here are the five essential steps you need to know.
1. Learn about matching gift programs
If your organization knows next to nothing about matching gifts, start researching! You could be missing out on a lot of donations and not even know it.
Familiarize yourself with companies that match donations so you understand the standard guidelines. Additionally, do some research on the companies in your area. If you have a large population of local donors, some of the companies they work for may offer matching gift programs.
One suggestion is to dig into your CRM and pull a report on all of the companies that have matched one or more donations to your organization in the last 12 months. Then share this information with everyone in your organization who plays a role in fundraising.
2. Raise awareness
While your nonprofit may know about matching gifts, you have to make sure that your donors are aware of gift matching programs so they can double or sometimes even triple their donation.
You can raise awareness about matching gifts:
- Across your website
- Through social media
- In email newsletters
- During the donation process
If donors don’t know about matching gifts, then they won’t know what paperwork to submit to their employers or the deadlines for sending in matching gift requests. By promoting matching gift programs across the board, you’ll be able to inform donors about the potential to maximize their initial donations.
3. Keep track of donors and their contributions...
...And their employer’s matching gifts!
If you consistently track donors’ donations as well as the matching gifts that their employers contribute, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with both parties on a regular basis.
Having all of your donors’ information in one central place by using customer relationship management software (CRM) can help your organization know which donors to send additional materials to, who to invite to different fundraisers, and who to reach out to about matching gifts!
Quick tip for ResultPlus users - Did you know ResultsPlus has the ability to help your organization manage matching gifts and track corporate entities?
4. Perform a prospect screening or wealth screening
If you’re just starting out marketing matching gifts to your donors, consider conducting a prospect screening.
While you’ll certainly want to promote matching gifts to all of your contributors, performing a prospect research will provide many insights about your donors such as who has the greatest propensity to give, which donors work for companies that already have matching gift programs, and which donors have an established pattern of giving to your organization. You can also learn about the companies that donors’ spouses work at; oftentimes, companies will match spousal donations.
Having this information on hand can help you maximize donations and matching gifts.
5. Say “Thank You”
Donors like to feel appreciated whenever they take time out of their day to give money to your organization. The most immediate way to make donors feel valued is to send out a thank you note.
This display of gratitude can take a couple of different forms:
- Thank you email: Once donors submit an online donation, let them know that you received and appreciate their contribution by sending them an email.
- Thank you letter: If you want to make your thank you notes a bit more personal, consider sending out thank you cards or letters via regular mail. While this option is more costly than sending out emails, the personal touch that comes with thank you notes will be sure to leave an impression on donors.
In both cases, you can use a thank you note to remind donors about matching gift programs if they haven’t submitted paperwork to their employer.
While you should send out thank you notes immediately after you receive donations, you should also send them once you’ve received a donor’s employer’s matching gift. Sometimes, it could take weeks or even months to process matching gift paperwork. A donor will appreciate an expression of gratefulness when you receive their employer’s donation. And to top it off it will leave a very positive impression in your donors’ minds and thus improve donor retention.
Knowing more about corporate giving programs and promoting them to your donors can be an easy way to receive more donations with very little extra effort. What are you waiting for? Use these five tips for matching gifts to maximize donors’ contributions.
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. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.