Matching gifts are an often-overlooked fundraising tool that can significantly boost the amount of money raised for a nonprofit organization. With matching gifts, companies pledge to match the donations their employees make to eligible nonprofit organizations. The process is simple: an employee makes a donation to a nonprofit, submits a matching gift request to their employer, and the employer makes a matching donation to the same nonprofit.
Many nonprofit organizations fail to take advantage of this opportunity to double their donations because they don’t know how to utilize matching gifts effectively. In this article, we will explore the benefits of matching gifts and provide tips on how nonprofits can utilize this tool for fundraising success.
What are Matching Gifts?
Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy where a company matches the donations its employees make to eligible nonprofit organizations. The matching gift ratio varies from company to company, but it is typically a dollar-for-dollar match, with some companies offering even more generous matching ratios. Many companies have a minimum and maximum matching limit, which means that they will only match donations that fall within a certain range.
Matching gifts are a great way for companies to support the causes that matter to their employees, while also fostering a culture of giving and engagement within their organizations. Matching gifts can help nonprofits to raise more money, attract new donors, and build relationships with corporate partners.
Benefits of Matching Gifts
Matching gifts offer several benefits to nonprofits that can help them to achieve their fundraising goals. Here are some of the benefits of matching gifts:
- Increased Donations: Matching gifts can double or even triple the donations received by a nonprofit. This means that a $100 donation can turn into a $200 or $300 donation with a matching gift, which can significantly increase the impact of a donor’s gift.
- Attracting New Donors: Matching gifts can also help nonprofits to attract new donors. Many donors are more likely to give when they know that their donation will be matched by their employer, which can be a powerful incentive to give.
- Building Relationships with Corporate Partners: Nonprofits that partner with companies to promote matching gifts can build long-term relationships with those companies. This can lead to more support from the company in the future, including employee volunteer programs, cause-related marketing campaigns, and other forms of corporate giving.
- Low Cost: Matching gifts are a low-cost way for nonprofits to increase their fundraising. Nonprofits do not need to spend money on marketing or advertising to promote matching gifts, as the program is usually promoted by the company.
- Engaging Donors: Matching gifts can help nonprofits to engage their donors and show them the impact of their gifts. When donors see that their gifts are being matched, they are more likely to feel valued and appreciated by the nonprofit.
Tips for Utilizing Matching Gifts for Fundraising Success
Now that we have explored the benefits of matching gifts, let’s look at some tips for how nonprofits can utilize this tool for fundraising success:
- Educate Donors: Many donors are not aware of the matching gift program offered by their employers. Nonprofits should educate their donors about matching gifts and provide information on how to submit a matching gift request. This can be done through email newsletters, social media, or a dedicated matching gift webpage.
- Promote Matching Gifts: Nonprofits should also promote matching gifts to their donors. This can be done by including information about matching gifts in fundraising appeals, on the nonprofit’s website, or in thank-you letters to donors.
- Partner with Companies: Nonprofits should partner with companies that offer matching gifts to their employees. Nonprofits can reach out to companies in their community or use online matching gift databases to find companies that offer matching gifts.
- Make it Easy to Submit Matching Gift Requests: Nonprofits should make it easy for donors to submit matching gift requests. This can be done by providing clear instructions on how to submit a matching gift request, including the company’s matching gift form or online submission portal. Nonprofits can also provide a dedicated matching gift coordinator who can assist donors with the matching gift process.
- Track Matching Gifts: Nonprofits should track matching gifts and acknowledge donors for their contributions. This can be done by keeping a database of matching gift requests and sending thank-you letters to donors for their original gift and the matching gift donation. Donors who receive timely and personalized thank-you messages are more likely to continue supporting the nonprofit.
- Follow Up with Companies: Nonprofits should follow up with companies to ensure that they have received and processed matching gift requests. Nonprofits can also provide feedback to companies on the impact of their matching gift program, including the number of donors who participated and the total amount of matching donations received.
- Create a Matching Gift Challenge: Nonprofits can create a matching gift challenge to encourage donors to give. For example, a nonprofit can partner with a company to offer a dollar-for-dollar match for all donations received during a specific time period. This can be promoted through email newsletters, social media, and other marketing channels to encourage donors to give during the challenge period.
Matching gifts are a powerful fundraising tool that can help nonprofits to increase donations, attract new donors, and build relationships with corporate partners. By educating donors, promoting matching gifts, partnering with companies, making it easy to submit matching gift requests, tracking matching gifts, following up with companies, and creating matching gift challenges, nonprofits can utilize this tool for fundraising success. With the right strategies in place, nonprofits can unlock the full potential of matching gifts and achieve their fundraising goals.