Matching Gifts: An Overview
What are matching gifts?
Matching gifts are a type of corporate philanthropy where companies match donations their employees make to eligible nonprofits. For example, if a donor gives $100 and requests an employer matching gift, their company will donate an additional $100 to your nonprofit, doubling the size of the original donation.
For nonprofits, matching gifts present an unmatched opportunity to easily earn more donations at no additional cost to donors. It’s a win for everyone: your supporters get to make more of an impact with their gifts, your organization gets more funding, and the donating company earns a reputation boost from participating in corporate philanthropy.
What is the impact of matching gifts?
Approximately $2-3 billion is donated annually to nonprofits, educational institutions, and other organizations through matching gift programs. However, matching gifts are often overlooked by organizations due to limited information on their donors’ employers, as well as limited resources and time available to devote to securing matching gifts. In fact, an estimated $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue goes unclaimed each year.
How do matching gifts work?
To get a donation matched, your donor first has to determine if their gift is eligible for a matching gift. Since companies set their own matching gift eligibility guidelines, they can vary widely from business to business. However, they typically include a minimum and maximum donation size and a match ratio, such as 1:1 or 2:1.
Once an individual makes a donation to a nonprofit, they can determine their match eligibility to see if their employers will match their donation by using a company name search tool, which populates results from a large matching gift database. If they learn their company offers a matching gift program, they can submit a match request to their employer, which the nonprofit will verify, and the company will then issue a check to the nonprofit.
How to Promote Matching Gifts
Because donors are frequently unaware of whether or not their employer (or spouse’s employer) offers a matching gift program, it’s important to effectively promote matching gifts to them.
This is where marketing automation comes into play. Your organization’s goal should be to seamlessly present matching gift opportunities to your donors and make it as easy as possible for them to submit a match request. Watch this short video to see how marketing automation platforms like 360MatchPro can help you identify match opportunities and automate your promotion strategy:
As the video explains, using matching gift software to automate outreach can help you drive more matches to completion and increase your matching gift revenue by 35%. Let’s explore a few more statistics that demonstrate the importance of strategic promotion.
Matching Gift Statistics
If you take a look at these statistics provided by Double the Donation, you’ll see why effectively marketing matching gifts is essential.
Only 1.31% of individual contributions are matched at the average nonprofit organization.
This is a result of a lack of awareness and marketing. However, incorporating marketing automation into your organization’s process can significantly boost this percentage and your overall matching gift revenue.
84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if they know their donation will be matched.
This is why marketing is so important. You’re more likely to receive donations from individuals if they’re aware they can maximize their impact with a matching gift program. Leverage marketing automation software to make this step easier.
1 in 3 donors say they would give a larger gift if their donation were matched.
Not only will donors be more likely to give, but they will likely give more if they know they can maximize the ultimate impact of their donation through a corporate matching gift program.
Sending matching gift reminder emails within 24 hours of a donation results in a 53% open rate.
This rate is 2-3 times higher than the average nonprofit email open rate. Taking swift action yields higher results, and you can automate the entire email reminder process with matching gift automation tools.
Using several different methods to identify match-eligible donors results in 77% more identified match-eligible donations.
The more avenues you take to determine which donors are match-eligible, the more likely you are to boost your donation revenue. Matching gift marketing automation can help by using matching gift databases, employer information, and more to notify you of opportunities.
Matching Gift Outreach
When it comes to marketing matching gifts, your organization may face several challenges. Sometimes identifying donors who are match-eligible is difficult, especially when donors themselves don’t know whether they’re eligible for a match.
Organizations often don’t plan enough outreach or even have enough time to reach out to every donor. Large organizations also have a wide range of roles and individuals, and it can be challenging to coordinate among them.
To make matching gift outreach easier, leverage these effective opportunities to market matching gifts to your supporters:
During the Donation Process
If matching gift opportunities are apparent throughout your donation process, donors will be more likely to consider and submit a matching gift request once they’ve made their gift. With matching gift software, you can add an intuitive search tool directly to your donation page so donors can find out right away if their gift is eligible for matching.
Throughout Your Website
Along with your donation page, feature matching gift information throughout the rest of your website so your donors can easily locate matching gift forms, guidelines, and instructions for submitting match requests to their employers. For example, you might create a matching gifts landing page that details this opportunity, develop blog content related to matching gifts, and create calls to action in relevant areas of your website that direct donors to check if they’re match eligible.
Sending out an email newsletter or direct mail campaign? Encourage supporters to match their donations by promoting matching gifts across your nonprofit’s communications. Emphasize how easy it is to participate and how much more of an impact donors can make without spending any more money than they normally would.
On Google Ads
Paid advertising through Google and other search engines can amplify your matching gift page. Plus, eligible nonprofits can do it for free through the Google Ad Grants program! We recommend working with a Google Ad Grants agency such as Getting Attention to create ads that inspire users who come across your organization on Google Search.
Essentially, you can market matching gifts through the following avenues:
Dedicated Matching Gift Pages
However, for many organizations, this is easier said than done. That’s why automating your marketing outreach or turning to a trusted marketing agency can make promoting matching gifts easier, especially when you have a lot of data to track.
Want to advertise your matching gifts page on Google?
Top Matching Gift Companies
Plenty of companies across the country have robust matching gift programs and regularly donate thousands of dollars to nonprofits like yours. Explore a few of the top matching gift companies to get an idea of how these programs work. Take note of these top programs, too—it’s likely some of your donors work for these companies!
Microsoft is a technology company that develops computer software, consumer electronics, and more. The company matches up to $15,000 at a 1:1 ratio. Full-time and part-time employees can submit requests for a match at any point during the last 12 months.
The Home Depot
The Home Depot is a large home improvement retailer in the United States. The company will match up to $1,000 per employee for each organization they donate to, with a maximum of $3,000 per employee. Full-time and part-time employees must submit their matching gift requests by January 31st of the year following the date of the donation.
The Walt Disney Company is a mass media and entertainment company. They match donations to most nonprofits made by full-time and part-time employees. The company will match up to $25,000 at a ratio of 1:1.
Matching Gifts Automation: The Benefits
Ready to start leveraging matching gifts for your organization? Every aspect of the process is easier with automation. Take a look at four key benefits you can access by using a matching gift automation platform.
#1: Identify Opportunities for Revenue
Make It Easy to Search
By adding a matching gift widget to your donation form, your donors will be able to search for their employer in a database of thousands of companies that offer matching gift programs. This makes it incredibly easy for your supporters to determine whether they’re eligible for a gift match. Your donor can then view the forms, guidelines, and next steps they must take to submit their match request, if eligible.
Don’t Miss Out on Opportunities
By using a matching gift automation platform, you can automatically identify matching gift eligibility based on the email address your donor provides during the online donation process. If they use an employer email address, you’ll be able to grab their employer’s information and determine if they offer a matching gift program, growing your revenue as a result.
#2: Automatically Double the Impact
Send Automatic Emails
Make it easy to automatically increase your donors’ gifts through a corporate match. An automation platform will trigger emails to donors based on their eligibility for a matching gift. This takes the pressure off of your organization and individual team members and ensures you can double a donor’s impact without too much effort on your end!
Find Your Data
When you’re a large organization with a large donor base and several pieces of data to track, having matching gift data and performance insights right in front of you is essential. These numbers help you understand which marketing efforts are driving completed matches and where you may be losing donors. A matching gift automation platform tracks this data for you so you can find the information you need without having to comb through individual match requests.
#3: Tell Your Brand’s Story
Make It Sound Like You
A matching gifts automation platform will help you customize your triggered emails automatically so you can keep your branding consistent and continue to tell your story. This will help you build trust with supporters and increase the likelihood of driving matching gifts.
Make It Personal
Reaching out to your donors and forming a connection with them is the most important thing your organization can do. By adding personal information to your email, including the donor’s name, donation amount, date, and more, you’ll make it clear that you value their time and commitment to your organization.
#4: Remove Barriers for Donors with Auto-Submission
Help Eligible Donors Submit Match Requests
With 360MatchPro’s innovative auto-submission functionality, you can streamline the matching gift request process for donors and help them submit requests without any work on their part! If their company’s CSR platform integrates with Double the Donation, all the donor has to do is make their donation, enter their corporate email address, and check a box. Then, the platform automatically fills out and submits the match request to their employer for them!
Drive Matches to Completion Faster
By fully automating the submission process, you’ll save donors time and receive corporate donations faster. Normally, donors have to go into their company portal and fill in all the necessary information about their donation and your nonprofit. However, it might take days or even weeks for them to do this. With auto-submission, the request goes to their employer right away.
How to Automate Matching Gifts with 360MatchPro
How can you enjoy the benefits mentioned above? By investing in a matching gift automation platform like 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, your organization will be able to efficiently monitor outreach to your donors, track the progress of matching gift submissions, and increase the resulting revenue from these efforts.
360MatchPro provides a streamlined process for securing matching gift revenue. Here’s how it works:
Streamline the Donor Experience
Your donors can give the same way they always have, but they’ll also have an opportunity to initiate a donation match on your donation form, confirmation page, and through follow-up emails. Easily remind your match-eligible donors to submit a match request via automated outreach, or let your platform automatically submit requests for donors with auto-submission.
Automatically Increase Revenue
By sending out the right automated messaging to your donors based on their eligibility, you can generate more matching gift revenue for your organization. During the process, you can also track the status of each match request through to completion. This detailed data will be invaluable for your team.
Easily Submit a Match
Provide your donors with the information they need to complete their match request, straight to their email. Then, your donors can easily complete the match process electronically, or via paper PDFs or E-Sign.
Keep all of your donor data in one place so you can more easily leverage the information you have. Identify your top matching gift revenue opportunities and sync your matching gift data with your CRM to keep it organized.
Benefits of 360MatchPro
Generate More Revenue
360MatchPro will automatically email your donors the information they need to complete their match request, which means your team won’t have to spend as much time following up with donors and you’ll generate more revenue in the process.
Once you’ve received the first donation from a new donor, you’ll be able to form a long-term relationship with them by making the matching gift process easy and helping them see how much bigger of an impact their gift can make.
Improve Your Processes
When you’re able to track the matching gift process from start to finish with each donor, your process will become more streamlined and your organization can instead focus on what’s most important: its mission.
Investing in a matching gift automation platform like 360MatchPro by Double the Donation can not only boost your matching gift revenue but also make your tracking process much simpler. You’ll make your organization’s employees’ jobs easier and more streamlined, and this will result in more matching gift opportunities.
Automation goes a long way in terms of effectively reaching out to your supporters and easing the pressure on your team.
Additional Matching Gift Resources
Matching Gift Programs
New to matching gifts and not sure where to start looking?
Check out this guide to corporate matching gift programs and maximize your donations.
Top Matching Gift Companies
Curious as to whether your donors are linked to top matching gift programs?
Check out 360MatchPro’s list of top companies that match donations.
Marketing Matching Gifts
Are you looking for an effective way to market matching gifts to your supporters?
Check out this helpful guide to promoting matching gifts.