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More gifts = more impact: increasing matching gift claims

May 24, 2024
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Matching gift programs offer key benefits for both corporations and nonprofits alike. For companies, matching your employees’ donations shows that you want to amplify the causes your workforce is passionate about, supporting your business’s participation, engagement, and retention efforts. Similarly, nonprofits benefit from matching gifts because they can double or even triple their revenue potential through these programs.  

Despite 84% of donors saying they’re more likely to give if a match is offered, it’s estimated that $4-7 billion in matching funds are left on the table each year. While it’s clear that matching gift programs can help boost employee participation and maximize support for nonprofits, many donors still fail to take advantage of this benefit.    

In this blog, we’ll explore why your employees aren’t claiming matching gift funds and how you can help incentivize participation in these programs with help from corporate social responsibility (CSR) software.  

For even more ways that Bonterra can help you power corporate philanthropy to its full potential through employee engagement efforts, download our complete guide, “The social impact transformation: CSR and strategic philanthropy.” 

Increase awareness with clear and creative promotions  

One of the biggest reasons that employees don’t participate in matching gift programs is because they either don’t know the program exists or the eligibility requirements are unclear. According to Double the Donation, 78% of donors don’t know whether their company offers matching gifts or the specifics of the program.  

Here are five ways you can increase awareness about your company’s matching gift campaign to boost requests, scale participation, and maximize impact.   

  1. Create a central information hub: When employees must check multiple sources of information to find out how to submit a request or confirm if their gift is eligible, it discourages participation. With CSR software, you can store specifics about your offer within the employee-facing portal, including the submission process, donation minimum, timeframe, eligible causes, and nonprofit criteria. As a result, employees can quickly and easily find everything they need to claim a match.  
  2. Send automated reminders: The sooner you can remind employees that their donation is eligible for a match, the better. Partner with your CSR software vendor to trigger automated reminders and nudges, encouraging participation in current campaigns and ensuring employees utilize outstanding matching gift balances.   
  3. Rally around timely events: Align your matching gift programs with holidays or awareness months that your employees are already planning to support. For example, offering a match for all donations made to LGBTQIA+ organizations during June can help increase awareness and incentivize existing donors to take advantage of employer matching. 
  4. Engage new hires: Ensuring that your employees know everything about corporate giving initiatives from day one is the best way to drive participation. Include key information about matching gift opportunities and their benefits during the onboarding process to build a community of donors upfront. 
  5. Establish internal champions: Your business likely has a pool of recurring donors who routinely support nonprofits they’re passionate about. Tap into this segment of your workforce and create a team of internal champions to help spread the word about your matching gift program and how it supports nonprofits in various communications channels.  

Pro tip: Bonterra’s Employee Engagement solution includes an Employer Matching Integration which makes it easier than ever for employees to verify whether they meet the criteria for a company match. Once an employee makes an eligible donation, they will immediately receive an email notification urging them to file a matching gift claim to double the impact of their contribution. By making it easier to verify eligibility and submit a request, you’ll increase employee participation and maximize support for nonprofits raising funds for their missions.   

Offer flexible donation options  

Your employees may not be submitting matching gift claims because the nonprofits they want to support aren’t eligible. Nearly one-third of employees don’t give through their workplace because the causes they care about are not made available. To help increase matching gift requests, expand your offering to align with your employees’ passions and interests.  

Beyond cause alignment, it's also important to understand your employees’ payment preferences as well. For example, 96% of employees prefer to make donations directly to nonprofits versus through their company’s portal. Similarly, 53% of Americans favor digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay over traditional payment methods, which are gaining popularity for donations as well. Whether it’s enabling direct donations to nonprofits or adding payroll, credit card, or digital wallets to your payment options, consider expanding your donation methods to meet employees’ preferences.  

Pro tip: Soliciting information about employee preferences can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. When you partner with Bonterra for employee engagement, you’ll gain access to our impact reporting tool, Insights. Included with Insights is our advanced donor cohort analysis dashboard, which allows administrators to understand how employees participate in various programs and campaigns. This tool makes it easier than ever to identify trends in your employees’ donation behaviors and tailor programs to meet them.  

Simplify the process for submitting a request  

Without corporate giving software, the process for requesting a company match can be disjointed, complex, and time-consuming.  

For example, if your employee-facing portal is difficult to navigate, your workforce won’t want to spend time figuring out how to submit a match request and will be deterred from participating. Many matching programs also require employees to submit a donation receipt or gift acknowledgment, adding more steps and requirements to an already complex process. Similarly, if your company doesn’t provide proof that a match was submitted and its impact, your employees won’t be motivated to go through the effort of submitting a claim.  

When you partner with Bonterra for matching gifts, our Employee Engagement software offers core capabilities that make it easy to submit a request and help incentivize participation. Here are a few examples:  

  • Build an intuitive, user-friendly interface that aligns with corporate branding to create a familiar and streamlined donor experience without technical expertise.  
  • Create a personalized donor portal that reflects your employees’ specific giving preferences based on their donation history.  
  • Accelerate claim approvals by using available data and prior history to auto-award low-risk claims.   
  • Deliver end-to-end transparency into the disbursement process with Bonterra’s Disbursement Service, building trust with both employees and nonprofits.  
  • Start reporting impact immediately with more than 15 turn-key dashboards designed to measure outcomes, not just outputs.  

At Bonterra, we’re on a mission to reduce the amount of matching gift funds that go unclaimed each year. When you partner with us for employee engagement, our team of experts will help you build a user-friendly platform, simplify matching gift processes, and implement programs that match your employees’ values. Together, we’ll re-engage employees, revive nonprofit funding, and renew your impact.  

See if Bonterra Employee Engagement is right for you and schedule a demo with one of our experts.  

    Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corporations
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Employee giving