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4 ways to promote matching gifts in 30 minutes or less

April 28, 2020
A woman uses her laptop to promote matching gifts for her nonprofit online.

Your nonprofit organization works hard to raise funds and gain access to all of the resources you need to drive your impact. Did you know that you could be earning more? Many of the donations you receive could be easily doubled if you take simple steps to promote matching gift opportunities. 

In this guide, we’ll cover four quick ways that you can promote matching gift opportunities to your existing donors and new prospects. 

What is a matching gift? 

A matching gift is like a double-decker sandwich. It provides the opportunity to get twice the money on eligible donations. 65% of Fortune 500 companies, plus many others, set up charitable giving programs that match employee donations to eligible nonprofits. Most companies with these types of programs will match gifts dollar for dollar, but some will double, triple, or even quadruple charitable contributions.

For example, Gap Inc. offers a 1:1 ratio with a minimum contribution of $10 and a maximum of $15,000. This means that if a Gap employee donates $300 to an eligible nonprofit, the company will match the donation and write a check for $300 to the same nonprofit, doubling the donation to a total of $600. 

These aren’t just mom-and-pop businesses. Some of the top matching gift companies include major names like: 

  • General Electric
  • Microsoft
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • ExxonMobil
  • State Street Corporation
  • Soros Fund Management

Often, donors simply don’t know that they’re able to increase their impact through matching gifts because they’re unaware of their own eligibility. If you promote these opportunities, you’ll encourage more supporters to check their eligibility and generate more funds through matching gifts. 

You can market these opportunities with just a few simple actions from your nonprofit! Let’s dive into four strategies that you can use to promote matching gift opportunities to your supporters.

1. Social media

Depending on which audiences you’re targeting with your marketing campaigns, you have a variety of social media platforms to choose from. While many of your Gen X and Millennial donors are accessible on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you may have more luck reaching Gen Z donors using TikTok or Snapchat. 

Scheduling tools can help you space out your posts on these various platforms over weeks, months, or even years. This allows you to come up with all of the content at once, then take a “set it and forget it” approach. 

Even with a scheduling tool, you’ll need to adjust posts depending on which platform it will be featured on because each one leverages different styles of content. For example, TikTok uses video content while Twitter uses short text phrases. 

In every post, be sure to include a call-to-action requesting that donors check their eligibility and submit their match.

Here’s a sample tweet:

"It takes only a few minutes to submit corporate employee matching gift forms. Have you submitted yours?"

Just remember, social media isn’t the place to provide lengthy and overly-detailed information. What you want to do in your posts is be direct and to the point. Keep your message short and entice your readers to click on the link you're including. 

2. Acknowledgement letters

All donations require thank-you letters, commonly sent via email. Donors appreciate your gratitude, so they read these messages, which makes these emails a great opportunity to remind them how they can double their impact.

It will take you as little as five minutes to plop a blurb about matching gifts or a relevant graphic into an email. We recommend writing something along these lines: 

“Did you know that you could double your donation today? Check your eligibility now!” 

To take this idea to the next level, invest in a matching gift database that will scan your supporters’ email addresses in search of those with a domain that indicates a company with a matching gift program. These types of databases often send more direct automatic emails saying: “Did you know that you’re eligible for a matched gift?” 

Then, they’ll often provide a direct link to the submission page, allowing supporters to immediately submit a matching gift request to their companies. 

3. Email signatures 

Any email can become a matching gift email thanks to email signatures. Typically, email signatures contain basic contact information, but a quick line or a conspicuous matching gift graphic can help to raise awareness: "Does your employer offer matching gifts? Find out today!"

Not only will email signatures remind donors about matching gifts, but the signature will also be visible on messages to staff, which can help to promote awareness within your organization. Adding this type of blurb to your signature should take five minutes or less.

4. Internal promotion

The best way to maximize matching gift revenue is to create a culture of promoting these opportunities at your organization. It all starts with a matching gift leader, who takes the lead in ensuring everyone from the IT department to your volunteers to your donors are aware of matching gift opportunities. The more people who know, the more the idea is associated with your organization. This leads more people to both be aware of and participate in corporate giving. 

When your entire staff is involved in matching gifts, they’ll be able to promote matching gifts through word-of-mouth in almost any conversation. Then, donors can take up the charge and continue passing along the knowledge to their friends and family.

Mention matching gifts in multiple steps of the fundraising process, from in the midst of your fundraising appeals to follow-up conversations with supporters. By mentioning them upfront, you might even raise more money! Double the Donation claims that one in three donors is more likely to increase their gift amount if they know a match is offered. During the follow-up, mention the opportunity again to remind supporters that it’s not too late to request a match. 

Maximizing efficiency in your matching gifts promotion

A lot of time and effort goes into managing your nonprofit organization. But it doesn’t have to take a long time to start promoting matching gift opportunities. Spending half an hour or less promoting matching gift opportunities can increase your revenue substantially. So take a little time out of your day to implement the strategies in this guide without sacrificing the time you need to spend on other tasks. 

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