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Maximize Your Fundraising With Matching Gifts

10 min read
March 29, 2024
Allison Smith headshot
Allison Smith
Content Marketing Coordinator, Neon One

What if your organization could bring in two donations through one donor? Sounds pretty great, right? Well, that’s exactly how matching gifts work! And a matching gifts program makes it possible for your nonprofit to do just that.

What Are Matching Gifts?

If you’re not familiar with matching gifts, they are donations that companies make to nonprofits to match an employee’s donation. Typically, the employee submits the required paperwork, and that’s when the double donation magic happens.

Typically, they work like this: An employee at a company makes a donation to a nonprofit they support and then submits the required matching gift paperwork to their employer. Once that paperwork is approved, the company donates to that nonprofit.

Companies usually match gifts at a 1:1 ratio. But some corporations match at even higher ratios!

Matching gifts can be a great way for nonprofits to maximize their donations, and this guide will help you make the most of those programs. It’s divided into three sections:

  1. Matching Gift Best Practices
  2. Ways to Promote Matching Gift Programs
  3. Utilizing Matching Gift Database Services

Click on the section you’re most interested in above, or read the entire article to learn more!

Best Practices for Acquiring Matching Gifts

Here are five ways you can improve your matching gift fundraising.

1. Educate Your Organization

Ensuring everyone has a baseline knowledge of matching gifts is the best first step to maximizing your contributions. Providing training or access to courses about matching gift fundraising can get everyone on your team on the right page.

If your organization has the resources to do so, add a matching gift coordinator to your staff. This individual can be in charge of promoting matching gifts to donors.

Why It’s Important

Although matching gift programs aren’t a tricky concept, it’s still important that everyone on your staff understands the process and has a solid strategy before fundraising begins. That way, they can relay accurate information to donors and maximize the opportunity to receive matching gifts from their employers.

2. Incorporate Matching Gifts Into Your Donation Forms

As you acquire new donors and incorporate them into your donation flow, make sure to inform them about matching gifts.

You can do this by optimizing your online donation form and integrating your donation software with a matching gift tool that adds the relevant information to your form.

Why It’s Important

One of the most common reasons donors don’t submit matching gift requests is that they don’t know their employers offer such programs. 

Even if they’re aware of their company’s matching gift program, they might not have all the details about requirements, deadlines, or restrictions.

By integrating your matching gifts software with your donation forms, you help raise awareness and create an easy way to start the process.

3. Conduct a Prospect Research Screening

Prospect research can reveal a wealth of information about donors. A screening can reveal details like names and addresses and more complex data like past giving patterns and business affiliations. 

Additionally, prospect research can identify where donors currently work or where they retired from. With a tiny bit of digging, you can uncover which donors work for a company that matches donations and then send targeted communications to them.

Why It’s Important

Employer information can be used to your advantage when it comes to matching gifts. Prospect research can help you know which programs to promote to your donors.

For example, if you learn about your donors’ employers, you can send them reminders and specific instructions for submitting a matching gift request for their company. Interested in integrating prospect research software with Neon CRM? Check out our partnership with Windfall Data!

4. Keep A Record of Donors Who Have Made Requests

To successfully receive matching gifts, you’ll need to keep good records and track your matching gift program’s progress.

When donors submit information about matching gifts on your online donation form, this data should be automatically added to your database.

Why It’s Important

When you track matching gift metrics and keep records of which donors submit a request, you can better determine how to market these programs to your donors.

You’ll know which donors have made gifts in the past and be able to send them timely reminders. With the comprehensive data tracking and robust reporting capabilities included in your nonprofit’s CRM, you should be able to gain much deeper insights into the number of donors submitting matching gift requests.

5. Incorporate Matching Gift Information Into Your Fundraising Campaigns

When donors contribute to a fundraising campaign, this tells you they’re invested in your cause. Why not let them know about matching gifts while you have their attention?

For example, you can inform donors about how they can double their donations before and during Giving Tuesday, a fundraising gala or auction, or a walkathon or fundraising run.

When you send communications about your fundraising events, include information on matching gifts and a link to your landing page or another resource where they can learn more.

Why It’s Important

By informing contributors about matching gifts during peak giving times and at fundraisers, you can double the donations you receive and further promote your cause to donors and the companies they work for.

Promoting Matching Programs: 5 Ways to Raise Awareness

Encouraging donors to look into matching gifts isn’t awkward when you use effective strategies. Whether you inform first-time donors about matching gifts or provide existing and dedicated contributors with resources about it, asking donors to make their donations go further is always the right move.

1. Encourage Matching Gifts During the Donation Process

One of the easiest ways to inform your donors about doubling their contributions is to promote matching gift programs during the donation process. You can incorporate an optional field on your donation page to inform your supporters about matching gifts.

How to Execute It

Look at Texas A&M University’s Association of Former Students as an example. 

They provide an eye-catching link leading to helpful information about employers’ matching programs, including instructions for submitting the paperwork.

Texas A&M University’s Association of Former Students web page showing employer gift matching form beside donation form
Texas A&M University’s Association of Former Students web page showing employer gift matching form beside donation form

By incorporating an optional step about matching gifts in your donation form, you can help them learn more and make it easier for donors to put in a request.

Give donors the opportunity to learn more about their company’s matching program on your donation page. They’re already in the giving spirit and may be more likely to take extra time to research how they can get matching contributions.

2. Create a Dedicated Matching Gifts Page

You don’t just want donors to know about matching gifts; you want them to remember that it’s an option for them. Design a landing page on your website that’s dedicated to explaining your matching gifts program and contains information about how to do it.

ASPCA’s page below is an example:

ASPCA's matching gifts landing page
ASPCA’s matching gifts landing page

Having a dedicated page gives your donors a place to refer to when they have questions about submitting a request or checking their employer’s program. The more knowledge donors have about the program, the more comfortable they’ll be with the process.

How to Execute It

This page could offer a multitude of helpful information, such as:

  • Statistics about matching gifts and online donations in general
  • A short list of companies that offer these programs
  • An explanation or example of how impactful matching gifts can be
  • Tips on how to submit matching gift requests
  • A matching gifts tool that allows donors to search for their company’s program

Plus, if you create a matching gifts page, you can link back to it when sending out newsletters, social media posts, or thank-you emails.

3. Include Matching Gift Information in Acknowledgements

Sending out thank-you letters immediately after your supporters give keeps their gift fresh in their minds. Thank-you letters are the perfect opportunity to remind donors to check into their company’s matching program.

How to Execute It

After you thank them for their gift, share a little information about matching gifts. The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) offers a perfect example of how a genuine thank-you email can be paired with data about matching gifts.

thank you email from The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) expressing gratitude for donation and sharing matching gift information
thank you email from The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) expressing gratitude for donation and sharing matching gift information

Notice that the first paragraph expresses gratitude for the donor’s gift and then transitions into an invitation to double their donation. The HNF also includes a useful graphic and link directing donors to information about matching gift programs.

4. Promote Matching Gifts on Social Media

Social media is another great way to keep your matching gifts program top of mind for your donors. You can meet them where they are (people worldwide spend 143 minutes daily on social media!) to share vital information about furthering their donation’s reach. 

Social media can also help you reach individuals who may not know much about your organization but are employed by companies that match donations or have followers who are. Use your online presence to spread the word about your matching gifts program and acquire new donors.

How to Execute It

You can use any social media platform to promote matching gifts. For instance, The National Kidney Foundation does a great job creating eye-catching Facebook posts and including links that direct followers to more matching gift information. This post alone garnered over 460 likes and was shared nearly 200 times!

Facebook post by National Kidney Foundation sharing a link to learn about matching gifts
Facebook post by National Kidney Foundation sharing a link to learn about matching gifts

In addition to a simple Facebook post, you can spread the word on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, and even Pinterest.

5. Add It to Your Email Newsletter

If your donors are unaware of your matching gifts program, a great way to inform them is to send gift-matching information via your nonprofit’s newsletter.

By doing so, you can continue to foster your relationship with existing donors while also helping them increase their donations.

How to Execute It

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania does an excellent job informing donors about matching gift programs. Their newsletter provides information about the different areas their contributions support and links to more details about matching gift programs.

Other useful ways to encourage matching gifts through newsletters include:

  • Incorporating pictures, videos, or additional information about projects that matching gift donations will go towards.
  • Including a direct link to a helpful resource geared toward matching gift information.
  • Encouraging donors to search for their company’s matching gift program.

Your newsletters can feature information about matching gifts to help educate new donors and remind dedicated, consistent donors that they can double or even triple their donations.

Utilizing Matching Gift Database Services

Consider using a matching gift database to make the matching gift process even easier for your donors. These databases create an embeddable search tool on donation forms for donors to use to find out if their company offers an employer match.

The software automatically follows up via email with all the forms or paperwork the donor must complete to facilitate the gift match between their company and the nonprofit.

When you’re ready to maximize your fundraising potential, implement Neon CRM and Double The Donation’s certified integration. Check it out below to get started!

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