Imagine you’re baking a cake. You put in the flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, whip it all together, and put it in the oven for an hour. But, when the timer dings and you open the oven door, you find that instead of one perfect cake, you have two!
This situation is physically impossible (unless you’re a wizard or a magician), but it’s a good illustration for how matching gift programs can benefit your nonprofit.
When donors take advantage of their employers’ matching gift programs, they essentially double the amount of money that they give to your organization. Two cakes (I mean, donations!) for the price of one!
While your nonprofit still needs to go after those initial donations (like you would have to complete the process of baking that first cake), you can still benefit by promoting matching gifts to your donors and prospects.
Learn more here > Do You Want to Double Your Donations? Seize Matching Gifts!!!
Here’s what we’ll be covering in this article:
- Utilize Social Media
- Use Emails Wisely
- Reach Out to Corporate Partners
- Encourage Major Giving
- Make Use of Acknowledgments
- Include Matching Gift Info on Your Donation Page
Let’s get started!
It seems everyone is on at least one social platform these days. Whether posting on the status of their cat or spreading the word about your peer-to-peer fundraiser, donors use social media for a multitude of purposes.
It makes sense, therefore, to use social media to your nonprofit’s advantage and promote matching gifts.
Facebook is still the social media giant with millions of users liking, sharing, posting, and commenting on a daily basis. Your organization should make the most of the wide audience on Facebook and promote matching gifts.
The ALS Association provides an excellent example of what a matching-gift-centered post should look like.
While Facebook is undeniably a great platform to use for matching gift promotion, your nonprofit should not ignore the other social media sites out there:
- Twitter: Keep posts short and sweet. You only have 140 characters to get your message across, so make sure that you’re using that space wisely. Provide followers with links to more information as well.
- Pinterest: Create a “Matching Gifts” board and pin relevant information that your followers can like and repin.
- Instagram: Use this image-based social media platform to show followers what their donations are helping accomplish. Include a small blurb about matching gifts and you’ll be good to go!
Takeaway: Social media is a powerful tool. Use it to your benefit and promote matching gifts on social platforms!
Bonus tip: Make sure that your social media strategy is working. Check out the top ten ways to make your content more shareable!
Email newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your donors and update them on current and completed projects that their donations are funding.
They are also perfect for annual appeals and promoting matching gifts!
If you’re already sending out regular emails to donors, try adding a blurb about matching gifts to encourage donors to look into the programs offered by their employers.
You can do what the Kidney Foundation has done with their email newsletter.
Notice that the Kidney Foundation also provides donors with a link that leads to more information about matching gift programs as well as an eye-catching graphic to capture readers’ attentions.
Additionally, you can dedicate an entire email newsletter to matching gifts.
In this case, make sure you’re providing donors with a little more information to let them know exactly what their matched donations can help your nonprofit accomplish.
The Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association does a great job of using their emails to let donors know about matching gifts.
Not only do they provide a link within the body of the email, but the bright blue button also draws recipients’ attention and helps them learn more about matching gifts.
A more subtle way for your organization to let donors know about matching gift programs is to include matching gift information within email signatures. Whenever donors receive an email from anyone in your organization, they’ll be able to find out more about matching gifts.
Take a look at this example from Citizens of the World Charter Schools:
The Regional Development Manager at the charter school includes standard information in her email signature, but she also signs off with a quick matching gift reminder (and a link!).
Takeaway: Use your emails to their greatest potential. Start marketing matching gifts in your digital communications today!
Your nonprofit might already have a partnership with a company in your area. Why not use that relationship to encourage matching gifts?
If the company has a matching gift program, ask the leadership to promote it to employees.
Corporations all over the United States are looking to boost their cultures of corporate social responsibility. Matching gifts allow them to do so and also help your nonprofit receive twice as many donations.
If your corporate partner does not have a matching gift program set up but has other corporate giving programs in place (like volunteer and community grant programs), encourage them to consider starting a matching gift program.
Not only will the company benefit by looking more admirable in the eyes of the public and their employees, but employees will be more likely to give.
Check out Double the Donation’s list of matching gift companies to see if any of your corporate partners are included.
Takeaway: Having a corporate partner is an ideal situation for promoting matching gifts. Reach out to local businesses and get the low-down on their corporate giving programs.
Major giving can be one of the biggest ways for nonprofits to receive donations.
These types of donations are great on their own, but your nonprofit can potentially double them by letting donors know about the matching gift programs that their current or former employers might offer.
Oftentimes, retirees and spouses can submit matching gift requests to their former employers, enabling major donations to be doubled in almost any circumstance.
Even though matching gift programs tend to have deadlines and caps on the amount donated, your nonprofit can still benefit by promoting matching gift programs to your major giving prospects.
Takeaway: Your organization can potentially receive two large donations. Make sure that your major gift donors are aware of the corporate giving programs that exist at their current or former jobs.
We all know that donor thank-you letters are the key to a great stewardship process for both donors and nonprofits.
In fact, according to Qgiv:
When donors receive a thank-you letter acknowledging their contribution, you not only let donors know that you definitely received their contributions, but you also leave a positive impression of your nonprofit in their minds.
Acknowledgements play such a huge role for donors and nonprofits alike; why shouldn’t they be a vehicle for matching gifts, as well?
The great thing about including matching gift info in your acknowledgements is that you aren’t asking donors for another contribution. They can help your nonprofit without opening their wallets a second time!
And since they just made a donation, there is a much higher likelihood that they will be inclined to look into matching gifts.
Need an example? Check out this acknowledgement screen from the American Cancer Fund:
After the donor’s contribution has been properly acknowledged, matching gift promotion can begin!
The American Cancer Fund uses a matching gift tool so that donors can quickly and easily look up their employers’ info.
Let’s look at one more example of matching gifts in acknowledgements.
Once again, the acknowledgement comes first. Then, the HNF uses links and graphics to lead donors to more matching gift information.
Takeaway: Make sure that your thank-yous and acknowledgements demonstrate your gratitude and promote matching gifts.
My final point about making the most of matching gifts has to do with your nonprofit’s website design.
Many donors are reaching your website on their laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Are you properly promoting matching gifts so that donors on each of these devices know how they can double their donations?
For instance, are you including info about matching gifts:
- On your Ways-to-Give page?
- On a dedicated Matching Gifts page?
- On your online donation form?
- In news updates and blog articles?
If not, it might be time to start! Your donors won’t know about matching gifts unless you tell them!
Takeaway: Your website should be a hub of knowledge–including information about matching gifts!
Matching gifts can be a great addition to your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts. While there is a little work to be done on your organization’s part, the benefit of marketing matching gifts through various channels cannot be overstated. Pretty soon, you’ll be on your way to matching gift success!
The preceding is a guest post by Adam Wenger, President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of matching gift tools and service to nonprofits. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn, Twitter, or join the matching gift discussion.
Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net
Before you can get a matching gift, you need to get a first gift!
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