Fighting the good fight for your nonprofit’s cause is what you do best.
Funding your mission, however, is always challenging. The planning, the lists, the headaches, the inevitable snafus that arise at any given moment… it’s a lot of effort to solicit a single donation.
And while seeking out new donors is vital to raising money for your cause, what if you could double your donations with your current donor list?
With the 3 E’s—education, ease, and encouragement—you can maximize your donations by getting more of your donors to match their gifts.
- Education: The Power of Matching Gifts
- Ease: The Tools to Matching Your Donor’s Gifts
- Encouragement: Increasing Donor Retention
Ready to help your donors make the most of their gifts to your cause?
Let’s dive into what makes matching gift fundraising such a powerful way to tap into the hidden potential of your supporters.
1. Education: The Power of Matching Gifts
If you were an optometrist giving an eye exam, you would be concerned if you heard your patient read off the letters: “G, G, I, I, F, F, T, T, S, S.”
Uh-oh. They are seeing double.
Since, however, you are more concerned with your nonprofit’s cause, having your donors see double is your organization’s ideal situation.
While your donors may not actually see duplicates of things, they can easily double their donation’s impact — without having to reach into their own pocket.
Matching Gifts: the “Buy-One, Get-One” of Philanthropy
What’s better than getting two for the price of one?
That principle is true for shoes, groceries, and donations. [Frankly, it’s even better for donations!]
Corporate giving programs are the ‘BOGO’ coupons of the nonprofit realm because they provide corporate matching gifts, a type of donation where companies financially match the donations made by their employees to qualifying nonprofit organizations.
Corporate philanthropy ‘BOGO programs’ are the best-kept secret of the nonprofit world.
With corporate matching gift programs, you can get more of your donors to double their donation, without continued solicitation, simply by matching their gifts.
Most companies match their employee’s donations on a 1:1 ratio. However, some companies match their gifts up to a 4:1 ratio! That’s way more than your average sale!
Some companies even offer volunteer grants as a means to monetize their employee’s efforts for your nonprofit. For corporations and nonprofits alike: time equals money.
The process of getting donors to match their gifts is incredibly simple, too:
- An employed individual makes a contribution to your nonprofit.
- The donor determines their eligibility for a matching gifts program through a matching gift database.
- The eligible donor completes and submits the correct forms for their company’s matching gift program.
- The company matches its employee’s gift to your organization according to their ratio.
Why Don’t More Donors Match their Gifts?
At this point, you are probably wondering: if it is so easy for donors to match their gifts, why aren’t they?
The good news is that many Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs. With a surge in corporate social responsibility, or CSR, more companies are dedicated to improving their consumer trust by improving their community impact.
The bad news is that these programs are not highly publicized by the companies themselves, which means that you must make your donors aware of how they can match their gifts.
The onus of educating the donors on every charitable opportunity is on the nonprofits, not the donors.
Promoting Matching Gifts: The More You Know
You cannot expect your donors to match their gifts if your donors are unaware of the matching gifts program.
Education is the primary tool in your nonprofit’s toolbelt to maximize the number of your donors participating in their company’s matching gifts.
Emailing newsletters, posting blogs, sending out matching gift reminder emails as deadlines approach, and embedding a matching gifts database into your donation page all serve as educational tools to guide donors towards easily doubling their gifts.
And while continuously fundraising and educating may be daunting, now you know about matching gifts and the different types of corporate donations available. You can implement these ideas into your fundraising and marketing strategies to guarantee a huge increase to your donations without a huge increase to your efforts.
For more on corporate donation opportunities, check out this page.
2. Ease: The Tools to Getting More of Your Donors to Match Their Gifts
No need for hammers, saws, nails, and the like in order to get more of your donors to match their gifts.
On the contrary, in order to build the foundation for your fundraising platform to ensure that it can steadily grow, you need to ready yourself with matching gift tools.
Matching Gift Tools
Matching gift search databases provide you with all relevant information you and your donor need: match amounts, employee and nonprofit eligibility, minimums and maximums, submission process and deadlines, and a link straight to the company’s submission form.
Regardless of your nonprofit’s size, there are databases to match the scope of your organization’s needs.
For smaller and medium-sized nonprofits, Double the Donation’s matching gift search is a great tool to maximize your organization’s matching gift revenue.
Doubling Your Donation with the Perfect Software
You want to find a software that offers extensive information and resources on companies, subsidiaries, and variations. Adding a software like this to your arsenal means that you and your donors have all the information you need to match gifts in one database.
The perfect matching gift software should include:
- CRM integration
- Updated data
- Embedded search tools
- Electronic matching gift forms
- Tech support
The more streamlined the process is, the more likely it is that your donors will match their gifts.
Match Like a Pro
If your organization is large and in charge, your financial needs surpass those of the smaller organizations. Larger donations are essential to your stability and growth, so getting more of your donors to match their gifts is vital.
Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro is suited for the needs of larger organizations and provides incomparable matching gift automation software.
For answers to questions you may have on 360MatchPro and other matching gift tools, check out Re:Charity’s matching gifts guide for nonprofit organizations.
By integrating this matching gift database into your nonprofit’s donation form, you not only educate your donors on the existence of the matching gifts program, but you encourage them to easily double their impact to your organization’s cause.
Embedding matching gift search software into your donation page can eliminate any headaches in the matching gift process for you and your donors. Fewer headaches for them leads to more money for you.
3. Encouragement: Increasing Donor Retention
Fewer headaches not only secure more donations for your nonprofit, but they also secure more loyalty from your donors.
Marketing your organization is a fantastic way to gain new donors, but retaining your existing donors is more important to your long-term success.
Recurring donors have already been educated on matching gifts and shown the tools to double their donations with ease, so you can count on continued matching gifts with existing donors!
Donor Retention 101
After spending time, money, and effort on securing donations and educating donors on the matching gifts programs, you wouldn’t want your donors to feel neglected or abandon your cause.
Future donations and matched gifts are made easier and more often with donor retention.
So… don’t just ask donors to match their gifts without having a plan in place to assure they’ll want to match future gifts to you as well.
Top 3 Ways to Keep Your Donors Loyal
1. Know Your Donors
- It is crucial to donor relations to be personable with major donor prospects.
- While it’s important to educate your donors on your nonprofit’s cause and your mission, it’s important to educate yourself on who your donors are.
- Customizing your communication based on donor preference is a key marketing strategy for nonprofit organizations to increase retention and growth.
2. Share the Impact
- Donors love to see how their gifts are impacting your cause. Your only communication with them should not be donation solicitation.
- Encourage donors to increase their impact by matching their gifts! According to Double the Donation’s matching gift statistics, “84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered.”
- Send links, articles, cards, and other communication that showcases the tangible impact their monetary donation made.
3. Acknowledge Your Donors
- A simple, “thank you,” can do wonders for donor retention. The more they feel their contribution is making a difference, the more likely they are to keep contributing!
- To increase donor love and loyalty, keep those thank you’s coming.
- With every communication, cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Learn more about powerful ways to increase donor retention and recurring giving here.
Encourage Giving and Matching Across Multiple Channels
While this may seem obvious, it’s important to note that the way in which you solicit donations is as important as the why.
1. Social Media (and why you shouldn’t avoid it)
The incessant notifications and constant updates may be bothersome to some, but the reach of social media platforms outweighs any minor dinging noise.
Most people are on at least one social media outlet today, so conveying information via social media is a prime method to educate and encourage matching gifts to your current and future donors without personally addressing them.
2. Email: Use It, Don’t Abuse It
Email is another wonderful (and environmentally friendly) tool to endorse matching gifts programs and encourage your current donors to make the most of their gifts.
It’s important to market year-round, but especially at the end of the year when donors can submit all of the donations they’ve made during the year in one form.
- Encourage major giving and matching gift opportunities
- Send automated emails to encourage donors to submit a match request
- Send newsletters to educate donors on matching gift programs
- Acknowledge donors and their contributions
- Make the most of their donations by sharing their impact
Don’t Abuse It
- Generic headlines lead to generic donations
- Make the headline important to your specific donor, not to your organization
- Refrain from long winded emails
- The more information you cram into an email, the less likely your donor is to read all of it
1. Inspire your constituents to join the impact you are making.
2. Let donors know how they can increase their impact through matching gifts that won’t cost them any additional money.
3. Use social media and emails strategically to maximize the cost-effectiveness of your fundraising strategies.
4. Don’t ignore the small stuff. The hardest part of fundraising should be having to overcome the psychological barriers of getting a donor to want to give to your cause. The simplest part of fundraising should be getting more of your donors to match their gifts.
With the 3 E’s — education, ease, and encouragement — you and your cause are certain to be seeing double in no time.
Just don’t tell your eye doctor!
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 to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs.