Matching gift programs are full of incredible potential for your organization. These corporate giving programs match your eligible donors’ contributions at a 1:1 ratio, though sometimes at a 2:1 ratio, meaning they have the power to double or maybe even triple your donations.
Most full-time employees are eligible while some part-time and retirees are as well, all depending on their employer’s requirements. Donors simply need to submit matching gift requests to their employers by their respective deadlines in order to double the contributions for the organization!
You might be thinking, these programs sound incredible! Why don’t more nonprofits use them? Well, to answer your question, many nonprofits and their donors don’t have enough information about matching gift programs and many donors often forget to submit matching gift requests.
You can gather that a matching gift marketing strategy is a crucial step in the matching gift process. Luckily for you, we’ve dissected 7 easy ways to get the word out about these helpful corporate programs. You can promote matching gifts on all of the following platforms:
- Donation pages
- Confirmation screens
- Thank-you emails
- Matching gift pages
- Social media
- Direct mail
If you’re ready to master the art of marketing matching gifts, let’s dive in!
Matching Gifts Marketing Strategy #1: Donation Pages
Since most donors feel compelled to make a difference when they visit your donation form, these pages are the best and probably most obvious place to promote matching gifts. Engagement is at its highest peak during the giving process!
While supporters are moved to back your organization financially, you can encourage them to make their gift go even further without stretching their budgets.
Working with a matching gift software provider, like Double the Donation, can provide your organization with helpful tools, like Double the Donation’s searchable widget:
This tool can be integrated directly onto your donation forms so your donors can search for their employer’s matching gift program in Double the Donation’s database without leaving the page.
The bottom line: Donation pages are the perfect opportunity to promote matching gifts because donors are in the middle of donating and therefore are the most receptive to your organization.
Matching Gifts Marketing Strategy #2: Confirmation Screens
The confirmation screen is what donors see directly after they make a donation. One of the most opportune times to prompt donors with matching gift information is immediately after the donor gives!
By promoting matching gifts directly after a donor gives a gift, their attention has not even left the page yet and they are much more likely to see if their company will donate than if you remind them days, weeks, or months later.
This way, both their gift and the matching gift information are fresh in their minds and they’re likely to see their matching gift requests the right away.
The bottom line: Promoting matching gifts on confirmation screens means promoting matching gifts when they’re relevant. Confirmation screens are the perfect opportunity for marketing matching gifts because they’ll keep donors from forgetting to submit their requests.
Matching Gifts Marketing Strategy #3: Thank-You Emails
The acknowledgement email is another well-timed opportunity to ask your donors to take a few minutes to search for their employer and submit a matching gift form.
You can, again, encourage your supporters to make their dollars stretch a bit more by submitting their matching gift requests, instead of donating more. Your letters can look just like the Piedmont Foundation’s:
Your thank-you emails should provide both text and visual links directly in the content as well as instructions on how to start the matching gift process. The provided links should take donors to your dedicated matching gift page (which we’ll talk about next), so they can learn everything they need to about corporate matching gift programs.
The bottom line: Donors are always thrilled to receive thank-you emails and they’ll most likely be open to helping you get the most out of their gifts, so incorporating matching gift information into acknowledgements is an easy way to promote matched giving to your donors.
Matching Gifts Marketing Strategy #4: Matching Gift Pages
If you’re looking to reap the benefits of your donors’ matching gift programs, you should definitely make the time investment to add an educational matching gifts page to your nonprofit website.
Matching gift pages have several common elements, usually including:
- an overview of how matching gifts help
- statistics and data on matching gifts
- a list of companies or a searchable database of companies that match gifts
These dedicated pages should also include links to forms and guidelines for companies with matching gift programs, tips for donors to submit matching gift requests to their employers, and some examples of previous matches received by your organization. Check out Audubon’s as an example:
Matching gift pages should incorporate as many of these elements as possible, but it’s not necessary to include every single one of them to have a well-formed matching gift page.
Plus, you’ll want to link to your matching gift page in your website’s main navigation so donors can find this information no matter where on your website they are.
The bottom line: Matching gift pages should stand as your central hub of matching gift information that you can constantly refer supporters to. They should be able to learn everything they need from this page!
Matching Gifts Marketing Strategy #5: Newsletters
Another strategy for marketing matching gifts is to include them in your newsletters!
Remind your donors about matching gifts through direct communications with them. Including matching gift information in your regular newsletter can work wonders for increased matching gift request completion.
Your newsletter doesn’t have to be extravagant. In fact, it can be pretty basic. Try out a simple headline, like “Find out if your employer has a matching gift program.” You can then explain what corporate matching gift programs are and give your supporters a link that takes them to your dedicated matching gift page.
Make sure to include an engaging graphic when you link to your matching gifts page so donors will feel compelled to learn more about their eligibility.
Be sure to promote matching gifts toward the end of the year because that’s when most matching gift program deadlines are.
The bottom line: Donors are expecting your regular newsletter and they’ll be ready for new information and updates about your organization. Slide in information about matching gift programs to help them contribute more with the help of their employers.
Matching Gifts Marketing Strategy #6: Social Media
Your nonprofit’s online presence should expand further than your website, it should reach out to social media. That’s where all the other nonprofits are!
Because there is such an importance placed on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, we often see nonprofits promote matching gifts through these channels, too.
Going beyond email with matching gift marketing lets your donors interact with your organization through their preferred method.
Keep in mind that Instagram is a visual platform which is perfect for videos and photos while Facebook is a text-based site, which means it’s perfect for compelling copy. Don’t forget about Twitter! This site is the happy medium of visual and text.
Plus, communicating with donors through social media means reaching new donors as well. As your loyal donors retweet and share information about matching gifts, their network will see the content on their feeds. Promoting on social media gives your organization the potential to significantly grow your donor base.
The bottom line: Social media is becoming more and more of a relevant channel for marketing, and by taking advantage of your online presence, you’ll be able to reach your more technologically savvy donors.
Matching Gifts Marketing Strategy #7: Direct Mail
Even with more innovative platforms like Twitter, you shouldn’t shy away from direct mail. It’s a classic for a reason—it works!
Simply work your matching gift information into your direct mail fundraising strategy. This has a similar effect to embedding a matching gift tool directly into your online donation page; you’re informing your donors before they forget and before they’ve finished contributing!
Direct mail reaches the donors who don’t visit their computers often. A donor who doesn’t have social media handles won’t be able to see your tweets about the programs, but they can learn about these corporate giving programs with direct mail!
The bottom line: Direct mail is a great outlet to inform some of your less tech savvy donors about matching gifts.
Marketing matching gifts is a surefire way to double your donations with the help of your donors’ employers. Be sure to provide donors with the right information on the right channels—the ones that are best for them—before you start fundraising.
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.