Guest post by Double the Donation

Nonprofits looking to expand their fundraising efforts often turn their attention to corporate matching gifts. And why wouldn’t they? Companies with matching gift programs will donate the same amount of money to the same nonprofits that their employees do — and sometimes even double or triple that amount!

Given that matching gifts are the best 2-for-1 deal in the nonprofit space, it might come as a surprise that $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue goes unclaimed every year.

Companies have these corporate philanthropy programs set up, so why don’t more employees take advantage of them? The answer is simple: awareness. Employees don’t always know that they are eligible for these programs, or even that these programs exist.

Today’s nonprofits rely on a suite of channels to collect donations. Why not incorporate matching gifts into each of these channels, so that every donor who makes a contribution is sure to encounter the right matching gift information at the right time?

In this blog post, we’ll show you exactly how to do just that with the fundraising solutions you’re already using:

  1. The donation form
  2. The confirmation screen
  3. The automated email

Let’s jump right in!

Corporate Matching Gifts

1. The donation form

You know how important it is to streamline the flow of your online donation process. To ensure low donor abandonment rates, your online donation form needs to be as simple and intuitive as possible.

Luckily, it’s easy to make matching gifts a natural element of the online donation process. With 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, which integrates directly into your iDonate forms, you can identify match-eligible donors in two natural ways:

  1. Donor’s email domain: When a donor uses a corporate email address on your donation form, 360MatchPro will automatically screen their domain name. If it matches a company in the Double the Donation database, the donor will be automatically sorted into a match-eligible drip email stream.
  2. Donor self-identification: 360MatchPro inputs a streamlined form field onto your donation form. The “employer” field functions as an autocomplete drop-down search box, which allows donors to type in and store the name of their employer while accounting for spelling variations, parent companies, and major subsidiaries.

The trick? These fields look just like the others on your form, so the donor won’t be taken out of the donation experience at all.

Plus, when you incorporate company information into your donation form in this way, you don’t break the donation flow. Instead of immediately presenting matching gift information to your donors when they type in the name of their company, the system waits until they have already made the donation. That means the next element to optimize for matching gifts is your confirmation screen.

matching gift programs

2. The confirmation screen

It’s important to keep the donation form as streamlined and natural as possible. After the donation is when matching gift information is actionable.

So how do you know what information to present?

360MatchPro automatically passes company information from the donation form to the confirmation page and then decides what to place on the page. No action required from your team!

Here are the three potential scenarios and how they affect your confirmation page:

  1. The donor is identified as working for a company that offers a matching gift program. Specific details about their employer’s program, including a link to their online submission portal, are presented directly on the confirmation screen.
  2. The donor searches for their company, but they do not offer a matching gift program. 360MatchPro will store the company name in the donation record as freeform text and prompt another search on the confirmation page, in case a misspelling is to blame. Your team can filter for these donors within the 360MatchPro platform and manually either disregard them or reach out to eligible donors.
  3. The donor does not use a corporate email address or search for their company name. The donor will be prompted to search again for their company name on the confirmation screen, in case they just missed the “employer” form field. 360MatchPro waits for a few minutes before categorizing the donors into the unknown eligibility stream to capture usage of this tool.

Of course, sometimes donors close the confirmation screen quickly without reading the information on it. To make sure none of your donors miss out on matching gift submission opportunities, you need a reliable way to follow up with them.

How about delivering specific matching gift information directly to their email inbox?

corporate gift matching

3. The automated email

Donors are used to receiving automated confirmation emails to deliver their donation receipts (and online shopping receipts!). Often, they archive these emails or mark them as read without opening them. They know they can find them later when it comes time to file their tax deductions, so why read them now?

That’s why it’s important to deliver a separate email that’s dedicated to matching gifts. 360MatchPro will automatically slot donors into different email drip streams depending on the employment information identified during the donation process.

Match-eligible donors will receive detailed information about their employer’s program, highlighting a link directly to the online submission portal. Donors of unknown eligibility will be sent a link to check their eligibility again, then either complete their forms or indicate that they are ineligible and opt out of further emails.

What about the emails themselves? With 360MatchPro, you can configure emails to:

  • Come directly from your organization’s email domain, through CNAME records.
  • Feature your logo and branding.
  • Include variables such as donor name, donation amount, company name, and campaign name.
  • Send after a certain time delay, to reduce deletion and archive rates.
  • Restrict the number of automated emails a single email address receives in a certain time period, which helps not overwhelm recurring donors.
  • Only send to donors who contribute below a certain amount, to leave your major and leadership givers off automated mailing campaigns and funnel them into manual outreach.

With these configurable options, emails are personalized and optimized for engagement without taking up any more of your team’s time. They can focus on tasks that require their attention and leave the follow-up to the automation.

The best way to capture matching gift revenue is to ensure that your donors know about the programs and their eligibility. Your supporters will take every opportunity to contribute to your cause — you just have to ensure they know about programs that allow them to do so.

The overall effect of these marketing efforts, of course, is increased matching gift revenue. But there are additional benefits that come along with marketing matching gifts in this way.

Recent research shows that 84% of donors are more likely to donate if their gifts are matched. Plus, mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in 71% more donations and 51% higher donation amounts.

Take advantage of iDonate’s integration with 360MatchPro by Double the Donation to automate your matching gift follow-ups.