As you may know, matching gifts are like the BOGO deal of fundraising. Anyone who works for a company that offers matching gifts can make a donation and, at the same time, submit a request for their employer to make a donation to the same organization.
One person’s support can actually lead to a second donation. This is the kind of easy fundraising trick that organizations have no reason not to take advantage of, particularly organizations using iDonate. Why? Because iDonate offers an incredible matching gift integration that utilizes Double the Donation’s industry-leading matching gift tools.
In this article, we’re going to walk through the following strategies for how to make the most of matching gifts:
- Learn everything you can about matching gifts
- Incorporate matching gifts in the donation process
- Spread the word about matching gifts
- Let matching gift software do the heavy lifting
Let’s get to it!
1. Learn everything you can about matching gifts
What’s fun about this strategy is that, by the time you finish this article, you can pretty much cross this task off your to-do list. We’re going to talk about exactly what matching gifts are, how the process of collecting them works, and what to look out for in a company’s matching gift guidelines.
Matching gifts are donations made by a company to a nonprofit organization or educational institution that an employee of said company has already donated to.
The matching gift guidelines that a company puts together to define exactly which gifts they will match and which employees are eligible to make requests are highly customized. Each company defines their own guidelines. However, the elements that make up this program are often the same.
- Donation amount: The company will always have a defined amount that they will match. For example, Johnson and Johnson will only match gifts worth $25 or more, and they will match up to $20,000 of donations per employee.
- Match ratio: The ratio defines how much the company will donate in relation to the employee’s initial contribution. Johnson and Johnson offers a 2:1 match, which means that they will match 400 $25 donations per year (total of $20,000 when considering the 2:1 ratio), or they will match a $10,000 donation once (again totaling $20,000).
- Employee status: Some programs will offer different match guidelines based on an employee’s job within the company. Johnson and Johnson, for example, offers that 2:1 match to full-time and part-time employees, but offers a reduced 1:1 ratio to retirees.
- Nonprofit eligibility: Some companies will adjust the match based on the organization donated to. ExxonMobil offers a higher match ratio to educational organizations than to cultural organizations.
- Deadlines: There is always a deadline to keep in mind, but not all programs define an exact date. One of the most common deadlines is the last day of the year, but some companies will declare more of a threshold deadline, like 90 days (or even 12 months, like our friends at Johnson and Johnson) from the date of the initial donation.
Unlike the program guidelines, which are defined by each individual company, the process for collecting matching gifts is always the same.
- Employee makes initial donation
- Employee submits matching gift request to their employer
- Employer checks donation qualifies for a match based on company guidelines
- Employer confirms with nonprofit that donation was made as reported
- Nonprofit receives matching donation from employer
Notice that the nonprofit’s role in the matching gift process is very passive. A nonprofit can not request a matching gift on the donor’s behalf, the donor has to do it.
2. Incorporate matching gifts in the donation process
One of the most uniquely important things to keep in mind when planning where to incorporate matching gifts is that your donation form is the only place where you can be 100% sure that you have the attention of a supporter interested in donating.
Whatever it took to get that donor to your donation form, that work is already done. Now you know that you’re putting matching gifts in front of a donor committed to supporting your organization. Fortunately, matching gifts are a natural addition to the donation process. iDonate has partnered with Double the Donation to ensure that iDonate clients have access to the most robust matching gift platform out there, 360MatchPro.
This integration allows organizations to incorporate Double the Donation’s matching gift tools directly into their iDonate donation forms. Then, when the donor enters the name of their company and it is found in Double the Donation’s database, it will be automatically added to the match-eligible drip email stream.
Double the Donation maintains the largest matching gift program database available. This includes more than 20,000 entries, covering parent companies, subsidiaries, and spelling variations to ensure that every match-eligible donor is presented with their company-specific matching gift guidelines.
The integration between iDonate and 360MatchPro is seamless, so these matching gift functionalities will appear just like any other field on the donation form. This maintains a smooth donor experience from start to finish.
3. Spread the word about matching gifts
Beyond your donation page, there are plenty of ways to spread the word about matching gifts. Lack of donor awareness is the biggest hurdle to collecting matching gifts. In fact, lack of donor awareness results in $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue getting left on the table each year.
One of the quickest and most succinct ways of sharing information about matching gifts is social media. By choosing the most effective phrasing, you can strike your donor’s interest in something as short as one tweet. Check out this example from EquallyAble:
Here’s another great example from CLOVEs Syndrome Community’s Facebook page:
We highly recommend providing a more evergreen source of information about matching gifts on what we call a dedicated matching gifts page. This page can house information about what matching gifts are and details of the simple process. Then you can provide your donors with the opportunity to search for their employers right there on the page.
The ASPCA has a great dedicated matching gifts page on their website. Notice how they’ve made it very simple for donors to understand what matching gifts are and how to pursue such a contribution. By making it easy for the donors, ASPCA is significantly boosting their matching gift efforts.
4. Let matching gift software do the heavy lifting
Coincidentally, the most effective way to enhance your matching gift efforts is also the easiest. If you leverage the right matching gift software you can essentially sit back and watch the matching gifts roll in.
Our partners at Double the Donation have created the most robust matching gifts platform out there, 360MatchPro. This platform offers many revolutionary features, including automated outreach, providing actionable insights, and tracking all match-eligible donations. Imagine having access to this level of tracking!
With this software, your organization will not need a full-time employee to handle matching gifts. Plus, organizations using iDonate donation forms are able to turn on the 360MatchPro integration instantly within their iDonate accounts.
With your 360MatchPro account comes the option to install Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool on multiple pages. This means that your dedicated matching gifts page has practically built itself.
Matching gifts are an easy and simple way to boost overall revenue, so why not make the most of them? By learning everything you can about matching gifts, incorporating matching gifts on your donation form, spreading the word, and leveraging the right software, your nonprofit can exponentially increase revenue.
To learn more about using 360MatchPro with the iDonate solutions you’re already leveraging, contact your iDonate Account Executive.