Corporate matching programs are a win-win-win for donors, nonprofits, and companies. However, the reality of administering these programs and the process to recover the funds can be cumbersome and time consuming.
What’s more, there’s an estimated $10 billion in matching revenue left on the table each year. Below, we outline 5 recommendations to drive up to 20% more in revenue through corporate matching.
1. Be Clear and Concise
Reinforcing awareness of matching gifts programs on your website and donor communications is low hanging fruit: make sure to take advantage of it. To that end, it’s important you lay out clear and concise steps for the donor to take in corporate matching.
In that way, you can drive larger and more donations from potential donors. The screenshot below is of a donation form that very clearly shows potential donors information about the matching gift:
2. Remind People About Matching Gifts on All Solicitations
Classy allows you to ask donors about matching gifts right in the donation form. However, you will want to remind any donors that make an offline gift that they’re also eligible to have their contributions matched. Consider including a link to a matching gift search page in your original solicitation, like a postcard, and consider an insert or postscript note on your acknowledgement letter. You should also take the opportunity to frequently remind your supporters and networks about matching gift opportunities across social media channels and email.
3. Make It Dead Simple for Donors
Your donors are busy, and submitting a match request is yet another task on their long to-do list. So, prioritize the use of tools that do the work for the donors. By eliminating steps your donor has to take to redeem a match from their company, you are creating a better customer experience for them while also helping to ensure that the donation match happens.
For example, many matching gift programs require a form to be filled out either on paper or in a company giving portal. Some nonprofits may not have the time or resources to provide each donor with the information needed to fill out these forms or follow up with reminders to fill out the form.
So, take advantage of tools that can enable this donor support for you. Give your donors all the information they need to complete their match, all in one place so they can quickly and easily fill out the form, like the one shown below:
For leadership donors or board members, you may want to complete matching gift forms on their behalf and then ask for their signature. In addition, companies have a finite window of time for employees to submit a matching gift after the donation is made, typically 6 to 12 months. That’s why it’s important to remind donors and get them the information they need to submit a request as close to the donation date as possible.
4. Keep Your Profiles Updated
It can be difficult to track all the third party corporate matching programs, and there are often various platforms that you need to keep updated in order to avoid leaving money on the table. Don’t let an incomplete profile keep you from receiving donations from your top corporate fundraising supporters.
Take the time to update your profiles on matching gift vendors like on major matching gift vendors like Benevity, Cybergrants, and Yourcause. In addition to updating your profile, be sure that you regularly log in to your platform to verify donations that require your sign-off before being matched.
5. Identify Potential Leadership Donors
Identifying donors from specific companies can help your corporate fundraising team connect and better navigate opportunities to unlock sponsorship dollars and volunteer engagement. If you have a donor that is also requesting matching gifts multiple times a year, you may want to engage them on a plan to become a leadership donor: an individual somewhere in between an annual and major donor.
For example, you could reach out to this supporter segment to see if they’d like to get more involved with the organization through an event sponsorship, or to rally their colleagues around a fundraiser. They might even be able to convince their corporate social responsibility (CSR) department to support your organization at a corporate level.
6. Track Every Dollar
Tracking matching gifts is important to reduce the processing time for the donation, mitigate confusion for your top supporters, and to steward your donors effectively. If you can’t track the gift through your constituent relationship management (CRM) or other service, like Amply’s client dashboard shown below, you should keep lines of communication between you and the matching donor open through email, social media or other means.
If you run peer-to-peer campaigns with corporate fundraising teams, and they offer a matching gift program, provide their team leaders a contact to handle questions about matching and stay in touch with their company leads. This way you can help to ensure all donors have a smooth experience and that no matching dollars slip through the cracks.
We hope this overview gave you some food for thought to take back to your teams. Our goal is to eliminate the roadblocks with matching so you can get back to saving the world. What other pain points and suggestions do you have for recovering matching dollars? Comment below!
Bill Campbell loves connecting companies and employees to great causes. He is recognized as an expert in employee engagement, matching gifts and corporate philanthropy. He has worked at non-profits like the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the United Way raising over 100 Million dollars over his career. He advises philanthropic startups like Amply on how to create impact through innovation.