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Boost Recurring Giving With a Matching Grant


By Allison Gauss

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the concerns that holds many people back from charitable giving is the thought that their donation will be too small to make a difference. When donations are matched, however, your supporters are empowered by the knowledge that their gift will have double the impact.

As such, matching gifts also motivate supporters to act in a timelier manner because these initiatives are typically limited in time or scope. Donors won’t procrastinate because they don’t want to miss out on the extra value. It’s the same reason people will travel to a crowded store for a one-day sale. They don’t want to miss out on the special deal. By acquiring a matching sponsor or donor, you have the opportunity for a big spike in giving.

If you take it one step further, you can turn this spike into long-term results. Recurring giving is one of the greatest tools in the quest for financial sustainability. When you use your matching grant to promote a recurring giving program, you can add that long-term value to the campaign. Startup nonprofit Kindred Image did just that, and with the right tips and strategies your organization can too.

Kindred Image’s Big Idea

Kindred Image, a nonprofit focused on ending childhood abandonment in South Korea, was fortunate to receive a $40,000 matching grant, but the young founders wanted to implement this grant in the most effective way possible. After talking through their options with Classy Account Manager Abby Caschetta, they decided to use the gift to launch a monthly giving program that would allow their organization to create a sustainable stream of revenue. As a part of the program launch, they advertised that all monthly donations would be matched up to $40,000.

To convey the importance and lasting impact of monthly giving, Kindred Image called their recurring donations program The Legacy. Their website emphasizes that this is a community of donors whose support will be noticed and remembered for years to come.

matching grant

The Legacy has been steadily gaining monthly donors since its inception and Kindred Image is now three-quarters of the way to fulfilling their $40,000 matching gift. By channeling the excitement and urgency of a matching gift toward their recurring giving program, the organization has made huge strides in financial sustainability.

Multiply Your Matching Grant

The first step to powering your recurring giving program with a matching gift is to find a sponsor or matching donor. Reach out to major donors along with business contacts. Explain how you plan to use the matching gift to bring in revenue for months, even years, to come. The knowledge that their support will result in ongoing revenue from others is almost like motivating your sponsors with a matching gift. Their contribution, combined with those that come from your supporters, will go further and create even more impact on your cause.

Once you have a sponsor or donor willing to facilitate the match, evaluate your recurring giving program, if you already have one. A monthly giving program should be a special, engaging experience that moves supporters to take an active interest in your work.

Some tips for a strong recurring giving program:

  • Give the program a name and brand of its own.
  • Explain the purpose of your monthly giving program, whether it’s to solve a specific problem or fund a particular program.
  • Offer donors exclusive access and updates instead of material gifts.
  • Create a separate webpage or microsite for your recurring giving with a visible call to action.

matching grant

It’s also a good idea to place a monthly giving call to action (CTA) on other pages alongside your one-time donation button. Tap into the motivating power of matching by noting that these monthly donations will be doubled. You can appeal to supporters through your website, email, and social media. To give supporters a seamless giving experience, create a donation page branded specifically to your monthly giving program.

Like any fundraising initiative, nonprofits must follow up with donors to their recurring giving campaign with thank yous and impact updates. Donors should of course receive a prompt thank you confirming their monthly gift, but make sure they also receive a more personal heartfelt thank you. In the following months, update supporters with individual stories and pictures or videos from your work. Deliver proof of their impact and drive home their vital role in your mission.

A matching initiative is always a big opportunity for social impact organizations. It moves supporters to give immediately and gives them the satisfaction of knowing their gift will have double the impact. If you really want to stretch a matching gift, though, use it to promote your recurring giving program. While the matching gift may be limited, the ongoing support from monthly donors creates reliable income to fund your work for years to come.

Build a Sustainable Stream of Revenue

a guide to recurring giving

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