With everything that has happened this year, it’s hard to believe that Giving Tuesday is right around the corner. From cancelling in-person events to reframing your communication strategies, there are a lot of new variables that your organization now has to take into account for successful fundraising.
However, there are still some fundraising strategies that do not need to be altered for this year’s giving season, like corporate gift matching programs. Not only are they already conducted virtually, but they also serve as a power donor engagement opportunity.
Giving Tuesday is a great time to implement a matching gift strategy because your nonprofit is likely already expecting an increase in donations. Now, these donations could very easily be doubled. This is especially true because over 18 million individuals are eligible for matching gift programs.
Below we have listed some of the most effective ways to kick off your matching gift Giving Tuesday campaign. Executing these strategies can help you take advantage of the $4 to $7 billion in matching gift funds that go unclaimed each year. Ready to get started? Let’s jump in.
1. Research Donor Information to Identify Lucrative Opportunities
Like any good fundraising campaign, start with research into donor demographics. There are really two main insights that will help you get started:
- Which companies offer the best matching gift programs
- What companies do your donors work for (especially who works for the companies with the best matching gift programs)
The answer to the first question lays the groundwork for your campaign. It can show you where to focus your efforts and ensure that you make efficient use of your time by targeting donors with the most generous matching gift programs.
Gift matching programs can vary greatly depending on the company. Some might offer matching gifts at a one-to-one ratio, while others will provide a two-to-one contribution. There are even discrepancies between the type of organizations that a company will offer to contribute to and the timeline that they allow submission requests.
There are many resources your nonprofit can use to find this information like the Top 30 Matching Gift Companies or the companies who have improvised their matching gift programs in response to COVID-19. You can even use software databases like 360MatchPro by Double the Donation to get detailed information about different matching gift guidelines for thousands and thousands of companies. This particular software can actually be integrated directly into your Classy platform for easy access to matching gift information.
Next, you should examine where your donors work. You might be surprised to learn that many already work for companies that will double or even triple their donations to a nonprofit. Then, you can apply the insights you gained from researching matching gift programs to their specific matching opportunities. For example, you can research your most recent, high-value donors to see if they are eligible for matching gifts. Then, you can reach out to these donors and ask them to submit a matching gift request to their employer. It’s that easy for their donation to then be doubled through their company program.
2. Communicate with Donors to Encourage Matching Gifts
In order to receive a matching gift, your donors have to first submit a matching gift request to their employer.
This might seem challenging considering 78% of match eligible donors are completely unaware of their gift matching benefits because neither their employer or supported nonprofit are telling them that they could be eligible for such a program. A little communication from your organization goes a long way when it comes to marketing matching gifts. In fact, according to Double the Donation’s matching gift research:
- Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate
- Mentioning matching gifts before a donation can lead to a 51% increase in donation amount
- Sending matching gift reminder emails within 24 hours of a donation results in a 53% open rate, which is 2-3 times higher than the average nonprofit email open rate
These metrics show that donors respond positively to matching gift appeals in marketing, proving that once they know about matching gift requests, they will be happy to submit one. That means that all you have to do is communicate their benefits.
Your nonprofit is likely communicating with donors across multiple channels already, like newsletters, blog posts, and social media. This provides a strong opportunity to mention matching gifts, especially in marketing your direct fundraising appeals.
You might consider starting a new matching gift communication strategy as well. Send donors a follow up email after their initial donation that tells them they are likely eligible for a matching gift program and can simply ask their employer to submit a matching gift request.
3. Set Giving Goals
As you prepare your communication strategies for Giving Tuesday, it is important to remember to set goals and expectations surrounding your matching gift campaign. For example, you could set a goal to ask at least 75% of your match eligible donors to submit matching gift requests to their employer. This can then help you plan your communication strategies, as you put matching gifts as a focus point in promotional materials and donor outreach.
Some other example of Giving Tuesday matching gift goals might include:
- Response to matching gift messaging
- Total amount raised from matching gifts
- Number of new donors who submit matching gift requests
- Number of recurring donors who submit matching gift requests
These metrics will also help you plan future outreach strategies for your gift matches year-round. For example, if you plan a matching gift messaging campaign, you might see that gift matching emails sent one hour after the donation process have exceptionally high open rates. You can use these practices for future messaging strategies to increase donor email engagement.
As you go through your campaign, make sure to track information that will be helpful in assessing your goals.There are many fundraising tools that can automatically track valuable fundraising metrics to ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date matching gift data. For example, you can integrate 360MatchPro with your Classy giving form to track your data-driven goals through Giving Tuesday and beyond. This can keep your organization on track to only use effective matching gift strategies.
Start Your Giving Tuesday Matching Gift Campaign Today
As you push through the final stretch of Giving Day planning, keep these matching gift strategies in mind. Research, communication and goal-setting are vital yet simple ways to implement a successful matching method just in time for one of the most philanthropic day of the year. Happy fundraising!
Automate your matching gift fundraising with the industry-leading solution from Double the Donation. The 360MatchPro platform provides nonprofits with tools to identify match-eligible donors, drive matches to completion, and gain actionable insights. 360MatchPro integrates directly into donation forms, CRMs, social fundraising software, and other nonprofit technology solutions to capture employment information and follow up appropriately with donors about matching gifts.
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of matching gift tools to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. Adam created Double the Donation in order to help nonprofits increase their annual revenue through corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Activate your 360MatchPro account on or before Giving Tuesday to receive 15% off your entire first year of your subscription.