A Smarter Way to Fundraise: Explore Classy’s Fundraising Intelligence Suite

Harnessing Matching Gift Potential across Giving Experiences

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Published June 4, 2024 Reading Time: 8 minutes

This blog was written in collaboration with the team at Double the Donation, an online donation matching tool built to amplify nonprofit fundraising.

Corporate matching gifts present a powerful opportunity to amplify the impact of donor contributions. These programs—offered by thousands of employers of all shapes, sizes, and business sectors—facilitate companies’ giving to the organizations their employees support.

Harnessing the power of matching gifts isn’t just about maximizing corporate giving revenue for a nonprofit. It’s about unlocking the full generosity of its donor base and advancing its mission with the most effective means possible.

One of the best ways to optimize your fundraising is by integrating matching gifts directly into the donation process. At this point, supporters are generally at the height of their engagement and increasingly likely to take the next steps on behalf of your cause. However, just as not all donors give in the same manner, not all matching gift donors will engage with your tools or request their matches the same way.

Therefore, adopting a universally proactive approach to promoting matching gifts, regardless of the giving method, can go a long way in increasing success and boosting funds for your mission. Read on to find out how your nonprofit team can do just that.

Why Extending Your Reach Matters in Matching Gift Fundraising

Your nonprofit’s matching gift reach is the portion of donors exposed to corporate or employee matching information when they donate. For the best results, you want this figure to be as close to 100% as possible.

Keep in mind that donors can support your cause in many ways. Therefore, it’s essential to skillfully incorporate matching gifts throughout every one of them to ensure you don’t miss any potential matches.

Why? Here are a few key reasons:

  • Many donors are unaware of matching gift opportunities. According to statistics from Double the Donation, 78% of donors are unaware if their employers offer matching gifts. Meanwhile, an additional 14% know their company matches gifts but are unsure of program guidelines or submission instructions. Highlighting matching gifts as individuals give (regardless of the method) ensures all donors get exposed to matching gift information. This can help to close the knowledge gap surrounding your programs.
  • Matching gift availability increases average response rates and gift sizes. The same studies indicate that 84% of donors are more likely to give if there’s a matching gift, while 1 in 3 would give a larger amount if a match applied to their donations. By incorporating matching gifts in all your giving channels, you can benefit from an additional source of fundraising revenue even before corporate matches get applied.
  • Smart matching gift efforts lead to heightened donor engagement. A well-executed matching gift strategy can have more than 75% engagement—5x the average rate. Such heightened engagement⁠—which includes individuals interacting with your search tool, accessing matching gift forms or guidelines, and/or opening multiple matching gift reminder emails⁠—can go a long way toward closing the matching gap and strengthening donor relationships.

To illustrate the point, consider the following scenario:

Two donors, both passionate about supporting their favorite nonprofit, each decide to make a contribution to the cause. The first donor visits the organization’s website using the Give Now button on the homepage. When they access the primary donation form, the individual learns about matching gift opportunities and enters their employer’s name to see if they qualify. When the confirmation screen populates with program guidelines and links to their company’s request forms, they complete the submission and secure a match on the organization’s behalf.

Meanwhile, a second donor gives through a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign benefitting the same nonprofit. However, the organization hasn’t yet incorporated matching gifts into its dedicated peer-to-peer fundraising forms and, therefore, doesn’t collect company information or inform the individual about the chance to double their gift. As a result, the donor remains unaware of the opportunity and misses the chance to amplify their impact.

Best Practices for Building a Multifaceted Matching Gift Strategy

Whether a donor chooses to give through your main donation form, event page, peer-to-peer fundraising platform, or crowdfunding website, your nonprofit team should seize each opportunity as it arises.

These following expert practices can help provide guidance as you establish an omnichannel engagement plan.

1. Understand How Donors Arrive on Your Giving Pages

An individual who gives to your cause through an online donation form might have navigated to the page from numerous marketing and promotional efforts. Though it varies by organization, most of your donor traffic likely originates from a combination of these channels:

The better you understand a donor’s unique journey in supporting your cause (like how they arrived at your giving page), the more likely you’ll be to harness your team’s fullest fundraising potential.

How each individual engages can also impact the scale and accessibility of your matching gift efforts. For example, if a significant portion of givers frequently arrives on your giving page via email, you may want to include helpful matching gift information in email outreach going forward.

2. Promote Matching Gifts across All of Your Donation Methods

Additionally, there are numerous ways for a donor to give to a nonprofit, and organizations typically manage multiple fundraising, donation, and campaign pages at once. Therefore, you must optimize any method a donor chooses to support your cause to drive matching gifts to completion.

This should include:

  • Stand-alone donation pages
  • Embedded giving forms
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns
  • Crowdfunding pages
  • Fundraising events
  • And more

If you haven’t yet integrated matching gifts into your donation process, now is the time to do so. On the other hand, if you’ve implemented matching gifts throughout some but not all of your giving experiences, this is the perfect opportunity to standardize your approach.

You don’t want to miss out on potential matches because an eligible donor gave using donation page A rather than donation page B.

3. Offer a Mobile-Friendly User Experience

Modern supporters make tons of donations from their mobile devices. In fact, recent studies indicate that more than half of nonprofit website traffic (57%) comes from users’ smartphones and tablets.

When donors give via mobile, you want their experiences to be as seamless as if they’d contributed using a standard desktop computer. However, they’ll access matching gift information from their mobile devices, too. Therefore, it’s essential that you optimize any matching gift tools or information provided—such as company guidelines, links to request forms, and even the search widget itself—for mobile usage.

4. Collect Employment Information as Donors Give

Your team needs to know where your donors work to uncover match-eligible donations. One of the best ways to source this information is by providing an easy and convenient way for individuals to supply their employer’s name⁠⁠ directly as they give.

For example, embedding a company search tool⁠ in each of your donation pages ensures that each donor can access the matching gift opportunity at least once. Then, once you have employment information on record, you can screen for and identify donors who work for top matching gift companies.

Fun Fact: 73% of donors will use a matching gift search tool on a donation form when presented with the opportunity.

5. Supply Clear and Actionable Next Steps

Regardless of the specific giving method a donor chooses, the matching gift request process will remain largely unchanged⁠—and generally simple. That said, donors might need help navigating their program and next steps. That’s why it’s essential to direct donors straight to their forms to reduce friction in the process and encourage them to take the next steps.

When you know what companies your donors work for, share employer-specific eligibility criteria—like donation amounts and submission deadlines—and submission forms to simplify their matching gift experience.

6. Align Everything with Your Organization’s Branding

Effective fundraising centers on trust. To instill a sense of trustworthiness and authenticity among supporters, consistently align branding of donor-facing communications and resources to your organization⁠. This includes your existing color scheme, font choices, style of imagery, and more.

Additionally, to maximize your benefits and allow for a seamless experience as donors give, encompass all elements of your branding into your engagement strategy⁠—from the donation pages you design to the follow-up email you send and across other key touchpoints⁠.

7. Invest in a Tool That Integrates with Your Existing Fundraising Ecosystem

The easiest way to add a matching gift tool to your fundraising tech stack is to enlist one that offers ready-built integrations with your existing solutions.

Fortunately, a native integration between Classy and Double the Donation allows nonprofit organizations to ensure matching gift information is readily available at every stage of the giving process.

Types of Giving Experiences to Integrate with Matching Gifts [+ Examples]

If your organization has already enlisted Classy’s fundraising tools, incorporating matching into your giving experiences is easy. However, depending on the specific Classy products and solutions your team uses, there are a few key ways you can do so. We’ll walk through each one in greater detail below.

Classy Donation Pages

As the most recent development to the Classy fundraising platform, Classy Studio crafts meaningful experiences that forge deep connections and drive conversions through tailor-made campaigns.

Its initial phase introduces dynamic donation sites and crowdfunding capabilities. In future releases, it’ll seamlessly integrate and elevate all existing capabilities, spanning embedded experiences, peer-to-peer fundraising, events, ticketing, and beyond.

Classy Studio empowers hyperpersonalized, connected experiences across various interactions to activate nonprofit communities at scale. Organizations can access a centralized hub for managing their donation pages, marketing and communications, event fundraising tools, and more.

To further enhance fundraising, Classy’s new solution offers a native integration with the industry’s leading matching gift software, Double the Donation. As seen in the example below, Classy Studio empowers organizations to embed Double the Donation’s matching gift option directly in their giving forms.

When donors choose an employer using the auto-completing search tool, the contact gets associated with the selected company, triggering tailored email outreach.

Classy donation page with donation match appeal

Classy Embedded Donation Forms

Another type of Classy giving experience is embedded forms. Embedded forms are online donation widgets that empower visitors to give without leaving your site⁠—thus reducing friction and increasing the likelihood of completed donations.

Like with Classy Studio donation pages, organizations using the embedded forms can implement a matching gift company search tool to collect employment data. From there, the integrated system triggers automated donation follow-up outreach to encourage more matching gift submissions.

Fun Fact: Classy customers using an embedded checkout form saw up to a 28% improvement in revenue per site visitor. That figure can be even higher when you incorporate matching gifts.

Classy embedded donation form with matching gift appeal

Bonus: Double Your Matching Gift Inspiration with These Success Stories

Matching gifts open the door to a world of creative possibilities. As you seek to maximize your impact and craft an optimized fundraising plan, drawing inspiration from other organizations’ wins can provide invaluable insights.

Take a look at the following real-world examples to see how these nonprofit fundraisers double their fundraising efforts with proven-effective strategies and approaches.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Standard Donation Page

LLS is one of the nation’s largest health and medical nonprofits. To pursue its mission of groundbreaking blood cancer research, the organization enlists leading fundraising strategies to engage its audience⁠—including corporate matching gifts.

One of the most effective ways LLS incorporates matching gifts throughout its fundraising efforts is directly within its online donation pages. (Interested? Check out the example here.)

LLS donation form with employer match option

The LLS team uses Classy’s standard donation pages (along with modal forms) as a cornerstone of its fundraising and engagement efforts. The page also serves as a vital opportunity for the organization to collect employment data and share information regarding matching gifts, providing donors with a seamless and user-friendly giving experience.

How? As donors give, a section of the form prompts them to check if their employer matches gifts using Double the Donation’s embedded company search tool. From there, LLS further enhances the donor experience by implementing a confirmation page tool on the post-donation screen. This feature supplies company-specific program guidelines and encourages donors to access matching gift forms and complete their requests soon after giving.

By seamlessly integrating these elements into the donation journey, LLS ensures that every contribution has the potential to be magnified through matching gifts, resulting in a more robust and impactful fundraising effort.

Read the Full Case Study

Kesem’s Embedded Giving Form

Kesem is a youth-centered nonprofit with a mission of supporting kids whose parents experience or have experienced cancer. To grow its revenue, the Kesem team implemented Classy’s embedded forms.

With a prominently located Donate Now button on the navigation menu, the pop-up donation form is easy to access from anywhere on the site. The giving form also offers donors a frictionless giving experience, allowing donors to contribute swiftly without leaving the main website.

With Double the Donation’s integrated automation platform, the organization promotes matching gifts directly as donors give online. This strategic integration not only simplifies the donation process but also empowers donors to maximize their support through matching gifts, fueling Kesem’s mission even further.

Read the Full Case Study

Make the Most of Matching Gifts in Every Opportunity

Matching gifts allow nonprofits to maximize their revenue and empower donors to make the greatest impact with their support. Though a powerful tool in individual and corporate fundraising, a lack of awareness among supporters can limit their effectiveness.

Fortunately, by ensuring donors have access to program information and guiding them through the process, regardless of how they choose to give, you can grow matching gift returns at your organization significantly.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

workplace giving

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