Matching gifts continue to be underutilized due to a widespread lack of awareness. Luckily, effective marketing strategies can inform donors about these opportunities and drive matching gift revenue. Learn more with this guide from our friends at Double the Donation!
Matching Gift Marketing for Nonprofits: 7 Key Strategies
Did you know studies show that more than $4-7 billion in matching gift funds go unclaimed each year? Or that, out of the 26+ million individuals employed by companies with matching gift programs, over 78% are completely unaware of these opportunities in place?
Luckily, new tips, tricks, and tools are available to assist organizations aiming to close the gap between available and secured matching funds.
One of the biggest things you can do as a nonprofit fundraiser is to raise awareness about matching gifts among donors by proactively promoting matching gift opportunities. And that’s why Givebutter and Double the Donation have provided you with this guide of tried-and-true matching gift marketing tactics.
Our favorite strategies include:
- Email appeals
- Social media
- Donation pages
- Confirmation screens
- Dedicated match page
- Ways to give page
- Gift acknowledgments
Matching gifts can bring any organization’s fundraising plan to the next level. But if nobody knows about these invaluable opportunities, you can’t expect your donors to take part.
Incorporating matching gift marketing strategies like these in your nonprofit’s overall efforts can be exactly what you need to inform donors about their employers’ workplace giving programs, simplify the match request process for participants, and drive additional matches for your cause.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Email appeals
Email continues to be one of the most popular forms of digital marketing (and fundraising) for nonprofits, and for a good reason. For one, it offers easy customization, allowing organizations to quickly personalize messages to each recipient. It’s also a significantly low-cost—and sometimes even free—form of targeted communication, especially compared to traditional snail mail.
These reasons and more make email appeals a fantastic place to start when promoting matching gift opportunities to donors. In fact, the same studies mentioned above report that mentioning matching gifts in a nonprofit’s email fundraising appeals leads to a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average donation amount!
2. Social media
Social media is another top strategy you’ll want to incorporate to promote matching gifts to supporters. Luckily, many nonprofits already utilize social media sites to share relevant information, market upcoming fundraising campaigns, and interact with their audiences.
We recommend choosing one or two social media platforms to dedicate your efforts based on the sites your supporters tend to be most active on for the best results. While the three most popular choices remain Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you might see positive engagement from alternatives like TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, and more.
Once you’ve chosen your platforms, begin sharing basic matching gift information and statistics, encouraging donors to look into their own eligibility, and linking to additional resources to learn more.
3. Donation pages
Nonprofit supporters are typically at their highest level of engagement while actively donating to a cause that they care about. That’s why including matching gift information directly within the giving process is a brilliant way to motivate donors to do more with their donation without having to reach back into their own wallets.
And it can be as simple as adding a new, optional donation form field requesting donor employment information! Plus, we recommend incorporating a brief explanation of matching gifts and that you’ll help the individual determine whether they’re eligible for one of these corporate matching initiatives.
Collecting this information about your donors’ employers on your donation page can provide you with valuable insights for your upcoming matching gift donor follow-ups (such as match eligibility) as well as additional supporter outreach in the future.
4. Confirmation screens
Once donors submit their online donation, they’ll likely be rerouted to a confirmation screen, thank-you page, or something of the like. They’ve just completed their gift to your organization—but it doesn’t have to be the end of their support.
Somewhere within your donation confirmation page, we recommend including a prominently displayed call to action, both informing donors about matching gifts in general and prompting them to begin the process of requesting a match from their employer.
For even more impactful results, you can embed a matching gift widget directly within your confirmation screen. When you know your donors’ employers, you can ensure the widget communicates company-specific information and populates with matching gift eligibility criteria, deadlines, submission instructions, and direct links—all pulled from a comprehensive matching gift database.
5. Dedicated match page
Your nonprofit website is likely where supporters go to find out about your cause and how to get involved. Matching gifts are no different! That’s why we recommend creating a new web page dedicated to all things matching gifts—including a brief explanation of the programs and how donors can determine their eligibility along with basic nonprofit information required during the match submission process.
You’ll also want to make this page easily accessible to website visitors by including it in your site’s menu navigation. Otherwise, it won’t do you much good to have a live dedicated matching gift page if it’s difficult or impossible to locate.
6. Ways to give page
More than likely, you already have a “ways to give” page published on your nonprofit website, complete with information about online donations, in-person giving, upcoming fundraising events, in-kind support, and more. Don’t forget to add employee matching gifts to this list of options as well! Then, link out to your dedicated matching gift page for supporters interested in learning more about the opportunity.
More than likely, individuals who navigate to your organization’s “ways to give” page are already interested in supporting your cause—and are considering taking the next steps. Incorporating matching gift information can be just what you need to encourage on-the-fence supporters to make the leap and drive existing supporters to do more with their original gifts.
7. Gift acknowledgments
Once a donor gives to your organization, you should send them a gift acknowledgment or thank-you message (and you probably already do). Be sure to include a section about corporate matching gift opportunities in this vital piece of communication.
This can be something as simple as, “Thanks for your generous gift of $X, Jerry! Did you know that your employer, the Home Depot, will match your donation dollar for dollar?” Then, link to a dedicated match page to provide additional information about matching gifts or details about the employer’s matching gift criteria and next steps!
Between email messages, social media marketing, your nonprofit website, and more, you have a ton of opportunities to communicate the power of matching gifts to supporters—both before, during, and after the donation process itself.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to narrow your matching gift marketing efforts to just one of the above ideas. We suggest incorporating multiple, if not all, of these strategies to best reach your donors at as many avenues and touchpoints as possible.
The more familiar supporters are with the idea of matching gifts, the more likely they are to partake when the time comes, and the more company dollars that flow into your bottom line. Good luck!
Adam created Double the Donation in order to help nonprofits increase their annual revenue through corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs.