[Guest blog] The beginner’s guide to starting a matching gift campaign

Written by
Adam WeingerWhite arrow icon

[Guest blog] The beginner’s guide to starting a matching gift campaign

There are millions of ways to raise money for your nonprofit: You can employ traditional fundraising techniques, create a peer-to-peer campaign, request government grants, and even look to corporate foundations for donations.

But what if you could double the amount of money you’ve already received just by asking for it? With corporate matching gifts, it’s *almost* that simple. All you need is an understanding of matching gift basics, the right outreach strategy, and the best tools to help along the way. 

Follow this beginner’s guide to starting a matching gift campaign, and you’ll be set in no time!

The basics ✏️

To start a successful matching gift program, you’ll want to know what matching gifts are and how they benefit your organization. 

Matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy in which companies match gift amounts given by their employees to various fundraising institutions. A donor gives to an org they want to support, submits a matching gift request, that request is approved, and the money goes straight from the company to the nonprofit or school! 

There are a few reasons this can be of particular benefit to your organization. To return to the first section of this blog post, doubling the amount of money you receive simply by asking for it is a huge perk! But having a matching gift program can have impacts that last much longer than you might initially think. Studies show that donor activity is heavily influenced by the promise of matching gifts; encouraged by the availability of a match from their employer, donors will often give a higher amount, give more often, and tell their friends and colleagues about the program. 

So remember: educating your donors about matching gifts is your first key to success!

The strategy 🎯

So now you know the lay of the land, it’s time to craft a plan to start spreading the word about matching gifts so you can start seeing that revenue come through the door. Here are three key things you want to keep in mind when crafting your matching gift strategy: 

  • The more the merrier. Make sure you’re mentioning matching gifts on your website, in email outreach, and in seasonal campaigns to reach the most donors possible!
  • Go with the (donation) flow. Give donors the opportunity to complete that matching gift request while they’re still in the giving mindset by introducing matching gifts during the donation process.
  • Data, data, data! Keep track of trends in where the majority of your match eligible donors are working - this could open the door to partnership opportunities with specific companies in your community.

These strategies close the donor awareness gap that keeps your supporters from making that final leap to get their gift matched. Closing that gap makes it easier and easier to start raising more from matching gifts!

The tools 🔨

So you know the basics, and you’ve got the strategy--now all you have to do is make sure you have the right tools in your toolbelt! Here are a few recommendations for bases you’ll want to cover. 

  1. A defined matching gift team to keep you moving toward your goals. We highly recommend that you have a resident “matching gifts expert” in-house to track and manage matching gifts and craft ways your team can start really going after that extra revenue. These “experts” don’t even have to be true experts in gift matching at all--they just need to have a clearly defined goal and an understanding of the value of gift matching. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll start seeing that matching gift revenue come in when your team is actively pursuing those matches!
  2. A dedicated matching gift page to get the word out to your supporters. This page can tell all visitors about gift matching, and not just current donors. Remember--84% of donors are more likely to donate if their gifts are matched. Your matching gift page can turn website visitors into active donors!
  3. An automated tool to do the heavy lifting for you. Even with a space on your website to educate donors and your team actively working toward raising more from matching gifts, nothing beats pursuing as many donation match opportunities as possible by integrating into the donation process. With automated tools like 360MatchPro integrating seamlessly with Givebutter campaign and donation pages, you can market matching gift potential to your donors during the donation process, follow up with them automatically, and keep track of your org’s matching gift data.

As you get started with your matching gifts journey, make sure you understand the function and value of matching gifts, how you want to accomplish your goals, and what you’re going to use to accomplish those goals. With these tips at your side, you can hit the ground running with your gift matching fundraising adventure!

Written By

Written by
Adam Weinger
President of Double the Donation.