Marketing Guide Matching Gifts

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Matching Gifts

Earth has always been spherical, but it took until the Greek philosopher Pythagoras in the 6th century BC to dispel the myth of a flat world. Likewise, matching gifts exist, but a lack of donor awareness could be holding your fundraising back.

The most common reason why people don’t submit matching gift requests is because they don’t know if their employer offers such a program.

Corporate giving is a big deal, with 65% of Fortune 500 companies offering matching gift programs. Furthermore, promoting matching gifts increases donation response rates by 71%, and the average donation increases by 51%. Not only do matching gifts double donations, but they stand to increase the original donations, so the matched gifts become larger, too.

View these and more matching gift statistics.

Nonprofits need every dollar they can grab, and matching gifts are an effective way to increase your fundraising without demanding much out of donors. Submitting matching gifts is an easy 5-minute process, and marketing matching gifts doesn’t have to be difficult, either.

From email to website updates to direct mail, we’ve got the tips and tricks to make your matching gift marketing a success.

 

Email

How do you spend no money and grab the attention of thousands of people while expending zero breath? Email provides instantaneous outreach to donors, so you can say, “Hi. What’s up? Have you thought about matching gifts today?” and people can reply just as fast. Snail mail cannot keep pace, and, at $0.49 a stamp, why would you pay to slow down?

Acquiring matching gifts through email is a lot like a game of chess. There are multiple pieces that all do different things, and, while one piece could win the game all on it’s own, it’s more likely that a focused strategy and a team effort will produce optimal results. Success hinges on a slow, steady procession of the right moves, and not reckless bombardment with all and any emails.

Email Newsletter from Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA)

CMTA Matching Gift Newsletter

Our focus is on understanding the functionality of the most important pieces of the email process in terms of marketing matching gift programs. Calendars and strategies matter, but no plan can succeed without the proper tools. We’re here to tell you about the best tools.

 

Acknowledgement Emails

When you receive a gift, you say thank you, and this is a great time to promote matching gifts. The donations are fresh in the donors’ minds, and a little nudge saying that they can double their donations without shelling out another cent can go a long way.

Acknowledgement Email from the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation

Matching Gift Acknowledgement Emails

Acknowledgement emails thrive because you can provide links to dedicated matching gift pages using text or graphics, such as those Double the Donation provides for its clients.

Learn more about matching gift acknowledgement emails.

 

Newsletters

With enough space to write a little blurb or a full article, newsletters are a great place to educate donors about matching gifts.

Email Newsletter from the National Kidney Foundation

Matching Gift Newsletter Example

A newsletter dedicated to matching gifts is the best strategy, but splitting space with another topic or including a graphic advertising matching gifts in a newsletter about another topic can work, too. Loyal donors read your newsletter, so it’s a good place to provide in-depth information about the benefits of corporate giving.

Learn more about matching gift newsletters.

 

Email Signatures

Chances are that you send a ton of emails. Every message is an opportunity to promote matching gifts. An email signature typically details contact information, but it’s also a great place to advertise.

A simple blurb or a flashy graphic about corporate giving can increase awareness and be that needed push for donors to take a quick five minutes to submit matching gift requests.

Learn more about matching gift email signatures.

 

Year End and New Year Appeals

You can’t donate in 2010 and submit a matching gift request for that donation in 2015. Donations have lifespans, so you need to promote matching gifts to eligible donors before the clock runs out.

End of Year Appeal from Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF) on Twitter

AARF Tweet Matching Gift End of Year Appeal

Year end and new year appeals remind donors of impending matching gift deadlines. These appeals can be made via social media, too, but email appeals allow you to chronicle the exact deadlines and provide more depth about the importance of submitting matching gift requests before it’s too late.

Learn more about year end and new year appeals for matching gifts.

 

Social Media

People flock to social media to discover the internet’s best content. You don’t need to produce viral memes every day, but, if you want to promote matching gifts, you do need to provide compelling and engaging information on a consistent basis.

There are approximately as many social media outlets as there are stars in the universe (give or take a few), so it’s best to focus on the sites most relevant to promoting your matching gift program: Facebook and Twitter. Both platforms require a nuanced approach.

Why should you focus matching gift marketing efforts on social media? How do you maximize your social media efforts? Can this all be done without shelving out a sizable sum for featured advertisements? Social media is a vital, contemporary marketing approach through which you will see results without breaking the bank.

Tweet from the American Lung Association of the Midland States

Tweet without a link to a matching gift service

Whether or not you employ a matching gift service, a simple tweet or Facebook post can spread the word to donors.

Learn more about social media for matching gifts.

 

Website Strategies

A website is much more than a homepage, and, with lots of donors choosing the convenient route of donating online via credit cards, the opportunities abound to broadcast matching gift programs.

Your website is your home on the internet, and it’s where you’re required to host people everyday. While many visitors are strangers, the goal is to impress everybody and to make sure that all parties leave feeling satisfied and looking forward to their next visit.

Dedicated Matching Gift Page from ASPCA

Matching Gift Page from Adrian College

A functional website is necessary because it’s a great place to market matching gifts. The majority of nonprofits permit online donations, so incorporating matching gift marketing alongside regular donation calls to action on your website is common sense.

 

Homepage and Across Your Website

For the love of matching gifts, let the people know that corporate giving exists! Or at least make it easy for them to find out on their own.

Navigation Bar on the Homepage of Lafayette Partners in Education

Add Matching Gifts to your Website's Navigation

Banner ads function as proverbial advertisements on any webpage, and a link in your navigation bar allows donors to intuitively discover matching gifts. The links should lead to a dedicated matching gift page, where you can inform donors about all the nitty-gritty matching gift details.

Learn more about implementing matching gift promotion on your homepage and across your website.

 

Dedicated Matching Gift Page

Donors require a landing page where they can learn about matching gift programs and discover if their employers participate in corporate giving. A dedicated matching gift page can relate relevant facts, such as matching gift statistics or annual donation numbers, or allow donors to search for information via a plugin, such as Double the Donation offers.

Dedicated Matching Gift Page from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Matching Gift Page from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The goal is to give donors a place both to learn about matching gifts and to be spurred into action to submit the necessary forms.

Learn more about building your own dedicated matching gift page.

 

Ways to Give Page

This is where people learn about all of their donation options to your nonprofit. From regular donations to fundraisers to matching gifts, there are a ton of ways to support your organization, and you want to advertise them all.

Ways to Give Page from Alliance Theatre

Alliance Theatre ways to give page

Don’t forget to include matching gifts on your ways to give page, as a little link can lead to a major increase in fundraising.

Learn more about ways to give pages.

 

In the Donation Process

The best time to promote matching gifts might be when your donors are actually making their donations. You can incorporate matching gift asks on both donation forms and confirmation screens.

 

There’s no time like the present, and if people are already in giving moods then why not remind them about how they can give twice as much thanks to corporate giving.

Learn more about how to implement matching gift promotion in the donation process.

 

Blogs

Blogs tell your nonprofit’s story, so why not share ways for donors to double their donations so that you can keep telling that story? A dedication to featured content provides in-depth stories about the importance of matching gifts while educating people on how to submit the necessary forms.

Matching Gifts Incorporated into a Blog Post

Matching Gift Blog

Even just including a graphic that advertises matching gifts on the side of a blog that’s about another topic can help to increase awareness.

Access our prewritten matching gift articles that you can use.

 

Internal Promotion

Walt Disney tells us that, “when you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Employees of any company should believe in that company’s mission wholeheartedly, and they should want to discuss their good work.

Seriously, why else would a person dedicate his life to any profession? Okay, some people work for money, but in the nonprofit sector the ultimate goal is not to make a profit, but to deliver a positive effect upon the world.

Matching Gift Fundraising Guideline

Matching Gift Coordinator Planning

Matching Gift Team

Identify a leader and form a matching gift super squad. Pull people from marketing, volunteer coordinating, IT, and all departments in order to streamline your matching gift processes and implement a culture of matching gifts. With someone in charge of the process, you’ll be assured that matching gifts are being promoted to all donors, and there’s someone to answer donors’ questions about how or why matching gifts matter.

Learn more about how to organize a matching gift team with our free downloadable resources.

 

Team Execution

With your matching gift super squad in place, it’s time to execute. There are the typical marketing mediums, such as email, social media, and print advertising, but don’t forget about word of mouth.

Not only might your employees spread the word about matching gifts, but they may double as donors. Informing your internal staff about matching gifts reminds them to tell both each other and members about matching gifts, and, while your website, emails, or social media accounts might grab someone’s attention, nothing spurs a person to action quite like spoken assurance from a trusted face.

Your internal memberships include staff, donors, volunteers, and other members. Strategies to internally promote matching gifts all start with a dedicated matching gift coordinator or team, but these people need to spread the word and share the responsibility with everyone who is involved with your nonprofit. A dedicated matching gift staff addresses specific roles in the matching gift process and is intended to get all of your matching gift efforts streamlined such that you bring in more corporate-matched donations than ever before.

Important Information to Record to Track Matching Gift Performance

Reporting Matching Gift Year-Over-Year Growth

Internal promotion is far from the ‘sexy’ way to market matching gifts, but it may be the most effective strategy because it’s literally in your face and gets straight to the point.

Learn more about matching gift team execution.

 

Direct Mail

Welcome to the wide world of matching gift marketing materials that require an envelope and a good old fashioned stamp. Direct mail includes letters, postcards, paper inserts, newsletters, and return envelopes, all of which might sound like archaic forms of marketing, but, when you’re marketing matching gifts both online and off, you’re reaching a wider audience, which means more matching gifts, and ain’t that the goal.

You think paper marketing is out of date? Well, does science have news for you.

Matching Gift Postcard from the University of Michigan

Matching Gift Postcard

The debate between paper books and e-readers has raged on for years, and the dispute is analogous to deciding between print versus online marketing. Of course, employing both types of marketing works best, but this article focuses on the benefits of printed materials.

A 2014 study reported that people who use e-readers are worse at story comprehension. Readers of paper texts are better at both placing plot points in order and mentally reconstructing stories. This means that when people read paper mail, as opposed to email, they might be reading the same content, but interaction with physical ink and paper does something to help people to better remember what they’re reading.

Common sense would advise that you don’t just want people to read about matching gift programs, but that you want people to remember them.

Learn more about direct mail for matching gifts.

The world is not flat, and your bottom line shouldn’t be, either. Properly market matching gifts through a variety of strategies in order to increase fundraising. Then you can hold a hulking sphere of cash and use it to do some good for the world.

Microsoft Matching Gift Figures

Our Favorite Fundraising Books for Nonprofit Management (Updated July, 2015)

The Double the Donation team loves Netflix as much as everyone else, but we also love books. Our interests range from The Hunger Games to Anna Karenina to Harlequin romance novels. What we all have in common is a fervent interest in reading about the nonprofit industry, and a recent conversation got us thinking about our favorite nonprofit books.

The discussion got heated. Tape dispensers went flying. Water was spilled. One of us had to break out a band-aid because he got a paper cut while trying to do some actual work.

The following list did not come easy, but the Double the Donation team endorses each of these books. They’re informative, fun, and necessary texts for anyone who wants to learn the ins and outs of the nonprofit space.

NonProfit Crowdfunding Explained: Online Fundraising Hacks to Raise More for Your NonProfit


Author:
Salvador Briggman at CrowdCrux

Nonprofit Crowdfunding BookWho’s it for?: Nonprofits interested in creating a crowdfunding campaigns that actually raise money and meet their goals.

What’s it about?: The ways nonprofits raise money are changing at a record rate. And Sal is leading much of the discussion around the new methods nonprofits are using to engage with donors.

A few nonprofits have cracked the code to crowdfunding but for those of you who haven’t there isn’t a better book than Nonprofit Crowdfunding Explained.

Preview NonProfit Crowdfunding Explained: Online Fundraising Hacks to Raise More for Your NonProfit.

Fundraising with Businesses

Fundraising with Business

Author: Joe Waters at Selfish Giving

Who’s it for?: Nonprofits who want to take advantage of established relationships with businesses.

What’s it about?: Joe is up front about his book being inspiration. Every strategy he details requires hard work by nonprofits. While hard work may sound, well, hard, Joe provides a wealth of ideas, from collecting change to donations at retail check outs to leveraging social media. They’re money making strategies that work, and he provides real world examples to demonstrate how to get them started for your nonprofit.

Preview Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New (and Improved!) Strategies for Nonprofits.

 

Ask Without Fear!ask without fear

Author: Marc Pitman from The Fundraising Coach

Who’s it for?: Nonprofits who need to do a better job of connecting with their most important donors.

What’s it about?: Marc teaches normal people how to build relationships and pursue major gifts in a no nonsense fashion. He provides step-by-step guides, details research tools that really work, and exposes things that many nonprofits do wrong with fundraising, so you can do them right. This book is a comprehensive guide to how to get your fundraising campaigns fully funded.

Preview Ask Without Fear!

 

Prospect Research for Fundraisersprospect research for fundraisers

Author: Jennifer Filla of Aspire Research Group and Helen Brown of the Helen Brown Group

Who’s it for?: Front-line fundraisers who want to learn more about the intricacies of prospect research.

What’s it about?: How to raise more money with prospect research. From overviews to detailing specific skills, Filla and Brown cover the full gamut of research tools and techniques. The book comes with a companion website and a host of online tools to help readers to implement key concepts.

Preview Prospect Research for Fundraisers.

 

Hank Rosso’s Achieving Excellence in Fund Raisingexcellence in fund raising book

Author: Eugene R. Tempel of the IU Foundation

Who’s it for?: General fundraisers and nonprofits looking to learn the basics of fundraising.

What’s it about?: This book dives into the principles, strategies, and methods of fundraising. It provides concrete examples and reasoning to prove what and why certain actions work. The narration adds a level of philosophical insight that makes the book far more entertaining than a dry textbook.

Preview Hank Rosso’s Achieving Excellence in Fund Raising from Amazon.

 

Relationship Fundraisingburnett book

Author: Ken Burnett

Who’s it for?: Fundraising professionals who want to learn better donor communication strategies for the 21st century.

What’s it about?: Through illustrative case histories, donor profiles, and more, Burnett demonstrates how to get creative about donor communication. This book wants to teach you how to build relationships and to better understand donors in order to increase fundraising in the 21st century.

Preview Relationship Fundraising.

 

The Nonprofit Marketing Guidenonprofit marketing guide

Author: Kivi Leroux Miller or The Nonprofit Marketing Guide

Who’s it for?: Nonprofit organizations looking to understand or improve their marketing.

What’s it about?: A book that teaches marketing, the text’s principles could be applied to almost any industry. Leroux provides both a big picture look and details cost-effective, proven tactics specifically geared towards nonprofits. This is an ideal resource for small and medium-sized nonprofits.

Preview The Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

Matching Gift Team Execution

Matching Gift Team Execution

You’ve got a matching gift leader and hopefully a team to back her up.

What should your dedicated team be doing? Marketing matching gifts, of course, which all starts with planning, and might be best executed via word of mouth.

Develop Your Matching Gift Plan

Once you have a matching gift team in place, here’s a visual model of the sort of streamlined process that you’ll want to follow:

Matching Gift Coordinator Planning

Baseline Current Revenue and Determine Information to Provide to Donors

It’s amazing how few organizations know how much they raise from matching gifts on an annual basis, so don’t worry if your organization also struggles to baseline current matching gift revenue.

The data tracking portion of this process goes hand in hand with determining your budget and can feel equally as burdensome, so here’s a sample chart to give you an idea of the types of information that you should record to track your nonprofit’s performance:

Reporting Matching Gift Year-Over-Year Growth

This data can be shared with donors to encourage matching gift donations, but also use this information to determine a budget for marketing matching gifts. Once you know how much artillery will be at your disposal you can determine what information you’d like to share with donors. Do you simply want to inform donors that matching gift programs exist? Do you want to educate them on exactly what matching gift programs are? Would you like donors to know how matching gifts provide necessary additional funds for specific company initiatives?

Evaluate Marketing Opportunities

Once you have your budget and information together it’s time to evaluate the best marketing opportunities. Would an email campaign get the job done without breaking the bank? Do your particular donors respond better to direct mail? Perhaps you have a tech savvy audience who enjoys social media. You want to accord your available budget and information to the marketing channels that will best serve your nonprofit.

Whether you’re sending emails, making phone calls, or mailing letters, don’t forget word of mouth. In this modern world, actually talking to people, whether by phone or face-to-face, can get overlooked, but, as you’ll see, no one trusts a review quite like one from a trusted, personal source.

Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and all forms of product review sites exist, but word of mouth remains the most trusted form of marketing in the business. For example, imagine that a potential donor is debating what nonprofit to donate to. She’s done a ton of online research, and she thinks that she’s found the right cause, but it’s hard to feel 100% confident when there are so many worthwhile nonprofits. Then a friend comes to her and attests to the awesome work of a nonprofit for which he volunteers. Will she donate to the nonprofit she researched or the one that her friend knows about firsthand and can tell her about in great detail? The research says that she’ll trust her friend.

But are we trusting our friends to be good friends or because personal opinions really mean more? Businessweek reports that, “traditional advertising such as TV spots and newspaper ads, as well as digital marketing, such as sponsored links on Google, can build brand awareness, [but] they increasingly do not resonate with target audiences.” Smart people see straight through cheesy advertisements, so traditional ads don’t typically convince people to buy a product. Ads can make people more aware of matching gifts, so matching gifts will be in mind when the person decides to donate, but the ads won’t provoke an increase in doubled donations.

The advertisement conundrum gets solved with word of mouth. The key to word of mouth is to make the people who you talk to, whether they be staff or donors, aware of your service in such a way that they feel like valued pieces of your nonprofit.

Identify Required Support

When staff are aware of matching gifts, they can inform donors of matching gift programs when donors come knocking with inquiries, even if the questions don’t pertain to donating. The idea is that the more people associated with your nonprofit who are aware of matching gifts the greater the chance that donors will be told to seek out matching gifts.

Once donors know about corporate giving, they can tell other donors, so realize the benefits of informing all the layers of your nonprofit community. The more people who know about matching gifts means that more people will talk about matching gifts, which means that you’ll receive more doubled donations.

Another benefit of word of mouth is cost, which, if done right, is zero. You tell your staff about matching gifts, they tell their friends, and soon word has spread that donors should seek out matching gifts. Articulate that submitting a matching gift will allow people to go the extra mile and be more valued parts of your community. A goal of any donation is to give to something bigger than oneself.

Word of mouth can be as simple as informing your staff about matching gifts at your next meeting and imploring your team to be mindful of these programs when speaking to both donors and prospects. Once the word about matching gifts is out, it can spread like wildfire from one trusted voice to another.

Set Timelines

With a plan and proper marketing procedures in place, it’s time to turn your attention to when to execute various functions. Matching gifts are a year round effort, but there are stages for when to execute certain parts of your promotional plan.

Your timeline might look something like:

Matching Gift Timeline

Identify who you’re going to market to and how. Update your marketing materials. Send those materials out to donors, and then measure your results, evaluate the data, and continuously improve how you market matching gifts. There is always room for improvement, and updates can be made on the fly as you learn more from past marketing campaigns.

There’s a real science to maximizing matching gifts, and it takes foundation in proper execution from a dedicated matching gift team. If you don’t already have a matching gift leader then identify one, because, with determination and a proper plan, you can benefit from an increase in doubled donations.

Learn how to develop a dedicated matching gift team.

Direct Mail Matching Gifts

Use Direct Mail to Feature Matching Gifts

Some donors don’t respond to the internet, and others simply prefer a good, old fashioned letter. Many people who make major donations are older and less technologically savvy than the young people who haven’t yet struck their fortunes and aren’t inclined to give. An older generation of donors (and many young donors) still reads through their snail mail, and direct mail is how to reach them.

In fact organizations still raise a substantial percentage of their overall funds (often 60-80%) through direct mail.

Letters, postcards, paper inserts, newsletters, and return envelopes are your options for thanking donors and making both annual and major gift appeals. Each type of direct mail piece has its place in the matching gift donation cycle, and they’ll all help you to reach that vital segment of donors who either don’t use / don’t frequent email or respond to direct mail at a much higher rate.

 

Letters

Direct mail might lack the speed of email, but different donors respond to different marketing techniques. Paper letters help you reach the folks who don’t rely on technology for all of their information.

Paper letters highlighting matching gifts come in two varieties:

  1. Solicitation letters
  2. Thank you notes

 

Solicitation Letters

Use letters to remind donors to check if their employers offer matching gifts. The wording shouldn’t read like a sale, so no, “Act now! Match your gift!” You want people to know that, by applying for a matching gift, they’re doing a great service to your nonprofit.

Sample Matching Gift Letter Text (feel free to use them)

  • Many employers offer matching gift programs that could double or even triple your contribution. We invite you to seek out matching gifts, so that [name of your organization] can continue to [list some awesome things that you do for the community].
  • Many corporations offer programs that match employee donations to [insert your organization’s name]. The tax deductible portion of your membership contribution is often eligible to be matched as well.
  • Visit [insert the name of your matching gift page on your website] or visit https://doublethedonation.com/YourOrg to find out if your company will match your donation.

Write to your donors like they’re human beings and share personal stories to get them invested and wanting to go the extra mile to seek out matching gifts. Then include one of the above lines, or a quip of your own, as a call to action.

Solicitation letters won’t work for everyone. Lapsed donors and non-donors tend not to respond to direct mail specifically highlighting employee matching gifts. Active donors are who you want to solicit, as they’ve either made or will make a recent donation and should welcome the opportunity to double their gift. Postage prices can add up, so don’t send letters out to any old donor.

 

Thank You Letters

When you receive a matching gift, say thank you. Even if you’re sending emails, a paper thank you is a way to get a bit more intimate in order to show how much you appreciate the additional funds. Also, as previously mentioned, many donors don’t check email, and you want to make sure that they’re thanked. Physical letters might take longer to arrive, but they’ll ensure that your gratefulness is received.

 

Postcards

“Hey, so, while you’re in Mali, could you send me a postcard?” People love postcards, and they especially enjoy handwritten notes. Something about knowing that a real person cared enough to write the note resonates with the heartstrings. You want to tug at the heartstrings.

And they’re a perfect way to promote matching gifts through both:

  1. Solicitation postcards
  2. Thank you postcards

 

Solicitation Postcards

Postcards can be an especially effective way to encourage donors to submit matching gifts. Here’s an example matching gift postcard that MCR, a leading full-service print and mailing provider, created for Florida Institute of Technology:

Front Side of Florida Institute of Technology’s Matching Gift Postcard

FIT matching gift postcard

 Back Side of Florida Institute of Technology’s Matching Gift Postcard

FIT matching gift postcard back

The postcard does a lot of good things:

  1. Explains what matching gifts are
  2. Explains their financial impact
  3. Reminds donors to submit their matching gifts
  4. Provides a link to where donors can access additional matching gift information
  5. Provides a contact at the nonprofit to field donors’ questions

If your organization is interested in sending out postcards to donors then we recommend evaluating the following approaches:

  1. Send a matching gift postcard to all recent donors
  2. Send a matching gift postcard to donors who gave above a certain amount
  3. Send a matching gift postcard to donors who you know work for a matching gift company
  4. Send a matching gift postcard to donors who submitted a matching gift on past donations but haven’t yet for their most recent donations

Thank You Postcards

Odds are that you receive matching gift checks several months after the original donations. As with letters, postcards are a way to notify your donors that the matching contributions were received.

Thanking donors is not only the right thing to do, but it also instills a positive impression in donors’ minds, so they’ll be more likely to make future contributions with matching gifts.

Here’s a thank you postcard from the University of Michigan:

Sample Matching Gift Postcard sent by the University of Michigan (Front Side)

Matching Gift Postcard

 

Sample Matching Gift Postcard sent by the University of Michigan (Back Side)

Matching Gift Postcard Thank You The front is a play on the traditional Michigan slogan of, “Hail to the victors.” The alteration is smart, attention grabbing, and informs the reader what the opposite side of the card will discuss.

Michigan uses clean, white text, and you want a card that’s both easy to read and eye-appealing. Stay true to your brand’s color scheme, as Michigan does, and include graphics where they fit.

The backside of this postcard thanks the donor for taking the time to submit a matching gift.

When you’re as large as the University of Michigan, chances are that you’re sending this postcard out to more people than hand cramps that you care to endure. Printed postcards are fine, and Michigan presents a nice example, but if you want that personal touch then pick up a pen and scribble a quick message. Even just signing at the bottom can show an extra level of dedication that donors will respond to.

 

Paper Inserts

If you don’t want to edit all of your marketing materials so that they mention matching gifts or if you want to call added attention to such programs then paper inserts may be the offline marketing technique for you (it’s like your eHarmony match for matching gift marketing). Paper inserts are small slips of paper included in donor mailings that call special attention to matching gifts.

A paper insert from the National Kidney Foundation

National Kidney Foundation paper insert

That’s all a paper insert needs to be: Limited text that gets straight to the point. The graphics here are nice and the choices of both the font sizes and the bold text emphasize the brief message. You can easily tell what this paper insert is talking about and who it’s from. A nice addition is the invitation to visit their website at the provided link.

A more detailed paper insert from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Membership Matching Gift Insert

This insert does a great job of taking advantage of available space to dig into the nuances of matching gifts. The color scheme is eye-catching and the font is easy to read. The bigger, white font at the top is a great call-to-attention, with a more subtle, bold call to attention towards the bottom of the page. This is how you want to incorporate matching gifts into a paper insert. Give them their own space and grab the reader’s attention.

If you have a dedicated matching gift page either on your own website or hosted on our website then we encourage you to include a link to that page directly on the insert.

Paper inserts come in a variety of forms. Sometimes they’re as simple as little slips of paper, but sometimes they’re Post-it notes stuck onto other materials in the mailing, or you could get creative and turn your paper insert into a bookmark. A great way to save money is to print paper inserts onto the backs of other mailing materials.

 

Newsletters

This marketing medium is an opportunity to write content that goes in-depth into the details of matching gifts, as you have more room to articulate both why matching gifts are important and their specific benefits to your nonprofit. Newsletters present additional space, so you can give donors more information in an attempt to bring them closer to your nonprofit in a way that makes them feel more in touch with and thus more included in your community.

Chances are that you have an online newsletter, but have you noticed that some people still prefer the print newspaper to the digital edition? Some folks prefer printed materials, whether due to reading issues or any number of problems. The bulk group who will appreciate direct mail newsletters is older donors who do not stay up to date with email. By sending out a physical newsletter you have a better chance of reaching donors who you would otherwise miss.

Your newsletter might be one page or several pages. In either case, you need quality content. To get started, here are two potential articles that can raise awareness for matching gifts:

  • [Your Organization’s Name] raises [Amount of money raised from matching gifts] from Matching Gifts and [What your organization did with the money] — Use this article to detail how matching gifts provide additional resources that create opportunities that would otherwise not be possible. Make the story personal and relatable, so donors realize the importance of taking a mere five minutes to submit a matching gift request.
  • Corporate Employee Matching Gift Programs: What Are They and How Do They Benefit [Your Organization’s Name]? — Inform donors about matching gift basics, from what matching gifts are to how they benefit your organization to how easy it is to submit a matching gift request. Sometimes people just need to know that such programs exist.

Newsletters are great to mail out in paper form, but, with the cost of postage, it might serve you best to send out a bulk of materials in a single letter. Other tangible materials that you can send along with your newsletter include all of the above direct mail items.

 

Return Envelopes

If your nonprofit is like many organizations then you’re using direct mail to solicit donations. Moreover, you’re probably including a pre-printed return envelope to make it easy for donors to mail in their donations.

The return envelope is a prime spot to remind donors to check if their employers will match their donations.

Matching gift envelope

In case you can’t read the text on the above graphic, it says:

Thanks for donating!

Don’t forget to see if your company offers a matching gift program.

Visit [insert your Double the Donation matching gift URL or a link to your organization’s matching gift page] to access your company’s matching gift form, guidelines, and instructions.

A lot of the time, scoring matching gifts is about increasing awareness. Direct mail offers a bevy of ways to connect to donors. Many donors respond better to paper mail than email, and, from letters to postcards to newsletters, you have all the options you need to raise more doubled donations than ever.