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