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GuideStar Articles Matching Gifts

Feature Matching Gifts on Your Nonprofit’s Ways to Give Page

A ways to give page is where your donors can access the complete list of options for donating to your nonprofit. Those options might include regular donations, volunteering, matching gifts, and more. A good ways to give page promotes the breadth of a nonprofit’s donation options.

Example: Cure JM’s Donation Options / Ways to Give Page
(http://www.curejm.org/donate/index.php)

Cure JM ways to give page

Cure JM has two giving options: you can donate or you can apply for a matching gift. The matching gift box is large, easy to read, and is well-integrated into the page layout. Users don’t have to dig around for matching gift information because the Double the Donation widget jumps right out at them.

Organization is vital to a successful ways to give page, as further demonstrated by Alliance Theatre’s page:

Example: Alliance Theatre’s Ways to Give Page
(http://alliancetheatre.org/content/individual-giving)

Alliance Theatre ways to give page

Alliance Theatre’s giving options are visible, legible, and, while they all adhere to a standard format, each stands out as its own entity. Alliance Theatre’s matching gift link is nothing fancy and doesn’t jump out as much as Cure JM’s, but it’s clean and works with the page’s color scheme and format. There is no clutter and it’s easy to recognize the presence of several giving categories.

If you have time to be a rock star, here’s an awesome ways to give page from the Colon Cancer Alliance:

Colon Cancer Alliance ways to give page

You want to showcase your giving options in a clean, conspicuous manner. Graphics and simple text, as used here, do a great job of accomplishing that mission. The general idea is to promote matching gifts on your website to increase donations. Worry about function first and aesthetics later.

When you click the matching gift links on any of the above ways to give pages, where do they take you? The dedicated matching gift page for each organization, of course.

Example: National Kidney Foundation’s Dedicated Matching Gift Page

National Kidney Foundation page

Learn more about dedicated matching gift pages with our comprehensive guide.

As for ways to give pages, they promote the full range of your donation options, so be sure to include matching gifts. A lack of awareness is the number one reason why donors fail to submit matching gift requests.

Matching Gift Acknowledgement

Feature Matching Gifts in Your Nonprofit’s Newsletters

How many times have you been scrolling through a website, minding your own business, and then BAM! A popup urges you to sign up for a newsletter. Like, um, no. I’m trying to read here.

Inevitably, you’ve signed up for at least a scattering of newsletters. Most companies and nonprofits release newsletters, and for good reason. Nothing tops a newsletter in terms of conveying a bulk of information through a single email.

To get an idea of what a newsletter should look like, here’s part of a sample email from the New York Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation:

Matching Gift Newsletter Example

When the donor clicks on either the matching gift graphic or the words “click here” they’re taken to the National Kidney Foundation’s matching gift page.

See, nothing intimidating, right? The top half is a short, meaningful story that creates emotional engagement with the nonprofit, and the bottom half is a creative and informative reminder about matching gifts. The great success of this newsletter is that it opens with a story, as opposed to the marketing portion, so that when the reader gets to the part about matching gifts it reads more as a nice opportunity to give to a good cause than an ask that fails to humanize what it seeks to benefit.

Here is a another sample electronic newsletter from Anne Arundel County CASA:

CASA Example of an email focused on matching gifts

In this case, the email took a singular focus on promoting matching gifts to recent donors.

Matching Gift Newsletter Advice:

Newsletters are versatile and can include links to blog posts, donation pages, social media profiles, and more. Newsletters provide both information and the opportunity to add layers to your connections with donors. Added layers include people choosing to follow your social media profiles, engaging with your online content, and donating to your nonprofit.

To learn more, let’s review a newsletter from Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA):

CMTA Matching Gift Newsletter

When the donor clicks on either the matching gift graphic or the words “click here” they’re taken to CMTA’s matching gift page, which is hosted on Double the Donation’s servers.

This email newsletter is entirely dedicated to matching gifts and is a superb example to follow. While newsletters might provide links to a variety of your nonprofit’s services and content, it’s best to provide a singular focus to the actual written content of the newsletter. Donors might be able to understand simultaneous ideas, but it’s hard for them to take action when you’re asking them to do multiple things at once, such as to volunteer at an event or to check out a new blog post on top of the ask for them to seek out a matching gift.

This is the danger of cramming too much into too little space. How much can and will a reader take in at once?

You can go with an all-at-once approach, but you can also focus on different aspects of marketing in successive newsletters. For example, one month you focus on promoting your social media accounts, the next month on increasing the readership of your blog articles, and, in a subsequent message, you promote volunteer grant programs and matching gifts, as opposed to including all of these parts of your nonprofit in one newsletter.

By giving each marketing avenue its own time and space, donors will engage better with the content you provide. When the time comes to promote matching gifts, that program will be the focus of the newsletter and will grab the reader’s attention, as opposed to one of any number of other topics distracting the donor.

Select one, two, or a few newsletters a year to focus exclusively on matching gifts in order to maximize your readers’ attentions and haul in more donations.