How to Get Matching Gifts Trending at Your Organization

How to Get Matching Gifts Trending at Your Organization

Employee matching gifts are one of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy. Still, the source is widely untapped, largely due to a lack of knowledge surrounding the programs. If you’re looking to drive participation at your organization (in order to maximize funding and elevate donor engagement), it’s time to get matching gifts trending among supporters.

But how can you go about doing so? Start a buzz around matching gifts at your nonprofit with these helpful tips:

  1. Use hashtags on social media.
  2. Prioritize video content.
  3. Explore artificial intelligence and tech for content creation.
  4. Host a real-time Q&A online.
  5. Consider influencers and peer advocates.
  6. Make the most of free advertising with Google Grants.
  7. Keep up with shifting trends.

Our hope is that, by incorporating our recommended practices, matching gifts will become a well-known and fully utilized source of support among you and your supporters.

Let’s jump in with our first trick.

1. Use hashtags on social media.

Your organization likely relies on social media as a core tenet of your digital marketing strategy. But do you have a plan in place to maximize your reach and engagement on key networking platforms?

Research indicates that incorporating hashtags in your posts goes a long way in terms of visibility, audience engagement, and more. A hashtag, which is essentially an octothorpe symbol followed by a key word or phrase, is a social media tool used to organize posts based on content topic. And including one or more in your postings can drive engagement by up to 100% compared to posts without hashtags.

In your next social media post about matching gifts for your organization, consider utilizing a few related hashtags and see how your audience responds. Here are a few examples you can use:

  • #match
  • #matchinggifts
  • #doubleyourdonation
  • #donationmatch
  • #amplifyingimpact
  • #[nonprofit name]matchinggifts
  • #getyourgiftmatched
  • #nonprofitmatching
  • #matchingdonations
  • #corporatematching
  • #doyoumatch
  • #doublethelove
  • #corporatephilanthropy
  • #employeegiving
  • #makeyourmatch

It’s also important to note that the way you use hashtags can and should vary depending on the social platforms you use. For example, studies show that Tweets with 1-2 hashtags see more than twice as much engagement as those without hashtags. But Tweets with more than two hashtags actually see a drop in engagement.

Meanwhile, the most-interacted-with Instagram posts typically include 11+ hashtags!

2. Prioritize video content.

According to content marketing research for nonprofits, video content is one of the most essential components of an optimized engagement plan. In fact, 66% of individuals find short-form videos to be the most engaging type of material published on social media.

Not to mention, of an organization’s audience…

  • Over 75% find videos useful when determining whether to give;
  • 57% then go on to donate;
  • 39% purposefully research the nonprofit within 24 hours of watching a video.

In the age of YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok, Snapchat, and more, video-sharing is becoming an increasingly integral part of nonprofit marketing. And when it comes to matching gifts, producing video content can play a critical role in informing and inspiring action among donors.

For example, check out this exemplary matching gift video that demonstrates the ease with which a donor can complete the process to amplify their impact on behalf of a cause they care about:

Once they had the video created, the organization opted to share the content on both its website and social media channels to further its reach.

Take a look at the Facebook post here:

Get matching gifts trending by sharing video content on social media

Want to make your own video? Here’s a sample script you can use to get started:

“Increasing revenue with matching gifts isn’t too tricky, but we need our donors’ help. Last year we collected $[total revenue] worth of matching gifts. This year, we’d like to receive even more. We’ve set a goal to raise over $[revenue goal] from these programs by the end of the year. If we meet our goal, we’ll be able to [summary of your nonprofit mission and/or specific project or programming].

You can help us reach these goals by searching for your own match eligibility. Immediately assess your eligibility and gain access to detailed information about your employer’s corporate giving program. All you have to do is search our database of companies with matching gift programs. Click the link in the caption [to your organization’s dedicated matching gift page] to learn more.”

3. Explore artificial intelligence and technology for content creation.

A significant roadblock facing all sorts of nonprofits is a lack of time and effort dedicated to their marketing strategies⁠—especially when it comes to matching gifts. In fact, Nonprofits Source finds that over 80% of nonprofits report difficulty building strong workplace giving strategies due to limited staff and resources.

One unique and innovative solution? Artificial intelligence and smart technology.

AI-powered tools are currently sweeping the nation, particularly in regard to brands streamlining content creation while putting more time back into the hands of staff members. To provide some examples of how this can impact matching gifts, we tested a few artificial intelligence tools to see what they could come up with.

Here’s a sample social media caption written by one AI chatbot tool, ChatGPT (from the emojis to the hashtags and everything in between):

“Did you know that matching gifts can double or even triple your impact as a donor? 💰💸 Not only does this benefit your favorite nonprofit, but it also shows your employer’s commitment to supporting causes that matter to their employees. 🤝 Learn more about the power of matching gifts and how you can get involved to make a difference today!

#MatchingGifts #DoubleYourImpact #NonprofitImpact”

Not to mention, our very own 360MatchPro can help streamline donor communications while maintaining targeted and personalized efforts. With this tool, you can easily collect and track donor employment data, identify match-eligible donations, and trigger automated email follow-ups that drive more matching gifts to completion. And it can all take place without your fundraising team having to lift a finger!

4. Host a real-time Q&A online.

From the perspective of a donor who has never requested a matching gift, the entire process can seem a bit overwhelming. What your team can do, as the nonprofit they’re supporting, is make an effort to answer any questions your supporters may have.

And what better way to do so than with a real-time Q&A session? According to recent live-streaming research, real-time content generates 27% more watch time per viewer than on-demand video. Users like interacting with their favorite organizations, and doing so as a nonprofit can help facilitate deeper relationships with donors. In fact, 79% of marketers indicate that a more authentic interaction with their audience is a top benefit of live-streamed video.

While you’ll likely aim to answer a number of questions in any pre-recorded content you share, it can be hard to predict what exactly your donors will want to know. So let them tell you in real time. We recommend:

  • Sharing the date and time beforehand so supporters can plan accordingly;
  • Accepting matching gift Q&A submissions ahead of time through email or an online form on your site;
  • Encouraging live viewers to ask questions in real-time using the streaming site’s chat or comment functions;
  • Preparing your team with a number of in-depth resources on corporate matching gift programs (hint: check out our webinars, blog posts, and free eBooks here);
  • Posting your live-stream recording to your website and/or social media pages, so those who missed the real-time engagement can still savor the insights shared.

Today, most social media platforms offer some sort of live-streaming option⁠—including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even Twitter. So pick your favorite platform (ideally one that already sees a lot of user engagement with your nonprofit) and go live!

5. Consider influencers and peer advocates.

Influencer marketing and peer-to-peer fundraising are based on a shared principle: social proof. Social proof revolves around the psychological finding that people are more likely to assume the actions of others when making their decisions.

Luckily, you can use this idea in your next matching gifts campaign!

The first step in leveraging social proof for matching gifts involves locating a number of individuals who you’d like to promote matching gifts to your audience. When donors see other supporters participating in matching gift initiatives, it can be the inspiration they need to get involved themselves.

These so-called “influencers” might be someone closely associated with your nonprofit cause, such as:

  • Major donors to your organization
  • Well-known board members
  • Dedicated volunteers
  • Well-connected P2P fundraisers
  • Your nonprofit’s executive director, president, or CEO

Or, you might even be able to get a popular influencer (or micro-influencer) on board! For the best results, look for individuals who share a similar target audience to your nonprofit. Plus, existing connections to your organization or its mission can go a long way toward making that connection.

Regardless of who you choose to get involved, encourage these individuals to share information about gift-matching opportunities⁠—such as your new matching gift videos⁠—on their personal social media pages. Provide them with pre-made images, suggested captions, video scripts or outlines, and more, empowering champions to advocate for matching gifts and encourage others to get involved.

From there, your nonprofit can typically re-post the content to your own pages (depending on the platform or platforms used), furthering the reach of the posts.

6. Make the most of free advertising with Google Grants.

Another marketing strategy that you won’t want to overlook is paid search engine advertising. And don’t be alarmed by the word “paid,” either. Google offers nonprofits access to a generous in-kind grant in the form of free ad space (the equivalent of up to $10,000 per month), known as the Google Ad Grant.

Now, why should you promote matching gifts to your audience with the Google Grant? First of all, it’s a free marketing opportunity. Of course you want to make the most of it! Not to mention, research indicates that search advertisements (such as Google Ads) have the highest ROI for nonprofit paid advertising⁠—with an average value of $4.78 for every dollar.

When you participate in the Google Ad Grant, you essentially choose a page (or pages) and the keywords you’d like to advertise for. Then, when a donor or prospect searches the phrase (e.g., matching gifts for Cat Rescue Club), they’ll be met with your relevant sponsored content (i.e., your donation form, dedicated match page, ways to give page, blog article) at the top of the results page.

Get matching gifts trending by leveraging Google Grants

The Google Grant is a great way to increase visibility and expand the reach of your organization’s fundraising efforts. And when done well, it can drive more match-eligible donors through the giving⁠—and matching⁠—processes.

Ready to apply for the Google Grant? Check out this step-by-step guide from the experts at Getting Attention.

7. Keep up with shifting trends.

When it comes to getting donation-matching (or just about anything else) “trending” at your organization, it’s important that you have a solid understanding of current trends. After all, trends can change fairly quickly, along with the introduction and development of new technology, changing consumer⁠—and supporter⁠—preferences, and more.

And in order to get matching gifts trending effectively, there are a few key types of trends to consider as you craft your strategy. These include…

  • Marketing and engagement trends ⁠— Things like new social media platforms emerging, communications best practices (e.g., optimal number of hashtags per post), etc.
  • Workplace giving trends ⁠— Things like which companies offer matching gift programs (so far, it keeps trending upward!), new technology enabling innovative matching processes (i.e., auto-submission), and more

It ultimately boils down to this: just because something is a key trend today doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the same five years from now. So keep an eye out, make a note of any significant shifts you see, and reconvene with your marketing team on a regular basis.

And if you’re a Double the Donation user, we’ll always keep you up to date with the latest trends that our team is seeing! Check back with our blog and attend upcoming webinars to stay at the forefront of matching gift innovation.

Next Steps

You’ve heard the tips⁠. Now, get started by implementing these tried-and-true practices in your own organization’s strategy.

Just remember: the more familiar your audience is with the idea of matching gifts, the more likely they are to partake in their employers’ programming. And the more funding you’ll ultimately receive from corporate philanthropy opportunities available to your cause.

Want to learn more? Explore additional resources and discover how you can double your organization’s fundraising impact with matching gifts:

Get matching gifts trending at your nonprofit with the help of Double the Donation.

Alternative Fundraising Avenues: Recouping After Lost Funding Sources

Alternative Fundraising Avenues: Recouping After Lost Funding Sources

There are many different funding types at the disposal of nonprofit causes. These sources empower organizations like yours to bankroll mission programming and behind-the-scenes operations alike. Still, most fundraisers end up relying on a few primary channels to power the brunt of their operations.

So what happens when one of those key sources becomes unavailable? Oftentimes, that means it’s time to begin searching for alternative fundraising avenues.

And we’re here to help! In this guide, we’ll cover:

Ready to dive in? Let’s start at the beginning.

Why your nonprofit might lose a funding source

The loss of a nonprofit funding source can be jarring⁠, and you might not always see it coming. However, understanding common causes behind lost fundraising avenues can make a big difference in preparing to overcome whatever obstacles are thrown your way.

Some scenarios in which your organization finds itself without a key funding source might include losses of major donors (whether due to passing, changing financial circumstances, or other reasoning), specific grants not coming through, and more.

One of the most prominent⁠—and widespread⁠—examples of this occurred at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. Still, the lingering effects remained for years after the fact. And that’s when organizations across the globe that had been previously dependent on revenue generated through in-person fundraising events were now without access to the source.

Luckily, all was not lost! Instead, organizations went to work rapidly transitioning events to the virtual realm in order to maintain donor engagement and giving.

Another, more recent instance? The cessation of Amazon’s philanthropic initiative, AmazonSmile, in February 2023. This program had been a fairly effortless source of income for over one million local and national causes, producing more than $365 million for participating organizations. Once the closing of the program was announced, tons of nonprofits began scrambling to locate new ways to make up the income they’d been depending on.

And that brings us to our next section!

Next steps after losing a funding source

If your nonprofit has just lost a key source of funding, you may be tempted to enter panic mode. But first, we recommend taking a few easy steps to get your organization back on track for financial success.

Determine how much was lost from the source.

First and foremost, start by gauging exactly how much was lost from the source.

If you were expecting a particular grant payout or a donor had been contributing a static amount year after year, you could fairly simply determine the amount you were accounting for. On the other hand, more variable sources⁠—e.g., fundraising events or programs like AmazonSmile⁠—can be estimated by calculating the average dollar amounts received over a period of time, such as the last months or years.

For example, many organizations are (understandably) fretting about the AmazonSmile program shutting down. However, reports indicate that the average annual payout for the program was a mere $230.

Looking at it this way can help contextualize the loss and make an actionable plan to compensate for the lack of funding.

Pursue new fundraising avenues.

Now, begin brainstorming ways to make up for the lost funding. When one door closes, another one may be opening. That means it might be time to pursue a brand new funding avenue.

A few examples may include:

  • Launching an online store (such as selling branded merchandise for your cause!)
  • Exploring fee-for-service models (e.g., summer camp, youth programming, etc.)
  • Hosting a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign

Keep in mind that this idea can look vastly different from one organization to the next. After all, there’s a world of opportunities readily available.

Ramp up existing (yet often underutilized) funding types.

What about those revenue streams that produce some funding for your cause, but you don’t have a particularly built-out strategy for making the most of the resource? It’s a great chance to optimize your efforts regarding those funding types, as well!

For many organizations, this is where corporate giving programs fall. Perhaps you’ve received a number of matching donations, maybe even a few volunteer grants. However, you might generally rely on individual supporters to pursue those avenues on their own. In that case, now might be the best opportunity to ramp up your efforts to help ensure no matches are ultimately going unclaimed.

Diversifying funds with 10+ alternative revenue streams

When you rely too heavily on any one type of funding, you run the risk of financial instability should something happen to that source. Thus, one of the best ways to prepare your organization prior to losing potential revenue streams is to ensure a well-rounded and sustainable funding model.

Example alternative fundraising avenues to pursue

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular⁠—and impactful⁠—kinds of nonprofit funding to consider. Keep in mind that a versatile fundraising strategy likely incorporates many, if not all, of these earning types.

1. Corporate Giving

According to corporate giving research, corporations contribute, on average, over $21 billion each year. Much of this funding is donated through generous programs, such as:

  • Matching gifts
  • Volunteer grants
  • Corporate sponsorships

However, billions of dollars in workplace giving revenue is left on the table each year, largely due to a lack of knowledge surrounding the programs.

Want to increase participation in corporate philanthropy and drive additional corporate funding to your cause? Raise awareness among donors⁠—and encourage them to get their employers involved. (Don’t worry: we’ll share more on matching gifts later.)

2. Individual Gifts

Many nonprofits make up the majority of their annual fundraising revenue through individual donor giving. This typically includes a number of specific giving types, such as:

  • Small-dollar gifts
  • Mid-size gifts
  • Major gifts
  • Planned gifts

In order to maximize individual giving, be sure to send personalized and targeted fundraising appeals. You’ll also want to emphasize the tangible impact of generous donations on your nonprofit’s mission.

Plus, the above-cited research shows that simply highlighting matching gifts in donation asks results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average gift amount.

3. Grants

Nonprofit (or fundraising) grants are a specific type of monetary contribution made to a charitable cause. They are typically larger than the average donation amount and are often restricted to funding a particular project or program.

Grants can be made by a range of different institutions but generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Foundation grants
  • Government grants (federal, state, and local)
  • Corporate grants

Most grants require some sort of application process and may include a dedicated proposal to be submitted. In order to secure more grant funding for your organization, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching opportunities and creating optimized proposal materials.

4. Event Revenue

Nonprofit fundraising events can certainly be fan-favorite experiences⁠—and can range from informal run/walk/ride competitions to elegant gala affairs. And each event typically encompasses multiple opportunities for generating revenue.

For example, your event may collect funding from:

  • Ticket sales or entrance fees
  • Auction bids
  • Merchandise sales
  • Individual donations
  • Event sponsorships

When you choose to host a fundraising event for your organization, be sure to invest time and resources into marketing the opportunity effectively beforehand. After all, your audience would love to participate to support your cause, but they need to know the event is happening in order to attend.

5. Online Giving

In line with the digital revolution, online giving has increased steadily, seeing consistent year-over-year growth throughout the past decade and beyond.

Remember: donors want an easy digital giving experience, so the tools you use to power online donations are a critical component of your strategy.

(Hint: Double the Donation partners with some of the greatest online donation platforms in the industry. Check out our integrations to learn more!)

6. Direct Mail Donations

Though many assume that direct mail is an outdated fundraising strategy, the truth is that it remains an excellent way to engage with your donors in an offline manner.

In fact, recent fundraising statistics report that direct mail is the second-highest reported giving preference among Baby Boomer donors worldwide. At the same time, it’s one of the top four most inspirational channels to drive action among supporters in Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boomer generations alike.

One way to modernize the giving avenue, however, is to provide an online option for giving⁠—even when an individual is being prompted through a direct mail ask. For example, you might include a scannable QR code or an easy-to-type digital giving page URL.

7. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Also known as social or P2P fundraising, peer-to-peer fundraising is an impactful way for nonprofits to raise substantial levels of funding while also expanding their campaign reach to new heights.

In these initiatives, organizations equip dedicated supporters with the tools they need to raise money on behalf of their favorite causes. Volunteer fundraisers then solicit donations from their own networks of friends, family members, and more.

In the end, P2P campaigns often culminate in an engaging event experience, such as a walk-a-thon!

8. Membership Fees

Some nonprofits take a membership-based approach to supplement their other existing funding sources. This is a particularly popular model among school PTAs, community programming organizations, and more. And it can be a great way to incentivize giving and foster a sense of camaraderie among members!

Organizations that choose to enact membership fees (sometimes referred to as dues) typically provide exclusive perks for those who join and aim to set their prices at an affordable monthly or yearly rate.

9. Recurring Gifts

Recurring donations offer a wide range of benefits for the nonprofits receiving them. Not only do individual supporters typically end up giving more through these programs, but it also aids organizations in estimating incoming revenue.

And leveling up your recurring gifts can be as easy as incorporating a button on your online donation pages! You may be pleasantly surprised as to how many donors opt to become regular supporters of your cause when presented with the easy opportunity to do so. In fact, average online monthly giving grew by over 40% as recurring donation options became an increasingly popular choice among online supporters.

10. In-Kind Donations

While not a direct source of funding, in-kind donations (i.e., any non-cash gifts of goods, services, or time) are an essential component of nonprofit fundraising. After all, these types of contributions empower organizations to stretch their budgets further than otherwise possible. And that allows them to allocate revenue to other areas of their operations.

To drive more in-kind donations, make sure to market the opportunity to your donors! Many individuals love supporting nonprofits by providing gifts-in-kind and seeing the impact that their tangible purchases can have on their favorite causes. Plus, Amazon still offers an easy way for charities to create and share online wishlists from which their supporters can purchase and send items directly to the organization.

Our favorite fundraising avenue: employee matching gifts!

While all of the above funding sources can provide significant benefits for the nonprofits who choose to establish the initiatives, our #1 favorite method is employee matching gifts. After all, this top alternative fundraising avenue has huge potential⁠—though it’s still going largely underutilized.

In fact, Double the Donation research indicates that an estimated $2 – $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs each year. However, an additional $4 – $7 billion goes unclaimed on an annual basis.

Not to mention, corporate matching gifts are an opportunity that nearly all nonprofit organizations qualify to participate in. Over 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs, including over 65% of the Fortune 500. More than likely, a key segment of your existing and prospective donors falls into that matching-gift-eligible group.

When you highlight the widespread availability of these programs, your organization can benefit not only from increased corporate funding but from elevated donor giving, as well. The above-mentioned studies also show that individual supporters are more likely to give (71% growth in gift conversion rates) and to give more (51% higher average transaction amount) when matching gifts are promoted. Thus, in the end, your organization receives additional revenue streams and new opportunities for communication and engagement. Talk about a win-win!

Plus, if you’re looking for a particularly impactful source of fundraising revenue that doesn’t require a ton of staff time and resources, dedicated matching gift technology is the way to go. Leveraging a matching gift automation tool (like Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro) increases matching gift funds for nonprofits by over 61%, with innovative new auto-submission functionality projected to yield more than an 80% increase in match revenue.

Pursuing alternative fundraising avenues with 360MatchPro

And in the face of adversity, you generally won’t have to worry about a negative impact on matching gifts. In reality, many companies were reported to have developed new and improved employee matching initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 and other economic downturns. Besides, should one company roll back its programming, you’ll likely have a number of additional matching opportunities to pursue⁠—making it a particularly sustainable fundraising practice over time.

Final Thoughts

Preparing your team with a range of diversified revenue can go a long way toward continuous operational success⁠. Even in the midst of lost funding avenues, you’ll have a number of alternative fundraising streams supporting your organization.

And when you have a plan in place for optimizing passive income opportunities (such as employer matching gifts and more), you can continue driving forward mission impact despite losing access to other sources.

Ready to dive deeper into some of our favorite alternative fundraising avenues for nonprofits and schools? Check out these additional resources below:

Diversify your fundraising avenues with Double the Donation

The Complete Guide to Celebrating Matching Gift Month

The Complete Guide to Celebrating Matching Gift Month This February

February is a time to celebrate love and happiness⁠—and matching gifts. That’s why it’s been dubbed the official Matching Gift Month. This year, we recommend taking the opportunity to scale up your matching gift promotional efforts accordingly.

We’ll cover everything you need to know to celebrate corporate giving and drive action (and matches) this February.

What is Matching Gift Month?

Matching Gift Month is an annual celebration of corporate donation-matching, often used to increase awareness and usage of match programs. Held in February each year, Matching Gift, or Match Month, is an opportunity to recognize the impact that corporate philanthropy offerings like matching gifts and more can have on nonprofit fundraising groups.

Many mission-focused organizations and schools take time to elevate their matching gift fundraising and really push the initiatives forward. If you’re looking for new and exciting ways to amplify your mission’s efforts, you’ve come to the right place.

Research indicates that an estimated $7 billion in matching gift revenue goes unclaimed by qualifying nonprofits and their donors each year. That’s funding that should be going to organizations like yours to aid in better pursuing your cause. And it’s why we’re sharing seven standout ideas for celebrating Matching Gift Month this year to help close the gap.

These include:

  1. Giving your internal team a refresher course
  2. Sharing on social media
  3. Encouraging non-eligible donors to advocate for new programs
  4. Pursuing one-off matching gift program opportunities
  5. Following up on previously made donations
  6. Including matching gifts in staff email signatures
  7. Making matching easy

Ready to bring your matching gift fundraising to the next level this month? Let’s jump in with our top recommendations.

7 Powerful Ways to Celebrate Matching Gift Month This Year

These smart marketing and engagement ideas inhabit a fun sense of novelty this month. But they’re also impactful for long-term engagement in your organization’s overall strategy.

For the best results, we suggest integrating multiple of the following actions⁠—both this month and beyond.

1. Give your internal team a refresher course.

Before ramping up your organization’s matching gift efforts for Match Month, it’s a good idea to take a look inward. Hopefully, your internal fundraising team should be well-versed in matching gift information. But perhaps you’ve had a few new team members join since your last group training, or maybe your staff (and volunteers!) could just use a refresher.

The solution? Start off Matching Gift Month right with your own team. Take the opportunity to reiterate the importance of corporate matching gift programs. Provide access to educational resources (tip: we have some fantastic free eBooks, blog posts, and webinars at Double the Donation). Practice asking common matching gift questions, ensuring that all individuals have the knowledge and assets to answer them.

Celebrating matching gift month with internal refresher courses

When it comes to driving matching gift revenue, your internal team encompasses your greatest assets. Make sure they’re ready to advocate for the opportunities as best they can!

2. Share on social media.

Your organization likely has at least one, but likely a number of profiles on popular social media sites. Whether it’s a Facebook page, an Instagram profile, or even a TikTok account, your strategic web presence can go a long way toward marketing matching gifts online. And what better time is there to get started (or elevate your strategy) than during Matching Gift Month?

Sample Matching Gift Month marketing by the Rashi School

Consider sharing the following types of content on your nonprofit’s social profiles:

Images and videos

Social media platforms are becoming increasingly visual-focused. If you want to grab⁠—and maintain⁠—your audience’s attention as they scroll through their feeds, research indicates that incorporating eye-catching images and videos is the way to go. In fact, studies show that image-based social posts receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without, and posts with video content can see up to 10 times higher engagement levels.

That said, Matching Gift Month is an optimal time to produce and share matching gift marketing videos and imagery. Or get started with our pre-made social media graphics here:

Matching gift month sample graphic

Matching gift month sample graphic

Matching gift month sample graphic

Industry research

Highlight key statistics that effectively demonstrate the potential that corporate matching brings. Double the Donation has compiled some of our favorite figures here, including an overview of unclaimed funding and a wide range of participating companies.

Success stories

Use social proof to drive success on social media by sharing stories of previous matching gift successes. This might mean highlighting a total sum of matching gift revenue (e.g., our organization collected more than $50,000 in matching gift funds from donors like you) or including specific examples of prior match donors (Sarah from Home Depot secured a corporate match on our behalf equaling $5,000, bringing her total contribution value to more than $10,000).

When your followers see the influence that other matching gifts have had, they’ll be more likely to take steps to do so themselves.


Your supporters care about the impact your organization (and, by extension, their donations) brings. Reiterate that donation-matching programs enable donors to double their impact without reaching back into their own wallets. If you can put it in terms of tangible impact (e.g., feed two shelter cats for the cost of one), even better!

Keep in mind that you’ll want to link back to additional resources from all of your social media posts. If you already have a built-out matching gift web page (which you should), consider driving traffic to the page for supporters to learn more about the opportunity.

You can even add a little blurb about Matching Gift Month to your web page, as Case Western Reserve University has here:

Sample Matching Gift Month marketing by CWRU

3. Encourage non-eligible donors to advocate for new programs.

Unfortunately, not all companies match employee donations (though new programs are added every day). And some employers are likely interested in getting started⁠—they might just need a little push to do so.

Luckily, your existing (non-match-eligible) donors can be some of your best champions for inspiring new matching programs. Sometimes all it takes is an email from a philanthropic employee to get the ball rolling for a new corporate program. And Matching Gift Month can be the perfect time to begin laying a foundation.

Consider sharing a template like this to provide a baseline for supporters considering advocating on your behalf this month:

Matching gift advocacy template

Subject line: Request for a corporate matching gift program

Hi [manager or HR representative name],

I am writing to request the addition of a corporate matching gift program at [company name].

Thousands of companies across the globe have established employee matching gift programs, agreeing to match gifts made by their employees to qualifying nonprofit causes with their own corporate donations.

This is an extremely beneficial program to host for every party involved⁠—including the company, its employees, and the nonprofits they support. If you’d like to take steps to establish a matching gift program for the company, Double the Donation has provided a number of detailed guides that walk corporate leaders through the process.

Thank you for your consideration!

P.S. ⁠— February is National Matching Gift Month, so it’s a great time to get started!

We’ve even written a dedicated blog post on the topic. Feel free to send this article⁠—How to Advocate for a Matching Gift Program to Your Employer⁠—to your donors to guide them through the process of proposing programs for their companies.

4. Pursue one-off matching gift program opportunities.

Most companies that match employee donations agree to do so to most nonprofit causes. However, if an organization has an existing partnership with a corporation, they may seek a one-off (or unique) matching gift program that is exclusive to the cause.

In some cases, this type of offering can be an ongoing sponsorship opportunity. But it also may be limited to a particular period of time⁠—such as Matching Gift Month! Thus, February (and/or the weeks leading up to February) can be a great chance to begin pursuing such a relationship.

One-off matching gift program for Match Month

Keep in mind that a one-off match initiative may be formed with a company that does not yet offer a complete matching program. (For example, Carl’s Computer Company does not have an established matching gift program but agrees to match donations solely made to Atlanta University.)

However, another option is partnering with a company that does offer a traditional matching gift program⁠—but wants to match donations to your organization at a higher rate. (Carl’s Computer Company matches employee donations to all 501(c)(3) nonprofits at a dollar-for-dollar rate and matches gifts made to Atlanta University at a 2:1 ratio.)

Either type of program can be beneficial to your cause, your donors, and your corporate partners.

5. Follow up on previously made donations.

Your organization’s work promoting Matching Gift Month might very well drive a number of new donations⁠—and matches⁠—to your cause. But another strategy you can employ involves following up on previously made gifts and encouraging still-eligible donors to submit their requests retroactively.

Matching gift follow-up sample

For example, Match Month falls just a few weeks after the year-end giving season, when most organizations see elevated giving. Many of those donations may still qualify for corporate matching, even into the first few months of the new year. In fact, tons of companies set generous matching gift request deadlines⁠—often allowing up to a year after the initial donation is made.

Take the opportunity to remind eligible donors about their employers’ matching gift programs and how they can get involved.

6. Include matching gifts in staff email signatures.

This is perhaps our simplest suggestion for celebrating Match Month, but it can be particularly effective when paired with some of our other top ideas. We recommend adding a quick line mentioning matching gift opportunities to all of your team members’ email signatures.

Matching gift month email signature sample

More than likely, your organization sends a ton of emails⁠—from donation appeals to thank-you messages and even nonprofit programming outreach. By incorporating matching gifts in automatic signatures, you can use every piece of communication with your cause as a way to promote donation-matching.

While you could add a simple blurb beneath an individual’s name and contact information, making it stand out can produce great results. For that reason, consider getting a graphic made and added to each person’s signature.

You can even use the space to link to additional resources where recipients can learn more.

7. Make matching easy.

Our final idea for celebrating Matching Gift Month is one that will benefit your organization well beyond the 28 (or 29) days of February. A lot of our previous recommendations involve raising awareness of program opportunities in the first place. Now, we suggest going a few steps further and driving matches by simplifying the processes involved.

After all, donors love matching gifts. They love getting the opportunity to multiply their contribution impact. But even your most dedicated supporters risk not following through when the process required to do so is too complicated or time-consuming.

That’s why we recommend fundraising organizations employ matching gift software to streamline and simplify the process. For example, 360MatchPro by Double the Donation empowers nonprofits to:

  • Identify eligibility with the industry’s most comprehensive database of matching gift company information and corresponding search tool;
  • Provide employer-specific matching gift program guidelines (minimum and maximum donation amounts, qualifying employees and nonprofit causes, match ratios, and more) and direct links to online submission forms;
  • Enable innovative auto-submission capabilities for select donors, allowing them to complete the match request process directly from the organization’s giving page;
  • Trigger automated and personalized matching gift follow-up messaging to remind donors about matching gift availability and next steps.

Celebrating matching gift month with matching gift software

Not only does this benefit your donors by making matching programs more accessible, but it also ensures more back-end efficiency for your internal team and results in matching gift revenue growth of more than 61%.

Wrapping Up

Matching gifts have the potential to elevate your organization’s fundraising, bringing your overall community impact to new heights. This Matching Gift Month celebration can be a fantastic opportunity to jumpstart or scale up your efforts⁠. But it’s certainly not the only time to pursue this funding source.

As you aim to drive awareness of—and participation in⁠—the programs this February, remember that the value of a long-term matching gift strategy can boost your fundraising for the months and years to come. And the tips and practices outlined above can help!

Looking for more helpful matching gift resources? Check out our other recommended blog posts to continue learning:

Get started with Double the Donation this month

8 Ways to Encourage Donors to Submit Matching Gift Requests

8 Ways to Encourage Donors to Submit Employee Matching Gift Requests

As a fundraising leader, you may have put a lot of thought into how to market matching gifts before and during the donation process. That’s great—doing so lays a solid foundation and begins increasing awareness about the opportunity. Not to mention, it allows your team to collect much-needed data points regarding your donors’ employing companies.

But for the donor, clicking submit or mailing a check often feels like the final step. And for this reason alone, many eligible matches go unclaimed⁠—thus, resulting in available funds being left on the table.

The solution? Strategic follow-ups post-donation.

Getting in touch with donors after they complete their gifts allows you to remind individuals of matching gift programs at hand and encourage them to take the next steps to submit their matching donation requests. Plus, it provides a unique opportunity to retain your organization and its purpose at the forefront of supporters’ minds, reiterate your mission and vision and highlight key opportunities for furthering engagement.

And in this guide, we’ll share eight of the best ways to do so. These include the following:

  1. Educate your staff.
  2. Share guidelines on the confirmation page.
  3. Link to request forms and next steps.
  4. Enable auto-submission functionality.
  5. Send a follow-up email.
  6. Pick up the phone.
  7. Utilize snail mail.
  8. Incorporate SMS outreach.

Don’t let your organization’s matching gift opportunities fall through the cracks! Incorporating these follow-up methods enables your team to drive more corporate matches to completion, ultimately ensuring you get the biggest bang for your fundraising buck.

1. Educate your staff.

One of the first things you can do to easily raise your match submission rates among donors involves looking inward. In other words, make sure that, when it comes to matching gifts, your organization is cultivating a knowledgeable staff.

At the very least, every employee should understand:

When your team is equipped with a solid foundation of matching gift information and feels confident explaining the process, benefits, and more, you can work together to create an outreach strategy that is specific to your donor base. And don’t forget about volunteers, either!

We recommend hosting dedicated internal training sessions to cover all of the above information, providing in-depth resources for learning more, and incorporating matching gift information in team-wide onboarding going forward.

2. Share guidelines on the confirmation page.

Immediately following the donation process, many donors’ engagement levels remain high. That said, a nonprofit’s confirmation page or thank-you screen can be a valuable resource for promoting actionable next steps. In this case, it’s one of the best opportunities to begin actively encouraging individuals to submit their matching gifts.

When communicated effectively, match information on the confirmation screen can be positioned as a logical extension of the giving experience. And when you’ve collected employment information within the donation form, you can use the opportunity to provide company-specific eligibility criteria.

When available, this should include minimum and maximum match thresholds, corporate donation ratios, qualifying employees and nonprofits, submission deadlines, and more.

When available, this should include:

  • Minimum and maximum match thresholds (on average, between $34 and $3,728);
  • Corporate donation ratios (most typically 1:1, though some companies go lower, such as .5:1, or higher, such as 2, 3, or even 4:1);
  • Qualifying employees (full-time, part-time, retired, spouses);
  • Qualifying nonprofit mission types (education, community service, religious, etc.);
  • Submission deadlines (# of months post-donation, end of the calendar year, end of calendar year plus a grace period);
  • And more.

Encouraging donors to submit matching gift requests on the confirmation page

3. Link to request forms and next steps.

Each company that offers a matching gift program is able to establish its own submission process. These typically range from paper forms to online request portals. However, not all employers take a proactive approach to communicating the process to their employees. And many donors can be overwhelmed by a lack of direction⁠—even if the experience itself is quick and easy.

Thus, you don’t want your donors to have to do a ton of research on their own to determine how to submit their matching gift. If that’s the case, they’re significantly more likely to abandon their potential match altogether.

In order to streamline the experience for your donors, providing direct links to the forms they need can go a long way. And if that information is unavailable, sharing contact information for a person or team at the company to reach out to can be helpful as well.

Encouraging donors to submit matching gift requests with links to request forms

4. Enable auto-submission functionality.

It makes sense that the easier it is for a donor to take the steps required to submit a match request, the more likely they are to follow through. That’s why Double the Donation has worked to streamline and guide donors through the process for years.

Now, the company has developed an even simpler way for nonprofit donors to submit match requests: matching gift auto-submission.

For companies that offer this functionality, employees can request their matches directly from the confirmation screens of their favorite nonprofits. All they usually have to do is enter their corporate email address (or another piece of identifying information). From there, they simply click to authorize Double the Donation to submit a match automatically on their behalf.

Encouraging donors to submit matching gift requests with auto-submission

Auto-submission requires no redirects, and there’s no need to provide repetitive nonprofit and donation details within a separate portal. In the end, it works to remove roadblocks and drive more matches to completion.

Even better? Nonprofits looking to leverage this breakthrough offering can do so with ease⁠—it comes automatically with a 360MatchPro subscription!

5. Send a follow-up email.

Looking to re-engage your donors after they leave your donation page? Send a quick email that specifically asks them to follow up and submit their matching gift requests.

Encouraging donors to submit matching gift requests with email follow-ups

Make sure to incorporate an explanation of matching gifts and the benefits they can bring to your organization. Plus, demonstrate the simplicity with which a donor can complete their request by walking them through the process.

Top tip ⁠— Send your follow-up email within 24 hours of receiving an individual donation in order to retain giving momentum. Matching gift emails sent within this time frame see a 53% open rate, which is more than 2-3 times higher than the average nonprofit open rate!

Here’s a sample:

“Dear Jody, thank you for your generous donation to the Cat Rescue Club. Did you know that your employer, Home Depot, will match your gift of $100 to our organization?

Matching gifts enable us to support twice as many furry friends. And it’s quick and easy for you to complete your match. Click here to log into your company’s matching gift request portal and submit your request.”

Even better, use Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro platform to trigger personalized outreach to donors. When individuals contribute to your cause, they are automatically triaged by match eligibility. Thus, they’re sent a targeted email that incorporates employer-specific program information. This typically includes the company’s minimum and maximum donation amounts, match ratios, and direct links to online forms.

Not to mention, emails can be sent from your organization’s domain and branded to match your colors, fonts, and overall styles. And when you leverage automation, you can ensure each donor receives timely and actionable follow-ups. No more worries about prospective matches slipping through the cracks, and it’s less legwork for your team to handle!

6. Pick up the phone.

To make your efforts really stand out, consider sorting through recent donations and identifying your top contributors. Then, call these donors to thank them for their gifts and encourage them to submit their matching gift requests.

Many donors would be happy to support your organization in this way, and taking the time to make a phone call demonstrates the importance of donation matches to your team.

Lack of donor awareness is one of the biggest hurdles to increasing matching gift revenue. If you’re able to briefly walk a donor through the process and provide them with the information they need, they’ll be more likely to complete their end of the matching gift request.

Feel free to use this sample phone script as a jumping-off point for your efforts: “Hi Jeff! It’s Anita from the Cat Rescue Club. We just wanted to call and let you know that we are so appreciative of your generous support for our mission. Because of you, we’re able to feed and care for more than 100 furry friends while they wait for their forever homes.

Did you know that tens of thousands of companies offer corporate matching gift programs where they agree to match employee donations to their favorite charitable causes? Our records indicate that your recent donation of $1,000 is likely eligible for a match from your employer, Apple! All it takes is to fill out a brief online form, which we can send directly to your email address on file for easy access.

Would you be willing to double your impact on our cause by submitting a matching donation request to your employer? Thanks again!”

7. Utilize snail mail.

Good old-fashioned postage is still a great way to touch base with your donors! Physical mailers can work as impactful calls to action that encourage donors to submit their matching gift requests.

This might include:

  • Letters (handwritten or printed)
  • Postcards
  • Direct mail inserts
  • Thank-you notes
  • Return envelopes

Many companies have very generous matching gift request submission deadlines. In fact, this window is often open between three months and over a year. This gives donors plenty of time to get their donations doubled—even when leveraging so-called snail mail to promote the opportunity.

And by sending tangible follow-ups to your supporters’ mailboxes (likely in tangent with alternative outreach as well), it can help your team break through the ever-increasing digital clutter. In order to keep your costs down, consider reserving direct mail marketing for your highest-value matching gift opportunities.

Encouraging donors to submit matching gift requests with direct mail

8. Incorporate SMS outreach.

Mobile outreach is becoming an increasingly popular method of communication for nonprofit fundraising. Consider incorporating this channel into your organization’s strategy as well. It’s a great way to reach your donors exactly where they are⁠—wherever they are⁠.

In fact, recent studies indicate that text message marketing boasts open rates of up to 98%, compared to only 20% open rates for emails. People tend to always have their cell phones on them⁠, making SMS an effective outreach method, particularly for the on-the-go donor.

For the best results, matching gift text messaging should be short, sweet, and to the point⁠—as compared to a follow-up email that may incorporate longer blocks of text. Inform or remind donors about matching gift opportunities and provide direct links to additional resources and next steps.

Encouraging donors to submit matching gift requests with SMS outreach

Interested in streamlining and elevating your text messaging efforts? Currently, automated matching gift text streams are available for 360MatchPro Enterprise clients to make use of!

Next Steps

The most effective way to encourage donors to submit their matching gift requests is to mention matching gifts as often as possible. Include corporate matching information in your acknowledgment letters, emails, text messages, and more. You can even integrate a more generalized approach by leveraging your website, social media posts, and regular newsletters, too.

The bottom line is that the more your donors hear about matching gift opportunities (and the widespread benefits that are involved), the more likely they are to take part when the time comes. And the more personalized your outreach, the better!

Ready to learn more? Dive into our other educational resources on matching gift tips and best practices:

Encourage donors to submit employee matching gift requests with Double the Donation

Employee Giving Campaign Ideas Graphic

8 Year-Round Employee Giving Campaign Ideas & Real Examples

Thanks to the growing movement for increased corporate social responsibility, combined with innovative new technology, many companies are stepping up their employee-giving game like never before.

Businesses interested in creating or improving their workplace giving programs—as well as nonprofits eager to engage donors and corporate partners in new ways—will find inspiration in these employee giving campaign ideas that can be adapted to any office environment (even remote ones!).

Let’s dive right in! This guide will cover:

The role of employee giving and company matching in CSR

The framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly popular across many sectors. It’s even inspiring employers to provide a variety of ways for their company to give back to the community in the form of philanthropic donations, volunteerism, and proactive policies that put people and the environment first. A welcome shift from the “greed is good” mindset of past generations, CSR is growing a wave of commitment to sustainability both inside and outside corporate office walls.

Employee giving (also called workplace giving) is one of the most popular CSR strategies. It creates opportunities for everyone in a corporate environment to pay it forward in a collective effort, making a much greater impact than what any individual can do alone.

From annual fundraisers and donation drives to giving days and volunteer programs, employee giving campaigns will (and should!) look different in every workplace, depending on your own unique company culture and values.

However, there is one aspect of employee giving every workplace campaign should include: matching donations.

Whether you’re planning a virtual walk-a-thon or a monthly giving campaign, companies should match funds that individual employees raise or give from their own pockets. This kind of support and commitment builds buy-in, signals to employees that their company is just as committed to this work as they are, and affirms that their participation is seen and celebrated.

Benefits of workplace giving campaigns

Employee giving initiatives backed by matching donations can do a whole lot of good—and not just for your nonprofit beneficiaries and the communities they serve.

A company’s public image, for example, can undoubtedly improve with well-documented charitable contributions. Plus, the tax incentives for large philanthropic gifts are nothing to shrug at. Still, it’s the impact that workplace giving campaigns have on employee morale that cannot be understated.

Giving, science tells us, is tied to human happiness. Creating meaningful opportunities for employees to build relationships and contribute to good causes alongside their peers leads to a greater sense of belonging, stronger engagement in future activities and projects, and higher staff retention. It’s a win-win-win!

With the help of automated systems, giving can become an integral part of the culture of your workplace. Imagine an environment where giving was as much a part of your work week as logging into your email in the morning—not just once a year, but all throughout!

8 employee giving campaign ideas to try throughout the year

We’ve gathered some of our favorite workplace giving campaign ideas you can implement year-round at your office. Plus, each idea features an example from a real nonprofit that nailed it.

Every workplace is different, so think creatively about how you can customize and adjust these ideas based on your company’s size, time constraints, interests, and areas of specialty. The possibilities are endless—just like your potential for making a positive impact in your community.

1. Lean into the competitive spirit for Giving Tuesday 💪

Let’s kick things off with one of the most popular times of the year for nonprofit fundraising: Giving Tuesday!

This global day of generosity happens the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and the shopping madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and it’s a great opportunity to cajole your coworkers into the giving spirit.

A virtual peer-to-peer or team fundraising Giving Tuesday campaign is an easy and fun way to foster friendly competition as individuals or staff teams try to out-raise one another for their cause.

The secret to a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser? Keep spirits high and be a cheerleader for your fundraisers! Celebrate everyone’s hard work by shouting out teams at various times throughout the campaign and offering prizes for the teams with the most donations, the highest amount raised, or even the most team spirit.

Employee Giving Campaign Team Fundraiser Example

🌎 Real-world example: For the Together Housed campaign, participants created personal or team fundraising pages to raise money over three weeks for women in Los Angeles experiencing homelessness.

This virtual effort raised over $155K for the Downtown Women’s Center and culminated in a livestreamed celebration to thank individual fundraisers and corporate sponsors.

2. Turn your holiday party into an opportunity to give back 🎁

The holidays bring out the giving spirit in even the Grinchiest among us—especially if the food and drinks are free. If you’ve already budgeted for a staff gathering or outing for the holidays, think about adding on a party-worthy fundraising element like a silent auction to benefit a local nonprofit.

Depending on the size of your staff, a team can volunteer to source auction items or request that everyone (CEO included) contribute an item, experience, or basket to auction off during the party.

Sourcing items can be work-intensive, so make the rest of the process easy on your team by using an online silent auction platform that partygoers can use to bid right from their smartphones. Mobile bidding also makes it easy to create a hybrid or virtual auction experience if your remote employees want to start a bidding war for a good cause.

For maximum excitement, make a final chance to place bids before you celebrate all of your winners live. This is also an excellent time to celebrate your Giving Tuesday teams or winners with silly prizes or awards!

Employee Giving Campaign Silent Auction Example

🌎 Real-world example: The Ultimutt Auction fundraiser for the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation offered bidders a range of fun experiences and items from local businesses. To reach a wider audience and build momentum to raise more funds, the organizers had the online auction open for a week, enabling them to raise over $21K!

3. Kick off the new year with a monthly giving program 🗓️

With everyone energized by your Giving Tuesday and holiday party success (and hopefully some time off), build on this momentum to get employees excited about giving back regularly.

A great place to start is hosting a casual “Lunch & Learn” once a month, where a guest speaker or representative from a local nonprofit comes for an informal presentation about their impact and need.

Build buy-in by providing incentives like a catered lunch for those who attend and asking staff to nominate organizations or community groups meaningful to them. National celebrations like Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May), etc., can be a great guidepost for causes to highlight if you’re not sure where to start.

The actual giving part can happen in a few different ways:

  • A monthly stipend from the company that employees can donate
  • Informal monthly contributions matched by the company
  • Automated payroll deductions (also matched by the company)

Employee Giving Campaign Monthly Giving Example

🌎 Real-world example: Clothing retailer rue21’s annual giving campaign organizes staff fundraising teams by department (Marketing, Merchandising, Human Resources, and so on). Each year, they have raised more funds for their nonprofit partner organization, Foster Love Project, which serves youth in foster care.

4. Spring into volunteering 🌸

Financial contributions aren’t the only way to make a difference in your place of work. Harness the power of your team’s talents to give back through volunteer hours or pro bono projects in partnership with a local nonprofit, school, or other community organization.

Volunteering can be skill-based work (graphic design, tutoring, or even accounting!) or just helping with whatever is needed (envelope stuffing, serving meals, or checking people in). It’s all about meeting the needs of your particular community partner.

The key to success here is to incentivize volunteering, which can happen in many ways.

Some companies, including 40% of the Fortune 500 list, give volunteer grants to employees who put in a certain number of hours, and others offer perks like additional vacation time. You can even liven things up by making it a competition to see who can give the highest number of hours by a specific date.

Employee Giving Campaign Volunteer Example

🌎 Real-world example: Chicago-based software company Sprout Social organized Philanthropy Week, which combined volunteering and team-based fundraising for local nonprofits.

Teams of employees chose an organization in their community, created fundraising pages, and were encouraged to take time during the week to spend time volunteering on-site to foster deeper connections with their partners.

5. Create your own workplace giving day in May ☀️

Volunteering is also one of the most effective team-building activities, and hosting a workplace giving day can empower your company to build connection and belonging amongst your staff—and contribute to a good cause at the same time.

As the weather warms up, partner with a local nonprofit that needs a lot of hands for a park cleanup, meal prep, material assembly, mural painting, or other beautification projects. Make sure everyone on your staff is able and incentivized to attend, get t-shirts made for the occasion, and cap it all off with a celebration and big group photo.

If all goes well, try to make it an annual event that employees look forward to, your nonprofit partners can plan around, and the entire community can feel proud of.

Employee Giving Campaign Giving Day Example

🌎 Real-world example: When pandemic restrictions made in-person activities impossible, Presence Marketing organized a virtual 5k and complementary fundraiser in partnership with a charitable foundation to help build a Kindergarten in the West African nation of Togo.

The event was so successful that they organized a second annual day of giving the following year to benefit another charity project!

6. Celebrate summer with sponsorship 😎

June is the start of summer and Pride Month, a great time to support organizations that serve the LGBTQ+ community.

Give your coworkers a special night out together and raise some serious money by sponsoring a fun fundraising event, like a standup comedy, drag show, or a combination of the two!

Planning events is a lot of work, so if that’s not something you can take on, seek out a nonprofit partner that’s already planning a benefit event that you can sponsor. Or enlist the help of a local venue that can help match you with a good cause. If a virtual or hybrid event can help you reach your community better, livestream it!

Employee Giving Campaign Sponsorship Event Example

🌎 Real-world example: Platinum Top 50, an industry organization for real estate professionals in Texas, organized a comedy show fundraiser featuring standup and improv from some talented local realtors. In addition to ticket sales, extra donations from individuals and corporate sponsorships helped them to raise over 200% of their original goal for their hunger-fighting nonprofit partner.

7. Go virtual with a back-to-school drive 📚

Drives for essential items like jackets, toys, and perishable goods are popular for workplace giving campaigns for many reasons. For one, those who are making donations can immediately see the real-life impact of their gifts, which is sometimes harder to communicate with solely monetary asks.

With a virtual drive, donors can still understand exactly where their money is going and, at the same time, give the nonprofit beneficiary more oversight and flexibility to order the items they need and get them directly to the people who need them.

This campaign idea is also great for remote office teams, as virtual drives open up donations to a broader pool of people and save the time and energy it can take a team of employees to collect, organize, and transport items.

Employee Giving Campaign Supply Drive Example

🌎 Real-world example: With several businesses participating, Teachers’ Treasures organized the Gr8 Paper Push Virtual School Supply Drive and enabled donors to select specific classroom items or just make a flat donation to the campaign.

This campaign also had an added team fundraising element. Local businesses competed with one another to raise the most, which created a lively, fun atmosphere.

8. Make a No Shave November everyone can join in on 🥸

Movember and No Shave November, popular social challenges to see who can grow the most facial hair, were created to raise awareness and funds for men’s health and cancer prevention. Anyone can play on this idea for a good cause of their choosing—just make sure to take lots of photos!

Employee Giving Campaign Competition Example

🌎 Real-world example: For their annual Let It Grow! campaign, Vermont-based victims’ services agency Windham County Safe Place engaged teams from the police departments, hospitals, and legal groups that they work with for a light-hearted competition. Each team was encouraged to grow facial hair or rock colorful hair extensions and bright nails for the month. Inclusivity for the win!

Every participant received a special pin for joining the campaign, created their own individual or team fundraising page, donated $25 or more, and encouraged their friends and family to help them reach their goal. The top three earners even won a special prize at the end of the competition! The novelty of this campaign has drawn attention to their cause from local media and helped them to raise thousands of dollars.

Additional resources for your next employee giving campaign

From selling tickets and making donations to administering payroll deductions and matching contributions, automating as much of your workplace giving campaigns as possible will save you a lot of time and energy.

Online donation tools and matching gift automation software, like 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, can free you up to focus on what really matters—engaging your workplace community and creating meaningful ways to give back together.

Looking for more inspiration? Dive deeper into these additional resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Employer Appends

The Ultimate Guide to Employer Appends for Fundraisers

You likely gather many details about your donors⁠—those who support your cause with their funds, time, or resources. Perhaps you collect names, contact information, engagement history, interests, and hobbies. The more comprehensive an understanding you have of each supporter, the better you can tailor your fundraising strategy to effectively reach your target audience.

However, one critical piece of the puzzle that’s often overlooked is employment data. Knowing where your donors work can play a significant role in how you relate to them in terms of fundraising, corporate giving opportunities, and more. And if you don’t already have this data point on file? That’s where employer appends come in.

In this guide, we’ll provide a walkthrough of all things employer appends⁠—including:

Understanding your donors’ employment status can elevate your fundraising efforts in huge ways. You won’t want to discard the wealth of information gathered through employer appends, nor the amplified impact it brings.

Let’s get started!

The Basics of Data Appends

The Basics of Data Appends

Data appends are a particular type of data enhancement strategy that allows nonprofits and other fundraising groups to learn more about the individuals in their networks. These efforts aim to provide organizations with more comprehensive and up-to-date information, often concerning their donors and other supporters. This empowers fundraisers to adjust their messaging and overall engagement strategies by better discerning who a donor is and what makes them tick.

Organizations typically provide the information they do have to a company dedicated to data enhancement services. The company then compares donor information against a mega-database of individual data, filling in the details the organization lacks as they go.

Types of data appends
Employer appends, in particular, empower organizations to collect new and optimized data regarding the companies their supporters work for. Beyond employer information, other common types of data appends include mailing addresses, email addresses, birth dates, and phone numbers.

What Are Employer Appends?

What Are Employer Appends?

Employer appends are one of the most common types of data appends for nonprofits, schools, and other fundraising organizations. In this case, the unknown information an organization seeks is that of a donor’s employer.

By providing other data points⁠—such as the person’s name, location, phone number, education experience, etc.—the intended result is to locate the company that the individual works for (and sometimes even their job title!). In the end, the organization receives invaluable insights that can help uncover matching gift and other workplace giving opportunities, estimate wealth data, and more.

How Employer Appends Work for Fundraisers

The employer appends process is simple. After locating a data appending service (we’ll cover what to look for below), you’ll want to collect as much existing data about your donors as possible. This should include:

  • Name
  • Unique ID number
  • Mailing address (home, business, or both)
  • Region (state, city, and country)
  • Email address(es)
  • Phone number(s)
  • College or university (along with class year and major/degree, if available)
  • Last gift amount
  • Date of last donation
  • Date the entry was last updated

You will likely not have every data point available for each donor. And that’s okay! However, starting with as much information as possible increases the likelihood that the appending service provider can locate and match supporter records to the right employer information.

The employer appends process

From there, the appending service will conduct its own research, typically scanning a number of public and privately held databases, which may include government records, SEC filings, social media profiles, business registrations, and more.

When the service provider is able to match a donor record with an employing company, they make a note of the identified information, check the newly collected data for accuracy, and share their findings with the organization. Ultimately, the organization is able to utilize the information to its best advantage in terms of optimal fundraising and donor relations.

Benefits of Employer Appends

Benefits of Employer Appends for Nonprofits and Universities

Employer appends can bring big results to nonprofit fundraising. Knowing where your donors and other key supporters work plays a significant role in overall engagement strategies, not to mention enabling targeted efforts regarding available workplace giving opportunities.

Benefits of employer appends
Specifically, employer appending can help your team:

Determine matching gift eligibility ⁠—

Thousands of companies offer matching gift programs where they agree to match employee donations to charitable organizations.

However, you likely won’t know which donors are eligible for (and, as a result, which to follow up with about) matching opportunities if you don’t know where they work. In fact, this knowledge gap even results in over $4 to $7 billion in matching gift funding going unclaimed each year!

Once you have the information you need, however, you’ll be able to prompt qualifying donors to complete the match process and secure additional funding on your organization’s behalf⁠. This is true not only in the form of corporate match revenue but in elevated individual giving (and donor engagement), as well.

Keep in mind that matching gift services⁠—like Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro⁠—can help nonprofits target and follow up with matching gift opportunities as well. However, employer appends are often able to provide additional data points with which to guide an organization’s strategy, allowing fundraisers to capture supporter information even if the individual is not currently in the donation pipeline.

Here’s an example: “Jody, did you know that your employer, the Home Depot, matches full- and part-time employee donations up to $3,000 per person each year? Click here to request your matching gift!”

Uncover volunteer grant opportunities ⁠—

Similarly, if your organization has a supporter base of dedicated volunteers, corporate volunteer grants can help stretch their donated time even further. These are additional giving programs offered by philanthropic-minded businesses, the difference being that employers contribute monetary funds to the organizations with which their employees volunteer their time. Volunteer grants, which are also referred to as “dollars for doers,” can be an excellent way to multiply the impact of volunteer time for your organization, and supporters love being able to get involved in that way as well.

But again, you’ll need to know which companies your volunteers work for, which is where your employer appends come in. That way, you can be sure to inform them about the opportunities, encourage participation, and direct them to their employers’ request processes to get involved.

Here’s an example: “Thanks for all of your help at the shelter this weekend and over the past several months, Sam! As a Verizon employee, your volunteer hours likely qualify you to request a corporate volunteer grant on our behalf. Click here to learn more about how to request your grant!”

Identify potential corporate sponsorships ⁠—

Corporate sponsors can bring your nonprofit’s next fundraising event to the next level, and knowing which companies your supporters work for can aid in determining top prospective sponsors and help get your foot in the door! Once you know where your donors work, leverage the information as an in with a potential sponsor or encourage donors to advocate for a partnership on your behalf.

Here’s an example: “Ashley, it’s great to connect with the Microsoft team. More than 100 of our nonprofit’s donors work for Microsoft, and we’ve received thousands of dollars in matching gifts from your company in the past. As it’s clear that we already have a lot in common, would you be interested in sponsoring our upcoming event?”

Estimate wealth data ⁠—

Your donors’ wealth levels can play a significant role in their ability to give charitably, and understanding their limits can help organizations determine ideal fundraising asks. Knowing which companies your donors work for, their roles in the businesses, and more can help shed light on their estimated incomes and, by extension, giving abilities.

Here’s an example: “Sarah, we thank you for your continued support of our nonprofit cause. Will you consider making a $10,000 donation to help us reach our year-end giving goal?”

Tailor donor communications ⁠—

You want your donor outreach to be as personal and targeted as possible. Including direct references to donor-specific information helps develop relationships and shows that you’re not sending the same copied-and-pasted message to each person in your contacts. And, as you likely know, targeted messaging can be one of the best ways to develop strengthened, beyond-surface-level donor relationships, build connections with the cause, and ultimately drive more nonprofit involvement among supporters.

Highlighting an individual’s employing company can be a great way to do so, especially regarding getting involved with workplace giving programs. And if you don’t already have your donors’ employment information, that’s where employer appends can help.

Here’s an example: “Jeffrey, the Walt Disney Corporation offers a range of corporate giving opportunities that can benefit our organization in big ways. As a member of the Disney team, you have the chance to participate in matching gifts, volunteer grants, and more.”

Learn more about your supporters ⁠—

The more you know about your supporters⁠—donors, volunteers, and prospects alike⁠—the better you can connect with the individuals who make your mission possible. Since most people’s careers are a key component of their lives and what makes them who they are, understanding where they work and what they do can be a key piece of the “getting to know your donors” puzzle. Plus, it can even help shine a light on their own interests and hobbies.

Here’s an example: “As a Petco employee, you likely care about the wellbeing of the little, furry friends in our community. That’s exactly what our organization, the Atlanta Animal Shelter, is dedicated to, as well. Learn more about how you can get involved with the cause here!”

Overall, employer records are an extremely beneficial tool for designing targeted and effective outreach⁠. However, you likely don’t have that information on file for all of your supporters. By leveraging employer appends, you can collect the information you need to guide your organization’s engagement efforts toward success.

Employer Appends Services

Employer Appends Services | What to Look For

It’s possible to conduct donor research on your own; however, your organization is significantly more likely to uncover accurate and up-to-date information about more donors more quickly when you outsource the efforts to a third-party provider. And employer appends services are dedicated to doing just that in the most effective and efficient ways possible.

So how can you select the right employer (or other donor data) appends provider for your needs? Be sure to do your research beforehand.

For example, here’s how it works with Double the Donation:

  • Organizations typically see successful appends rates between 20% and 50% of the records they provide to the appending service (which is significantly higher than the industry average).
  • Employer appends are typically completed and provided within a few days of the organization submitting their inputs.
  • Appends records are assigned an accuracy rating. This takes into account the uniqueness of a donor’s name and the level of detailed inputs initially provided, as well as the comprehensiveness and recency of the data source used.
  • As an added bonus, previously unknown corporate executives are often identified and flagged as potential major donors.
  • Multiple appending options are available, including real-time employer appends for Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro users, as well as one-time bulk appends services for any organization.
  • Employer appends can then be uploaded into an organization’s 360MatchPro account in order to trigger matching gift emails and other automated donor outreach.

Employer appends inputs and outputs

If you’re interested in exploring Double the Donation’s employer appends service, fill out the contact form here to request a quote!

Concluding Thoughts

The more you know about your donors, the more effectively you can target and attract them to your cause. Not to mention, having employment data on file empowers organizations to seek workplace giving opportunities as well.

You may have a solid base of information pertaining to donors’ employing companies already. However, employer appends can go a long way toward filling in the blanks and connecting the dots⁠. This is especially true in terms of matching gift programs, volunteer grants, and more.

Interested in further developing your organization’s donor data strategy? Dive into these other forms of data appends services⁠—and how they can benefit your team⁠—below:

Get started with Double the Donation's employer appends services.

Find out how Venmo for nonprofits can help your organization raise more.

How Venmo for Nonprofits Can Help Organizations Raise More

Every day, millions of people use Venmo to send and receive money from each other. Nonprofits receive money in the form of donations all the time, so of course, they also benefit from using Venmo!

While there isn’t a specific version of Venmo for nonprofits, organizations can still leverage regular Venmo accounts to effectively collect donations on the app. Venmo simplifies the fundraising process and allows nonprofits to reach a wider audience of supporters, including younger donors.

Whether you’re familiar with Venmo or not, we’ll make sure you understand how to use it effectively for your nonprofit.

At Double the Donation, we connect nonprofits with matching gift opportunities. We know how important it is to maximize your organization’s fundraising potential. Just like matching gifts, Venmo fundraising is another way to ensure that you’re collecting as many donations as possible. We’re happy to share this guide to Venmo for nonprofits to help you reach your fundraising goals and continue running your organization smoothly.

Here are the topics we’ll cover in this article:

Follow along to learn how Venmo works, why your nonprofit should use it, and how you can leverage it to its fullest potential.

Maximize your Venmo fundraising with matching gift software.

These are the basics of Venmo for nonprofits.

The Venmo for Nonprofits Basics

Let’s start with a basic definition of Venmo. Venmo is a peer-to-peer mobile payment service that allows people to request and accept funds from each other. Instead of using cash, checks, or direct bank transfers, Venmo securely deducts money from users’ bank accounts and sends it to the intended recipients. That way, transactions are easy and protective of your sensitive information.

Venmo is one of many payment processing apps, but it’s certainly one of the most popular options. Check out these statistics about Venmo’s size and scope:

  • Venmo has more than 83 million users.
  • Its largest user age group is 25-34-year-olds.
  • The app processed about $230 billion in payments in 2021.

Here are some important Venmo for nonprofits statistics.

Why do so many people rely on Venmo for their payment processing needs? For starters, it’s extremely simple to use. Once you link your bank account, debit card, or credit card to your account, all you have to do is find who you want to pay, type in the payment amount, and send it.

Another useful feature of Venmo is that you can keep money in your account to use in the future or transfer it to your bank account for safekeeping. For a combination of the two, you can input the amount you’d like to transfer and leave the rest in your account.

You might already use a more traditional payment processing platform like PayPal. While Venmo supports nonprofits in the same way PayPal does, it’s still an effective and secure fundraising method.

Check out the advantages of Venmo for nonprofits.

Advantages of Venmo Fundraising

People use Venmo all the time to pay their friends, family, and even some businesses. Making a Venmo account for your nonprofit changes the game for donations. Instead of going through the formal process of filling out your donation form, donors can now send you money just like they would for people they know. That way, the process is easy and familiar to donors.

These are the advantages of Venmo for nonprofits and donors.

Benefits for Donors

Venmo fundraising provides a whole new donation experience. Here are some of the key benefits the app offers to donors:

  • Ease of use. Since people are familiar with Venmo, using it for donations makes it easier for donors to lend their support. The app itself has a simple interface that new users can quickly pick up on. Instead of navigating to your donation page, donors now have the ability to donate to as many nonprofits as they would like all within the same app.
  • Reliability. Venmo is a reputable payment processing platform with ample encryption. They take care to protect your account information and monitor your account activity to thwart suspicious transactions. Using Venmo, donors can feel comfortable donating to their favorite causes without worrying about their information being compromised.
  • Smaller transactions. With an average transaction amount of around $60, Venmo invites donors of all giving capacities to contribute. People can feel comfortable giving $10, $100, or $1,000 through Venmo because of the nature of the app.

Donors will appreciate the opportunity to donate through a well-trusted, easy-to-use platform.

Benefits for Nonprofits

While Venmo is a great platform for prioritizing the donor experience, it also boasts many advantages for nonprofits that create an account, such as:

  • Affordability. Nonprofits are always looking for ways to keep their costs down. Venmo makes it easy because they don’t charge any monthly fees. They also don’t charge any fees for sending money with a linked bank account or debit card. When accepting donations, the associated fee is only 1.9% + $0.10. Other than that, the only other fees are for sending money with a credit card or initiating instant transfers to your bank account, both of which are optional.
  • Free publicity. One of the unique features of Venmo is that it functions like a social media app. You can add your friends and family to see their transactions and vice versa. This feature allows donors to show off their support for your cause and encourage others to do the same.
  • Stronger donor relationships. Since people use Venmo primarily with friends and family, they associate the app with people they know. Therefore, using Venmo to donate to your organization may help donors feel a more personal connection to your nonprofit. Additionally, nonprofits can comment on the donations they receive to thank donors and even start a conversation with them.

Using Venmo for nonprofits is a win for both donors and organizations accepting donations. The app is easy to use and invites donors to form a deeper connection to the causes they care about. Your nonprofit can obtain all the benefits we’ve discussed by simply setting up an account.

We'll walk you through how to create your Venmo fundraising account.

Creating Your Venmo for Nonprofits Account

Just as using the app is easy, creating your nonprofit’s Venmo account is even simpler. While Venmo doesn’t yet have a nonprofit account option, they are performing a private beta test for a select group of nonprofits, so nonprofit Venmo accounts could be coming soon.

For now, though, nonprofits can create regular accounts following these steps:

Follow these steps to create your Venmo for nonprofits account.

  1. Download the Venmo app or visit the Venmo website.
  2. Choose your sign-up method and create your password.
  3. Verify your phone number and email address.
  4. Add and verify your bank account.
  5. Change your username and add a profile picture that represents your nonprofit.

It couldn’t be easier to create your account. As soon as your nonprofit sets up its Venmo account, you can spread the word to your donors so they can start taking advantage of your new fundraising method.

We'll give you tips for how to promote your Venmo for nonprofits account.

Promoting Your Nonprofit’s Venmo Account

Once you create your nonprofit’s Venmo account, the next step is to let your supporters know about it. Current donors will be excited about this new and easy way to donate, and prospective donors may be more enticed to start giving with this option.

There are several ways that you can tell your donors about your new capacity for Venmo fundraising. Check out some of our ideas:

Promote your Venmo for nonprofits account using these methods.

  • Create a Venmo donation tutorial. It’s safe to assume that many of your supporters know how Venmo works, but not all of them. Help them out by filming a video tutorial that teaches donors how to set up their own Venmo account and how they can use it to donate to your cause. Post the video on your website and social media to spread the word.
  • Link your Venmo account to your social media. Speaking of social media, it’s one of the most powerful tools for communicating with your supporters. Create a post introducing the concept of Venmo donations and provide a link to your account in your bio. Additionally, include your Venmo username in all email newsletters alongside your other social media profiles.
  • Share your Venmo QR code. Venmo provides each account with a unique QR code, making it easier to find the Venmo account you’re looking for. You can post your nonprofit’s QR code on social media, include it in email newsletters, and print physical copies to hand out at events.
  • Indicate Venmo as an option on your donation page. You likely feature a donation form on your nonprofit’s website. However, telling visitors on this page that Venmo is another option for donations can allow people to decide which method they prefer and donate accordingly.

Your supporters will be thrilled to hear that your nonprofit is making strides to create a seamless donor experience with Venmo. However, there are extra steps your organization can take to strengthen relationships with your supporters through the app.

Venmo fundraising provides opportunities to connect with donors.

Connecting with Donors Through Venmo Fundraising

Venmo presents a unique opportunity to build relationships with your donors when they lend you their support. While the format of the app itself allows you to interact with others like on other social media platforms, there are additional ways your organization can intentionally connect with donors on Venmo.

Connect with donors using Venmo fundraising.

Ask for small donations.

Of course, large donations are always appreciated, but every donation counts. Considering that Venmo has a younger audience, you might be better off encouraging smaller donations. That way, you can acquire new donors who never would’ve considered donating before through more traditional methods.

Try asking your nonprofit’s social media followers to direct message your organization with their Venmo username and how much they’re willing to donate. Then, you can send them a request for that amount so that they won’t forget.

Respond to each donor.

It’s important to show your appreciation for your donors. Venmo makes it easy by allowing you to like and comment on Venmo transactions. Use it as an opportunity to thank donors and maybe even start a conversation about your cause.

You can ask donors why they chose to donate to learn more about them. Then, feature the best answers on your social media with their permission. This way, you can show others why your donors feel compelled to support your organization.

Know your audience.

Younger generations dominate Venmo, so it’s important to keep that in mind when running your account. Make your responses fun by using emojis and GIFs that Venmo provides.

You also might want to select certain donors and give them a shoutout on your social media. Younger donors will love being recognized for their fundraising efforts.

Incentivize donations.

A little healthy competition can make donating more fun. Plus, you’ll raise even more for your cause. Try hosting a fundraising competition by splitting supporters into teams. You can let people form their own teams, create teams based on demographic factors, or choose groups randomly.

Each team will compete for who can raise the most money. Give the winning team a prize such as a social media shoutout, gift cards, or free branded merchandise. Turning donating into a game will encourage more people to join in on the fun.

Bear in mind that this serves as a form of peer-to-peer fundraising, and some employers will match the amount their employees raise for an organization. Promote the opportunity to incentivize participation and drive greater fundraising results!

Encourage more Venmo donations with matching gifts.

Matching gifts allow you to double or even triple the amount you earn for your organization. Plus, donors will feel good knowing they had an even larger impact on your organization than they anticipated.

Using employer appends, you can determine which of your donors’ employers have matching gift programs. Then, you can reach out to those donors letting them know that their employers will match their donations to your nonprofit, even those made through Venmo. That way, you can maximize your fundraising potential and highlight Venmo as a viable donation platform.

With Venmo, you can really get to know your donors, make the donation process fun, and raise more for your cause.

Check out these additional resources that will help you maximize the impact of your Venmo fundraising.

Additional Resources

Nonprofits are always looking for ways to increase their donations. While most typically search for new ways to promote their organization as a whole, why not try out a different fundraising platform altogether?

Using Venmo for nonprofits is the best way to encourage donations by connecting with younger supporters on an app they already use regularly. For Venmo users, donating to your cause can become just another part of their Venmo routine alongside splitting checks and paying rent.

Once you’ve set up your nonprofit’s Venmo account, you might start looking for new ways to maximize your fundraising potential. Matching gifts allow you to gain the support of your donors’ employers. With your new Venmo donations rolling in, you’ll want to check out these resources to see how you can double or even triple them:

Double the Donation can help you maximize your Venmo fundraising with matching gifts.

This article will explore the basics of nonprofit crowdfunding.

Nonprofit Ultimate Guide | What to Know About Crowdfunding

Every fundraiser aims to meet essentially the same goal: to raise money and awareness for your cause while connecting with supporters. When it comes down to the details, some fundraising methods will meet your needs better than others. If you’re looking for a lot of support, a big audience, and the opportunity to expand your support system, crowdfunding is the way to go.

However, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the how-tos and best practices of crowdfunding for nonprofits. In this guide, we aim to increase knowledge that drives successful campaigns.

Specifically, we’ll walk through the following frequently asked questions:

In the end, you should have a solid understanding of nonprofit crowdfunding and feel prepared to lead your team in the right direction.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a type of crowdsourcing that collects goods or services from a large group for an individual or organization. In terms of nonprofit fundraising, crowdfunding is a unique method that typically collects small (or mid-sized) donations from a large group of people, usually over the internet.

Though it can raise money for just about anything, crowdfunding is often used to collect funds for specific projects before a preset deadline⁠—and expand support for your cause through the power of urgency and online convenience.

How does crowdfunding differ from peer-to-peer fundraising?

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising each rely on social sharing in order to reach a community-focused network of supporters. The main difference, however, is that crowdfunding for nonprofits typically involves a single online campaign page hosted on a crowdfunding site.

P2P fundraising, on the other hand, equips each fundraiser with their own personalized fundraising page, each collecting funds for a common goal.

How does nonprofit crowdfunding differ from individual crowdfunding?

Although crowdfunding for nonprofits and crowdfunding for individuals may share many similarities, there are a few key differences between the two ideas.

For one, nonprofit fundraisers offer a unique incentive for giving: tax exemption! Registered 501(c)(3) organizations receive tax-exempt status from the U.S. government, which means donations made to the nonprofits can reduce donors’ taxable income when it’s time to file.

Additionally, nonprofit crowdfunding efforts are generally held to a higher level of accountability than individual fundraisers. When a nonprofit indicates that they’ll use the funding collected for Purpose A, they’re typically required to follow through with doing so. As a result, supporters may be more trusting of crowdfunding campaigns benefiting verified nonprofit causes.

In this guide, we’ll focus primarily on nonprofit crowdfunding⁠. However, the tips and tricks shared may be beneficial to individual fundraisers as well.

What are common uses of crowdfunding for nonprofits?

Nonprofit crowdfunding can be used to collect funds for just about anything that aligns with the organization’s overarching mission.

Though the fundraising need can vary dramatically depending on the fundraising organization, we’ve compiled a list of ideas for which a nonprofit may enlist the help of a crowdfunding campaign:

  • Natural disaster relief
  • Other crisis or emergency aid
  • Research funding
  • Educational programs
  • Upcoming events
  • New programming or projects
  • Supply or equipment purchases
  • Social justice initiatives
  • Environmental conservation
  • Sports and recreation activities
  • Healthcare treatment and support
  • Animal welfare
  • Advocacy efforts
  • Capital campaigns
  • Annual funds
  • General fundraising

The opportunities really are endless!

For even more ideas, consider browsing a few popular crowdfunding websites to see what other organizations (particularly those with similar missions to your own) are doing.

What are the benefits of crowdfunding for nonprofits?

Crowdfunding is a powerful fundraising method that brings fundamental advantages to nonprofits organizing the campaigns⁠—not to mention the audience that benefits from the project or program being fulfilled.

As you explore possible reasons to host a crowdfunding initiative, here are a few key reasons to consider:

Raising money quickly

Crowdfunding is one of the fastest ways for nonprofit groups to raise money for a project, need, or cause. When promoted strategically via social media, email, and word of mouth (more on that below), a crowdfunding campaign has the potential to reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Some campaigns even go viral⁠—and vastly exceed their goals.

Spreading awareness

Crowdfunding campaigns that seek to raise money for a cause can also help shine a light on that particular issue. For example, an organization raising funds to fight a rare illness may also find that the campaign educates people about that condition, not to mention its treatments and symptoms. The same scenario can occur for crowdfunding pages highlighting social, economic, or political injustices. Campaign creators not only raise money, but they also educate their peers about the overarching issue behind the financial need.

Expanding new donor reach

Because of their social focus, crowdfunding efforts can also be an excellent way to engage with first-time donors. Supporters might locate your campaign page through a friend or family member, then choose to get involved. From there, the organization has an opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship and keep them coming back to support your efforts time and time again.

Bringing people together

By its very nature, crowdfunding brings people together and unites them with a common purpose. Individuals can band closely to support a nonprofit cause by contributing to its crowdfunding campaign. When people see their peers supporting a charitable mission online, social proof determines they’ll be more likely to contribute as well. And when the fundraiser reaches a milestone or hits its goal, the entire community is able to celebrate⁠—and feel good knowing that they played a role in the organization’s mission success.

How much does it cost to launch a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign?

The fees for nonprofit crowdfunding can vary greatly depending on the platform you choose. While kicking off a campaign is generally free of cost, it’s important to be mindful of other expenses that may arise.

This would include any platform fees, campaign set-up fees, payment processing fees, and more. It’s also worth noting whether the pricing structure involves a fixed price, a percentage of funds raised, or some combination of each.

Many fundraising sites even offer a decreased pricing scale for registered nonprofit organizations. Not to mention, there may be an option for donors to cover their own processing fees by supplementing their initial donation amount. In such cases, your organization may be able to collect up to 100% of the contributions.

How do you start crowdfunding?

Every campaign will be different depending on your cause, goal, and timeline. Keep those factors in mind while you’re planning, and follow these general steps to get started:

Crowdfunding step-by-step walkthrough

1. Set your goal and deadline.

In any fundraising campaign, it’s important to be straightforward. Transparency proves that your cause can be supported and also helps inform your supporters about when and how to donate.

Having a specific goal and deadline can also help you manage your time as you plan the rest of your campaign. Specifying a goal, like raising money for supplies or funding repairs to your facility, will motivate supporters to give and create a sense of urgency for the fundraiser. Urgency can also be highlighted by a deadline since this gives supporters a clear picture of how far away you are from your goal⁠—in terms of both time and funding.

2. Plan your campaign.

Decide how you want to promote your cause before actually announcing your campaign. This gives you an opportunity to establish a detailed plan for fundraising before you solicit support.

Crowdfunding thrives on social media’s timeliness and ease of use, so focus your efforts on those platforms. Hosting a small event might also be helpful as long as you have the time and resources to plan and promote one. For larger crowdfunding campaigns, tiers of donation amounts with small perks can be an effective way to incentivize giving.

Some campaign methods might not make sense for your fundraiser, and that’s okay. Choose what works best for your goals, needs, and timeline.

3. Choose a crowdfunding service.

If you’re looking to launch a crowdfunding effort, one of the most essential first steps is selecting the fundraising website through which you’ll host your campaign. After all, this is the interface that your donors will be directly interacting with in order to support your cause.

Lucky for you, there are a ton of excellent options to choose from that may be a great fit for your upcoming project or expense. But how will you know which one offers exactly what you need?

You’ll want to start by comparing third-party crowdfunding platforms⁠. Be sure to select the solution with the features, user experience, fees, and payout models that best align with your organization’s overarching goals and priorities. Then, make your selection!

4. Launch a crowdfunding page.

Once you’ve established which platform to use for your campaign, it’s time to set up and launch your online fundraiser. Make sure to populate your campaign page with your goal, some images, and other helpful details. Then, begin linking to it in promotions and social media posts.

Since your nonprofit website is the go-to source for information about your organization, be sure to include details about your campaign there, as well. Write about the purpose of your fundraiser, including information about events and goals throughout the campaign. Make sure your crowdfunding page is clearly linked from your site, too.

5. Tie in matching gifts.

Did you know that you can substantially increase the potential of your upcoming crowdfunding campaign? Be sure to integrate corporate matching gifts into your overall crowdfunding efforts to do so.

Millions within the workforce⁠—and even some retirees⁠—qualify for matching gift programs through their employing companies. However, the vast majority of these individuals have never been made aware of the programs’ existence. And as a result, more than $4 to $7 billion in available matching funds go unclaimed by eligible donors each year.

So think ahead! Promote matching gift opportunities throughout the entirety of your crowdfunding initiative. Take a proactive approach to inform supporters about matching gifts. You won’t regret it⁠—and the resulting impact will be huge.

6. Promote your campaign.

Once you’ve announced your fundraiser and have begun accepting donations, you’ll need to market your campaign to get your audience giving. Drive engagement by posting your campaign on all social media platforms, reaching out to people already associated with your organization, and encouraging people to tell their friends.

Plus, be sure to tell your existing supporters about the campaign and encourage them to get involved⁠—whether by contributing themselves or sharing the link online!

7. Update your supporters.

Keep your supporters updated regularly, so they stay invested in your crowdfunding campaign⁠—and your overall cause. Donors will appreciate updates on your work, and others in your network may feel increasingly motivated to give after seeing a progress report.

For example, providing followers with the exact amount of funding raised can illustrate the power of someone’s donation. This is especially true as you approach your goal and need only a few more donations to reach it.

How do you market a crowdfunding campaign?

After building the framework of your crowdfunding initiative, your top priority should be marketing your campaign.

Ultimately, crowdfunding efforts depend on effective communication to spread the word about your ongoing fundraiser. Without strategic promotions, your audience won’t know how to contribute to your campaign⁠—or even that you’re hosting a campaign in the first place.

Try these recommended tools and methods for reaching out to your target audience and highlighting your crowdfunding fundraiser:

  • Social media: Introduce your campaign on social media to capitalize on the sharing power of the platform. Publish content across your platforms and use tools that allow users to link to giving pages on their profiles. Consider posting at key points of the day when social media traffic is high, and use a hashtag to increase visibility and engagement.
  • Email: Supplement your social media promotions with direct email blasts about your campaign and upcoming deadlines. However, you’ll likely want to use email to support your promotions rather than as a primary source of marketing efforts when it comes to crowdfunding.
  • Gatherings: Host small gatherings throughout your campaign. You might celebrate with a launch party, midpoint gathering, and final celebration. For in-person events, a donation station with a laptop or tablet displaying the campaign can encourage donations. Plus, displaying a QR code that leads to your giving page can go a long way!
  • Giving incentives: Offer donors something small in return for donations. Encourage larger gifts by offering a big prize once an overall goal is achieved.
  • Peer-to-peer: Incorporate peer-to-peer tactics to encourage supporters to share your crowdfunding page. When your campaign is complete, leverage the powerful network you’ve created to launch a future social fundraiser.

No matter how you choose to get the word out, your primary focus should be expanding your outreach and keeping donors connected.

What happens if my organization doesn’t reach our crowdfunding goal?

Picture this: You set your crowdfunding deadline at the beginning of your campaign, and it ultimately creeps up sooner than you anticipated. You’re still short of your overall fundraising goal when the time is up. What now?

Though it’s not the intended outcome for any fundraiser, it’s an important question to ask.

In the overall crowdfunding market, there are two types of campaigns: “all or nothing” fundraisers and “keep it all” fundraisers. In an “all or nothing” campaign, the individual or group behind the effort can collect pledged funding only if the fundraiser is successful in meeting its goal.

Generally speaking, however, the most popular nonprofit crowdfunding providers are going to skew toward the “keep it all” funding structure⁠. This means that you’d walk away with whatever funding your donors had contributed despite not reaching your goal.

However, we recommend double-checking the terms provided by your crowdfunding site (or prospective platform) to ensure your team receives the funds regardless of your fundraising total.

What are some crowdfunding best practices for success?

Optimize your campaign! Check out these tried-and-true fundraising tips to bring your nonprofit’s crowdfunding efforts to the next level.

Perfect your pitch.

When fundraising for a nonprofit, it’s essential to perfect your pitch. Be sure to write an engaging and honest story explaining the scope of the organization’s cause and its impact on the community. Avoid information overload, but include the two most important topics: your nonprofit and the cause it supports. Plus, incorporating testimonials from those affected by your organization can help donors understand the impact they can make.

Give a glimpse.

Adding photos and videos to your crowdfunding campaign can help donors understand the organization’s cause and connect with it on a personal level. Showcasing a positive outlook and determination can encourage donors to support the cause. It’s important to attach a face to the cause so donors can make a deeper connection with your nonprofit’s mission.

Extend your reach.

Consider reaching out to local businesses and organizations that may be interested in partnering to support your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign. Ask if they would consider matching donations with a one-off matching gift program or perhaps donating space to host a fundraising event.

Promote giving levels.

One of the best ways to encourage larger donations⁠—and reiterate the impact of an individual’s contribution⁠—is by incorporating concrete giving levels. We recommend tying each level to a tangible use of the funding to help contextualize donations. For example, let’s say a $10 gift feeds a family of four for a day, while a gift of $100 equips that family with nutritious food supplies for the whole month.

Offer incentives.

Crowdfunding also goes hand in hand with product fundraising⁠—and tying the two together can produce excellent results. For your next fundraiser, you might offer exclusive incentives for donors who hit certain giving levels, such as a t-shirt, hat, or something else entirely.

Make the most of workplace giving.

Workplace giving programs are a key form of corporate philanthropy that you don’t want to overlook. Employee matching gifts are one of the most popular examples⁠—which we’ll explore further below⁠—but it can also include efforts such as volunteer grants, employee giving stipends, in-kind donations, and more. Keep in mind that your supporters can be some of your biggest advocates when it comes to workplace giving, so encourage donors to look into the kinds of programs that their employers offer!

How do crowdfunding and matching gifts work together?

Corporate matching gifts can be one of the most effective ways to amplify the impact of your crowdfunding campaign and bring your overall fundraising to new heights.

According to recent matching gift research, more than 26 million individuals work for companies that match employee gifts to charitable causes. And the availability (and knowledge) of corporate matching results in increased donor conversion rates and larger donation amounts.

In fact, 84% of survey participants say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered, and 1 in 3 donors would give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation. All in all, this leads to a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average gift size when donation matching is offered.

Increase crowdfunding results with matching gifts.

So if you want to maximize giving for your upcoming crowdfunding campaign, make sure you don’t overlook the opportunities presented by matching gifts. We recommend:

  • Promoting matching gift information to donors (many qualifying employees have no idea that their companies offer such programs);
  • Collecting donor employment data to uncover eligible matching gifts;
  • Following up with donors after they give to provide company-specific match program guidelines and next steps;
  • Leveraging a crowdfunding platform that integrates with the leading matching gift software provider, Double the Donation.

The simpler you make matching gifts for your donors, the more likely they are to participate. And as a result, the more your crowdfunding efforts will benefit!

What are some nonprofit crowdfunding campaigns to be inspired by?

If you’re looking for examples of real crowdfunding campaigns hosted by⁠ (or benefiting⁠) nonprofits like yours, you’ve come to the right place.

Check out the following success stories⁠—and make a note of the most impactful elements.

Sample nonprofit crowdfunding campaign
Still live at the time of posting, this ongoing campaign is raising funds for a middle school’s musical theater department ahead of an upcoming performance.

Here’s what this campaign does well:

  • Shares a number of photos of students involved in the production, effectively associating a lot of real faces with the cause;
  • Provides an in-depth background for the fundraising need, including funding for sets, costumes, and technical equipment;
  • Incentivizes giving by ensuring individual donors and business sponsors that contributions made to the fundraiser are tax-deductible.

Sample nonprofit crowdfunding campaign
Here’s an example of a crowdfunding campaign benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, hosted by a dedicated supporter of the organization.

Here’s what this campaign does well:

  • Empowers supporters to fundraise on behalf of their favorite nonprofits, offering easy ways to share their own personal connections to the cause;
  • Verifies that the funds raised are going directly to a registered nonprofit group (and even provides the EIN for the organization, making matching gifts easy!);
  • Surpasses its original fundraising goal by nearly $2,000, ultimately raising around 379% of the initial target.

Sample nonprofit crowdfunding campaign
Crowdfunding efforts can also be used to collect funding needed to start a nonprofit⁠—and that’s exactly what this group did! Though it appears that they fell short of their initial fundraising goal, they were able to raise more than $1,000, which was then used to kickstart the organization.

Here’s what this campaign does well:

  • Provides tangible giving levels that correspond to real impact, ultimately encouraging supporters to increase their donations;
  • Showcases the organization’s overarching goals, mission, and vision;
  • Encourages community through easy social sharing options, an embedded campaign wall with fundraising updates and messages from supporters, and more.

Sample nonprofit crowdfunding campaign

One California-based nonprofit is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a crowdfunding campaign. And in only seven days, the organization collected nearly $1,500 for its cause!

Here’s what this campaign does well:

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the organization’s history and growth since its inception over a decade ago;
  • Utilizes special edition apparel and other swag to drive giving at different levels;
  • Shares fundraising milestone updates on the crowdfunding page to celebrate success and encourage continuous support.

Crowdfunding results will vary depending on the organization hosting the fundraiser, its audience, and more. Keep in mind, though, that Nonprofits Source estimates that the average nonprofit crowdfunding campaign raises around $9,237.55.

How can you thank crowdfunding supporters?

After an individual contributes to a crowdfunding campaign, your organization has an opportunity to begin stewarding them into a long-term supporter of your cause. Not only that but thanking donors for their support is just the right thing to do!

That said, in your acknowledgments, be sure that you:

  • Address individuals by name (i.e., “Thanks, Chad!” vs. “Thanks, donor!”);
  • Thank donors for their specific gifts (“Thanks for your generous $100 donation to our campaign!” rather than “Thanks for giving!”);
  • Provide additional context for the tangible impact made possible through a donor’s gift (“Your gift empowers us to offer much-needed school supplies for students in low-income areas.”);
  • Share ongoing ways that supporters can stay involved with your nonprofit (request a matching gift, sign up for a newsletter, connect with your organization on social media, etc.).

If you’re looking for a unique and engaging way to wrap up your crowdfunding effort, we recommend exploring an eCard campaign. By employing a dedicated digital greeting card software, you can easily send creative thank-you notes online.

Check out these examples from one nonprofit, Youth For Understanding:

How to thank crowdfunding donors

How to thank crowdfunding donors In a world where you’re constantly fighting to break through the clutter, fun online greeting cards can be an excellent (and low-cost) way to get your message to stand out.

Final Thoughts

Crowdfunding is a powerful tool that can help nonprofits raise funds and awareness for their various causes. By integrating the reach of social media and the convenience of online giving, nonprofits can tap into a widespread and diverse donor base to drive support.

In order to maximize giving, it’s important to note that many companies offer matching gift programs, which can double or even triple the impact of a donor’s contribution to your efforts. Take the time to educate and promote the opportunities to supporters, and see how donation-matching can bring your next crowdfunding campaign to new heights.

Keep learning! Browse these additional recommended resources to dive deeper into top nonprofit fundraising practices:

  • Nonprofit Basics – Learn more about nonprofit management essentials by exploring our other expert resources. This includes handy guides on topics like cause marketing, Google Ad grants, corporate sponsorships, and graphic design.
  • Digital Marketing – Understand the basics of digital marketing for nonprofits with this fundamental overview. Explore key components of nonprofit digital marketing, what makes mission-driven marketing unique, and more.
  • A Crowdfunding Guide – Check out more crowdfunding best practices to set your organization up for maximal success. Read this guide to nonprofit crowdfunding and starting your own crowdfunding campaign.

Bring your crowdfunding to new heights with matching gifts.

Matching Gift Process: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Matching Gift Process | A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

As one of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy, matching gifts are on the rise. This CSR tactic provides an easy way for organizations like yours to double incoming donations. However, many organizations are not taking full advantage of matching gifts⁠—largely due to a lack of understanding (among donors and staff alike) about the prevalence of the offering and the simplicity of the matching gift process.

Though it can vary based on specific companies and organizations, the basic matching gift process follows these key steps:

Here's what the matching gift process looks like.

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the matching gift fundraising process so that your team can be well-informed about the opportunity at hand.

Use this resource to build confidence in your understanding of matching gifts; then, you’ll be all set to help educate your donors about the matching gift process as well.

Step 1 in the matching gift process

Step 1: An individual donates to a nonprofit.

The first step in the matching gift process occurs when an individual makes a personal donation to an organization. This is a prerequisite for the gift-matching initiative, and it’s essentially what kicks off the rest of the procedure. After all, you can’t match a gift without a gift to match!

Luckily, there are tons of ways for individual donors to support their favorite causes. Depending on the companies the donors work for, different giving types may be eligible for matching gift program participation.

For example, an individual may give via a cash donation, online giving page, peer-to-peer campaign, direct mail, event contribution, and more. Meanwhile, some companies enable employees to give matchable donations through their CSR platform. And others will even match gifts of securities, such as stocks and mutual funds!


Here's what making a donation can look like in the matching gift process.

Here’s how the matching gift process can begin using an online donation form.

According to matching gift research on the topic, “The more options an employee has to give and to get their gift matched, the more likely they are to utilize available company matching opportunities.”

Step 2 of the matching gift process

Step 2: Their matching gift eligibility is determined.

Unfortunately, not every donation made to a charitable organization is going to be match-eligible. Not only do donors need to work for participating companies to qualify for corporate gift matches, but the donations themselves must also meet certain criteria in order to be approved. Thus, after a donor submits their personal donation, it’s time to determine whether that gift will be matchable.

In order to do so, you’ll need to compare the recently contributed gift against the donor’s employer’s matching gift guidelines. These should include:

  • Types of qualifying employees
  • Types of qualifying nonprofit causes
  • Minimum and maximum match amounts
  • Match submission deadlines
  • Matching gift ratios

Though some donors may go into the process fully aware of their matching gift eligibility status (for example, if their employer had previously promoted the opportunity to its staff), many will not know whether their company even offers such a program. That’s why more and more organizations are choosing to incorporate matching gift promotions immediately following the giving experience⁠—including on the donation confirmation page, follow-up emails, and more.

Luckily, top matching gift tools (that include access to a comprehensive matching gift database) should provide your donors with access to employers’ matching gift guidelines as well as links to company-specific match request forms. This will enable users to determine matching gift eligibility in just a few clicks.

Here's what determining eligibility can look like in the matching gift process.

A quick search using a matching gift database tool can provide detailed eligibility data.

Step 3 of the matching gift process

Step 3: The individual submits a matching gift request (separately or through auto-submission).

Each matching gift an organization receives is the direct result of a matching gift request from a donor to their employer. And though the online submission process can vary by company, the traditional request process typically involves the following steps:

1. An employee logs into the company’s matching gift submission website.

While some employers develop their own matching gift submission process internally, most contract behind-the-scenes facilitation of the program to a matching gift program provider designed specifically for the purpose. Those companies are typically provided with an online portal through which they manage their employer matching gifts programming.

Matching gift submission process step 1 - screenshot

For donors looking to submit their matching gift requests, the first step is to log into their employers’ online portal with their unique username and password. (Hint: Those with difficulty logging in may have access to support assistance through the management provider!)

2. The employee searches for the nonprofit they donated to.

Once logged into their employers’ giving portal, the employer/donor should be prompted to locate the organization to which they gave from within an online database. For example, an individual may be asked to provide the nonprofit’s:

  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Zip code
  • Name (or keywords)
  • Tax ID number (EIN)

Matching gift submission process step 2 - screenshot

While a donor may not have all of the above information, entering as much of the data as possible will increase the likelihood that they’re able to select the correct organization in the following step.

Top tip! For this reason, we recommend providing your donors with easy access to your organization’s contact information and other essential details, so they have everything they need to submit their matching gift requests.

3. The employee selects the correct nonprofit from the search results.

After an employee provides the requested information about the organization they donated to, the matching gift management platform compares data against thousands of nonprofits in the system. Typically, a number of organizations meeting the search criteria are then compiled, and the employee is encouraged to select the correct listing with which to complete their request.

Matching gift submission process step 3 - screenshot

If the organization is not found, the individual is typically able to add a new organization by manually entering the nonprofit’s information—such as their mailing address and tax ID number⁠—to submit their match request.

4. The employee registers their donation.

After selecting the correct organization from the provided list, the employee donor is then able to provide details about their most recent donation to the nonprofit. Information requested will typically include:

  • Payment type
  • Donation amount
  • Donation currency
  • Date of payment
  • Match amount requested (as calculated using the company’s predetermined matching ratio and maximum match amount)
  • Optional anonymity or memorial status
  • Optional donation program designation

Matching gift submission process step 4 - screenshot

Ultimately, this data will be reviewed by the donor’s employer (or matching gift management provider) to ensure the donation meets the company’s matching gift eligibility criteria.

5. The employee submits their matching gift request.

This final step is the simplest of them all!

After providing detailed information about their nonprofit donation, the donor is asked to review the information for accuracy and submit their gift request to the company for processing and review.

Matching gift submission process step 5 - screenshot

However, Double the Donation has recently rolled out an all-new streamlined way for donors to submit their matching gift requests with matching gift auto-submission.

NEW! Matching Gift Auto-Submission with Double the Donation

With new auto-submission functionality, Double the Donation enables donors to bypass steps 1-5 highlighted above and complete their matching gift request more quickly than ever before. And it can all be done directly from an organization’s gift confirmation page!

Matching gift request process with auto-submission

Here’s how it works: During the giving process, donors are prompted to enter their employers’ names as usual. If an individual works for a company that has auto-submission enabled through their corporate giving platform, they are flagged as auto-submission-eligible.

Once they are redirected to their thank-you screen, the individual is prompted to enter their corporate email address (or potentially another piece of information to verify their identity) and authorize Double the Donation to submit the match request on their behalf.

From there, Double the Donation processes the matching gift request behind the scenes, passing data pertaining to the initial gift along to the CSR platform used by the individual’s employer to review the submission.

Step 4 of the matching gift process

Step 4: The employer reviews and verifies the match request.

At this point, the donor will have completed their portion of the matching gift process⁠—and the rest will fall on the nonprofit receiving funds and the company contributing funds, respectively.

Now, the employer will typically review the employee’s matching gift request and ultimately determine whether to approve the matching donation. One of the key stages in this process involves the matching company ensuring that the initial donation was actually made. Otherwise, they won’t want to match a nonexistent donation!

While some companies manually verify each donation, many utilize gift receipts as proof of an individual’s personal contribution. In this scenario, the company will simply analyze the provided donation receipt and matching gift request to ensure the donation meets the company’s matching gift standards. If so, the donation match will be approved.

Here's what donation verification can look like in the matching gift process.

A gift receipt, like this, may function as proof of an individual’s personal contribution.

In other cases, however, the organization’s team will be responsible for verifying that the original donation was made as reported to the donor’s employer. When this occurs, the nonprofit will be required to attest to the validity of the original donation in order for the company to issue its matching gift.

(Tip: if you do get a request for donation verification, see to it as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary delays in the matching gift disbursement process!)

Step 5 of the matching gift process

Step 5: The employer matches the donation.

Once the original donation is verified and approved, the actual disbursement process is triggered. As a result, the company offering the matching gift will issue its corporate donation in the amount offered by its matching program (typically at a dollar-for-dollar rate of the employee’s initial gift, but depending on the preset matching gift ratio).

Here are a few things for organizations to consider when it comes to this step in the matching gift process:

Disbursement schedules

Different companies have different disbursement schedules, so it may take a while for companies to process the verification and issue the check. Many businesses opt for a monthly distribution, but more information about a specific company’s timeline can often be found online or by using a matching gift program database.

Grouped donation matches

If a company receives multiple matching gift requests from multiple employees to the same nonprofit, they may decide to combine the matches together in a single donation.

For example, let’s say Ashley requested a donation match for $100 and John requested a match for $500, both to the Cat Rescue Club. Ashley and John’s employer, the Home Depot, may provide the Cat Rescue Club with one check worth $600 rather than two separate donations.

Here's what match disbursement can look like in the matching gift process.

Here’s what a corporate matching gift may look like, once disbursed.

Step 6 of the matching gift process

Bonus Step: The nonprofit thanks its donors!

Though this final step is not technically required for organizations looking to increase corporate revenue with donation-matching, recognizing donors for their participation is a critical component of an optimized matching gift process.

Consider this sample recognition message, which reads:

“Dear Jenny,

Thank you for your generous support of Cat Rescue Club.

We are pleased to inform you that we have just received a corporate matching gift as a result of your recent contribution. We appreciate the time you took to initiate the matching gift process.

Cat Rescue Club greatly appreciates your continuous support.


Matching Gifts Manager
Cat Rescue Club”

Here's what match recognition can look like in the matching gift process.

Here’s an example of an effective matching gift recognition.

Following up after receiving a match enables your team to close the loop that may otherwise be left open. If a donor is never made aware that their match request was successful, they’re not likely to participate in a matching program again in the future. When you confirm the completion of the match, however, you leave a positive impression of both your organization and the matching gift process for donors to hold onto.

Not to mention, sending out a thank-you message after collecting a matching donation allows you to communicate your appreciation of the donor and their support. Once again, feel free to remind the individual of the increased impact that their matching gift has brought to your cause.

Matching gifts can seem like an immense task for nonprofits and donors who are unfamiliar with the programs and all they entail. When you take a closer look at what’s really involved, however, getting your donations matched is entirely doable⁠—some might even say easy!

Just remember, equipping your team with the right tools for the job is essential, especially for those looking to further streamline and simplify the matching gift process from start to finish.

Interested in learning more about the matching gift process and other strategic corporate fundraising opportunities? Check out our other educational resources:

Learn more about optimizing the matching gift process with Double the Donation.

Nonprofit Stock Donations and Matching Gifts: What to Know

Nonprofit Stock Donations and Matching Gifts | What to Know

Donations of stocks, mutual funds, and other securities are increasing in popularity as a way for individuals to support their favorite causes. After all, these gifts offer exclusive financial benefits both to the donor contributing the gift and the nonprofit receiving it. But what about nonprofit stock donations and matching gifts? Are gifts of securities typically eligible to be matched by donors’ employers?

These are good questions⁠—and they’re cropping up more around nonprofits and donors alike. As a nonprofit fundraising professional, you surely understand the value of corporate matching gifts and are seeking to get as many company matches flowing into your mission as possible.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide that will cover everything your team should know about stock donations and matching gifts by exploring the following topics:

Ready to dive into the world of securities and gift matches? Let’s begin with a brief overview of nonprofit stock donations.

Donating Stock to Nonprofits: FAQ

Just getting started with nonprofit stock donations? These are some frequently asked questions⁠—and answers⁠—on the topic.

The basics of nonprofit stock donations and matching giftsWhat are stock donations?

Stock donations are a unique method of giving in which individual donors can support nonprofit causes by transferring ownership of stock shares from themselves to the organization in question.

Stock donations are also referred to as gifts of securities, which typically encompasses transfers of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

In order to secure the full financial benefits of a stock donation, the donor should have held the stock for at least one year from the time of the gift. The organization then has the option to sell the stock immediately upon receiving the donation or allow its shares to continue to appreciate in value.

What are mutual fund donations?

While stock donations typically involve the transfer of shares within a single company, mutual funds can include a portfolio of thousands of stocks, bonds, and other securities compiled as a single entity.

But when it comes to donating assets to charity, mutual fund donations function similarly to stock donations⁠—and similar rules apply regarding mutual fund and stock donations and matching gifts. Most companies that match gifts of stock will also match mutual fund donations and vice versa.

One thing to note, however, is that the mutual fund transfer process can be a bit more complicated than that of single stocks and may require a more hands-on process by the organization receiving the securities.

Why do individuals donate stocks to nonprofit causes?

Nonprofit stock donations are becoming a favorite giving method among donors for multiple reasons. For one, gifts of securities such as stocks enable donors to contribute more to an organization and its mission than they might be able to on their own.

If an individual purchases $100 in stock from a company that has since appreciated to double in value, they will be able to funnel $200 toward a cause that they care about⁠—despite having only paid $100 for the initial stock shares! (And if the donor’s employer will match their stock donation, the end value can reach higher than $400⁠—but more on that later.)

Additionally, when donating stocks that have been appreciating for more than a year, donors actually contribute 20% more to the nonprofit than if they had first sold their stocks and made a cash donation with the proceeds. That’s because when an individual sells their stock, they’re subject to pay significant capital gains taxes, which are not applicable should they transfer the stock to the receiving organization.

Are all stocks able to be donated to nonprofit organizations?

Most stocks will be eligible for donation purposes to most nonprofit causes. However, some organizations may place certain stipulations on the types of companies whose stocks they will and will not accept.

For example, the American Heart Association refuses donations of stock or other interests in companies relating to tobacco, nicotine delivery, or cannabis. In the case that an individual attempts a stock donation that is not accepted by the organization to which they gave, the securities will ultimately be returned to the donor.

Nonprofits That Accept Stock Donations

Many nonprofit organizations accept charitable gifts of stocks and mutual funds, and the trend is continuing to grow. In the next few years, we can expect more and more charitable causes to collect and incorporate gifts of securities into their overall fundraising strategies.

As of now, we’ve pulled a list of a few well-known causes and their current guidelines for donating stock.

Donors interested in contributing stock to a particular cause are encouraged to explore their website, as the information regarding stock donation acceptance is often included within the organization’s “ways to give” page.

American Heart Association accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

1. American Heart Association

The American Heart Association (or AHA) gladly accepts gifts of stocks (and mutual funds) from generous donors and provides easily accessible guidelines and instructions for multiple methods of doing so.

Here’s what their website had to say:

“You can use stock to support the organization through:

  • Electronic transfer – Your broker can transfer shares using the AHA’s Depository Trust Company (DTC) number and account number to ensure delivery.
  • Mail – You can mail paper certificates to the AHA.

Electronic Delivery of mutual fund shares is the most secure and practical delivery process available. If you would like to donate a gift of mutual funds to the American Heart Association, please contact us to confirm AHA’s brokers can accept the funds.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

LLS accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

2. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, also known as LLS, encourages charitable donations of stock and mutual fund assets as well. They even provide a brief overview of the tax benefits offered to stock donors who are considering the option!

Here’s what their website had to say:

“If you own stock or a mutual fund that has appreciated in price since you purchased it, consider using that asset for your charitable giving. You get an income tax deduction for the full market value of donated securities that you have owned more than one year and you will avoid the capital gains tax on the appreciated value.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

ASPCA accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

3. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The ASPCA is another organization that accepts stock transfer donations as a way for donors to support their cause. Within their plethora of suggested giving methods, gifts of security are highlighted along with detailed instructions on how to conduct the transfer process.

Here’s what their website had to say:

“For credit to ASPCA – American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Prior to transfer, please call the organization with the name of stock and number of shares to be transferred.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Syracuse University accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

4. Syracuse University

Syracuse University provides donors and prospects with information regarding multiple kinds of stock donations⁠—including marketable securities, closely-held securities, electronic stock transfers via DTC, and mutual fund transfers. Their site also prominently displays contact information for the university’s advancement department which will help facilitate the transfer!

Here’s what their website had to say:

“When planning to make a gift of securities to Syracuse University, please notify Advancement Services. Gifts of publicly traded securities that have appreciated in value allow you to claim a charitable deduction for the full market value of the securities on the date the gift is made. You pay no capital gains tax on the appreciation.

Gifts of stock in closely held corporations may result in substantial tax benefits in the form of charitable deductions and avoidance of capital gains taxes. Closely held securities can be especially attractive in funding charitable remainder trusts or charitable remainder lead trusts. Because special regulations apply to gifts of this kind, we encourage you to consult your tax adviser and the University’s development staff when considering such a gift.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Piedmont Healthcare accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

5. Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont Healthcare utilizes its website to encourage stock donations by interested supporters. One way they do so is by briefly highlighting the benefits to both their institution as well as to the donor contributing the appreciated securities (of both stocks and mutual funds).

Here’s what their website had to say:

“Gifts of appreciated securities, such as stocks or mutual funds, that have been held for over a year are a wonderful way to support Piedmont while potentially realizing important benefits for yourself.

Instruct your broker to transfer shares to Piedmont Healthcare Foundation by contacting Truist Bank via phone or email.

Contact your mutual fund company about the process of transferring mutual fund shares. A special form and signature guarantee will likely be required by them to initiate a charitable transfer.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

FSU accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

6. Florida State University

Florida State University provides stock donors (and prospective donors) with detailed instructions that outline the securities transfer process. The FSU Foundation incorporates tips and tricks for donors aiming to contribute stock to the university, whether electronically or with physical certificates.

Here’s what their website had to say:

“When donors’ securities are held in a brokerage account, the donor instructs their broker to transfer the securities to the university’s account.

Donors should also request that their brokers send confirmation of transfer to the FSU Foundation, Inc. The confirmation should indicate the donor’s name, the security being transferred, the Foundation account which should be used, and the date of transfer. Donors should then follow up with a letter to the FSU Foundation with instructions regarding their gift designation so that the gift can be properly credited.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

National Kidney Foundation accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

7. National Kidney Foundation

The National Kidney Foundation includes stock donations as one of their suggested ways to support the institution⁠—along with other giving ideas such as cryptocurrency, vehicle donations, fundraising events, and more.

This organization provides interested stock donors with a downloadable PDF made available through their “Get Involved” web page.

Here’s what their website had to say:

“Please complete and email the included form to Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management prior to transfer.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Lazarex accepts stock donations and matching gifts.

8. Lazarex Cancer Foundation

The Lazarex Cancer Foundation also encourages stock donations within their “How You Can Help” page. This section quickly highlights the significant tax benefits to the organization and the subsequently increased impact a supporter’s gift can make.

Here’s what their website had to say:

“Did you know that your gift could go further by donating stock directly? Direct stock gifts let us use 100% of your donation, rather than losing up to 37% of it to capital gains tax. Thus, you can make a bigger impact at zero additional cost to you. If you would like to make a stock donation, please contact the Lazarex team.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Matching Stock Donations: The Basics

Clearly, stock donations are a great stream of additional fundraising revenue for nonprofits, and they’re becoming an increasingly sought after resource. At the same time, organizations are looking to get their charitable donations matched by donors’ employing companies.

So, do the two ideas coincide at all? Here’s what your fundraising team needs to know about the relationship between nonprofit stock donations and matching gifts.

Are stock donations typically eligible for corporate matching gift programs?

The #1 factor that determines whether an individual’s stock donation is eligible for a match through their employer is who their employer is and what that company has established in its matching gift program guidelines.

For example, some companies consider gifts of securities a particular form of in-kind donation (which are, unfortunately, not match-eligible in most cases). In that case, stock donations made by employees of these companies may not be eligible to request a financial match.

On the other hand, many businesses have classified stock donations as a form of monetary gift (in the likes of cash, debit/credit payments, or bank transfers) or a common exception to the in-kind donation rule. Donors employed by these companies are typically able to secure a gift match on behalf of your organization⁠—so long as the value of the stock falls between the businesses’ predetermined thresholds.

Additionally, you’ll want to keep in mind that, as gifts of securities continue to grow in popularity among donors, we can expect many companies to begin adopting stock-inclusive matching gift program criteria for employee gifts in the near future.

How can I know if an individual’s stock donation qualifies for a match?

Let’s say your organization has just received a generous stock donation from a supporter of your cause. You may already know that their employer offers a matching gift program, and you’re looking to determine whether the stock gift is eligible for a match as well. Or, perhaps you’re unaware of whether the employing company matches any sort of employee donations to begin with. In either case, the answer should be located within the corporation’s matching gift program guidelines.

Nonprofits looking for this information may decide to conduct an online search for a company’s publicly-facing matching gift program guidelines to determine whether stock donations are mentioned. Donors seeking the information on their employers’ giving program can do a similar search of online resources, or they may look to internal documentation in an office policy handbook, workplace giving portal, etc.

However, the easiest way to uncover match-eligibility status for any donation⁠—stock or otherwise⁠—is by utilizing a matching gift company database.

Luckily, Double the Donation offers the most comprehensive database available, with detailed listings for tens of thousands of companies. Nonprofits and donors alike can begin typing a company’s name within the embedded autocompleting search tool and be instantaneously met with match qualifications, types of eligible donations, and more.

Find out a company's policies for nonprofit stock donations and matching gifts with a searchable company database.

If the provided guidelines mention stock donations as a viable option for matching donations, you have your answer⁠—the gift of stock is likely matchable for your cause!

If available documentation fails to reference gifts of securities at all, on the other hand, it’s likely that the donation would not be eligible for a corporate match. However, we recommend encouraging donors to inquire about the possibility with their companies to find the most definitive answer to the question at hand.

What are corporate stock donation matches worth?

When a stock donation⁠ (that has previously been identified as eligible for a corporate matching gift⁠) is requested by a donor, the employer typically agrees to match the value of the stock on the day on which the stock transfer was made.

Thus, nonprofit donors are able to secure a match by their employer equal to the purchase price plus the appreciated value of the stock⁠—which is typically greater than the individual’s initial financial investment!

Nonprofit stock donations and matching gifts process

What trends are expected regarding stock donations and matching gifts?

As of 2022, it’s estimated that the majority of companies with employee donation-matching programs do not currently provide matches for gifts of stock and mutual fund contributions. However, more and more companies are matching these gifts⁠—and leading the way toward others eventually following suit.

The more popular stock grows as a form of nonprofit giving, the more companies will adopt stock-inclusive matching gift program guidelines.

And when you take a look at the financial benefits to parties on both sides of the transaction (one research study reported fundraising growth of up to 55% for organizations that allowed non-cash donations such as stock as viable donation options!), and the ease with which gifts of securities are becoming, it’s likely a trend that we’re just seeing the beginnings of.

Examples of Companies That Match Stock Donations

Companies that match employee stock donations do so for the same reason as to why they match cash donations. These typically include corporate tax benefits, increased employee engagement, and positive public relations efforts.

Though not all businesses with gift-matching programs consider stock donations as matching gift eligible, the majority do. Here are a few examples of companies that match stock donations made by their employees to qualifying charities!

Chevron matches gifts of stock donations.

1. Chevron

Chevron is well-regarded as having a generous corporate matching gift program, agreeing to match up to $10,000 in charitable donations per employee on an annual basis. And the best part is that they do match the market value of stock donations that their employees transfer to nearly all nonprofit organizations.

Here’s a glimpse at what Chevron says about stock donations and matching gifts:

“Gifts can be given to nonprofits on the Chevron Humankind site via a payroll deduction or credit card payment, or given directly to the nonprofit offline (e.g. check, cash, stock, etc.).”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Google matches gifts of stock donations.

2. Google

Google offers both full and part-time employees the opportunity to participate in its corporate gift-matching initiative! Gifts worth up to $10,000 (including stock donations) will be matched to many nonprofit causes, including educational institutions, health and human services, cultural and community organizations, environmental nonprofits, and more.

Here’s a glimpse at what Google says about stock donations and matching gifts:

“Your gift must be in the form of check, credit card or marketable securities with a quoted market value. Gifts of securities will be matched with cash. The value of the stock will be calculated using the price at the close of the market on the day of transfer of the security.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

General Electric matches gifts of stock donations.

3. General Electric

General Electric has matched a wide range of employee donations since 1954. In fact, it was the first corporation to roll out a corporate gift-matching program, though it was a fairly limited offering compared to what we see now!

Since then, GE has expanded its employee giving program to encompass new methods of giving⁠—including contributing securities⁠ such as stocks—as well as more nonprofits being eligible to receive funding.

Here’s a glimpse at what General Electric says about stock donations and matching gifts:

“Gifts may be made via cash, check, debit/credit card, or stock. Gifts may also be made by current payment from an entity such as a personal foundation or donor advised fund if that entity has been funded solely by the eligible GE participant.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Merck matches gifts of stock donations.

4. Merck

Merck & Co. matches numerous types of employee donations to charitable organizations. Within the company’s matching program criteria, they include a fairly detailed account of stock donations⁠—including the process for requesting a corporate match and the benefits employees receive from giving this way.

Here’s a glimpse at what Merck says about stock donations and matching gifts:

“Matching funds can be requested for one-time cash, check, credit card, or stock donations, via the Merck Gives Back (MGB) website.

When making a stock donation, enter the market value of the stock on the day you issued the stock to the nonprofit organization. The organization will be asked to confirm the realized value of the stock donation and the Merck Foundation P4G program will match funds equal to the realized value of donated stock.

You can deduct the full current value of the stock (regardless of purchase price) and avoid the capital gains taxes associated with selling the stock for profit; therefore, you pay no taxes on the appreciated value of the stock and take the full deduction for the current value of the stock.

You may not donate Merck stock options; however, you may donate Merck stock after you exercise your options.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

State Farm matches gifts of stock donations.

5. State Farm

State Farm Insurance matches donations made by current full-time employees, part-time team members, and retired workers alike⁠—in any way they give to nonprofits. This includes gifts of securities and mutual funds, for which they detail a few stipulations of match eligibility.

Here’s a glimpse at what State Farm says about stock donations and matching gifts:

“Donations of Mutual Funds Units and Securities traded on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange or NASDAQ National Market meeting the following requirements:

  • The eligible donor must be the sole owner or have final authority to transfer ownership of the security or mutual fund unit to the eligible organization.
  • Ownership must be signed over to the eligible organization.

Please note: The exact value of the donated securities or mutual fund units will be based on the closing market price the date the transfer is complete.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Verizon matches gifts of stock donations.

6. Verizon

Verizon offers its employees multiple matching gift program options, the individual matching grants program being the one in which stock donations are considered match-eligible contributions. The company matches to nearly all 501(c)(3) organizations (or an equivalent internationally), with schools being eligible for a $5,000 donation or stock match and other nonprofits for a $1,000 donation or stock match.

Here’s a glimpse at what Verizon says about stock donations and matching gifts:

“Donations must be in one of the following forms: Personal check, Paypal, money order, payroll deduction, credit/debit card payment, wire/bank transfer, transfer of stock certificate.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.

Apple matches gifts of stock donations.

7. Apple

Apple offers a slightly different type of corporate stock donation-matching program but will match certain gifts of securities nonetheless. Apple matches any type of stock donations and as well as donations of just Apple stock.

Here’s a glimpse at what Apple says about stock donations and matching gifts:

“Visit the Employee Giving portal to request a matching donation for your volunteer time or to make a one-time or repeating monetary donation to the charitable organization (or cause) of your choice using a credit card or PayPal account. You can also request a match for a monetary or stock donation you’ve already made.

To be eligible, your monetary donations must be paid in full — not pledged — via cash, personal check, credit card, PayPal, or Apple stock.”

Read up on the full program guidelines here.


Edwards Lifesciences Matching Gift Logo

8. Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards Lifesciences matches donations up to $5,000 per full-time employee per year. Here’s what the company says about stock donations and matching gifts:

Edwards Foundation will match the tax-deductible portion of employee’s gifts made by cash, check and credit card. The Foundation will also match stock donations, as well as gifts coming out of an employee’s donor-advised fund (DAF).

Read up on the full program guidelines here.


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to nonprofit stock donations and matching gifts. Some companies will match employee gifts of securities, while others will not.

But the good news is that more and more corporations are beginning to be inclusive of stock and mutual fund donations within their employee matching programs. That means you’ll want to keep an eye out for new programs being established and existing matching gift companies expanding their eligibility criteria.

Interested in learning more about matching gifts and other nonprofit fundraising opportunities? Check out these other Double the Donation resources:

Elevate your monetary and stock donations and matching gifts with Double the Donation.