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.

This nonprofit marketing covers everything you need to know about promoting your cause.

Nonprofit Marketing: A Complete Guide to Spreading Awareness

Picture this: you’re scrolling through your social media feed. You see a video of your niece taking her first steps, posts about a good friend recovering from a hard-fought battle against cancer, and pictures from a family friend’s wedding. Among those posts, you see a virtual event flyer for a local 5K that’s proceeds will go toward skin cancer research. Especially after seeing posts about your friend’s situation, you’re intrigued, visit the organization’s website to learn more, and ultimately register to attend. That’s the power of effective nonprofit marketing!

A well-thought-out nonprofit marketing plan is a must these days. Between for-profits pushing products and other nonprofits promoting their missions, everyone’s vying for consumers’ attention. You need to put your cause out there by leveraging multiple platforms to push compelling messages to supporters.

If your nonprofit marketing strategy needs a refresh, you’ve come to the right place! This article will give you everything you need to build and maintain an effective plan. We’ll cover all the bases — whether you want to lean into digital marketing or stick to traditional methods. Here’s what we’ll cover:

At Double the Donation, we understand the power of effective promotion. We work with nonprofits every day to boost awareness of corporate matching gifts.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to develop an effective marketing program for your nonprofit organization. From crafting persuasive messages to monitoring performance analytics, we’re confident you’ll have everything you need to spread awareness for your cause.

Work with our recommended Google Ad Grants agency to enhance your nonprofit marketing.

This section defines nonprofit marketing.

What Is Nonprofit Marketing?

Nonprofit marketing encompasses all activities and strategies designed to raise awareness and generate interest in a nonprofit organization, its mission, and its services. It involves communicating with potential donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders to increase donations, engagement, and participation in the organization.

Nonprofit marketing typically involves a combination of tactics between traditional outreach (e.g., print, radio, and TV) and digital marketing (e.g., email, social media, and online advertising). Many nonprofit organizations also develop branding guidelines, a website, and other assets to craft professional outreach that resonates with supporters.

Successful marketing for nonprofit organizations extends beyond getting your content in front of as many eyes as possible. Rather, it requires you to persuade those who feel connected to your work and inspired to make your mission a reality. Thoughtful marketing techniques will allow you to create meaningful, sustainable relationships with these supporters.

These are the benefits you can expect from an effective nonprofit marketing strategy.

Compared to for-profit marketing, marketing for nonprofit organizations is unique in that you must “sell” your mission to donors, rather than sell a product to buyers. It also has a special emphasis on relationships and storytelling. The goal is to emotionally connect with supporters while also providing information about how they can help the cause.

The channels in this section will help you get the most of marketing for nonprofit organizations.

Types of Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations

New marketing channels emerge almost every day. As a nonprofit marketer, it’s up to you to determine which ones are most effective for your cause. In any case, we recommend using a multichannel technique. Doing so will allow you to reach a wider audience and engage supporters on multiple levels.

For example, you can use social media to reach out to a younger demographic, while using direct mail and email marketing to reach an older audience. Using multiple channels also allows you to track campaigns more effectively, showing you which channels generate the best results. This will help you fine-tune your campaigns for better ROI.

However, marketing research has found that only 30% of marketers are highly confident in their ability to deliver a multichannel strategy. By developing a strong multichannel nonprofit marketing strategy, you’ll already be one giant leap ahead of 70% of marketers!

To get started, let’s dive into 10 of the most popular nonprofit marketing channels.

These are the most common nonprofit marketing channels.

Search Ads

Nonprofits can leverage search advertising to increase their digital presence and attract more donations and volunteers. With this nonprofit marketing strategy, you’ll need to bid on mission-critical keywords (like “donate to end homelessness” or “volunteer at a homeless shelter”) and create nonprofit ads that target those terms.

This nonprofit marketing example shows how organizations can target mission-critical keywords via Google Ads.

Organizations have a couple of options to tap into paid search advertising and reach prospects, including Google Ads and Bing Ads. Based on its incredible reach, Google is our top recommendation for search ads.

This Google Ad Grant Impact Report explains that Google owns over 92% of the global search engine market. What’s more, Google Ads have an average ROI of $4.78, making it a cost-effective route for tight budgets.

With a thoughtful approach, search advertising can help to increase website traffic, improve your organization’s visibility, and drive donations and volunteer registrations. 

Best of all, you can tap into free search advertising through programs like the Google Ad Grant and Microsoft Social Ads for Impact.

We recommend working with a Google Grants manager to make the most of Google’s program. As our suggested agency, Getting Attention will work with you to understand your nonprofit marketing goals and design ads that champion your cause.

Instead of learning the intricacies of keyword research, you can focus on the areas of nonprofit marketing you’re comfortable with, without overlooking an important part of modern marketing.

Get a free consultation with our recommended Google Ad Grants agency to strengthen your nonprofit marketing strategy.]

Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits

Social media marketing is an effective way to reach your target audience. Nonprofits like yours can use social media to create awareness, build sustainable relationships, and establish a sense of community among supporters.

With the right nonprofit marketing strategies, you can use social media to spread the message about your mission and goals, attract volunteers and donors, and build relationships with supporters. Here are a few ways to make the most of this channel:

  • Gather feedback. Social media can be used to ask questions, prompt conversations, and gather feedback from supporters to help shape your organization’s strategy and plans. MemberClicks’ event feedback survey guide notes that only 38% of people already use social media to collect feedback on their events. However, with convenient features like polls, collecting feedback has never been simpler.
  • Share success stories and updates. Social media is a great channel for demonstrating impact through testimonials and project updates. By sharing stories about helping those in need, nonprofits can increase engagement, build relationships, and inspire others to take action.
  • Interact with supporters. Social media makes two-way communication easier than ever. Respond to comments, shine the spotlight on dedicated followers, and join conversations related to your mission.

Incorporate these nonprofit marketing strategies to get more out of your social media campaigns. Spend time identifying key platforms, understanding each platform’s audience, and creating a content calendar for the best results.

Email Marketing

Email marketing can help increase donations, boost event attendance, and build a larger support base. By sending out regular email newsletters, nonprofits can keep current supporters engaged and informed about important projects and events. Email campaigns can also be used to reach potential donors who may not be aware of the nonprofit’s mission or the causes they support.

To drive greater engagement through this channel, you might:

  • Segment your email list. Create groups for donors, recurring supporters, volunteers, match-eligible donors, corporate sponsors, and so on. That way, you can personalize content and deliver tailored engagement opportunities to each segment.
  • Use creative subject lines that grab attention. Research has shown that creative subject lines are more likely to be opened, so brainstorm interesting and engaging subject lines for each email. Remember to keep your subject lines short, as emails with long subject lines are more likely to be overlooked.

Through email marketing, nonprofits can create compelling content that resonates with their target audiences and encourages them to take action. It just takes some brainstorming on how best to reach your different audiences through this channel. Using these tips will give you a solid foundation to kickstart your nonprofit marketing strategy for email campaigns.

Cause Marketing

Cause marketing is a unique type of marketing for nonprofit organizations that involves collaborating with for-profits. It often refers to social or charitable campaigns created by for-profit brands. As its popularity has grown, companies often use this strategy to show their commitment to social responsibility. The goal is to create awareness around a cause and synthesize a message that resonates with the company or influencer’s target audience.

Take the collaboration between the shoe company TOMS and charity: water for example. Together, they launched a cause marketing campaign in which TOMS released a limited-edition collection of charity: water eyewear to raise money for clean water. For every pair sold, TOMS contributed $10 to help bring water to households in Orissa, India.

In the past, TOMS also created two limited-edition shoes and donated $5 from the sale of each one to charity: water. These cause marketing campaigns successfully raised awareness and funds for both organizations, while also promoting TOMS as a socially-responsible brand. Check out this video about the partnership that charity: water created:


As with any type of corporate partnership, we recommend partnering with people and companies whose values and mission align with your nonprofit. After all, they’ll be associated with your nonprofit and can influence your brand’s image.

Direct Mail Marketing for Nonprofits

Direct mail marketing for nonprofit organizations can help connect with audiences in a more personal way than other channels. You’re able to customize content to specific segments especially those who may not be online or active on social media. While this channel isn’t as popular as it once was, an awful lot of people still prefer the personal touch of physical outreach. 

Printing costs can add up, so consider how this channel plays into your overall nonprofit marketing strategy. For example, you might craft personalized membership renewal letters, postcards with a donation solicitation, brochures about a big capital campaign, or any other materials.

Depending on your exact materials, include some sort of call-to-action, such as your donation page URL, a QR code that leads to an event registration form, a perforated donation slip, or your nonprofit’s contact information. This will go a long way in encouraging future interactions and building relationships.

Do you have poor deliverability rates for your nonprofit’s direct mail marketing? Make sure you have the right addresses on file by conducting an address append!

Radio Advertisements

Radio ads empower nonprofits to reach large audiences in a relatively short amount of time. Ads can be tailored to a specific region or demographic, and with the right messaging, they can be quite powerful in getting your cause’s message out to the public.

Radio ads can help drive donations, event registrations, volunteer sign-ups, and awareness of your nonprofit’s mission. Additionally, radio ads are often cost-effective, making them a great way to reach potential donors, volunteers, and supporters.

Best of all, your organization might qualify for free public service announcements on local radio stations. The Federal Communications Commission requires radio stations to allot a certain amount of radio time to nonprofits. There’s one caveat, though; your messages should be formatted as announcements rather than ads.

Newspaper Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations

Ads and newspaper articles are a great way to connect with local audiences, especially if you have a particularly newsworthy cause. With the ability to include visuals and compelling copy, newspaper ads and news stories can be used to create awareness of a nonprofit.

Maybe you have a specific campaign or upcoming event that your community might be interested in participating in. That’d be a great opportunity to buy ad space or reach out to your local newspaper with a story proposal. It’s also a fantastic place to share your impact on the community. Include a call to action, encouraging readers to get involved and make a difference in their community.

Content Marketing for Nonprofits

Content marketing involves creating and distributing relevant, valuable content to attract, engage, and retain supporters. It’s also a reliable way to establish trust with your audience. Content can come in several forms, such as:

  • Blogging: This nonprofit marketing strategy is great for creating engaging articles about your cause, sharing relevant stories, and providing information about upcoming initiatives.
  • Videos: Visual content like videos can forge an emotional connection with your audience by demonstrating the impact of your cause.
  • Ebooks, webinars, and podcasts: This form of nonprofit marketing provides unique educational content that can help you connect with and grow your audience.
  • Infographics and other interactive content: As a highly shareable form of content marketing for nonprofit organizations, infographics can provide in-depth information about your cause in a visually-engaging way.

Content marketing for nonprofit organizations can position your team as knowledgeable.

This form of nonprofit marketing can help position your nonprofit as a reliable resource for news and information about your cause. Plus, it’s easy to distribute across different channels, including your website, social media, and email.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

There’s no better way to market your cause than by relying on those who feel passionate about it. Word-of-mouth marketing enables you to leverage the power of social proof.

If you’re new to this concept, social proof is the idea that people conform to the behaviors of others in order to feel accepted. So, when someone speaks positively about your organization, their friends and family are likely to trust their recommendations.

Semrush’s marketing statistics page estimates that 88% of people had the highest level of trust in a brand when a friend or family member recommended it.

Encourage your volunteers to share their experiences, reach out to their loved ones, and post on social media to spread awareness. Some nonprofits even develop referral programs to reward those who spread the word and help attract new supporters. Note that the success of this nonprofit marketing strategy depends on strong relationships with supporters.

Mobile Nonprofit Marketing

Make supporting your nonprofit incredibly convenient by leveraging text outreach. Compared to other forms of marketing for nonprofit organizations, texts have an astoundingly high open rate. Some sources estimate that SMS open rates are as high as 98%.

Text messages are a great way to send out reminders, project updates, and calls to action. You might send out a volunteer registration form or an event registration page. With text-to-give tools, nonprofits can even use SMS text marketing to collect donations.

If you’re not already leveraging this form of nonprofit marketing, consider whether it’s a viable option for engaging your supporters and keeping them updated on your mission and goals. If you’re having trouble contacting supporters, you might want to double-check that you have the right phone numbers on file with a phone number append.

This section walks through the steps for creating a nonprofit marketing plan.

How to Create Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan

As a nonprofit marketer, you already know you’re working with limited resources. That’s why it’s vital to create a nonprofit marketing plan.

A plan will help you leverage existing resources to reach your target audience and maximize impact without overspending. Developing a solid nonprofit marketing plan requires thoughtful planning and research, as well as a thorough understanding of your organization’s objectives.

While each organization’s plan will vary, there are some common steps you can take to create yours.

Follow these steps to create your nonprofit marketing plan.

Conduct a nonprofit marketing audit.

Evaluate your organization’s current marketing strategy and activities to identify areas for improvement. Assessing past performance helps you build off what works and what doesn’t, so you can avoid the same mistakes.

When conducting your nonprofit marketing audit, we recommend analyzing:

  • The platforms you used. Did they help you reach your target audience? Did certain ones yield better results and engagement than others?
  • The progress you made toward goals. Were your goals too ambitious, or did you blow them out of the water?
  • The KPIs you chose. Did they accurately gauge success? If you could go back, which metrics would you monitor instead?

Essentially, you’re determining what worked well and what could be improved for future outreach during this stage.

As a helpful tip, determine if you can reuse any old marketing materials (like photography, written content, or videos) during this step. Even if you can tweak existing collateral, that’ll save your team time that can be spent on other areas of your mission.

Define your nonprofit marketing goals.

Actionable goals will ensure every team member is on the same page when crafting messages. Let’s say your overall objective is to provide free educational resources like peer mentoring to at-risk youth. You might achieve that objective through nonprofit marketing by:

  • Sharing testimonials from program participants and mentors on social media
  • Promoting your services on Google search on maps through the Google for Nonprofits program
  • Asking for volunteers on local radio stations
  • Sending a monthly email newsletter with updates on your peer mentor program

Create goals for each of these channels. For example, you might set a goal to “increase your social media following by 10% and post twice a week to educate your community about the poor state of education by the end of the year.” 

We recommend using the SMART method to ensure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. That means you’ll need to create a clear goal, attach metrics, and set a deadline. To ensure it’s within reach, your goal should be incrementally higher than past performance.

Determine your audiences.

Each nonprofit has a variety of audiences. You’ll need to define each group you’re attempting to target, so you can create messages that resonate with each segment. For example, an animal shelter might target animal-loving donors, volunteers, and adopters.

A quick way to organize your audiences is by using your constituent relationship management (CRM) software’s segmentation features. By separating your contacts with tags and lists, you can send the most inspiring outreach to the right groups.

Create a nonprofit brand guide.

Every piece of communication should strengthen brand awareness. The second someone sees outreach from your organization, they should immediately know it’s associated with your cause. Define elements like:

  • Your nonprofit’s voice and personality
  • What makes your nonprofit unique from similar organizations
  • Your official fonts and colors
  • Imagery standards

Knowing how to position your nonprofit makes it easier to create cohesive messages. In turn, your nonprofit will connect with supporters on a deeper level and gain their trust.

For a reliable framework, check out Getting Attention’s nonprofit marketing plan guide. You can explore common methods for reviewing past performance, setting benchmarks, and spreading brand awareness.

The nonprofit marketing strategies in this section will help you connect with more supporters.

Nonprofit Marketing Strategies to Drive Results

Following the steps laid out above, you’ll establish a solid foundation for your outreach. Now, it’s time to tweak your nonprofit marketing plan with strategies that drive meaningful results for your cause.

Promote Matching Gifts.

Corporate giving is one of the most influential fundraising strategies your nonprofit can pursue. However, an awful lot of matching gifts that go unclaimed each year — it adds up to about $4-$7 billion in unclaimed gifts each year. We can attribute that to poor nonprofit marketing strategies.

If you want to boost matching gift awareness, here are a few channels you can use:

  • Your website: Create content on your website about corporate giving. We suggest starting by embedding our employer search tool into your donation page, which inserts corporate giving into the donation process. Then, dive further into it by developing a ‘Ways to Give’ page and a dedicated matching gifts page.
    Create web content about matching gifts to strengthen your fundraising through effective marketing for nonprofit organizations.
  • Search ads: Use Google Ads to promote your website’s corporate giving content. You can target general terms related to supporting your nonprofit, helping to connect with individuals who might not know about matching gifts. Our guide to promoting matching gifts with Google Ads takes a deep dive into this nonprofit marketing strategy.

Using matching gift autosubmission, you can even cut out a few steps in the match request process. Donors can conveniently select that they’d like our tools to check their eligibility and submit a match request to their employer for them. Marketing matching gifts as a convenient way to give will go a long way in pushing your mission forward.

Check out Top Nonprofits’ Matching Gifts Research Report for some examples of how real nonprofits promote matching gifts, like the example above.

Make the Most of Google Ads.

As we explored earlier Google Ads are an incredible way to market your mission. However, their team understands that most nonprofits are limited on resources, which is why they offer free access to the platform to eligible organizations.

By applying for Google Grants, you’ll receive $10,000 to spend on the platform every month. Don’t let this free nonprofit marketing money go to waste, though! Here are a few ways to maximize your success:

  • Carefully research your keywords. You’ll need to choose keywords that will connect you with the right users. Keywords should relate to your mission and services and target a specific user intent, like donating or volunteering.
  • Leverage geotargeting. Search advertising platforms allow you to target specific geographic areas and demographic groups, allowing you to reach the right people with the right message. Use this feature to make the most of your Google Ad Grant.
  • Use strong headlines and effective copy to grab attention. Your ad’s headlines and copy will be displayed on the search results pages for keywords you bid on. Spend time crafting ones that capture people’s attention. To simplify A/B testing, Google offers Responsive Search Ads (RSAs). You’ll enter a variety of headlines and copy. Then, Google will automatically test different combinations to drive better results.

While incredibly beneficial, the Google Ads interface can take some time to master. Keyword research might be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with Google Keyword Planner, and adhering to compliance regulations can be a bit tricky. That’s why we recommend working with the Google Grants experts at Getting Attention. They’ll help you apply for the program, set up your account, and create ads that take your nonprofit marketing to the next level!

Improve your nonprofit marketing strategy by working with our recommended Google Ad Grants agency.

Keep learning about marketing for nonprofit organizations with these resources.

Final Thoughts

Nonprofit marketing is essential for driving donations and growing awareness for your cause. Through targeted outreach, nonprofits like yours can engage potential donors, volunteers, and other supporters to build relationships that will then help to further worthwhile missions.

By practicing effective marketing strategies, you’ll naturally boost visibility for your work and foster a sense of community around your cause, inspiring others to join and participate in your events. As you go, make sure to monitor your results every step of the way, so you can make adjustments and generate greater results for your brand awareness.

The best nonprofit marketers never stop learning! As you start to build out your nonprofit marketing plan, explore these additional resources:

Chat with our recommended Google Ad Grants agency to learn how Google Ads can strengthen your nonprofit marketing.

Top Matching Gift Practices | Actionable Insights & Examples

Top Matching Gift Practices | Actionable Insights & Examples

Nonprofits, schools, and other fundraising groups are always on the lookout for new and improved ways to fund their missions. Corporate matching gifts offer an excellent fundraising lift, but many organizations have an underdeveloped strategy for pursuing this funding source. That’s why we recommend taking a look at matching gift practices from nonprofits that are already seeing high levels of success.

Recent findings have analyzed the highest revenue-generating peer-to-peer-based fundraisers and compiled a number of top strategies followed by each. Based on the report, we’ve created our own list of matching gift best practices that we suggest nonprofits employ:

  1. Understand the importance of matching gifts in overall fundraising.
  2. Establish a plan to drive matching gift participation in fundraising efforts.
  3. Create a detailed and easily accessible matching gift page.
  4. Incorporate matching gifts within the donation form.
  5. Provide company-specific program details on the confirmation screen.
  6. Send personalized matching gift emails post-transaction.
  7. Leverage innovative matching gift software.

Over the course of this guide, we’ll provide actionable insights and real-world examples of fundraisers having successfully implemented these practices. In the end, we hope that these exemplary organizations and practices will inspire you to take your matching gift program to the next level.

1. Understand the importance of matching gifts in overall fundraising.

The first step in optimizing your matching gift fundraising plan has to do with understanding its value. After all, when you (and your team) know why you’re doing what you’re doing to pursue matching gift opportunities, you’ll tend to be more motivated to see results.

So here’s why. The benefits of matching gifts for nonprofits are generally threefold ⁠—

  • Increased corporate philanthropy funding. One of the most apparent advantages of matching gift programs is the corporate match donations that an organization receives. Think of it like the “free” part of a “buy one, get one free” promotion. When donors participate, they funnel additional corporate revenue from their employing companies to your organization. And doing so produces substantial results!
  • Increased individual giving revenue. Not only do matching gift programs increase nonprofit fundraising by making more corporate funds available, but they also elevate individual giving in a few key ways. In fact, Double the Donation research reports that over 84% of survey participants are more likely to donate, and 1 in 3 donors would contribute a larger amount if matching is applied to their donation.
  • Increased donor engagement. Nonprofits that employed strategic matching gift follow-ups saw up to 6x more post-donation engagement opportunities. Each outreach message is another chance to keep your cause at the top of donors’ minds for longer. This encourages supporters to get further involved with (and make a larger impact on) your organization without reaching back into their own wallets.

All in all, fundraising research demonstrates a positive correlation between matching gift practices and overall fundraising success.

Check out this graph from the Top Nonprofits report that illustrates the finding, with each point representing a top P2P event according to its total revenue and matching gift score:

Chart detailing the correlation between matching gift practices and overall fundraising revenue

This shows us that the more developed an organization’s matching strategy, the higher fundraising revenue they can expect. And at the same time, the higher the fundraising revenue an organization sees, the more developed its matching gift strategy likely is.

In other words, exploring matching gift practices like the ones outlined below typically produces multi-faceted fundraising success.

2. Establish a plan to drive matching gift participation in fundraising efforts.

Once you understand the value of matching gifts⁠, it’s time to begin developing (and/or finetuning) your plan to maximize the funding source. Why?

Another key finding from the Top Nonprofits report saw that 100% of the P2P Top 30 fundraisers have some sort of dedicated matching gift strategy in place. While the extent of their efforts varies from one organization or event to the next, the fact that every nonprofit that made the list incorporated matching gifts in their fundraising plan in one way or another remains significant.

Follow these leading organizations’ examples and be sure that your team takes the time and effort to establish a well-thought-out plan regarding corporate matching. For the best results, we recommend incorporating the rest of these impactful matching gift practices pursued by the top fundraising organizations in your overall strategy.

3. Create a detailed and easily accessible matching gift page.

As a nonprofit fundraiser, you likely understand that your organization’s website is one of your most valuable assets for marketing, donor engagement, and more. It makes sense that you’d want to use that resource to promote matching gifts to your audience⁠.

Hosting a dedicated matching gift web page is one of the best ways to do so⁠—and 93.3% of the P2P Top 30 agree!

Let’s take a look at an inspirational example from one of the Top 30 fundraisers included in the study⁠.

Example matching gift page from Covenant House

Here’s what this organization did well in its matching gift web page:

  • Shared a brief explanation of matching gift programs and their value for donors and nonprofits;
  • Embedded an auto-completing matching gift database search tool, providing access to tens of thousands of companies’ matching gift program guidelines with a few clicks;
  • Overviewed the process involved for donors to get their gifts matched on behalf of the organization;
  • Provided contact information often required in donors’ submission forms, ensuring everything they need is all in one, readily available hub;
  • Ensured the page was easily accessible from the website’s main “Get Involved” tab.

The organization even provided an additional tab on its workplace giving page that targets potential corporate sponsors, highlighting details such as the number of companies involved, matching donations made, and total revenue raised through such programs.

4. Incorporate matching gifts within the donation form.

We’ve long stated that including matching gifts directly within the donation experience itself is one of the best ways to get the ball rolling for donors. And if the fundraisers whose practices were analyzed during the research report are any indication, many top nonprofits agree.

For one, a donation page provides an excellent opportunity to collect much-needed employment information from donors. Once you have this data, your team can then trigger targeted communications to drive more matches to completion.

Plus, simply mentioning matching gift opportunities within your online form allows your donors to begin familiarizing themselves with the idea of the programs as early as possible.

Here’s one organization that made the most of its online giving page to promote matching gifts.

Example matching gift donation page from the Walk to End Alzheimer's

Here’s what this organization did well on its donation page, specifically in regard to matching gifts:

  • Established a dedicated section within the form, clearly labeled “Matching Gifts,” to grab supporters’ attention as they give;
  • Provided a brief overview of matching gift programs and how to use the embedded search tool to locate company information;
  • Shared next steps in the matching gift process, ensuring donors can expect additional information pertaining to their gifts and matches on the confirmation page.

By implementing these matching gift practices and more, the nonprofit was able to see standout match success through key peer-to-peer programs and additional fundraising efforts. Not to mention similar donation form tactics were also employed by many other high-ranking organizations included in the matching gift report.

5. Provide company-specific program details on the confirmation screen.

The next recommended practice has to do with the step directly after an individual completes an online donation form. In nearly all cases, the user then automatically reroutes to a gift confirmation screen. This page acknowledges that the donation was submitted, thanks the supporter for their contribution, and provides additional opportunities for involvement.

And throughout the matching gift research report, we saw that the vast majority of top nonprofits (~83.3%) also use this valuable piece of real estate to further promote matching gift participation.

Let’s take a look at one example of this practice.

Example matching gift confirmation page from the Pan Mass Challenge

Here’s what this organization did well on its confirmation page, specifically regarding matching gifts:

  • Provided detailed information about an individual’s contribution, enabling them to easily compare against their company’s established matching gift eligibility criteria;
  • Embedded an auto-populating matching gift widget, complete with specific program information for the company they selected on the previous page;
  • Inspired immediate action with links straight to company guidelines and online submission forms.

Offering a simpler matching gift experience following an initial donation increases the likelihood of donor participation. That said, fundraisers like this team aim to streamline the process while making the most of still-high levels of supporter engagement. And when done so effectively, many donors choose to initiate their matches right from the confirmation screen.

6. Send personalized matching gift emails post-transaction.

For donors who ultimately don’t choose to get their gifts matched directly from the confirmation screen, we know that sending follow-up emails can be the next best step. That’s why 86.6% of the P2P Top 30 are pursuing matching gift opportunities with post-transaction messaging.

Let’s take a look at one leading organization’s post-donation communications⁠—and how they highlight matching gifts.

First, here’s the donation receipt an individual receives in the minutes after submitting their gift:

Example matching gift follow-up email from LLS

And this is what the follow-up matching gift email looks like:

Example matching gift follow-up email from LLS

Here’s what this organization did well in its post-donation matching gift communications:

  • Thanked donors for their initial support, acknowledging their gift impact and the opportunity for amplified results from corporate matching;
  • Leveraged customizable messaging, using the nonprofit’s own consistent branding (fonts, images, colors) and email domain;
  • Included matching gift information in both the gift confirmation email/donation receipt;
  • Sent messages in a timely manner, with the donation receipt and initial matching email coming in within the first hour after the gift being made;
  • Let donors know within the gift receipt that they will receive additional email correspondence with next steps for matching gifts;
  • Referenced personalized details, such as the donor’s name, acknowledgment of a recent gift, and the company they work for;
  • Shared company-specific matching gift eligibility criteria, including minimum and maximum donation amounts, match ratios, request deadlines, and more;
  • Provided direct links to the online submission portal for the donor’s employer, empowering them to initiate a match with ease.

The matching gift email also encourages supporters to follow up with the organization for a quick matching gift status update after submitting their request. This enables the nonprofit’s development team to better track and forecast incoming match revenue.

7. Leverage innovative matching gift software.

While it’s technically possible to develop a matching gift strategy without the aid of dedicated technology to power your efforts, doing so is likely to require substantial investments of time, effort, and resources. On the other hand, matching gift software can go a long way toward streamlining and automating the process.

As you consider the possibilities, it’s worth noting that, of the organizations’ practices analyzed in the Top Nonprofits report, those that use matching gift software saw average matching gift scores more than twice as high as those that did not appear to use matching gift software.

Still, choosing the right software provider is essential, as well. The study reports that 73.3% of the P2P Top 30 fundraisers⁠—and ⁠90% of the 10 highest-earning events—leveraged Double the Donation’s match software.

Pie chart examining matching gift software providers used by the P2P Top 30

Not to mention, employing a best-in-class technology solution like Double the Donation can also help your team incorporate the above best practices into your matching gift strategy⁠—from hosting a dedicated matching gift page (complete with an embedded company search tool) to highlighting matching gifts throughout the giving experience and beyond.

If you’re interested in exploring Double the Donation’s automation platform, 360MatchPro, you can request a demo here to get started.

Plus, keep in mind that your more general fundraising technology can play a significant role here, as well. For example, Top Nonprofits indicates that organizations using tools without sufficient matching gift integration and customization options saw significantly lower matching gift scores overall⁠⁠—compared to fundraisers whose giving tools integrated seamlessly with a matching gift solution.

That said, we recommend taking a look at Double the Donation’s wide array of technology partners if you’re in the market for a new fundraising platform that will work well with an elevated matching gift strategy.


Wrapping Up

Whether your team is just getting started with matching gifts or you’re looking to optimize an existing strategy, taking a look at tips and tricks followed by organizations with impactful matching gift efforts can go a long way.

Integrating the above matching gift practices in your nonprofit’s fundraising has the potential to bring your overall giving to previously unimaginable heights. And now’s the best time to get started!

Keep up the learning—explore additional resources from Double the Donation and other matching gift industry experts below:

Bring matching gift success to your own organization with Double the Donation's matching gift practices, tips, and tools.

This complete guide covers everything you need to know about digital marketing for nonprofits.

Digital Marketing for Nonprofits: The Ultimate Guide

As a nonprofit marketer, brand awareness is at the top of your priority list. You’re challenged to grow your prospect list with limited funding. Luckily, digital marketing for nonprofits has changed the name of the game.

There’s no better way to get more bang for your buck than by establishing an online presence. Nonprofit digital marketing has opened up a world of opportunities for causes trying to get the most out of their budgets. Organizations like yours can cut down substantially on overhead costs by eliminating costly print collateral. Plus, your potential reach has never been so large! You can reach supporters across the globe in a matter of mere seconds, whether you’re promoting matching gifts or sharing volunteering opportunities.

From social media to email marketing, you have so many incredible, low-cost options to make your cause known. If you really want to stand out online, you’ve come to the right place! We’re here to help you harness the power of digital marketing for nonprofits by covering these key topics:

Here at Double the Donation, we work with nonprofits to raise more money through matching gifts. A big part of that involves nonprofits proactively marketing corporate giving opportunities to supporters. From marketing matching gifts to generally raising awareness for worthwhile causes, we’ve seen the power the online space holds. We’re hoping to share some of what we’ve learned, so you can expand your reach.

With a little research, you’ll be a nonprofit digital marketing whiz in no time! However, if you need a bit of guidance for your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy, we recommend turning to the experts at Getting Attention. They specialize in Google Ad Grant management, helping all sorts of organizations grow their potential with PPC advertising.

Work with our recommended Google Grants agency to level up your nonprofit digital marketing strategy.

This section defines digital marketing for nonprofits.

What Is Digital Marketing for Nonprofits?

Digital marketing for nonprofits is a specific subset of marketing for organizations that relies on the internet and online-dependent technologies, such as desktop computers and mobile devices. Nonprofits use digital outlets to spread mission awareness, solicit donations, increase volunteer numbers, promote events, and publicize their services.

Common outreach strategies include social media, texting, search advertising, or any other internet-based approach at an organization’s disposal.

This section explains the benefits of digital marketing for nonprofits.

Why Is Digital Marketing for Nonprofits Important?

A strong digital presence is a must for any organization that wants to thrive in the modern age. You might be wondering, “What exactly will establishing a digital presence do for my cause?” Great question!

Here’s a breakdown of some of the best parts of effective online marketing for nonprofit organizations like yours:

  • Eliminate geographical barriers. Supporters are more accessible than ever. By sending an email, publishing on social media, or sending a mass text, you can connect with people within seconds.
  • Make supporting your nonprofit convenient. Your supporters are already online. They’re scrolling through social media, shopping, and Googling stuff they care about. Going digital allows you to make learning about and donating to your cause easy.
  • Open up two-way communication. Just like going digital makes your supporters more accessible, it does the same for your marketing team! Instead of talking at your supporters, you can engage in meaningful conversations when they comment on your social media posts or email you.
  • Raise more. By engaging in storytelling tactics and leveraging online fundraising tools, you can inspire people to donate to your cause. You can also promote engaging fundraising opportunities, like corporate giving!
  • Reduce marketing costs. We already touched on this, but digital marketing for nonprofits has minimal upfront costs, making it a cost-effective option.

Digital marketing for nonprofits offers these benefits.

The list of pros goes on and on! The examples above only scratch the surface. To experience any benefits, you’ll need a strong nonprofit digital marketing strategy to serve as the foundation of your outreach.

This section walks through how to create a nonprofit digital marketing strategy.

Creating Your Nonprofit Digital Marketing Strategy

It’s no secret that digital marketing for nonprofits is insanely powerful. However, it’s not enough to post on social media sporadically or send generic emails to constituents. The online space is competitive, so you need a holistic strategy that defines your objectives and how you’ll reach them. Otherwise, your efforts might be disjointed and not contribute much to strengthening your digital presence.

While each nonprofit’s marketing strategy will vary, there are some common steps to craft a plan that works for your cause. Let’s walk through those now!

Online marketing for nonprofits requires a few steps.

1. Define your nonprofit’s digital marketing goals.

Laying out clear goals will help you craft the right messages to the right audiences who will get you there. Every digital communication you send will get you one step closer to reaching whatever goals you set, so spend plenty of time hashing your objectives out with your marketing team.

Generally speaking, you might want to boost awareness for corporate giving, increase membership renewals, or spread awareness for your nonprofit’s services. Think through how these goals correlate with your overall mission and how your digital marketing efforts can support that. Let’s take a look at a specific example of a bad goal vs. a SMART goal:

Goal 1) Grow our email subscriber list and use that channel to raise more through matching gifts.

Goal 2) Add 1,000 more subscribers to our email list and use that channel to raise an additional $5,000 in matching gift revenue by the end of the year.

Notice how the second goal is much clearer, defines how your nonprofit’s digital marketing can support your mission, and gives you solid metrics to work toward. That’s because it’s what we call a SMART goal.

The SMART Goal Framework

As a marketer, you might already be aware of this approach. The SMART goal framework allows you to set clear goals that anyone on your team can understand. The acronym stands for:

  • Specific: Be as clear as possible when setting nonprofit digital marketing goals. That way, everyone will know what you’re attempting to achieve! Returning to our example above, we’re clearly aiming to raise more money specifically through matching gifts by leveraging email rather than all channels.
  • Measurable: Your goal should have clear metrics attached to measure performance. In our example, the key performance indicators are 1,000 more subscribers and $5,000 in matching gift revenue sourced from that channel.
  • Attainable: Your goal should be reasonable yet still aspirational. You want to challenge your team without deterring them. For example, let’s say that you grew your email list by 800 subscribers and sourced $4,250 in matching gifts through that channel last year. That makes your new goal attainable yet aspirational!
  • Relevant: Your nonprofit’s digital marketing goal should play into your overall mission. In the example above, it’s clear that growing email subscriptions will provide valuable fundraising dollars.
  • Time-Based: Your goal needs a clear deadline to establish a sense of urgency! In the example above, we made the goal time-based by setting the end of the year as the deadline.

By following this framework, you can set objectives that make sense for your organization, make the most of digital outlets, and push your mission forward in meaningful ways.

2. Choose the right nonprofit digital marketing platforms.

There’s no shortage of nonprofit digital marketing platforms that you can leverage. Whether you’re trying to reach tech-savvy teens or email-reliant boomers, there’s a platform for reaching every segment of your audience.

Let’s walk through some of the most common ones:

  • Search ads. Paid advertising is a fantastic way to promote your cause. Plus, many paid digital marketing platforms offer free or discounted rates for nonprofits. For example, the Google Ad Grants program offers $10,000 in free monthly funding to any eligible organization that applies. Then, organizations can spend that funding to create ads that promote their website’s content at the top of Google search results pages for mission-specific keywords. Using search ads like Google Ads, you can promote anything from donation forms to educational content, bringing more visibility to your cause on search engines.
  • Social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are all great organic channels you can use to drive more results through effective online marketing for nonprofits. Regularly post updates, engage in visual storytelling, and expand your audience by encouraging social sharing. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer unique fundraising features you can use to drive donations. You can even use each platform’s paid features to amplify your content further!
  • Email. As our nonprofit fundraising statistics page explains, email-based marketing and promotional campaigns generate around 28% of all online nonprofit revenue. That makes email an essential channel for your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy! Create eye-catching subject lines, send a regular newsletter, and promote relevant opportunities to each supporter group using your email marketing platform’s segmentation tools.
  • Texting. SMS marketing has an incredible open rate of over 98%, compared to just 20% for emails. By leveraging texting in your online outreach, you can send succinct updates directly to supporters’ phones and tap into fundraising tools like text-to-give. While a great way to connect with supporters, this nonprofit digital marketing channel isn’t for every organization! Organizations that find this strategy most useful are those with younger audiences.

When using digital marketing for nonprofits, focus on these main channels.

These platforms will serve as the foundation of your organization’s outreach. When getting started, think through your audience for each platform carefully. Then, craft messages that support your objectives and play to each channel’s strengths.

For example, if you’re aiming to boost awareness for your animal shelter’s adoption services, you might use search ads to amplify your adoption page, social media to share a testimonial video about an animal that found its forever home, email to promote an upcoming adoption event, and text to share a quick announcement and a link to your adoption page.

Pro tip: Use a mixture of platforms to connect with supporters. Multichannel marketing allows you to expand the number of people you’re able to reach, bringing more exposure to your cause online.

3. Push your digital marketing campaign live.

At this point, you’ll need to write your digital marketing messages and publish them on relevant platforms.

There’s a lot of competition online, so your team needs to do everything it can to stand out online. Get creative in how you present your messages. Lean into storytelling tactics, use visual techniques like video and images, and offer different engagement opportunities to garner as much attention as possible.

Remember, digital marketing for nonprofits offers two-way communication opportunities, so pay attention to people’s interactions with your posts and messages. You might like their comments, respond to their emails, or show them you appreciate their interactions with your team in some other way.

Finally, you’ll want to create a schedule for each platform, so your team creates a pattern of consistency. That way, supporters will regularly see your nonprofit’s updates in their inboxes and newsfeeds, keeping your cause top of mind.

Need campaign ideas to drive greater results through online marketing for nonprofits? Check out these creative marketing ideas from Getting Attention!

4. Monitor your nonprofit’s digital marketing performance.

Even once you send your outreach, the work’s not quite over yet! One of the best parts of going digital is that you can gather insightful metrics. Data-driven digital marketing for nonprofits is a must if you want to be proactive about growing your digital presence actively and providing value to your supporters.

During and after your campaigns, evaluate how successful your nonprofit digital marketing efforts are. Modern platforms make it easy to pull performance metrics and create reports to see how your efforts measure up against your goals.

Let’s break down the most common key performance indicators (KPIs) you can measure on each platform:

  • Email: Open rates, click-through rate (CTR), and unsubscribe rates are a few engagement metrics that your team should pay attention to.
  • Search ads: Your CTR and conversions (e.g., donations, event registrations, etc.) are the best metrics for determining the effectiveness of your search ads.
  • Social media: Likes, shares, comments, and impressions can help you estimate your reach and engagement.
  • Text: Delivery rate, opt-out rate, and conversions can let you know if your text outreach is performing as expected.

If your outreach is underperforming, make adjustments as you go. Do you have low email open rates? Experiment with your subject lines to capture more attention. Do you have exceptionally high social media impressions but minimal shares, likes, and comments? Your content might be reaching plenty of people, but it’s not quite doing the trick and inspiring them.

Do you have low delivery rates for texts? That may mean your supporters have changed their phone numbers. Don’t worry; this happens! Use a phone number append to make sure you have accurate phone numbers for supporters if your delivery rate is alarmingly low.

No matter what metrics you monitor, you need to pay attention to your performance. Successful digital marketing for nonprofits rides on these numbers!

Follow these tips to get more out of online marketing for nonprofits.

Tips To Take Online Marketing for Nonprofits Up a Notch

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing for nonprofits. As you get into the swing of things, test out some different strategies to find out what works for your organization!

Let’s explore several best practices you can use to tailor your plan and maximize your marketing ROI.

Promote Your Website with Google Ads.

We touched on Google Ads earlier, but there’s so much more to it than what we’ve covered! Search ads are one of the most effective digital marketing outlets for nonprofits.

In fact, Getting Attention’s Google Ad Grant Impact Report explains that search ads have the highest ROI of any nonprofit paid advertising channel, returning an incredible $4.78 for every dollar spent.

As we touched on, you’ll need to apply for the program and meet the eligibility requirements to receive the $10,000 in ad credits. From here, you can create ads that promote your website’s content and use your free funding to bid on relevant keywords.

You can promote pretty much any valuable content, whether you want to bring attention to your donation form, services, volunteer opportunities, events, or something else. You can even use Google Ads to promote matching gifts! Here’s a quick example of how The Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Trust, and Greenpeace USA all targeted donors using Google Ads:

Here's an example of how organizations can use Google Ads to strengthen digital marketing for nonprofits.

With a thoughtful bidding strategy, you can bring more visibility to your cause than ever before. Plus, the grant will automatically renew every month, so you’ll have a reliable source of funding as long as you comply with the compliance requirements.

It’ll take some time to learn the intricacies of the program, which is why we recommend working with a Google Grants manager. Our preferred agency is Getting Attention! They work with you to craft your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy for Google Ads. They’ll help you apply for the program, create your ads, and monitor metrics to make sure you’re driving meaningful results.

Work with our recommended Google Grants manager to maximize digital marketing for nonprofits.

Automate your nonprofit’s digital marketing when possible.

Marketing automation allows you to automate monotonous marketing work. Your marketing team can automate routine tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and ad campaigns. Not only will this boost efficiency, but it’ll help you provide a personalized experience for your supporters.

While automation certainly doesn’t replace manual outreach, the two can be used in conjunction to provide a timely, valuable experience to your supporters. This can lay the ground for healthy, long-term relationships.

Let’s take a look at a few areas where you can leverage automation:

  • Email streams. Let’s say you set up an email stream for a volunteer opportunity. The second someone registers to volunteer, your software might trigger a confirmation email. Then, you might have a reminder email within this stream to follow up a few days before the actual volunteer event. After the opportunity, you can automatically follow up with a well-written volunteer thank-you letter that’s customized with their volunteer details.
  • Google Ads. Google Ad Grants can be confusing, which is why Google’s advertising platform allows you to leverage search ad automation tools. Using features like responsive search ads (RSAs), your ads will adapt to show relevant messages to users. You’ll submit a variety of headlines and descriptions. Then, Google will swap them out to find the best fit for users and improve your results.
  • Matching gifts. Through the use of our matching gift tools, you can drive more corporate giving revenue through automation. You can set up email streams that follow up with match-eligible donors, encouraging them to submit their employer requests. We also launched an autosubmission function, which allows donors to skip steps in the employer request submission process. By selecting a box on your donation confirmation page, they can opt-in to have our tools automatically check their eligibility and submit their requests to their employers on their behalf. No need for your team to step in when you have automation handling the hard work for you!

Use autosubmission to automate your nonprofit digital marketing for matching gifts.

No matter how you leverage it, automation can be a powerful strategy when it comes to digital marketing for nonprofits. Think carefully about how it can play into your plans without risking the personalized touch of manual outreach.

Tailor your outreach with segmentation.

Generic outreach won’t get you very far. Instead, personalize your outreach. This conveys that you care about your supporters, helping to capture their attention and build a stronger connection with each message you send.

Put yourself in a donor’s shoes. You receive an email that starts with “Dear generous donor.” Chances are, you won’t read the whole email. At the most, you might skim it. Your nonprofit’s online marketing tools should make it easy to customize your emails with recipients’ names.

Personalization should go further than adding their name to an email, though. That’s where segmentation comes into play!

You’ll want to create meaningful supporter segments, so you can send relevant appeals to those who are most likely to engage. To get started, you might create segments based on:

  • Past engagement history. Try creating groups based on past engagement with your organization—whether they’ve donated, attended events, volunteered, or engaged in other ways. That way, you can send volunteer opportunities primarily to volunteers, fundraising campaign details to committed donors, and so on. Common segments include first-time donors, recurring donors, match-eligible donors, volunteers, advocates, and peer-to-peer fundraisers.
  • Contact method. As you can tell by how many digital marketing outlets there are, there are countless ways to contact supporters. Consider noting their preferred communication methods in your CRM. That way, you can be sure to contact them using the channels to which they’re most responsive.
  • Age. Categorizing supporters by age allows you to determine the types of messages and platforms your supporters will be most receptive to. Even if they haven’t indicated their communication preferences, you can predict the best channels to use for each supporter. For instance, those under 25 might be more active on social media or be likely to interact with text messages, while supporters over 45 might prefer email.

Thoughtful segmentation can go a long way toward improving your nonprofit’s digital marketing. While primarily used in email marketing for nonprofits, it’s also a great strategy for any other channel!

Optimize your nonprofit’s website.

Your website is the hub of all your nonprofit’s digital marketing efforts. It’s where first-time supporters will go to learn more about your cause and long-term supporters will go to find new engagement opportunities. It also enables you to raise online donations.

With all that rides on your website, you’ll need to put some thought behind your site’s design and create a valuable experience for each visitor. As a starting point, follow these best practices:

  • Use a mobile-responsive design. Fundraising research states that half of all nonprofit web traffic comes from mobile users. By optimizing your site for mobile users, you’ll make it easy for all supporters to learn about your cause, no matter what device they’re using! Start by using a mobile-responsive CMS to resize your web content to fit any device automatically. From here, compress your images, minimize the number of pop-ups you include, and reduce the number of fields you include on any form.
  • Reduce load time. The longer it takes your website to load, the more likely people are to leave. In fact, research from Google estimates that the probability of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds. Page speed also plays a pivotal role in your SEO performance since Google uses it as one of its ranking factors. To reduce your site’s load time, compress images, reduce redirects, enable browser caching, and minify any unnecessary coding.
  • Feature corporate giving. Your website is the perfect place to increase awareness for corporate giving! Include our employer search tool on your donation form to encourage more users to research their eligibility for their employers’ programs. Then, get crafty by developing a dedicated matching gifts page that defines what they are, covers common guidelines, and walks through the process. If you already have a Ways to Give page, you can include information about matching gifts, volunteer grants, and other corporate giving opportunities there, too!

There’s plenty you can do to make your website as valuable as possible for your nonprofit marketing strategy. For other recommendations, we recommend checking out the site requirements for Google Ad Grants. While specific to the program, these rules provide guidance tailored to nonprofits, helping them create valuable web content that speaks to their mission and inspires supporters to get involved.

Continue learning about digital marketing for nonprofits with these resources.

Wrapping Up

Digital marketing for nonprofits is an incredible opportunity to spread more awareness for your mission than ever before. From promoting corporate giving to increasing event attendance, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish for your mission.

Remember to spend time crafting a thoughtful nonprofit digital marketing strategy that plays to your organization’s strengths and connects you with your unique audience. Leverage all sorts of channels like social media, Google search ads, and email to make a lasting impression on supporters. In no time, you’ll strengthen your digital presence and drive greater outcomes for your work.

To continue enhancing your nonprofit’s outreach, explore these resources:

Work with Getting Attention to strengthen your nonprofit digital marketing strategy with the Google Ad Grant.

This guide explores how to promote matching gifts with the Google Ad Grant.

How to Promote Matching Gifts with the Google Ad Grant

If your nonprofit is serious about driving more matching gift revenue, it’s time to step up and get creative with your outreach. As one of the most innovative outreach channels, Google Ads might just be the missing piece to your matching gift marketing strategy.

For those who are paid marketing rookies, Google Ads is an online advertising platform where advertisers can display short ads that promote their web content to users on Google Search. Nonprofits that use the platform typically promote content related to fundraising, volunteering, and services.

Pay-per-click marketing can add up, though. Luckily, Google realizes this! That’s why they offer eligible nonprofits free access to Google Ads, making it the perfect opportunity to strengthen your organization’s digital presence. Crafting a high-performing ad campaign for matching gifts takes a bit more than writing a few sentences, directing people to your website, and calling it a day, though.

To help supercharge your marketing, we’ll share everything we know about promoting matching gifts with Google Ads. Here’s what we’ll cover:

A lot of work goes into managing a Google Ad Grants account and creating winning ads for your fundraising initiatives. That’s why we recommend working with a professional Google Grants manager! From pinpointing the right keywords to creating inspiring ads for matching gifts, our friends at Getting Attention know what it takes to stand out using Google Ads.

While waiting to discuss your Google Ad needs with their team, explore our suggestions below. That way, you can come prepared with some ideas for your Google Ad Grants marketing strategy!

Get help from our recommended agency to promote matching gifts with Google Ads.
Let's review the basics of using Google Ad Grants and spreading matching gift awareness.

An Overview of Promoting Matching Gifts with Google Ads

Before diving headfirst into specific marketing strategies, take some time to learn the basics of the Google Ad Grant program. You’ll find that a carefully-crafted Ad Grants strategy can amplify several parts of your mission, including everything from corporate giving to volunteer registrations.

What Are Google Ad Grants?

Created in 2003, Google Ad Grants has transformed into a popular corporate giving program that provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 in free advertising credits every month. Organizations can spend these credits to bid on different mission-related keywords and promote their web content.

Nonprofits most often promote donation pages, service pages, and educational content, depending on the keywords they’re bidding on. Then, ads are placed strategically on the search engine results pages for those keywords, such as at the very top above the organic results.

Getting Attention’s Google Ad Grants guide explains that you should “think of it as your secret weapon for spreading awareness for your cause, expanding your donor and volunteer network, sharing essential updates with your supporters, and ranking higher on Google.”

The bottom line: The Ad Grants program makes it easy to fold Google Ads into your matching gift marketing strategy without blowing your marketing budget.

Not sure if you’re eligible for the Google Ad Grants program? Before applying, check out our guide to determining your Google Grants eligibility.

The Importance of Marketing Matching Gifts

Corporate giving makes up a sizeable portion of any nonprofit’s revenue. In fact, fundraising research estimates that corporations donate roughly $3 billion through matching gifts alone each year. Even with these incredible contributions, around 78% of match-eligible donors are unaware that their companies offer matching gift programs. That’s why effective marketing is vital!

If your donors aren’t aware of their match eligibility, they won’t follow through with submitting their requests. While matching gift automation will deliver automated email reminders to donors, using other avenues to promote matching gifts will help you reach prospects who haven’t donated yet.

From emails to Google Ads, there’s a lot you can do to spread awareness to donors and prospects who need an extra push to donate.

Why Nonprofits Promote Matching Gifts With Google Ad Grants

One of the reasons that the Google Ad Grant is a game-changer is that you can create highly-customized ads that showcase your cause.

Using a feature called sitelink extensions, you can build out your ads with additional landing pages, providing users with a variety of ways to engage with your cause. In other words, you can share several touchpoints all within the same ad.

Not to mention, you have complete control over the keywords you target. That means you can make sure you’re only targeting search queries that connect you with qualified leads. Plus, you can use Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) to test out different versions of your ads to drive more clicks.

Above all, Google Search empowers you to connect with donors from all over the world. Available to organizations in 51 countries, the Google Ad Grant breaks down geographical barriers, so you can connect with motivated supporters wherever they are.

Nonprofits Source’s online giving research provides a few convincing statistics that speak to the power of Google Ads:

These impressive statistics show the power of Google Ads.

  • Google processes about 3.7 billion search queries every day and owns over 84% of the desktop search engine market.
  • With an average ROI of $4.78, search ads have the highest ROI for nonprofits using paid advertising.
  • View-through revenue (revenue from donors who saw but didn’t click on an ad) accounts for 35% of all giving sourced from digital ads.

In other words, the Google Ad Grants program gives you the power to supercharge your digital marketing and increase matching gift awareness more than ever before. By carefully selecting keywords and creating persuasive ads, you can connect with donors who are ready to donate and submit their matching gift requests to employers.

Promoting matching gifts with Google Ads is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. Explore other creative ways to market matching gifts.

Develop the right website content to promote matching gifts via Google Ads.

Types of Matching Gift Website Content to Promote with Google Ads

So you’re convinced that Google Ads is a viable way to grow matching gift awareness. Great! We wholeheartedly agree. Now, it’s time to take the next step: determining what content to promote with Google Ads. Or, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to create matching gift content on your website to attach to your ads.

One of the rules of the Google Ad Grant program is that your nonprofit must have high-quality website content. After all, that content is what you’ll be promoting with your ads. Let’s explore a few pages related to matching gifts you’ll want to create on your site.

Your Donation Form

A donation form is one of the most popular pages that nonprofits promote using the Google Ad Grant. Luckily, the donation process is the perfect time to encourage users to check their matching gift eligibility! Anyone visiting this page is clearly already thinking about donating, and they might even increase their donation if they know their employer will match it.

Using one of 360MatchPro’s donation form integrations, simply embed your employer search tool into this page. This will empower donors to take action immediately after clicking one of your Google Ads.

Your donation form is the perfect place to drive traffic via Google Ads and promote matching gifts.

While creating brand-new matching gift content takes some time, updating your existing donation page with an employer search tool is a quick way to incorporate Google Ads into your matching gift promotion.

A Matching Gifts Page

While the concept of matching gifts is simple, companies’ programs can be tricky to navigate. They each have their own requirements and processes donors must follow to qualify. That’s why you’ll want to create a landing page that guides users through the process and allows them to determine their eligibility.

Your page should feature:

  • Basic information regarding what matching gift programs are
  • How the process of requesting a matching gift works
  • Corporate giving statistics that convey the impact of matching gifts
  • Your employer search tool so that users can research their companies’ programs

A dedicated matching gifts page will play a vital role in your Google Ads strategy. Your goal with this page should be to teach donors about matching gifts and spur them into action to submit the necessary forms. Then, when they click through to your site from your ad, they’ll know exactly what next step to take.

A Ways to Give Page

A Ways to Give page covers every way a prospect can support your work, from monthly giving to volunteering to matching gifts. Best of all, you probably already have this type of page published on your site.

Use Google Ads to drive donors to your Ways to Give page, where you can promote matching gifts.

Easily update your Ways to Give page with matching gift content. At a minimum, we recommend that you:

As an added bonus, this page is great to include in other ads! You can expand your other ad campaigns using the sitelink extension feature. Then, link to your Ways to Give page, directing all types of prospects to it to learn more about supporting your work.

Blog Articles

Occasionally, you’ll encounter donors who are confused about matching gifts, the process, and how to determine their eligibility. Clear up any confusion by publishing blog articles about matching gifts. This is also a great opportunity to share stories about how corporate giving has impacted your cause.

As you brainstorm your approach, here are a few other ways to create motivational blog articles about matching gifts:

  • Post insightful stories about matching gifts and the effects these programs can have on your organization’s mission.
  • Incorporate a graphic that advertises matching gifts on the side of all blog posts to help increase awareness.
  • Review the basics of matching gifts and give donors clear steps for checking their eligibility and submitting requests to their employers.

Like we mentioned, you can promote all sorts of content with the Google Ad Grant, including educational content about matching gifts! Dedicate some of your marketing team’s time to creating these articles. Then, when you create a particularly captivating article, you can promote it using Google Ads.

Dive into other common ways to market matching gifts to your donors across your website.

When marketing matching gifts on Google, make sure to choose the right keywords.

Choosing Keywords for Your Matching Gift Google Ads

One of the main components of your Google Ads is your keywords. Your keywords can make or break your Google Ads. Picking the right search terms will help you connect with motivated prospects who are likely to donate and submit matching gift requests to their employers.

Through Google for Nonprofits, you’ll gain access to helpful keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner. Use these tools to pinpoint the terms your donors are searching on Google. Or, if you’re feeling wary about picking your keywords, a Google Grants manager can step in to do the research for you.

To build effective keyword lists and optimize your Google Ad Grant account, follow these quick tips:

  1. Think like your donors. Ask, “What would a donor search to find out more about supporting our organization?” Then, think about how to promote matching gifts through those terms.
  2. Select general keywords to expand your reach. As we mentioned, a lot of donors don’t know about matching gifts. To reach a large audience, target generic keywords that relate to supporting your cause. Then, you can direct users to specific pages that promote matching gifts.
  3. Narrow your audience with specific keywords. To reach donors who already know about matching gifts, you might bid on more specific terms. Know that specific keywords tend to be less competitive, meaning your ads are more likely to be shown to users. However, keep in mind that keywords that are too specific will limit who you’re able to reach with your Google Ads since not many people will search these terms.
  4. Know that you don’t have to add every variant of every keyword. Your keywords can capture traffic from closely related variations of whichever ones you choose. In other words, you don’t need to add every search query you come up with.

Let’s give a quick example so that you can see how this might look in practice. Let’s say you work for a heart disease prevention organization. Your donors might be looking to learn more about supporting heart disease research.

In this case, you might target search queries like “ways to give to heart disease research” and “donate to fight heart disease.” Then, you can direct traffic to your donation form and expand your ad with additional links to your Ways to Give page and dedicated matching gift page.

More specific matching gift keywords, like “matching donations to heart disease research” won’t receive much traffic. Targeting terms like this means you’ll severely limit your audience and likely won’t increase matching gift awareness very much.

So considering that your goal is to promote matching gifts with the Google Ad Grant, we suggest leaning into the first strategy of choosing more generic keywords. Then, you can use more specific keywords to spread awareness among knowledgeable donors.

Learn how to promote matching gifts with the Google Ad Grant by looking at examples.

Examples Showing How to Promote Matching Gifts with Google Ads

You can read all day about how to promote matching gifts with the Google Ad Grant. However, it’s much more useful to see some examples from real organizations! Here are a few of the ways we’ve seen nonprofits increase matching gift awareness through well-written Google Ads.

ASPCA

This example image shows how ASPCA uses Google Ads to promote matching gifts.

For this Google Ad, ASPCA targets focused keywords like “matching gifts for ASPCA.” The intent for this keyword shows that the user is knowledgeable about matching gifts and is likely wondering if they can have their donation to the organization matched.

That’s why the Google Ad directs the user to their dedicated matching gifts page. Then, it showcases the nonprofit’s Ways to Give page by using a sitelink extension, giving the user an additional way to engage with the organization.

Muslim American Society

To learn how to promote matching gifts with Google Ads, take a look at this example from the Muslim American Society.

In this Google Ad example, the Muslim American Society promotes matching gifts to users who are ready to donate. Someone who searches “give to Muslim American Society” is clearly on the verge of donating, making it the perfect time to promote matching gifts!

The landing page for this Google Ad is the organization’s donation form which prominently features matching gifts. There’s information about common guidelines and the process for submitting a match request alongside the form. Then, donors can research their eligibility using an embedded employer search tool.

Work with a Google Ad Grant agency to start promoting matching gifts on Google.

Getting Started Promoting Matching Gifts with Google Ads

Now that you know the basics of promoting matching gifts with Google Ads, it’s time to dive in and create your campaigns!

If you need some additional help, you don’t have to go into it alone! We suggest turning to the Google Grant managers at Getting Attention. These experts know everything there is to know about the Google Ad Grant. They devote their time to learning the intricacies of the program, empowering their nonprofit partners to connect with new prospects on Google Search.

Whether you want to promote matching gifts with Google Ads or drive awareness in other areas, they know what it takes to stand out. They provide services for every aspect of Google Ad Grant management, including:

  • Google Ad Grant eligibility check and application
  • Ad creation (including keyword research)
  • Ongoing account management to comply with Google’s rules
  • Landing page relaunch (including design work)
  • Account reactivation for lapsed or deactivated accounts

So, if promoting matching gifts with Google Ads sounds out of your wheelhouse, trust these experts to handle it for you! They’ll help you create compelling ads that drive real results for your cause. Plus, you can chat with their team about how the Google Ad Grant falls into your marketing strategy as a whole.

Check out these additional resource to learn how to promote matching gifts and leverage Google Ad Grants.

Final Thoughts

When you get creative, the Google Ad Grant can transform your digital marketing and increase visibility for corporate giving opportunities. Whether you’re advertising your donation form or a dedicated matching gifts page, there’s a lot you can do to make donors aware of their matching gift potential through the program.

For the quickest results, we highly recommend working with a Google Grants manager. These experts know the ins and outs of the program, so you can focus on other aspects of your mission while they design compelling ads.

As you get up and running, check out these resources to learn more about Google Ad Grants and how to promote matching gifts:

Work with our recommended Google Ad Grants agency to promote matching gifts to prospects.

This guide explains how your nonprofit can manage and optimize its Google Ad Grant account.

Google Grant Optimization: Nonprofit Grant Management Tips

Organizations with effective nonprofit marketing strategies utilize many tools to reach their audiences. From email blasts to social media posts, these organizations leverage numerous platforms to communicate valuable information. Among all these platforms, one source of truth remains constant—your nonprofit’s website. Whether you’re promoting matching gifts or an upcoming fundraising event, most communications point back to your nonprofit’s website for more information.

If your nonprofit takes advantage of the $10,000 Ad Grant from Google, you’re taking the right steps to promote your site and your organization’s most valuable information. However, the Google Ad Grant program isn’t a single-step process.

Nonprofits are not only required to maintain their eligibility for the Google Ad Grant but also must optimize their ads and accounts to drive real results from the program. In this guide, we’ll show you how to optimize your Google Grant by covering the following topics:

Truly making the most of this grant means managing it on a regular basis. When you do, you’ll expand your outreach as you increase website traffic and consistently appeal to new internet searchers. Understand what it means to optimize your Google Grant so you can develop a strategy that will effectively reach a large audience of potential supporters.

Click this graphic to learn more about the Google Ad Grant and how it can help promote your nonprofit’s matching gift program.

This section defines Google Grant account optimization.

What is Google Grant optimization?

Google Grant optimization means managing your nonprofit’s Google Ad Grant account and the advertisements you’ve created to ensure everything stays compliant with Google’s management policies and relevant to users’ search intents. Although you can optimize almost any aspect of your Google Ad Grant participation, some common areas for improvement include:

  • Keyword specificity: Ensure your ads target specific keywords (preferably long-tail, non-competitive terms). Look for opportunities to refine your keyword choices so that they’re more relevant to your organization’s current operations or goals. For example, an increase in the kitten population during the spring months might prompt an animal shelter to target keywords such as “spring kitten adoptions.”
  • Data organization: In order to keep keywords relevant to your cause, your nonprofit will have to keep hygienic keyword data. This means regularly checking the quality and relevance of your keywords so that you can adjust any keywords that aren’t performing well. An animal shelter might remove the keyword “pet adoptions as Christmas gifts” in February when it becomes irrelevant to the ad’s landing page. To determine when a keyword becomes outdated or nonvaluable, nonprofits should track keyword metrics, such as click-through rate (CTR), to understand how the keyword is performing.
  • Website improvements: Ensure that your website is relevant to the advertisement and provides a positive user experience for searchers who click on your ad. For starters, you can check to make sure the page is branded to your nonprofit, provides valuable information for the user, and includes the keyword targeted in the ad. Don’t stop at your landing page, though; ensure your website as a whole is valuable and easy to use for its visitors.
  • Account structure: Google’s guidelines for the way you use your Google Ad Grants account require nonprofits to maintain an orderly account structure. For example, you must include more than one ad per ad group and at least two ad groups per campaign. If your nonprofit doesn’t already follow this structure, you’re not only at risk of account deactivation but also missing out on valuable keyword insight.

These aspects of your Google Ad Grant participation are just a few elements that need regular maintenance. Remember, there are countless opportunities for optimization, and it’s a crucial part of leveraging Google Ads for your nonprofit’s outreach efforts. Both the account itself and the ads you create must be refreshed to meet your audience’s needs.

It’s natural for this to seem overwhelming—after all, the Google Ad Grant is free marketing funding. Shouldn’t it make nonprofit marketing easier? If you didn’t want a Google Ad Grant agency’s help during the application process, this is where their services can be especially helpful. They’ll manage your account so that all optimization tasks are completely handled while your nonprofit’s leaders focus on fulfilling your mission.

This section explains how your nonprofit can optimize its Google Ad Grant account to meet compliance requirements.

How to manage your nonprofit’s Google Ad Grant compliance

To break down optimization even further, it can be approached in two stages: account compliance and ad updates. Start with your account—make sure you’re in compliance with all the Google Ad Grant requirements. After all, optimized ads will be no good if your account is suspended!

The list of requirements is long, but there are a few crucial ones that your nonprofit should keep in mind:

  • Maintain regular activity within your account.
  • Make sure your ads are specifically targeted and relevant to your nonprofit.
  • Conduct monthly keyword research and optimize your list where necessary.
  • Maintain a minimum of a 5% click-through rate (CTR).
  • Track and report conversions and CTR.

Since your ads will lead users to your nonprofit’s website, Google also has specific website guidelines, including:

  • Your nonprofit must own the domain.
  • You must add any additional domains that your nonprofit owns to your Google Grants account.
  • Your website should host high-quality and well-maintained web pages.
  • Avoid commercial activity that is irrelevant to your nonprofit’s mission.

Bookmark Google’s guidelines and check regularly for updates. You’ll be notified when anything big changes, but it’s always a good idea to stay on top of the rules and make sure your account is compliant. Especially as you optimize your website and advertisements, keep the account criteria in mind so you don’t accidentally violate the guidelines amidst new changes.

This section gives an overview of Google Ad campaign performance tracking so your nonprofit can identify areas that need optimization.

How to gauge your nonprofit’s campaign performance

You may have heard the saying about not trying to fix something that isn’t broken. The implied first step in that statement is actually knowing something is broken. In the same way, your nonprofit will have to gauge its campaign performance before knowing what should be optimized. Evaluate your campaign performance by tracking:

  • CTR. Compare the number of people who clicked on your ad to the amount that saw it. A high click-through rate might indicate that your ad is compelling enough to prompt viewers to take action. Consider how you can adjust your other ads to match this quality or plan how your future ads will be similar.
  • Conversion data. Conversions, which refer to the users who take a desired action after seeing your ad, are likely the goal of your campaign. Track this data to determine if your Google Ads are producing the desired results. For example, an ad that invites users to register for a volunteer event is effective if the number of volunteer registrations has increased due to your Google Ad.
  • Cost-per-conversion. Consider the cost of your desired results. How much did an ad and keyword cost your nonprofit? How many conversions can you attribute to this ad? Although you won’t specifically pay for conversions, this comparison can give your nonprofit an estimate of how much of its budget is spent producing the ad’s desired results.

Most metrics can be tracked by Google Analytics when you link your accounts. However, you’ll need to compare this to your organization-specific metrics to see the tangible impact of your Google Ads performance. For example, to see the impact of a Google Ad on your matching gift program, you’ll have to combine your own data of the number of gifts matched with the ad’s CTR.

For this reason, it’s crucial that you keep your own data organized, as well. Consider using a database to host all this information in the same place, or hiring a Google Ad Grant agency to track and report your data for you.

This section explains how to optimize your nonprofit’s Google Grant account ads.

How to optimize your nonprofit’s Google Grant account ads

As you evaluate your campaign metrics, change your perspective of underperformance. Optimization doesn’t strictly target failing elements of your Google Ad Grant efforts but makes every aspect of your advertising more successful.

As you narrow your optimization from account structure to individual ads, consider which ones produce the greatest results. Then, adjust the rest of your ads to mimic this strategy. For example, if you find that your highest-performing ad highlights a unique attribute of your organization’s work, you might incorporate that fact into the copy of your other ads. In general, to improve your ads, you can:

  • Rephrase your ad copy. The ad copy is the meat of your advertisement. Make it compelling but concise, and use the keyword or its variations to draw in your audience. A tempting call to action will also prompt searchers to click on your ad, especially if it’s specific and relevant to the search.
  • Link to targeted landing pages. You’ll have varying ads for different keywords, and specificity here is key. If your ad’s headline is misleading, users will quickly become disinterested in the content of your landing page. In contrast, a landing page that is highly specific to the purpose of the ad will retain site visitors and ultimately prompt them to get involved.
  • Revise your ad groups. Make sure that the associated keywords for your ad groups are still relevant to your target audience. Also, build out your ads so that you’re using 3-5 ads per group. This variety allows you to try different targeting methods to determine what tactic is most successful.
  • Organize your campaigns. Campaign management can also impact the way you plan and develop your ads. Assign a theme to each campaign and use those categories to target broader ideas with specific keywords. For example, an animal shelter’s campaign theme might be “adoptions” and the targeted keywords for different ad groups could be “spring kitten adoptions” and “no-fee dog adoptions.” Another theme would be “animal fosters” with keywords such as “dog foster application” and “cat foster fees.”

Although some tactics for Google Ad Grant management require technical account optimization and research, your actual ads are the component that has the potential to convert a user into a supporter. Adjust your ads based on what you know about your supporters and revisit them regularly to make changes as needed.

This section provides concluding remarks and additional resources to use for more information about Google Grant optimization.

Conclusion and additional resources

Once you’ve identified the changes you need to make to your Google Grant account, you can proceed with optimizations to ensure you’re making the most of this free marketing funding. Remember, optimization is not a one-time update. It’s important that you frequently check your Google Grant account and advertisements and make adjustments whenever it’s necessary.

This can be a big undertaking, both initially and as optimizations become a regular part of your account maintenance. Research Google Ad Grant agencies to determine if hiring one will benefit your nonprofit. Our recommendation, Getting Attention, is a full-service agency that can manage every aspect of your grant.

If you’re interested in other types of free marketing funding or methods of donor engagement, check out these additional resources:

Click this graphic to learn more about expert Google Grant optimization from the top professional Ad Grant agency, Getting Attention.

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.

Impact

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

Learn everything you need to know about Microsoft Ad Grants with this guide.

Microsoft Ad Grants: A Q&A Guide for Nonprofit Marketers

The Microsoft Ad Grant is a program that’s quickly emerging as a powerful way to amplify charitable causes. With a monthly allocation of $3,000, participating nonprofits can create well-written ads and bid on keywords that will connect them with new supporters.

Similar to the Google Ad Grant in many ways, this program enables nonprofits to strengthen their digital presence and drive greater results for their work. The grant amount may be smaller than Google’s sizeable $10,000 monthly grant, but Microsoft’s search engines provide access to new audiences with less competition for bottom-of-the-sales-funnel keywords, making it just as valuable.

This program is fairly new, meaning there are still a lot of questions surrounding how to leverage its features to maximize ad performance. Microsoft has paused on accepting new applications, but it’s still worthwhile to be prepared as soon as it’s up and running again.

Based on what’s already been released about the program and what we know about the Google Ad Grant, we’re here to help you perfect your Microsoft Ad Grant management strategies! In this guide, we’ll answer the following questions:

At Double the Donation, we help nonprofits amplify their funding through matching gifts. We’ve seen the tremendous impact that corporate giving programs have on nonprofits, which is why we’re excited to teach you about Microsoft’s latest charitable initiative.

While incredibly valuable, getting started with the Ads for Social Impact program and managing your campaigns takes quite a bit of work. We recommend learning all you can about the program, but we also suggest working with a dedicated professional to handle your account maintenance for you. As our recommended Microsoft Grant management agency, Getting Attention can take the guesswork out of managing your campaigns, so you can focus more on your mission.

Get started with Getting Attention, our recommended Microsoft Ad Grants agency.

Let's walk through the basics of Microsoft Ad Grants.

What Is the Microsoft Ad Grant?

Microsoft Advertising offers approved nonprofits a $3,000 monthly grant that can be used to promote their web content across its digital search network. Ads are displayed across Microsoft’s search engines, including Bing, Yahoo, AOL, outlook.com, MSN, and Microsoft Edge.

Nonprofits can use this funding to bid on keywords that their prospects are searching online. They’ll pick a landing page that matches the searcher’s intent for the selected keywords, such as a donation page or matching gifts page. Then, they’ll write ad copy that encourages users to click the linked page and get involved.

Here’s an example of the World Wildlife Fund promoting its content through the Microsoft Advertising platform:

Here's an example of an ad that you can create using the Microsoft Ad Grant funding.

Advertisers can also build out your ads with additional features, such as ad extensions that link to additional pages. Note that the grant will only apply if your account is in Expert Mode. For now, the program is also currently only available to nonprofits located in the United States. Microsoft has also stopped accepting applications as the work on improving the program and platform to support onboarding more nonprofits.

Microsoft Ad Grants and Google Ad Grants differ in several ways.

What’s the Difference Between Microsoft Grants and Google Grants?

If your nonprofit already participates in the Google Ad Grants program, many aspects of the Microsoft Ad Grant probably sound familiar to you. However, there are some key differences that advertisers have already noticed.

Let’s walk through a few of these dissimilarities, so you can determine how your Microsoft Grant management strategy will differ from Google Grants.

Difference #1) How Ads Are Displayed

Both platforms display ads at the top of the search results for specific terms. However, the designs of the ads vary slightly.

Google displays ads prominently by featuring ‘Ad’ in bold text at the top of the listing. Microsoft makes it less apparent that particular results are ads.

While it looks slightly different across Microsoft’s search engines, they primarily include it in standard, non-bold text within the meta description. Marketers speculate that this results in a better user experience, considering that it looks more like organic results.

Ads look different based on whether you're using Google Grants or Microsoft Grants.

Difference #2) Reach

Google is marked as the world’s most popular search engine, accounting for 61.4% of search queries in the United States, according to Statista. Microsoft’s search engines account for 26.8% of search queries.

While Google clearly connects you with the most individuals possible, Microsoft still makes up a notable portion of users who you might not otherwise reach without creating content for their platforms.

In fact, 653 million unique PC users rely on Microsoft’s search engines, reaching 49 million users who don’t use Google.

Leveraging the Microsoft Ad Grant will empower you to tap into the extensive Microsoft Search Network audience.

While you might interpret a lower number of users as a drawback, there’s actually an advantage that Microsoft has over Google in this regard.

Competition on Microsoft’s advertising platform is much lower since advertisers aren’t pursuing it as heavily as Google’s platform due to the difference in the number of users. In turn, the cost of reaching people is much lower for Microsoft’s program.

Difference #3) Audience Demographics

Considering that you’ll be reaching a different subset of web users, that naturally means your audience for Microsoft Advertising will have different characteristics.

Microsoft pulled user demographics and found that their U.S.-based users tend to be:

  • Educated. 48% have a college degree.
  • Family-oriented. 50% are married, and 60% have children living at home.
  • Wealthier. 41% have a household income in the top 25%.
  • More likely to spend money. The Microsoft Search Network audience spends 32% more online than the average user.

Knowing these details can help you craft ads that are tailored to different audiences across Google and Microsoft’s advertising platforms.

Difference #4) Ad Scheduling

Across both platforms, advertisers can target their ads and make bid adjustments with ad scheduling. They can choose the day of the week and the time of day that they want their ads to be shown. They can also schedule certain times to make bid adjustments.

However, there’s one key difference in scheduling. When you adjust your Google Ads schedule, Google will remind you what time zone your account is in. That’s because any adjustments in your ad schedule are based on your time zone rather than users’.

So, if you set your ad campaign to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, users on Eastern Time would see the ads from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is a workaround, though. You’ll need to create separate campaigns and adjust each campaign’s schedules to account for different time zones.

For Microsoft Advertising, ad scheduling is a bit simpler. Scheduling is based on the user’s location. In other words, you’d only need to create one campaign to target every user during specific hours.

Difference #5) Targeting Capabilities

While Google has several targeting capabilities, Microsoft has even more robust options. You’ll notice that a lot of the targeting capabilities are the same, such as geotargeting and remarketing. However, Microsoft’s options go more in-depth.

For one, the primary difference is that you can set targeting at the Ad Group level with the Microsoft Ad Grant, whereas Google requires you to do it at the campaign level.

What’s more, you can use LinkedIn profile information with Microsoft to inform you who your audience is to better target qualified users.

Also, Microsoft enables advertisers to target specific audiences based on device type and OS, simplifying device targeting. With this, they also provide the option not to display campaign ads on desktops. This feature isn’t available on Google, giving Microsoft Advertising a leg up.

Difference #6) Restrictions

While both programs have restrictions, Google is slightly stricter than Microsoft. Both have initial eligibility requirements, but Google’s ongoing compliance requirements cause the program to vary from Microsoft’s Ads for Social Impact quite a bit.

Here are some of the differences in limitations between the two platforms:

  • Impressions. Google Ads limits your impression share to 10%, meaning fewer people will see your ads. With Microsoft, there are no limitations on impressions since you’re creating ads on a paid account.
  • Ongoing requirements. Google requires nonprofit advertisers to meet a series of ongoing requirements, such as maintaining a 5% click-through rate each month and not using one-word or overly generic keywords. At the moment, Microsoft only requires Microsoft Ad Grant advertisers to occasionally attest to their donor rules to maintain eligibility.

Overall, the Microsoft Ad Grant currently comes with fewer restrictions, making it more accessible to nonprofits.

Get started with Getting Attention, our recommended Microsoft Ad Grants agency.

Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for Microsoft Ad Grants before applying.

What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Microsoft Ad Grants?

Like the Google Ad Grant program, Microsoft implements eligibility criteria to ensure that only organizations that will benefit from the program can participate. The idea behind this is that it will result in higher quality ads, promote reputable organizations, and reflect well on the program.

Microsoft breaks down these criteria into three categories.

This checklist outlines the basic eligibility requirements for Microsoft Ad Grants.

1. Type of Organization

Only specific types of organizations can participate in the Microsoft Ad Grant program. Organizations must be a:

  • Nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status
  • Public library that provides services without charge to all residents in a given area
  • Museum that’s open to the public and conserves tangible objects for purposes of cultural preservation, education, or aesthetic enjoyment

If your organization doesn’t meet these requirements, it will automatically be rejected from the program when applying.

2. Mission

Eligible organizations must operate on a not-for-profit basis, and their mission should benefit the local community.

Examples include improving social welfare, providing relief to the needy, preserving the environment, and establishing a civil society.

3. Non-Discrimination

When it comes to corporate giving, businesses recognize that any participating organizations should share their values. In Microsoft’s case, they’re committed to providing an inclusive environment that’s free from discrimination. That’s why they also require participating nonprofits to not discriminate in their mission or policies.

Nonprofits can’t discriminate in:

  • Hiring
  • Compensation
  • Retirement
  • Training
  • Programs
  • Activities
  • Services

Any organization that has a mission or engages in discriminatory acts in any of the areas listed above will be rejected from the program.

Examples of Ineligible Organizations

If you’re still questioning your eligibility for the Microsoft Ad Grant, let’s walk through examples of ineligible organizations.

Ineligible organizations may include but are not limited to:

  • Nonprofits that have not obtained legal status in their respective country (e.g. U.S.-based organizations must be registered as 501(c)(3)s with the IRS).
  • Professional, commerce, and trade associations
  • Schools, colleges, and universities. However, philanthropic arms of educational institutions are still eligible.
  • Healthcare organizations, including hospitals, healthcare networks, outpatient healthcare organizations, and more.
  • Political, labor, and fraternal organizations

Note that the person completing registration on behalf of the nonprofit must be an employee or a strategic volunteer. Otherwise, the application will be rejected.

There are several benefits of applying for Microsoft Ad Grants.

Why Should You Apply for Microsoft Ad Grants?

With the clear impact that the program can have on your mission, applying for the Microsoft Ad Grant once they start accepting applications again should be a no-brainer. If you’re still on the fence about applying, here are just a few of the advantages that participating will give you:

  • Increase visibility for your most important landing pages. Place your web pages at the top of search results pages for valuable, mission-centric keywords.
  • Connect with new supporters. Existing and prospective supporters are already searching for terms related to your cause online. Meet them where they are by bidding on the right keywords and creating ads that inspire them to get involved.
  • Deal with lower competition. Since nonprofits operate on a paid account, ads paid for using the Microsoft Ad Grant are treated as traditional paid ads. That way, their ads won’t be automatically placed lower than others.

Chances are, your nonprofit doesn’t want to miss out on free funding. If your organization already has a website, the Microsoft Ad Grant can be a fantastic way to launch your marketing efforts forward and strengthen your digital presence.

Participating in the Microsoft Ad Grant program is free.

Is It Free To Use the Microsoft Ad Grant?

Yes, any organization that’s eligible to participate will receive the Microsoft Ad Grant free of charge. However, note that the grant will be attached to a paid account, which requires a credit card to be attached.

You’ll also want to consider the time spent on applying for the grant, setting up your campaigns, and monitoring results. You might rely on an in-house staff member to do this, which means you might factor part of their salary into the maintenance costs. Alternatively, you might outsource the work to a third-party agency, which would incur fees.

Applying for Microsoft Ad Grants is easy.

How Do You Apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant?

Applying for the Microsoft Ad Grant is a straightforward process. Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, you can breeze through the process and get your first campaign set up.

Let’s walk through the 3-step process that your nonprofit will need to follow once Microsoft starts accepting applications again. And remember, Microsoft only allows staff members and strategic volunteers to complete this process on behalf of a nonprofit. However, a third-party agency may be able to guide you through applying.

These are the steps you'll need to take to apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant program.

1. Apply for Microsoft for Nonprofits.

Beyond Ad Grants, Microsoft provides nonprofits with grants and discounts for a variety of their tools and services, like Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. Applying to their general nonprofit program is a prerequisite for the Microsoft Ad Grant program.

At this stage, you’ll need to do the following to register for Microsoft for Nonprofits:

  • Share information about your role and your nonprofit
  • Agree to Microsoft’s nonprofit discount and donation policies
  • Share your contact details

The first part of the application should only take about 10 minutes to complete. Then, Microsoft For Nonprofits will reach out via email within 7 business days.

Microsoft partners with TechSoup to validate nonprofits’ information, so be aware that they may share your registration data with TechSoup who may contact you for more details.

2. Fill out the Microsoft Ad Grants application.

Upon acceptance into the program, you can access the Ad Grants application within the Microsoft Nonprofit Hub. At this point, you’ll simply need to provide some additional information about your organization and role, such as:

  • The URL for your nonprofit’s website
  • The number of employees at your organization
  • Your nonprofit’s phone number

Microsoft will send an email confirming whether you’ve been accepted within 10 business days. Be aware that this timeline can be impacted if they request additional information or documentation from your nonprofit.

3. Meet with a Microsoft representative to set up your first campaign.

Microsoft wants to set participating organizations up for success, especially since this is a new program. Before you start creating your own campaigns, they require you to meet with one of their representatives.

During your meeting, they’ll work with you to set up your first campaign to make sure your account, ads, and keywords are structured correctly.

From here, you’re free to start creating your own ad campaigns, using that initial one to guide your efforts.

Try out these Microsoft Grant management strategies.

How Can I Make the Most of the Microsoft Ad Grant?

While it’s still a fairly new program, there are already some tips we can draw from the resources Microsoft has shared and from what we already know about the Google Ad Grant program.

Creating a Microsoft Grant management strategy before applying will help determine whether the program will be a worthwhile investment for your cause. Let’s jump into a few core tips to guide your strategy.

Consider what goals you want to achieve.

Leveraging the Microsoft Ad Grant allows you to pursue a range of goals. Before setting up your campaigns, determine the end goal you want to achieve with each ad campaign.

For instance, many nonprofits leverage the Microsoft Ad Grant to:

  • Increase fundraising efforts by promoting donation and sponsorship pages.
  • Boost corporate giving participation by raising awareness for matching gifts and volunteer grants.
  • Boost volunteer registrations by sharing volunteer opportunities.
  • Grow event attendance by promoting conferences, webinars, and other events.
  • Educate the public about your cause by promoting educational content and services pages.

These are common goals that nonprofits choose for the Microsoft Grant management strategy.

Determining your objectives upfront means you can choose the right landing pages for your ads and effectively guide your users to take actions that are meaningful to your organization. Otherwise, you might experience fewer conversions.

Vary your Microsoft Ad Grant Strategy from your Google Grants strategy.

While similar in many respects to Google Ad Grants, the Microsoft Ad Grant program varies a good bit. That means you shouldn’t treat Microsoft’s program the same as Google’s.

Don’t simply replicate the same ads across both platforms. For instance, you’ll want to:

  • Use more bottom-of-the-sales-funnel keywords for Microsoft. Microsoft Advertising has a higher impression share and cheaper costs-per-click (CPCs), making it more affordable to bid on these terms. Plus, competition is lower, so you’re more likely to rank for these search terms.
  • Vary your ads to target different audiences on the two platforms. Remember, Microsoft users tend to be educated, wealthier, and more likely to spend money online. Google’s audience is younger and more tech-savvy. Make sure the tone of your ads speaks to these different groups.

Pay attention to the results on each advertising platform. Determine what inspires users on each platform to convert. Then, make adjustments to make the most out of each program.

In any case, you’ll want to leverage both programs if you’re able to. After all, that totals to $13,000 in free marketing money each month for your cause!

If participating in both programs is out of reach for your team, turn to a grant manager to help. They can take the guesswork out of your advertising and make sure you’re set up for success across both platforms.

An agency can help you create your Microsoft Grant management strategy.

How Can a Microsoft Ad Grants Manager Help?

While an incredibly powerful digital marketing resource, Microsoft Ad Grants can take a lot to manage effectively. Between applying for the program and monitoring ad performance, you’ll need to set aside extra time and resources each month to manage your account.

To harness the grant’s full potential, consider turning to a professional agency. A professional can tackle every aspect of the Microsoft Grants management process through services like:

  • Eligibility verification: A professional will understand the Microsoft Ad Grant eligibility requirements through and through and will be able to confirm whether you’re eligible for the program. Note that Microsoft requires an employee or strategic volunteer to apply on behalf of your organization, though.
  • Ad creation: A Microsoft Grant manager will help you develop ads that drive users to get involved in your cause. Between picking your landing pages and writing ad copy, they’ll make sure you stand out on search engines.
  • Keyword research: Professionals can research keywords related to your mission and pick the ones that are most likely to connect you with prospects who are ready to give, volunteer, or whatever you’re aiming to accomplish through Microsoft Ads.
  • Landing page optimizations: Your landing pages are a major part of your ads. The right agency will help you improve the landing pages associated with your ads, so you can drive more users to give, participate in your programs, or take another meaningful action.
  • Ongoing campaign management: An agency will monitor your campaign performance and make adjustments as needed. That way, you can be confident that you’re targeting the best keywords with the best possible ads and landing pages.

These are common Microsoft Ad Grant services that professional agencies offer.

Instead of spending your time learning the intricacies of the program, we recommend turning to a trusted professional that offers the exact services you need. That way, you can focus on pursuing your mission and trust that your search engine marketing needs are taken care of!

As our recommended agency, Getting Attention understands what it takes to make its nonprofit partners stand out on search engines. Backed by their team, you can harness the power of Microsoft Ad Grants and Google Ad Grants simultaneously.

Check out these additional resources to learn more about Microsoft Ad Grants and digital marketing.

Additional Resources

If you’re looking to venture into the world of search engine marketing, the Microsoft Ad Grant is the ultimate addition to your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy. Considering that it’s a fairly new program, you can get a jump start on the program and start showing up for mission-related keywords that drive traffic to your site.

With a thought-out management strategy, you’ll be well-equipped to drive real value for your cause. Start enhancing your volunteer recruitment efforts, raise more awareness for corporate giving, or accomplish whatever your nonprofit wants with the Microsoft Ad Grant!

Remember, a professional agency will help you make the most of the program and make sure you represent your organization in the best way possible online.

In the meantime, continue learning about Microsoft Grants and other strategies that will enrich your digital marketing plans with these educational resources:

Strengthen your Microsoft Grant management strategy with help from our recommended agency.

The Benefits of Acquiring and Retaining Young Donors

The Benefits of Acquiring and Retaining Young Donors

How the Next Generation Influences Fundraising and Workplace Giving

According to charitable giving research, overall giving revenue was reportedly elevated in 2021. However, the number of individual donors giving had dropped.

So what does that mean for organizations like yours that rely on contributions from supporters to bankroll mission programming? More than likely, you have an opportunity to reach new, previously under-targeted segments of supporters to continue growing your donor base—and with it, your total funding. One of the best markets to consider is that of young donors.

Many nonprofits, educational institutions, and other fundraising organizations are interested in learning how to engage donors to drive the best results. At the same time, donor retention remains at top-of-mind for most. Young donors are a critical piece of the puzzle, and yet they continue to be overlooked in terms of fundraising potential.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the basics of young donor fundraising, how it can differ from traditional engagement efforts, and how you can make the most of those relationships as they grow. We’ll cover:

Adapting your marketing, fundraising, and overall donor engagement strategies to attract and connect with individuals of all ages is one of the greatest ways to ensure your team is leveraging your supporter base to its fullest potential.

Want to find out how to do so⁠—particularly in regards to the youngest of donors in your network? Read on!

Why young donors matter

Why Engaging With Young Donors Matters

Engaging with all of your donors is an essential component of a successful fundraising strategy. What many organizations are seeing, however, is that young donors continue to be an under-targeted market when it comes to seeking donations.

Gen Z and young millennial donors are often referred to as “the donors of tomorrow” or “the donors of the future.” But the truth is that these up-and-coming generations are the donors of NOW. So why are organizations overlooking their potential? It might be because young donors tend to have more limited funding at their disposal to contribute as compared to older, more established supporters.

But consider this: is it easier to ask a new donor for a $10,000 donation and hope they spring for it, or to start out small with a $20-50 donation ask from a young donor who will then become increasingly engaged with your organization over time? In most cases, the answer is the latter.

Not to mention, young donors bring with them nearly unlimited potential. That college-aged individual making a $25 gift out of their part-time paycheck could very well become the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company that doesn’t even exist yet. And as their income grows, their gifts would likely grow alongside it.

The bottom line?

Be willing to start small and watch the impact of continuous engagement increase drastically over time.

Acquiring and retaining young donors

Acquiring & Retaining New Generations of Donors

Like any group, to engage with young donors, you’ll need to focus on two crucial components of your strategy—getting them and keeping them. As far as the basics of the donor lifecycle go, this refers to acquisition and retention.

Here’s what you should know about each pertaining to younger generations of donors;

Acquiring Young Donors

Young donor fundraising involves bringing young donors into your network of support, to begin with. And you may need to take an adjusted approach than what you might use with your general, middle-aged-and-older audience.

For one, attracting young donors can be particularly impactful when using social proof to your best advantage. Social proof, or the idea that people are more likely to do something if they see their peers doing the same—and a founding principle behind peer-to-peer fundraising—tends to be even more effective among the younger generations.

In other words, once you get one young donor in your corner, you have one of the best tools to draw in others in their circle. At the same time, other key practices include reaching donors where they are, such as on social media sites and mobile technology⁠—but more on those tips later.

Retaining Young Donors

Once you’ve laid the groundwork for a supporter relationship and even secured your first donation, you’ll want to put in the time and effort to elevate the connection to new heights.

Even more than your typical donor, Gen Z and young millennials desire to feel connected to the organizations with which they get involved. They want to know that their funding is going to impactful causes, so excellent financial stewardship efforts are essential (top tip: demonstrate that you’re making the most of each dollar you receive by emphasizing corporate matching opportunities!).

It’s also a great idea to offer streamlined recurring giving options⁠—and to ensure donors of all ages are aware of the opportunities. After all, what better way is there to ensure your new donors return time and time again than to essentially get them set up on auto-pay? In fact, research into young donor trends reports that young donors are more likely than the average donor to be enrolled in a monthly giving program (36% overall enrollment rates, with donors aged 18-29 coming in at 48%). Be sure to give them what they want, and market the ability accordingly.

Factors that can impact gifts over time from young donors

Factors That Can Impact Gift Size Over Time

Many young donors are likely to start out by giving low-level donations to the organizations they support. But every dollar counts and their potential to give can increase exponentially as time goes on.

Young donors giving more over time

Here are a few factors that can impact gift size and lead to continually growing donations;

Increasing income

The average person’s income tends to rise over time, whether by receiving promotions, moving employers, diving into new industries, or even exploring an entrepreneurial spirit. As donors of all ages benefit from elevated incomes, their ability to give to the causes they care about tends to rise proportionately as well⁠—oftentimes at an even higher rate than the income or salary increase itself.

Deepening connections to the organization

Finally, an individual’s personal connections to a nonprofit can be a significant factor when it comes to determining their gift size. Sure, a charitable-minded donor might make a $25 gift to a random organization when asked, but they’re likely to reserve more substantial funding for the causes and groups they feel most passionate about. And when you start developing that personal relationship early on, these individuals (i.e., your young donors) will be more likely to continue supporting your organization⁠ in larger and larger amounts as time goes on.

Young donors and workplace giving

Young Donors & Workplace Giving

Another key factor that can have a substantial effect on young and old donors’ giving alike is employer giving⁠—otherwise known as workplace giving or philanthropy. Thousands of companies offer employee or workplace giving programs such as matching gifts and volunteer grants, and over 26 million individuals can qualify for the opportunities through their personal nonprofit contributions. Obviously, these programs benefit the nonprofits receiving the corporate funding⁠, but there’s a lesser-known benefit as well: employer giving eligibility tends to drive increased individual engagement.

In fact, our corporate giving data reports that 84% of individuals are more likely to donate if a corporate match is offered, while 1 in 3 donors indicate they’d give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation. All in all, this brings about findings that donor messaging that mentions matching gifts leads to a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount, thus resulting in elevated conversions, gift sizes, and donor engagement. Though the exact reasoning behind the increase is unknown, organizations theorize it has to do with donors aiming to meet their employers’ minimum match requirements along with the understanding of magnified donation impact.

So what does that have to do with the young donors in your network? As these individuals enter the workforce, and more specifically, the corporate world, their chance of qualifying for donation matching, volunteer grants, and other forms of workplace giving skyrockets⁠—and with it, their individual donations.

Not to mention, young donors are increasingly demanding corporate social responsibility from the brands they buy from and work for. In fact, nearly 2/3 of young employees won’t take a job at a company with poor CSR practices. Thus, your younger supporters are more likely to work for businesses that match employee donations in the first place, effectively elevating their chances at eligibility.

Meanwhile, as Gen Z and millennials continue taking up more and more of the workforce and consumer population, more and more companies are following suit by implementing and improving their workplace giving programs. And when offered, young donors partake in employer giving in droves with studies showing that over 59% of young professionals gave through a workplace program in 2022, compared to 37% of professionals overall.

Best practices for young donor fundraising

Best Practices for Strategic Young Donor Fundraising

The better you engage with your donors of all generations, the more likely you are to raise funding effectively. Prepare your team to deepen relationships with young donors by incorporating the following tips;

1. Segment fundraising efforts by age group.

Fundraising is not a one-size-fits-all effort, and as a result, one-size-fits-all donor engagement strategies are not likely to be particularly effective. And, as you likely know, one of the largest segmenting factors has to do with donor age.

Young donors want to get involved with the organizations and causes they care about, but you’ll want your tactics to reflect a targeted approach. A 22-year-old, fresh-out-of-college graduate and a 70-year-old retired schoolteacher can each be excellent supporters of your nonprofit⁠—but it might take different initiatives to reach them both.

Giving trends according to young and old donors alike

For example, giving studies indicate that younger donors tend to be most inspired to donate via social media, while older supporters are more impacted by email fundraising⁠—and that’s not even taking Gen Z-ers into consideration!

Overall, we recommend reaching younger supporters and prospects by prioritizing mobile and digital engagement strategies, incorporating valuable and eye-catching visuals (through images and video), and demonstrating donation and organization impact whenever you can.

2. Offer multiple ways to get involved with your organization.

Young donors often desire diversity in the ways they engage with an organization. And not receiving that can lead to donor fatigue and, ultimately, lapsing support.

Thus, be sure to provide a plethora of methods for individual donor involvement⁠—whether they involve financial support or not.

So, what kinds of opportunities can you establish (and promote to) your donors? These might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Volunteering at a dedicated event or on a regular basis;
  • Taking part in a corporate giving program like matching gifts or volunteer grants;
  • Attending a fundraising event like an auction, gala, or walk-a-thon.
  • Participating in the organization’s board of directors;
  • Exploring a peer-to-peer fundraising role by soliciting donations from friends and family on the nonprofit’s behalf.

Regardless of the many ways an individual chooses to get involved, remember to communicate your gratitude as well as the tangible ways their engagement impacts your cause.

3. Increase suggested donation amounts over time.

As online giving becomes more and more prevalent, studies have been conducted to determine the impact of suggested donation amounts on total fundraising revenue. And overall, organizations tend to see elevated average donation amounts when they do so (meaning if you’re not already providing gift size suggestions, you should be).

Taking this concept a step further, however, is the idea that your team can increase the amount you request from donors over time to continue growing relationships and donor contributions.

For example, an individual might bring in four times the salary they had when they started giving to your organization. But if they donate on a regular basis, they might never take the initiative to increase their gift size⁠—that is, unless your team chooses to coax them in that direction. And it can be as simple as requesting $100 from Donor A in your next annual fund appeal after determining they’ve contributed $50 for the last few years.

4. Inform donors about workplace giving programs.

We mentioned that donors often choose to give more often and in larger amounts when workplace giving opportunities⁠ (like matching gifts⁠) are in place. And with many young donors becoming eligible for these programs for the first time, it’s essential that they’re made aware of the programs.

After all, over 78% of individuals employed by companies that match employee donations have no idea that they do so⁠—or that they themselves would be eligible to participate. This knowledge gap regarding the programs is one of the leading causes of billions of dollars in unclaimed matching gift funding being left on the table each year.

So get proactive about it! Be sure donors are informed about matching gifts and other employee giving initiatives by highlighting the programs within your organization’s —

Workplace giving marketing is a particularly impactful engagement tool, driving participation in corporate philanthropy programs alongside individual contributions. And if you’re looking to take your young donor engagement to new heights, you won’t want to overlook these initiatives and the impact they bring.


Interested in learning more about engaging young donors? Check out our immersive webinar on the topic!

Reaching Young Donors Webinar