One of the largest global giving pushes in the world, Giving Tuesday, will be here this year before we know it. So now is the time to prepare for Giving Tuesday matching gifts success.
Falling each year on the first Tuesday immediately after Thanksgiving, this worldwide day of generosity can have a tremendous impact on nonprofit fundraisers. Last year boasted a record-breaking giving day, with 37 million participating adults contributing over $3.1 billion in the U.S. alone. And corporate matching gifts empower nonprofits to double their fundraising success.
However, many organizations did not realize their fullest potential when it came to matching gifts. After all, more than $4 to $7 billion in available match funds goes unclaimed on an annual basis. This is largely due to a lack of awareness by eligible donors who do not ultimately request the associated match funding from their employers. Taking steps to secure this revenue for your organization as you head into the end-of-year giving season can go a long way.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the unmatched value of corporate gift-matching—and expert practices your team can implement to make each donation count more.
Understanding Your Giving Tuesday Matching Gift Potential
Matching gifts can dramatically improve fundraising outcomes. On Giving Tuesday, organizations expect to see elevated donor engagement, surges in incoming funds, and more. And the team behind Giving Tuesday reports that campaigns leveraging donation-matching typically raise 3-5x more than those that do not.
But why is this—and how does it impact your fundraising group?
Matching gifts are one of the most widely utilized types of corporate philanthropy by companies of all shapes, sizes, and sectors. When donors give to their favorite nonprofits, their employers pledge to match those gifts with their own funds. It’s essentially the “Buy One, Get One Free” sale of fundraising.
Not only do matching gifts provide an accessible form of corporate giving revenue, but they tend to drive individual involvement in fundraising as well. In fact, our research indicates that 84% of surveyed donors are more likely to contribute to a fundraising campaign if a match is available. At the same time, 1 in 3 supporters stated that they’d increase the size of their donation if they knew it would be matched.
This results in fundraising appeals that incorporate matching gifts producing a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average donation amount.
All in all, Giving Tuesday 2022 boasted over 31 million donors’ gifts being matched by their employers. These completed matches brought in an additional $29.7 million in fundraising revenue.
This year, we’re hoping to beat those numbers—and the Double the Donation team is here to help you do so.
Dive deeper with our FREE downloadable resource:
14 Tips to Incorporate Matching Gifts in Your Giving Tuesday Plan
We have a lot of experience working with fundraising organizations to optimize their matching gift strategies. Thus, we know the most effective methods for driving matching gift success this Giving Tuesday and beyond.
Check out these tried-and-true practices as your team begins crafting its giving day fundraising plan. Then, determine how you can implement these tips in your own strategy.
1. Introduce matching gifts in internal Giving Tuesday preparations.
More than likely, your organization plans to host some sort of dedicated Giving Tuesday training leading up to the big day. This may involve establishing a fundraising timeline, crafting donor-facing messaging, and setting specific goals to ensure your whole team is on the same page.
One of the first things you can do to set your nonprofit up for Giving Tuesday success is to incorporate matching gifts throughout these preparations.
Getting your fundraising staff on board with the opportunity allows you to empower them as some of your greatest matching gift advocates.
And how can you do so? It all starts with marketing matching gifts to your internal team.
Specifically, you’ll want to cover:
- The basics of corporate matching gift programs (i.e., what they are, common stipulations, etc.)
- The impact that corporate gift-matching can have on your fundraising efforts (donation response rates and gift sizes, corporate partnerships, supporter engagement)
- An overview of the matching gift cycle (from identification to submission and funding disbursement) and how to assist donors through the process
- How team members can make the most of any matching gift technology in your fundraising software toolkit
- How to learn more about the opportunity (attend a webinar, enroll in Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Academy)
Consider utilizing a number of communication channels to engage your internal audience (such as fundraising staff, marketers, board members, key volunteers, and more). This may include in-person or virtual presentations, emails, and other resources to spread awareness.
Ultimately, it’s critical that you get your team excited to make the most of matching gifts come Giving Tuesday and beyond.
2. Establish a matching gift fundraising goal beforehand.
Just like you probably have (or will have) a goal that represents your supporters’ total giving on Giving Tuesday, it’s a good idea to establish a separate goal exclusive to matching gifts for the campaign. Regardless of whether you opt to measure total revenue through corporate gifts or the number of donations successfully matched, tracking goals is the key to determining success and inspiring engagement.
To set a lofty yet realistic matching gift fundraising goal this Giving Tuesday, you’ll first want to analyze your past fundraising and matching gift performance. For example, let’s say your team collected $1,000 worth of matching gifts associated with Giving Tuesday donations last year—with little to no promotional activity around corporate matching. This year, you can expect to see a significant increase by taking a proactive approach to informing donors, encouraging participation, and even automating the matching gift experience.
From there, be sure to communicate this goal (and your progress toward it) leading up to, during, and after your Giving Tuesday campaign. Aiming for a specific target will allow you to establish a sense of urgency and motivate eligible supporters to take their next steps. Try using a fundraising thermometer on your campaign page, social media, or donor messaging to illustrate your movement toward the matching gift goal in a visual way.
Note: As you set your goal, however, keep in mind that the disbursement of matching gift funds is often delayed. That said, tracking your matching gift participation by the total number or value of matches identified—or the number of matching gifts requested—can be an excellent substitute. This is especially beneficial for a time-bound campaign during the giving season!
3. Consider engaging taglines, graphics, and blurbs.
Many nonprofits devote significant time, energy, and creativity to planning and executing their Giving Tuesday fundraising efforts. And often, the campaigns with the most unique and engaging elements are the ones that stand out and see the greatest level of success.
The Giving Tuesday organizers even encourage nonprofits to customize the official campaign logo to best connect with their own audiences for this reason.
So, what does that mean for your matching gift efforts on this day?
We, like the Giving Tuesday team, encourage you to get creative with your promotions. That might mean coming up with inventive taglines, crafting novel hashtags, designing eye-catching graphics, or writing witty blurbs. While the goal is to drive participation in your matching gift campaign, the path to get there involves unique content and actionable messaging.
Here are a few examples to consider. Feel free to adjust these ideas to reflect your organization’s mission, voice, and style!
Double the #GivingTuesday Love
Promote corporate matching gifts as a way to amplify the impact of donations on Giving Tuesday. This type of effort pairs well with match-related imagery to symbolize the doubling of donations. For instance—pairs of animals, twins posing in identical outfits, matching (or mismatched) socks, and more. If it’s something relevant to your mission, that’s even better.
By emphasizing that donors’ contributions may be matched, you can reiterate the way that each gift can multiply in value for your cause.
After #GivingTuesday comes #MatchingWednesday
Another idea involves engaging your donors in matching gifts the day after Giving Tuesday. By introducing a #MatchingWednesday follow-up campaign, you can retain your organization at the forefront of supporters’ minds for longer. Plus, allow them to stretch their gifts without re-opening their wallets.
Not to mention, much of the Giving Tuesday buzz will have settled down. This means you’ll have less competition for your audience’s attention and likely a more prominent spot in their inboxes. However, it still allows you to capitalize on the momentum of Giving Tuesday to drive continued giving and impact.
4. Get inspired by other nonprofits’ matching gift efforts.
Sometimes the best way to inspire your own organization’s fundraising initiatives is to take a look at other nonprofits that have seen great success in their efforts. When it comes to matching gifts on Giving Tuesday, exploring organizations that have done so effectively in previous years can help inform your team’s strategy.
We’ve located a few standout examples of Giving Tuesday matching gifts campaigns that engaged their audiences, informed supporters of matching gift opportunities, and ultimately drove more matches to completion.
First, these matching gift banners were incorporated into one of the largest healthcare and research organizations’ Giving Tuesday pages:
This organization repeatedly highlights the matching gift opportunity throughout its campaign landing page. It also uses a customized Giving Tuesday logo to attract the audience’s attention and enlists donor-centric language to call the supporter to immediate action.
Not to mention, this nonprofit also equips its supporters with a matching gift automation platform. This makes it quicker and easier than ever before for donors to double their impact with a match from their employer!
Here’s another example from an animal welfare and service dog training organization promoting matching gifts in its Giving Tuesday campaign:
This visually focused campaign utilizes the “cuteness factor” to catch supporters’ eyes and elicit an emotional response to the fundraising appeal. With matching dog photos to represent the matching donation opportunity, the organization aims to drive donations and matches with a mission-relevant custom graphic.
And again, this organization leverages matching gift software to simplify the employee matching gift experience for its donors! The simpler it is for supporters to complete the match request process, the more revenue a team can expect from the funding source.
Next, a Utah-based food bank incorporates a matching gift appeal on its Giving Tuesday page, as seen below:
This effort focuses heavily on the organization’s impact. Not only does the campaign graphic quite literally put a face to the fundraising need, but it also shares a relevant statistic that emphasizes the importance of donor giving for the nonprofit’s audience. And it allows the supporter to see how their potential gift can make twice the difference!
Plus, with a matching gift software in this food bank’s Giving Tuesday tech stack, supporters can receive information about and participate in their employers’ matching gift programs with just a few easy (and guided) steps.
Finally, check out this example from an environmental nonprofit based in Los Angeles, California:
This Giving Tuesday matching gifts promotion incorporates a dedicated blog post on the organization’s website. The content shares several easy ways that supporters can strengthen their donations when participating in the giving day campaign and is designed to aid the fundraiser in maximizing individual support.
The ways highlighted include making a recurring donation, contributing gifts of stock, amplifying the organization’s efforts with word-of-mouth marketing, and, of course, participating in employee matching gifts.
5. Read up on companies with Giving Tuesday matching programs.
More than 24,000 companies have known matching gift programs worldwide. Some of the most notable examples include General Electric, Microsoft, Google, Walt Disney Company, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot. As these are generally organized as a year-long initiative, employees who work for these companies will likely qualify to have their Giving Tuesday donations matched.
However, it’s also worth noting that some businesses opt to go above and beyond with their matching gift programs—specifically for Giving Tuesday! Familiarizing your staff with top matching gift programs beforehand will allow you to prepare to best share the information with donors who work for these companies. Not to mention, promoting Giving Tuesday-specific matches is a great way to incentivize giving and matching by eligible employees.
For instance, the companies below have increased their matching gift ratios to multiply employee gifts made on Giving Tuesday at a greater rate.
Typically matching donations at a 1:1 rate (i.e., a $50 gift produces a $50 match), Estée Lauder offers its employees a “double-matching gifts” program on Giving Tuesday. When a qualifying staff member makes a donation on Giving Tuesday, the company ultimately triples the gift for the organization.
Fiserv generally matches employee gifts at a standard 1:1 match rate. However, gifts made on Giving Tuesday were multiplied at a higher level—offering a limited-time 2:1 matching gift ratio.
Caterpillar Inc., matching gifts through the Caterpillar Foundation, incentivizes participation in Giving Tuesday by its employees by offering a greater 2:1 match. This limited-time motivator is typically hosted for the two weeks leading up to Giving Tuesday while the company establishes an annual match limit of $1.5 million.
BlackRock encourages employee giving on giving days by offering a 2:1 match ratio for gifts made during the span of Giving Tuesday. For most other donations throughout the year, however, the company matches at a standard 1:1 rate.
Though this company typically matches gifts at a dollar-for-dollar rate, team member gifts contributed on Giving Tuesday were matched at a 3:1 ratio. That means if an employee gives $100, Elevance Health matches with $300—essentially quadrupling the value of the initial gift.
6. Propose Giving Tuesday custom match programs with corporate partners.
Unfortunately, some companies still don’t have widely accessible matching gift programs—but that doesn’t mean you should give up on match opportunities for those donors. It just means you need to adjust your strategy! And one tactic that we recommend goes particularly well with Giving Days, end-of-year fundraising, and other time-based initiatives: custom (or one-off) matching gift programs.
Here’s how it works: As you prepare for Giving Tuesday, locate a company that employs a decent segment of your donor base but doesn’t currently match team members’ donations. Reach out to that company’s leadership (or encourage your donors to reach out themselves to forge a connection) and propose a dedicated matching gift partnership for Giving Tuesday.
Once agreed upon, your team will add the custom program to your matching gift search tool. (Hint: Nonprofits using Double the Donation’s platform can add one-off initiatives to their database using the unique program management feature.) This way, it will populate in qualifying donors’ employer queries when the campaign is live.
In this type of program, the company would commit only to matching gifts to your organization, likely within a set campaign window on or around this year’s annual Giving Day. And it’s a great way for unfamiliar employers to become acquainted with employee donation-matching, too!
*As a note, this feature is designed specifically for fundraisers looking to manage custom matching gift initiatives—360MatchPro does not work directly with corporations. If you’re a company interested in creating a matching gift program, contact us, and we’ll share information about our corporate vendor partners.
7. Share about Giving Tuesday and matching gifts on social media.
Your organization’s social media profiles are likely some of your greatest marketing and communications assets—especially regarding your fundraising efforts. As Giving Tuesday is a largely digital campaign, leveraging your online presence is a must. And promoting matching gift opportunities through these channels can be particularly impactful.
Prior to the big day, teaser posts can create anticipation by highlighting not only the upcoming Giving Tuesday campaign but also the opportunity to amplify donation impact with employee matching gifts.
Check out the sample post below—and be sure to link to your matching gifts page in the caption to provide additional information.
At the start of Giving Tuesday, consider posting something like this (hint: it can also be added to your giving day campaign page!). Again, be sure it sends viewers to your match page or donation form, empowering supporters to learn more and get involved.
Then, throughout the day, real-time updates (such as progress toward your general fundraising and matching gift goals) can showcase engagement and inspire giving through social proof.
Soon after Giving Tuesday concludes, share something like this to acknowledge and appreciate donor giving and encourage them to take the next steps:
Remember: consistent messaging across these phases enhances engagement, prompts urgency, and extends your campaign’s influence. Not to mention, you also provide digital content that is easily shareable for donors who want to increase their impact even further by spreading the word about the opportunity to their own networks!
8. Don’t forget about volunteer grants.
Giving Tuesday isn’t just about giving financially, either. Many nonprofit supporters worldwide choose to engage with this global day of giving by donating their time and skills. Thus, make sure your team isn’t overlooking another type of workplace giving program: volunteer grants!
Unfortunately, like traditional matching gifts, many eligible employees remain completely unaware of the opportunity available to them. By informing the volunteers who support your nonprofit’s efforts about the chance to amplify their impact with volunteer grants, your team can further enhance engagement on—and long after—Giving Tuesday.
Encourage existing volunteers to research their employers’ giving programs to determine eligibility. (Hint: If you have access to a matching gift database, see if it contains volunteer grant information, too. Double the Donation’s does!) Then, ask that your volunteers apply for these grants to support your organization.
9. Highlight matching gifts on your campaign landing page and giving form.
You likely expect a lot of web traffic heading to your Giving Tuesday campaign landing page. Don’t let this resource go to waste! Instead, incorporate information about corporate matching gift programs to ensure each visitor is exposed to the opportunity.
Not only will this increase the likelihood that qualifying donors ultimately complete their matches, but it can also inspire more supporters to give in the first place.
From there, donors will click to access your donation form and provide the information required to process the gift. In addition to the basics—such as their name, intended donation amount, and payment details—we also recommend collecting employment information.
When supporters provide the name of the company they work for, it will be easier to uncover eligible gifts and follow up with targeted instructions for completing the match.
Hint: If your team has purchased a matching gift database software, it’s a good idea to embed your search tool on both the Giving Tuesday landing page and your online giving form. This widget can collect company data in the donation process and provide program guidelines and links to submission forms from your confirmation page—making it as easy as possible for your donors!
10. Craft an inspiring matching gift ask.
Your matching gift appeal is one of the most essential components of your Giving Tuesday matching gifts plan. Crafting an ask that incites your intended action—donors completing corporate matching gifts on your behalf—requires a strategic blend of urgency, emotion, and information. As you begin workshopping your match appeal, consider borrowing tips and tricks from your broader donation requests.
For example, the official Giving Tuesday toolkit provides a framework for establishing impactful fundraising asks. This includes a…
- Belief statement — a declaration of the organization’s core values and convictions (ex: “We believe that no student should have to choose between food and learning.”)
- You statement — an explanation of the donor’s role in the campaign and how their support can help (ex: “You can help us stock the pantry so that no student goes hungry.”)
- Opportunity statement — a call to action inspiring donors to get involved (ex: “Are you with us?”)
Working off these three elements, here’s a sample matching gift appeal the same institution might use to promote corporate-matching opportunities on Giving Tuesday:
- Belief statement — “Matching gifts have the potential to multiply our school’s fundraising impact, ultimately providing much-needed support for students in our community.”
- You statement — “By completing a brief online submission form for your employer, you can double the value of your initial donation to our food pantry fundraiser, allowing more students to benefit from essential food and resources.”
- Opportunity statement — “Will you click here to complete your matching gift request?”
As always, just remember to adjust this sample messaging to reflect your organization’s own mission, vision, and fundraising need.
11. Build out your fundraising and matching gift tech stack.
Powering your Giving Tuesday campaign with the right software is essential for optimal fundraising results.
The Giving Tuesday team recommends testing your technology by walking through the entire giving process from the donor’s perspective. This allows you to gauge the user experience, identify any roadblocks, and ensure seamless giving come Giving Tuesday. We suggest going a step further and also testing out your matching gift experience!
As you make your test donation, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the giving page request my employment information?
- Does the confirmation page encourage me to pursue a corporate matching gift, if applicable?
- If I provided my employment information, does the confirmation page populate with company-specific program details?
- If I provided my employment information, am I provided with a link to my company’s online match request form?
- Do I receive a follow-up email that contains detailed information on the matching gift process and urges me to complete my match?
If you notice areas with room for improvement in your strategy—or identify significant gaps in your tech stack—begin tackling any issues that arise immediately. You want to be sure you provide your supporters with the best experience possible, and an integrated fundraising platform and matching gift tool can do a lot!
12. Send post-transaction matching gift outreach.
After donors contribute to your Giving Tuesday campaign, be sure they’re informed (or reminded) about matching gift opportunities to keep them engaged. Sending post-transaction match-related outreach is a great way to utilize your already high levels of donor engagement.
It’s important to provide clear instructions on how supporters can initiate the matching process with their employers. And for the best results, timing matters! Double the Donation studies indicate that matching gift emails sent within 24 hours of a donation being made see a 53% open rate. That’s 2-3x the average nonprofit email open rate.
Plus, with a matching gift software, you can automate tailored messaging so that your fundraising team doesn’t have to lift a finger.
Free resource: Check out our sample matching gift letters to get a head start on your organization’s matching gift communications. Customize our free templates to best engage your audience!
13. Enlist supporters to advocate for matching gifts on your behalf.
Another key component of Giving Tuesday participation is advocacy. Thus, using this chance to empower your nonprofit supporters to advocate for matching gifts on behalf of your organization and its mission should be a no-brainer.
For example, not all of your donors will work for employers that have existing matching gift programs. But if an employee were to ask the company to reconsider its workplace giving offerings by matching gifts, it could make a big difference. Thus, enlisting supporters as advocates for matching gifts on (or leading up to) Giving Tuesday can help your team amplify its long-term impact and engagement—even if it doesn’t result immediately in a match.
Consider sharing a customizable email template, like this one, with your supporters:
Subject line: Request for a corporate matching gift program at [company name]
Hi [company leader],
I am writing to request the addition of a corporate matching gift program at [company name].
Thousands of companies offer employee matching gift programs as a way to support their staff and give back to their communities.
These programs also tend to benefit companies in terms of employee engagement and retention, opportunities to attract competitive candidates, improved brand image, increased sales, and more.
Thank you for your consideration,
Not to mention, donors can also advocate for matching gifts to their friends, families, colleagues, and more. We previously mentioned that tons of match-eligible individuals remain unaware of the opportunity, and your supporters can help bridge the knowledge gap by spreading the word!
14. Thank donors for all their involvement in your Giving Tuesday efforts.
At the conclusion of Giving Tuesday, it’s time to shift your efforts from an ongoing campaign to post-fundraising stewardship and retention. And for matching gift donors, doing so is more important than ever!
Thanking supporters for their involvement in your campaign is vital for building and strengthening lasting relationships. In the days following Giving Tuesday, automate personalized thank-you emails, make phone calls, or send handwritten letters that express gratitude for donors’ support.
Then, as matching gifts are completed, don’t forget to send match-related acknowledgments, as well! We recommend thanking donors at two key points: once they confirm that they’ve submitted their match request and after your organization receives their employer’s match.
Plus, if you had supporters get involved through volunteerism, advocacy, or other employee giving programs, be sure to thank them for their engagement, too.
With Giving Tuesday quickly approaching, there’s no better time to revamp your organization’s matching gift efforts. You certainly don’t want to overlook this key source of revenue or the individual and corporate engagement opportunities it brings. To optimize your strategy, it’s important to take a proactive approach to matching gifts.
But remember: equipping your fundraising team with the right tools to do so is a must. Automation allows you to make the most of matching gifts without investing much of your (perhaps already stretched-thin) time and resources.
And it’s not just helpful on the big day, either. A matching gift platform can enhance matching gifts throughout the rest of your giving season, into the new year, and beyond.
Start prepping for Giving Tuesday! Get your matching gifts strategy ready by exploring these additional guides:
- End-of-Year Fundraising and Matching Gifts: It’s Not Too Late! Get ahead this holiday season by effectively integrating matching gifts into your year-end fundraising strategy. Don’t miss out on the chance to double your impact and engage donors during this crucial giving time.
- Smart Resources for Essential Matching Gift Education] Learn the ins and outs of matching gift programs with our recommended learning resources. Begin training your team prior to Giving Tuesday with these blog posts, downloadable resources, webinars, and more.
- Marketing Matching Gifts | A Guide for Avid Fundraisers. Elevate your fundraising game with these expert tips and recommended channels for marketing matching gifts to your audience. Discover innovative strategies to engage donors and ultimately boost your nonprofit’s impact.