Encouraging Matching Gifts Featuring Peer-to-Peer events

Guest Post: Encouraging Matching Gifts During Peer-to-Peer Events

Peer-to-peer events are great moneymakers. If you use matching gifts, your peer-to-peer event can raise even more funds for your nonprofit. Wondering how you can get your participants involved with a matching gift campaign during your peer-to-peer event? Read on for tips from Qgiv on how to successfully integrate matching gifts into your fundraising event.

Market matching gifts on event pages

One simple way to encourage matching gifts during your peer-to-peer event is to ask for them on your event page. Highlight matching gifts as a strategy that makes donations go further. Many of your supporters may not know what matching gifts are. Devote some space on your page to define matching gifts and explain how participants can apply for a match.

If your nonprofit secured a matching gift pledge from a major donor, your board, or from a foundation offering matching gifts, tell your visitors to take advantage of the match! Most matching gift pledges specify gifts are matched to a specific dollar amount. Don’t leave money on the table. Instead, make sure everyone who visits your event page knows that by making a gift, they’re making twice the impact!

If you use Double the Donation to help donors search for matching gift opportunities, embed the search bar on your event page. Be sure to place it somewhere that encourages your visitors to use it. You may even want the matching gift search to appear on multiple pages. Within Qgiv’s peer-to-peer tools, for instance, you could display the search bar on your main event page, on participant fundraising pages, and on the transaction details page if donors gave without searching for a match before submitting their gift. Qgiv even offers an integration with Double the Donation that embeds the matching search widget on donation forms so donors can easily search for a match during the giving process.

Junior Achievement of Chicago uses the Double the Donation 360MatchPro and Qgiv integration to display a matching gift search on their peer-to-peer donation forms.

Incentivize matching gifts

Encouraging donors to put in extra effort to support your nonprofit sometimes takes a bit of bribery (the harmless and rewarding kind!). Incentivizing your matching gift campaign can encourage more matching gifts. Within your peer-to-peer event, you can offer incentives that provide a handicap to teams if your event is a competition. Or you could offer an exclusive prize to participants who successfully match their gifts. Enticing donors to make matching gifts can be a great strategy to boost the number of matching gifts applied for during your event. The trick is knowing what incentives will motivate your donors.

Event-specific incentives

  • Special shout outs during the event
  • An advantage in a competitive peer-to-peer event
  • A digital badge displayed on their participant fundraising page
  • Exclusive event merchandise for gift matches
  • Prizes customized with the nonprofit’s branding and logo
  • An after party for top donors and donors who made matching gifts

Generalized matching gift incentives

  • Invitations to future special events (non-fundraisers)
  • A shout out in your nonprofit’s donor newsletter
  • Membership in an exclusive giving society
  • A phone call from the CEO thanking the donor for applying for a gift match

Think about your audience and what would motivate them to make a matched gift. Make the incentive relevant to your event and your supporters.

Make matching gift searches easy

One of the simplest ways to encourage matching gifts for your peer-to-peer event is making the process easy. If your donor has to put in a lot of legwork calling their Human Resources Department, printing out their receipt, and setting up a meeting to verify their donation and request a match, they’re not going to be as likely to apply for the match. Instead, simplify the process as much as possible by making the search for matching gifts easy.

Searching for your company on Double the Donation’s platform is a quick and easy way for employees to find their employer and get the details on applying for a match. Embedding their search tool on your event page makes that process even easier.

Donors can find their employer and then start the matching gift application directly after making their donation. Making a matching gift search the last step in the event donation process can help increase the odds your donors will search for their company and go through the steps of applying for the match.

Recruit fundraisers from companies with matching gifts programs

If you want matching gifts to be a focal point of your peer-to-peer event, it helps to recruit participants whose companies have a gift matching program. Because you can’t guarantee each participant works for an eligible company when they register, recruit local companies that offer gift matches and encourage their employees to participate. If you’re unsure which companies to approach, search for their matching gift programs on the Double the Donation platform.

Instead of hoping that your participants will work for companies with a corporate philanthropy department, pit local companies against one another for your peer-to-peer event. This strategy can be tricky to execute but has the potential to pay off. Set up meetings with each company to discuss partnering together for your event. Explain the format of the event and, most importantly, how participation will benefit the companies involved.

Once you’ve managed to get several companies on board, finish planning your event and open registration and donations. Encourage employees from each company to donate and apply for gift matches through their company’s matching gift program. Honor the company that raises the most money with a top fundraising company award!

To further incentivize giving, ask your CEO if they’d be willing to take part in an activity like a pie in the face if their employees raise the most money for the event. Marketing the event as an opportunity to slightly embarrass your boss for charity can garner more employee participation.

City Year Philadelphia did a great job of marketing their Pie for Progress campaign.

Plan for this with the CEO rather than surprise them with it. You’ll want to make sure whoever “wins” is okay with the incentive their employees are working toward.


You can make peer-to-peer event donations go further by incorporating a matching gift campaign. Just make sure your campaign is highly visible and easy for participants. Further increase the odds of participants matching gifts by incentivizing gift matches with prizes and recruiting participants from companies with matching gift programs. Above all, following matching gift best practices to make the most of your matching gifts program.

This post was contributed by Shay Lessman at Qgiv. Shay is a writer and editor with a passion for helping nonprofit organizations succeed. He has experience in fundraising communications and has written several successful grants. He is also a proud pet parent of two very naughty dogs. When he’s not working at Qgiv, he can usually be found writing poetry, playing games, or listening to podcasts.