The Complete Guide to Celebrating Matching Gift Month

Here’s How You Can Celebrate 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.

This includes:

Looking for new and exciting ways to amplify your nonprofit’s matching gift efforts leading up to Match Month? You’ve come to the right place. At Double the Donation, we’re experts at matching gifts, and we’ve compiled a list of suggestions sure to elevate your engagement efforts this February.

Ready to bring your matching gift fundraising to the next level? Let’s explore top recommendations for making the most of Match Month⁠—and see what your team can do to bridge the knowledge and funding gaps alike.

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, Match Month is an opportunity to recognize the extensive impact that corporate philanthropy programs, like matching gifts and more, can have on nonprofit fundraising groups.

Celebrating matching gift month with internal refresher courses

And what is that impact? Research indicates that an estimated $2 to $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs each year. That’s a substantial source of funds provided to charitable causes like yours. Not to mention, the mere existence of a match incentivizes individual donors to give at new heights, too. The same reports state that 84% of donors are more likely to give if a match is available, while 1 in 3 would give a larger amount if a match were to be applied.

However, an additional $7 billion goes unclaimed by qualifying nonprofits and their donors each year⁠—largely due to a lack of information surrounding the programs. That’s why many mission organizations and schools are taking the opportunity to elevate their matching gift fundraising and push the initiatives forward this year. And Match Month is the perfect chance to begin.

10+ 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 methods—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 the month off right with your own team. Take the time to reiterate the importance of corporate matching gift programs. Practice asking common matching gift questions, ensuring that all individuals have the knowledge and assets to answer them.

You can even provide your team with access to educational resources and other materials to help grow their knowledge and preparedness for the celebrations ahead.

We have some fantastic free eBooks, blog posts, templates, webinars, and more at Double the Donation.

Plus, we offer the industry’s first-ever Matching Gift Academy—an online learning hub encompassing 45 lessons and more than 7 hours of informational video content across 10+ modules.

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

Top tip:

Though the Academy is valued at $199 per year, current 360MatchPro clients can access the learning system at no cost. Just head to the back-end of your matching gifts portal to locate your organization’s unique coupon code!

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 begin (or to elevate your strategy) than a month dedicated to all things matching gifts?

To get started, consider sharing the following types of content on your nonprofit’s social profiles:

Images and videos

Social media platforms are 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, Match 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!
(Hint: click each image to enlarge the attachment and download a copy.)

360MatchPro users:

For more templates and sample matching gift posts, head to “Marketing Assets” within the “Resources” tab in your matching gift portal. Then, explore our customizable social media designs for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more⁠—including graphics specifically for celebrating Match Month.

Sample Matching Gift Month posts

Not a client yet? Get a demo to see if Double the Donation is right for your team and gain access to a range of tools and resources!

Industry research

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

Check out these examples:

26 million+

individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.

11%

of corporate cash donations are made through matching gift programs.

$2.86 billion

was contributed through corporate matching gift programs last year.

$4-$7 billion

in matching gift funds are left unclaimed by eligible donors each year.

Success stories

Social media is driven by connectivity, networking, and social proof. That’s why case studies, testimonials, and other success stories can be some of the most influential content you can share!

Take a look at a few examples here:

  • Sharing the total sum of matching gift revenue (e.g., “Our organization collected more than $50,000 in matching gift funds in the past year from donors like you”).
  • Highlighting specific examples from prior match donors (ex: “Sarah from Home Depot secured a corporate match on our behalf equaling $5,000, bringing her total contribution value to more than $10,000”).
  • Spotlighting user-generated content from prior match donors (“According to Jennifer, long-time matching gift donor, ‘I love having the chance to stretch the value of my donation, and getting my employer to support my favorite cause is great!’”)
  • Showcasing historic community impact (“Thanks to generous matching gift donors last year, we were able to feed an additional 1,000 families in need through corporate match funding we received.”)

Your supporters care about the impact your organization (and, by extension, their donations) brings. When your followers see the influence that other matching gifts have had, they’ll be more likely to take steps to do so themselves.

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!

3. Optimize your site for matching gifts.

Social media marketing is great⁠—but there’s only so much you can share in each post. So, how can you ensure your audience can easily access the information they need to take action? Be sure every matching gift-related item you share links back to additional resources for learning more.

The best place to house those resources is your organization’s website. 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. And if you don’t have an existing matching gifts page, Match Month is the perfect time to build that online hub.

Here’s an example of a well-designed matching gifts page to consider:

Matching Gift Month - Match Page Example

This inspiring sample follows all of our recommended practices. Take a look at the embedded matching gift search tool (which empowers donors to locate the information they need in seconds), a helpful infographic to visualize the involvement process, a detailed FAQ section, and information about the institution required for donors’ requests. Not to mention, it’s prominently located on the school’s navigation menu!

From there, we also suggest integrating matching gifts directly into your online donation process. Ideally, this should include an employment data widget to your giving form and company-specific program details on the confirmation screen.

Consider adding a separate page about one-off matching gift programs, too. (We’ll talk more about those below!)

4. Send a Matching Gift Month newsletter.

Does your organization send regular newsletters as a way to keep donors and other supporters in the know about upcoming events and opportunities? A matching gift-focused newsletter—whether physical or digital—can serve as a powerful tool for raising awareness of matching gift opportunities.

And it’s a great way to elevate engagement with the annually celebrated Match Month.

Matching gift month newsletter

At the very least, consider adding a section about Matching Gift Month involvement in your standard newsletter. But an entire edition dedicated to matching gifts can go a long way toward inspiring participation in the programs!

5. Look for fundraising match opportunities.

Some companies extend their programs to encompass gifts collected by an employee through a peer-to-peer fundraising effort on behalf of a nonprofit organization—even if the funds didn’t come directly from the employee’s own wallet.

Programs like these are known as fundraising match programs. And since these initiatives can also be considered a form of donation-matching, they can fit perfectly into a well-rounded Matching Gift Month plan!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Your organization facilitates a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign in conjunction with Matching Gift Month (February).
  2. Your team screens your donors’ employment information to locate supporters who work for companies with fundraising match programs.
  3. Your team reaches out to fundraising match-eligible contacts and encourages them to fundraise on your nonprofit’s behalf. (Be sure to mention your Matching Gift Month celebrations and the opportunity for their total funds to be doubled by their employer!)
  4. Volunteer fundraisers solicit donations from their family and friends and participate in any associated event or campaign activity.
  5. At the conclusion of the campaign, fundraisers submit requests for their companies to match the sum of their funds raised.
  6. Fundraisers’ employers review the requests and verify that submissions adhere to program criteria.
  7. Fundraisers’ employers approve the requests and disperse funding to the organizations for which their employees fundraised.

For example, let’s imagine that John Doe of State Street Corporation raises $1,572 for your organization. This is collected from 15 peers and associates through a social fundraising effort your team hosts this Match Month. When John requests a match from his employer, State Street supplies an additional $1,572 for your cause. This brings the total value of John’s fundraising efforts to $3,144!

Fundraising match example for Matching Gift Month

That’s a lot of extra funding for your mission—all while engaging your donors at new heights and growing corporate support.

Top tip:

Use your matching gift database tool to uncover fundraising match opportunities in your donor network. Platforms like Double the Donation supply information about many types of corporate giving programs—including volunteer grants and fundraising matches when available.

6. 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 (and 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.

Top tip:

Use 360MatchPro’s “Leading Companies” tool, which showcases the employers most often searched by donors using your company database tool, to identify businesses in your network without existing match programs! Then, craft a personalized plan for pitching a matching gift program or encouraging your donors to do so themselves.

7. 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, it 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

There are a few types of one-off matching gift programs to consider. These include…

  • One-off match initiatives with companies that do not yet offer complete matching programs. (For example, Carl’s Computer Company does not have an established matching gift program but agrees to match donations solely made to Atlanta University.)
  • Agreements with companies that do offer traditional matching gift program⁠s but want to match donations to your organization at a higher rate. (Ex: 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 for the duration of Matching Gift Month.)

Keep in mind that both types of programs can be beneficial to your cause, your donors, and your corporate partners. In either case, your donors’ employing companies can be some of your most valuable prospects!

Top tip:

Once you’ve established a one-off match with a corporate partner, add the program details (including eligibility criteria and submission instructions) to your company search tool using 360MatchPro’s custom matching gift management feature. This way, the program will populate in your employer search tool, making it quick and easy for donors to access the information they need to participate.

8. 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. Then, encouraging still-eligible donors to submit their requests retroactively.

Here’s a sample follow-up email you might send:

Donation follow-up example for Matching Gift Month

Not to mention, 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 accepting submissions for up to a year after the initial donation is made. Take this opportunity to remind eligible donors about their employers’ matching gift programs and how they can get involved.

Top tip:

Use a matching gift automation tool (like 360MatchPro) to automate outreach and trigger personalized donation follow-ups!

9. 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.

10. Consider matching challenge grants.

Corporate matching gifts aren’t the only type of match opportunity your organization should keep an eye out for⁠—they’re just the most widely available. But other match-based initiatives⁠, like challenge grants⁠, also have the potential to multiply the impact of a group’s fundraising success.

Rather than a company matching the donations its employees make to charitable causes, challenge grants are facilitated as a way to offer a donation match to all of a nonprofit’s supporters. Typically offered by a generous major donor, corporation, or foundation, these programs are generally organized according to a set time frame (e.g., a 24-hour period) or predetermined threshold (such as up to $10,000). Then, any individual who gives within the time frame prior to the match fund being depleted will have their gift doubled for your cause by the challenge grant supplier.

It’s important to remember, too, that challenge grants and matching gifts are usually not mutually exclusive. That means you can layer a few matching gift opportunities on top of one another (for example, a donor’s gift being matched through a challenge grant and by their employing company) to further amplify your efforts.

Challenge grant example for Matching Gift Month

And that’s what we recommend doing to celebrate Matching Gift Month!

Bonus: 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 might not follow through when the process 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 matching gift database and corresponding search tool, making it quick and easy for donors to locate the information they need to participate.
  • 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, thus driving more requests to completion with actionable next steps.
  • Enable innovative auto-submission capabilities, allowing eligible donors to complete the match request process directly from the organization’s giving page and removing critical roadblocks facing traditional matching gift submissions.
  • Trigger automated and personalized matching gift follow-up messaging to remind donors about matching gift availability and encourage them to take the next steps in their companies’ request processes.
  • Seamlessly implement a matching gift solution into their existing fundraising ecosystem thanks to ready-built integrations with nearly all leading donation tools, peer-to-peer platforms, CRMs, and more⁠—empowering organizations to get up and running with gift-matching strategies in minutes!

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%.


Inspiring Matching Gift Month Examples to Review

Drawing inspiration from other nonprofits’ Matching Gift Month efforts can be highly beneficial for organizations strategizing their own campaigns. Not only can successful examples provide invaluable ideas and insights, but they can also spark creativity among your team and establish a deeper understanding of what resonates with nonprofit audiences.

That said, take a look at these Match Month campaigns to aspire to.

Example #1: Matching Gift Month Social Media Post

This independent Massachusetts private school took to Facebook and other social media platforms to promote the corporate matching gift opportunity last Match Month.

Sample Matching Gift Month marketing by the Rashi School

This institution uses the post as a way to promote matching gifts and encourage unprecedented individual giving. Not to mention, it links to the school’s matching gifts page and company search tool. These resources can supply additional information and assist supporters in getting started!

Example #2: Matching Gifts Web Page

One university opts to use its matching gift web page as a way to increase awareness about Match Month celebrations.

Sample Matching Gift Month marketing by CWRU

The blurb, which is embedded in the web page, encourages users to research their companies’ matching gift programs and double their giving impact if they qualify. It also includes an informational matching gift video that uses animated graphics to visualize the institution’s matching gift efforts.

Example #3: Match Month Landing Page

This organization published a dedicated landing page on its website as a way to drive awareness of Matching Gift Month among its supporters.

Matching Gift Month example campaign

The page begins with a flashy and eye-catching graphic, shares specific performance metrics that reiterate matching gift impact, and implements an embedded company search tool. It even includes a template supporters can use to advocate for matching gift efforts when their employers lack such programming.

Example #4: Matching Gift Month Blog Post

In order to encourage Match Month participation among its supporters, this nonprofit published an informational blog post on its website.

Matching Gift Month example campaign

The article outlines the basics of Matching Gift Month, emphasizes the importance of matching gifts for the organization’s mission, and shares additional resources donors can use to pursue matching gift opportunities (such as a direct link to the dedicated Match Page and integrated search tool). Plus, it uses illustrated statistics to communicate the availability of employee gift-matching in a user-friendly way!

Looking for more matching gift success stories?


Wrapping Up

Matching gifts have the potential to elevate your organization’s fundraising, bringing your overall community impact to new heights. February’s celebrations 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 month, remember that the value of a long-term matching gift strategy can boost your fundraising for years to come. Keep in mind that the practices outlined above—and powering your team with the right tools and resources—can help!

Get started with Double the Donation this month

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

Complete Guide to Matching Gifts

Matching Gift Programs Additional Resources for Matching Gift Month

Dive into the basics and beyond with this complete guide to corporate matching gift programs.

Find out everything from common guidelines and well-known programs to streamlining your efforts with matching gift software.

How to Encourage Matching Gifts

How to Encourage Matching Gift Requests This Match Month

Not all match-eligible donors will complete their submission processes right away. Discover several impactful strategies for driving more matches to completion with this smart guide.

Then, incorporate these methods to raise more!

eBook: Matching Gift Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Matching Gifts This Match Month

Learn everything there is to know about marketing matching gift programs effectively with our free downloadable resource.

This guide covers top strategies for raising awareness and elevating matching gift fundraising with ease.