HURRAH! You’ve done it.
The most difficult work is done. Your promotional effort has worked. The responsibility is now in the hands of the donor’s employer — at least momentarily.
Well, you can sit back and twiddle your thumbs … but not for long. Pretty soon the ball will be back in your court, and it’ll be your turn to handle things. The donor’s company is not going to blindly accept their employee’s submission.
- Employees log into the company’s matching gift submission website
- Employees search for the nonprofit they donated to
- Employees select the nonprofit from the search results (if not found, they enter the organization’s information)
- Employees register their donation and submit the matching gift request
After a donor makes a matching gift request submission to his or her employer, that company then needs to process the request.
Your nonprofit is going to have to be involved, albeit rather peripherally, in that process.
What should your nonprofit expect to receive from a company that’s just received a matching gift request from one of your organization’s donors?
Well, expect a letter for starters. It may come by mail, email, fax, plane, train, or automobile. Okay, so maybe not those last three, but definitely mail, email, or fax.
The letter will basically be asking for verification that the employee made the donation and that you’re the nonprofit that the employee says you are. It will be a quick and painless process. The letter will usually come through a third party company that handles matching gift requests for the employer at hand and it will ask you take a few verification steps.
It should be quick and painless for your nonprofit.
To help clear up any potential questions you may have, let’s walk through a sample letter from a company to a nonprofit.
In the case of this sample:
- Corporation X represents your donor’s employer
- Y Nonprofit represents you, the ones receiving the donation
- Company Z represents the third party business handling the corporate giving program
Corporation X’s Corporate Giving Program
Dear Y Nonprofit,
Company Z is Corporation X’s vendor that helps process and fulfill requests through the corporate giving program. As Corporation X’s vendor, we at Company Z work to ensure that the donation process goes as smoothly as possible. Part of that process involves guaranteeing that funds requested by employees are allocated to the correct charities.
We have great news! An employee has made a match request on your behalf!
That match request now needs your confirmation.
In order to complete the confirmation, please follow the link below.
“Link to Company Z’s vendor portal with Corporation X”
Once on the site, create a new account or log into your existing account if you already have one.
If creating a new account, you will be prompted to answer a series of questions which are as follows:
- Organization contact information
- Contact information for the specific employee handling the request
- A registration code unique to your case — ABC-DEFG
- A match ID unique to your case — 12345
You will be able to set up a username and password and then confirm the match request that is currently pending.
Questions? Please call us at 111-222-3333 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our representatives will be able to assist you.
Thank you for all the great work you do.
Company Z Support
111-222-3333 / email@example.com
As you can see from that letter template, it is not going to take much to confirm a matching gift request and see those extra funds come in, but you will need to essentially verify that the employee making the request did in fact make the donation that he or she reported. And the letter will give you all the information needed to do so.
That way, you know to be expecting funds and can cross them off the list when the employers donate them.
It is quite common that donors will submit a matching gift request without telling the nonprofit that they are doing so. They are certainly not required to tell the nonprofit anything. Therefore, the first chance your organization has to begin tracking these submission requests is when the employer contacts you. Take advantage of that knowledge.
One of the best and most proactive steps a nonprofit can take to keep donors around is thanking quickly and often.
Don’t officially thank the donor until you receive the matching gift donation from that donor’s employer; however, if you are keeping careful records of matching gift submissions in progress you will be able to prepare to send out acknowledgments sooner and you will be less likely to lose track of a donor, and / or that donor’s records, in the shuffle.
The matching gift submission process is by no means brain surgery. In fact, many of the third party vendors that corporations use have handled submissions for so long the whole experience is as streamlined and timely as possible.
It never hurts to know what to expect though, and now you do. Make sure those letters do not get mixed up in the wrong place or filed away before anyone has had a chance to make the confirmation! They are your key to converting matching gift requests into matching gift funds. Don’t let your organization be the bottleneck holding up the process.
If your organization is going to seriously pursue matching gifts, it should assign the processing of requests to one staff member, probably on your development team. That way, when letters like the sample above come in, your whole office knows exactly who to send them to. And, that person will quickly gain familiarity with the process and be able to make and track the confirmations as efficiently as possible.