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Donor Awareness Matching Gifts

Nonprofits: How to Increase Donor Awareness about Matching Gift Programs

Modify your DonorPerfect donation confirmation emails to include matching gifts

Here at Double the Donation, we often write about the benefits of corporate giving programs, but we also touch upon marketing these programs to your donors. Informing individuals about the possibility of literally doubling donations via matching gift opportunities is step one to extra financial support, but step two is ensuring that these marketing efforts are working!

We’ll touch upon some common marketing efforts to get your donors ramped up to submit that matching gift request form to their employer, but also how to tell if your strategy is working.

 

Marketing Matching Gift Programs

Getting your donors aware about matching gift opportunities is the biggest obstacle your organization will have to overcome in order to receive more funds through these programs. There are billions (yes, billions!) of unclaimed dollars from corporate giving programs because donors are just simply not aware that they can ask their employers to match donations to eligible nonprofit organizations.

Here are three easy and effective marketing strategies to raise donor awareness about matching gift programs.

Include Matching Gift Information in Acknowledgement Letters

If your nonprofit organization is not already including information about matching gift opportunities in donor acknowledgement letters, then it’s a super easy way to start your marketing campaign. When an individual donates money to your organization, the hard part is done. Now you just need to get them to submit a matching gift request form to their employer – but how do you get them to do that?

Include a blurb about matching gifts in your acknowledgement letter. You’ve already got a committed audience, and since the acknowledgement letter doubles as a tax receipt, you can almost guarantee that the donor will read the letter to skim over key points. Make sure you emphasize that requesting a matching gift from their employer is easy and effective. Direct them to your Double the Donation webpage to allow them to check in just a couple of quick steps if their employer offers a matching gift program, and the steps they need to follow to do so.

It can be as simple as this: “Did you know that many corporations offer employee giving programs where they match donations to [your organization’s name]? The tax deductible component of your membership is normally eligible to be matched as well. Check with your employer today to see if they provide matching gifts!”

Make sure to mention that many companies now offer the opportunity to submit these forms online, so that makes the request that much easier. Your odds that a donor requests a matching gift from their employer are so much better if they’ve made a gift recently, so make sure your acknowledgement letters are timely!

 

Strategically Place Matching Gift Information on Donation Web Pages 

As with the above method, you want to make sure to include matching gift information in places that your donors (actual and potential) can see and process quickly. If an individual is on your organization’s donation page, then chances are that they didn’t end up there by accident. This is a great place to let them know that once they commit to the donation, then asking for a match from their employer will only take a few extra minutes. Donors are more likely to pull the trigger when they know it won’t be a long and arduous process, especially once they’ve already made a gift.

Put blurbs about matching gift opportunities on your donation pages, including on the “Donate Now” pages, and especially on the “Thank you for donating!” pages. It would be great as a “Next Steps” option.

 

Engage Your Donors on Social Media

Does your organization have a Facebook page? Twitter? YouTube? All of these are great places to let your donors know how grateful you are for their commitment to your organization’s mission, and a great place to let them know that they can literally double their donation by simply requesting a matching gift from employers. First and foremost, say thank you! This is a crucial part to ensure that they keep reading and engaging with your organization.

Post stories about how the money raised for your organization is helping grow your mission. Include asides about how matching gifts can doubly impact the cause! Facebook is a great place for short posts about matching gifts; Twitter is great for quick and succinct blurbs with links; and YouTube is a great place to submit a video thanking your donors for their contributions and extra efforts in matching gifts!

With social media, the marketing possibilities are endless.

 

Measuring the Impact of Marketing Efforts

The best advice we have on measuring your marketing impact is to create a chart. Create a graph of some kind (whatever your boss prefers, whether it’s a bar graph, a pie chart, or a nifty line chart in Excel) with the total amount of matching gifts received last year versus this year. Or last month versus this month. Use any time span that can really show you a difference between your pre- and post-marketing efforts. Can you see a discernible difference in the number of matching gifts being sent in?

Of course you can download our free Microsoft Excel Matching Gift Tracker and Dashboard >

You can also create a survey (there are many free online software tools) that allow you to send a thank you email to a donor who had submitted a matching gift request. Ask them how they learned about matching gifts, and include all of your marketing efforts, as well as an “Other” box with a free response option. This will help you realize which efforts are worth investing more time in (or at least focusing more on in the future), and which may be fruitless.

Your organization will also be able to identify if a majority of matching gifts are coming from one company in particular, or from a wide array of employers. This is notable because if your matching gifts seem to be coming from one employer, then it’d be a good idea to publicly recognize it as a valuable donor and partner to your organization.

There are a variety of ways to market matching gifts to your donors, and several other ways to measure the impact of these marketing efforts. Too much money goes unclaimed by nonprofit organizations due to a lack of awareness on the part of the donors about corporate giving programs. This shouldn’t be the case! Make sure you’re educating your constituents on a consistent and appropriate basis, and you could be well on your way to a high increase in the number of matching gift requests submit.

For more tips on how to to keep up with your marketing efforts and better retain your donor base, check out this webinar from Aplos.

Learn how you can receive matching gifts for your nonprofit's special fundraising events.

Matching Gifts for Special Fundraising Events

Many nonprofits host special event fundraisers like galas to boost them toward their revenue goals. However, only a few organizations realize that tickets and donations made during the event might be eligible for corporate matching gifts.

When brainstorming ideas for your next fundraiser, don’t steer clear of special events. Instead, research your donors’ employers and your corporate match opportunities. To kick off your research, review the following key examples and commonalities between companies’ giving programs:

  1. Examples of Donations at Annual Galas and Special Events.
  2. Eligibility of Donations Made at Galas and Special Events.
  3. Matching Gifts for Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers.
  4. Tips for Promoting Matching Gifts to Special Event Attendees.
  5. How a Matching Gift Database Can Help.

Ready to learn more about matching gifts for special event fundraisers? Let’s get started!
Take a look at these examples of special fundraising events that received matching gifts.

1. Examples of Donations at Annual Galas and Special Events

Because of your familiarity with the nonprofit world, you likely know that organizations typically incorporate donations with their special events.

Let’s take a look at some notable special events hosted by some major, well-known organizations:

  • The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association gives individuals an opportunity to name one of its animals. For donations between $1,000-$50,000, you can name an animal, receive recognition in the zoo publication, have your photo taken with the animal, and get a VIP tour.
  • The Atlanta Botanical Garden has its Garden of Eden Gala, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser. Tickets range in price from a few hundred dollars to $25,000 if you want to be the presenting sponsor. Benefits include tickets to the organization’s Ball, a Patron Party, and much more.
  • NEXT for Autism (formerly New York Collaborates for Autism) hosts its annual “Night of Too Many Stars”. Celebrities such as Jon Stewart, Katie Perry, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Seth Rogan, and many others auction off once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to hang out with them. For instance, becoming “best friends with Amy Poehler & Tina Fey” for an evening was auctioned for thousands of dollars a few years ago.

Most nonprofits aren’t quite on this huge event level, but it’s a great place to start researching. Take the time to look at special events hosted by major nonprofits whose missions are similar to yours. Who knows? Their major fundraisers may inspire your next event!

Looking to host your own charity auction? Check out these great platforms.
Find out if you can receive matching gifts for donations made at special fundraising events.

2. Eligibility of Donations Made at Galas and Special Events

It may come as a surprise, but many companies that offer matching gift programs will match donations made at special events!

When reviewing a company’s matching gift form, you may notice a sentence similar to “the corporation will not match tickets or subscriptions.” For instance, if your organization is a symphony selling a concert ticket or a science museum selling an IMAX ticket, companies won’t match the ticket price.

The reason for this is that donors are receiving a tangible benefit that would be charged by other for-profit organizations. For example, an IMAX movie could be compared to a regular movie ticket while the symphony could be compared to a sporting event ticket.

If that’s the case, then why are gala tickets and special event tickets often eligible?

If you look at the fine print on many nonprofits’ special event tickets, you’ll notice that it mentions a tax-deductible amount for each ticket. The tax-deductible dollar amount is what’s eligible to be matched.

In general, at galas, you must subtract the cost of a similar meal and any gifts that guests receive. Otherwise, it won’t be considered matching-gift eligible. For instance, if you host a gala and sell $500 tickets, you have to determine the fair market value of the benefits. In other words, how much would someone spend on the event if it wasn’t a fundraiser?

Let’s say people would typically spend $100 for a gala like yours plus $50 on the meal at a local restaurant. That makes the fair market value $150, meaning the tax-deductible amount is $350. In this case, $350 is the amount that would eligible for matches.

If you’re interested in learning more, we wrote an entire article on calculating the tax-deductible matching gift value.

The Bottom Line: A significant percentage of a gala ticket’s price is tax-deductible and is often eligible to be matched by an employee’s company. However, corporate guidelines do vary by company.
Learn how to receive matching gifts for special fundraising events like peer-to-peer fundraisers.

3. Matching Gifts for Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers

When researching corporate match programs, you may come across some companies that match the fundraising efforts of its employees. In other words, if their employees voluntarily fundraise for your cause (i.e. peer-to-peer fundraising), a company that offers this program will match the entire amount up to a certain limit.

Some of the major companies that offer these generous programs are:

  1. Intuit
  2. McAfee
  3. British Petroleum
  4. State Street

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a common strategy for boosting nonprofit revenue. With these campaigns, your volunteer fundraisers receive their own personalized webpages where they raise money for your cause. The most common example of these effective fundraisers is walkathons. Though these campaigns are heavily reliant on online tactics, once you master the peer-to-peer approach, you’ll boost your fundraising potential!

Learn more about fundraising match programs.
You can promote matching gifts at your special fundraising events using these tips.

4. Tips for Promoting Matching Gifts to Special Event Attendees

Unfortunately, for organizations, it’s less common to receive employee matching gifts for galas and special events than it is for regular donations or annual fund contributions.

As with all donations, you have to raise awareness and make it easy for donors to submit matching gift requests. However, there’s an extra component when it comes to galas and special events.

Even if an individual knows about their company’s matching gift program, they rarely realize a portion of their recently purchased ticket is tax-deductible and often match-eligible. Therefore, you need to promote this. Start by doing the following:

  • Include the tax-deductible amount on the ticket with a line such as “Did you know $X of your ticket is tax-deductible? If your employer offers a matching gift program, it may be eligible to be matched.”
  • If you subscribe to Double the Donation’s matching gift service, consider setting up a laptop with your organization’s page about matching gifts that’s easily accessible at your event.
  • At payment stations where donors pay for auction items, make sure your staff asks each individual or his or her spouse if they work for a company with a matching gift program.
  • Do you give donors an acknowledgement card after they buy a ticket or make an additional donation? If so, this is a great time to encourage donors to see if their employer or their spouse’s employer offers a matching gift program.

Before creating your promotion plan, make sure to review our list of top ways to promote employee matching gifts year-round.
A matching gift database can help you receive matching gifts at your special events.

5. How a Matching Gift Database Can Help

In addition to helping your day-to-day fundraising strategy, a matching gift database (like Double the Donation) can help your organization pinpoint additional revenue opportunities at special events.

Your nonprofit should promote corporate giving at any special fundraising event. Before going into ways to do this, here’s how Double the Donation works:

  1. A nonprofit embeds the tool on its website or online donation page.
  2. A donor (or volunteer) starts typing his/her employer’s name.
  3. The database autocompletes the search, suggesting companies for the user to click.
  4. The user receives all available updated information on his/her employer’s giving program.

Best of all, the tool easily integrates with other fundraising software. Larger nonprofits might benefit more from 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, which streamlines the process even more through email automation and email domain screening.

There are multiple ways you can promote corporate philanthropy with Double the Donation’s services:

  • At your event, set up a laptop with your page that has the search tool embedded.
  • Analyze your guest list prior to the event and research attendees’ employers. That way, you’ll have more insight on who to approach at your event.
  • For your event, create and hand out educational pamphlets on matching gifts and local employers that offer them.

Get creative with your matching gift promotion! Think your nonprofit can benefit from Double the Donation?


Corporate philanthropy represents a major opportunity for nonprofits. By taking the time to incorporate it into your fundraising and outreach strategies, you set your nonprofit up for success. Few nonprofits take the time to do proper research on these programs. Because of that, they overlook major revenue opportunities.

Now that you know special event tickets and donations can be matched by most employers, get started boosting your revenue!

Nonprofit and Corporate Relationships Matching Gifts

Leverage Matching Gifts to Strengthen Nonprofit-Corporate Relationships

We recently had a reader ask Double the Donation about how to strengthen relationships with corporations that offer generous matching gift contributions to their organization. She said she wished she had more ways to reach out to these companies post-matching gift donation to show them how a strong relationship could provide some great public relations benefits.

This is a great point! When corporations offer matching gift donations to a nonprofit organization, they may not realize how positive of an impact the contributions are having on the work of the nonprofit. It’s important for nonprofits to leverage matching gifts into positive PR for both you and the corporation to ensure future collaboration, and therefore, a stronger nonprofit-corporate relationship.

Suggestions of “Extra Thanks” for Generous Matching Gift Donations

Does your organization have one corporation in particular (or even a few!) that really stands out in the field of matching gift donations? It’s important that this company knows how big of an impact they are having on the work you do, and sometimes a simple, albeit wonderful, acknowledgement letter (that acts as a tax-deductible receipt, too) is not going to emphasize your thanks enough. So, what else can you do?

Press Releases

A simple and highly visible form of extra thanks is a press release to local publications. This could include information about the circumstances of the donation, how big of a matching gift partner they are (if, for example, you have many donors who work for one company that offers matching gifts on a recurring basis), and the kind of programs and nonprofit work the donations help progress.

And don’t forget to highlight the company on your own website. It’s not only positive publicity for the company but also encourages your other donors to see if their employers will match their donations.

The important thing here is that the company or companies providing matching gifts to your nonprofit organization are getting a public, positive recognition for the donations they make. They are more likely to donate in other capacities in the future, as well, when they see the kind of public acknowledgement they can get by donating to your organization.

Social Media

This one is seemingly a no-brainer, but it’s always amazing what kind of far-reaching impacts a Facebook or Twitter post can have on relationships. By thanking a corporation for their generosity with matching gifts and including the positive impact they are having on the community, your nonprofit is taking an extra (and again, simple) step to show the company and the public how thankful you are for their commitment to the cause.

Here’s a sample thank you post from the Children’s Craniofacial Association:

Thanks for the Matching Gifts

In case you can’t read the text on the image it says

It’s #ThankfulThursday & CCA thanks @Corning Inc. for the Foundation Matching Gifts Program, doubling employee donations to CCA!

It was retweeted four times and favorited six times, including from the main Corning account.

Donation Page Acknowledgements

On your website’s donation pages, you could include information about some of the benefits of matching gifts (for your donors), and also mention some of the top-giving companies in the area. This shows many donors the commitment of their employers to the community, which in turn increases the chances an individual will donate to your cause and also ask their company for a matching gift. Increasing the number of eyes that see a corporation’s name in a positive light also increases the likelihood of forming a stronger relationship with a company. Positive PR for a company (by a nonprofit organization) is a huge key for ensuring future collaboration.

Event Recognition

This is another easy way to recognize some of the major community players in the matching gift arena. Even if these companies are not sponsoring your charitable event, just mentioning the impact they are having on the work you do (without outshining the actual corporate sponsors, of course) is going to make a difference. Every company wants a positive image in the community because this increases their like-ability, and therefore their success. When your nonprofit organization is a key factor in increasing their success, the bond between the two will be stronger than ever.

Creating a Stronger Relationship

The above suggestions are just a few extra ways to say thanks to the corporations who have a strong commitment to matching gift donations. When a company sees the effort your nonprofit organization is putting forth to thank them for their generosity, it increases the chances of future giving, whether it’s with more matching gifts, grants, or even some form of sponsorship.

Make sure you’re saying thank you – it really can make all the difference!

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Volunteer Grants and Matching Gifts from Board Members of Nonprofits

Many nonprofit organizations have a Board of Directors that make annual monetary contributions. Did you know that certain companies offer bonus matches or higher ratios and limits on matching gifts if their employees serve on nonprofit boards?

Here are some of these companies that offer higher limits on matching gifts from board members:

U.S. Companies Corporate Giving Policies

usbanklogoUS Bancorp/US Bank

US Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association (based in Minneapolis, Minnesota), ranked the fifth largest bank in the U.S. based on assets ($364 billion), and fourth largest based on total branches. The company employs over 64,000 people.

US Bancorp/US Bank Matching Gift Policy

US Bank offers a 1:1 matching ratio of gifts up to $1,000 by all employees. When a board member makes a donation, this limit is raised to $3,000 (still a 1:1 match ratio). US Bank matches donations to most nonprofit organizations.

WestRock

Learn more about US Bank’s matching gift program.

WestRock

WestRock is an American packaging company based in Richmond, Virginia. It has approximately 23,000 employees.

WestRock Matching Gift Policy

WestRock matches all employee donations up to $2,500 to education institutions (K-12 included). It also matches donations from employees who serve on the board of directors (or other governing body) of the organization to which the contribution is being made.

Learn more about WestRock’s matching gift program.

DominionDominion Resources, Inc.

Dominion Resources, Inc. (aka Dominion), is a power and energy company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia that supplies electricity in parts of Virginia and North Carolina, and supplies natural gas to parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and eastern North Carolina. As of 2012, Dominion employed 15,500 people.

Dominion Matching Gift Policy

When Dominion employees or retirees serve on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization, Dominion will make a 2:1 match up to $2,500. So, if the employee donated $2,500, Dominion will make a $5,000 donation, totaling $7,500!

Learn more about Dominion’s matching gift program.

pnm-volunteering

PNM Resources

PNM Resources, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, serves electricity to 498,000 homes and business in northern New Mexico and parts of west Texas. PNM employs about 2,000 people.

PNM’s Volunteer Grant Program

PNM provides 3 different levels of monetary grants for volunteer service provided by an employee:

  1. For every 12 volunteer hours donated, PNM will provide a $100 donation to an eligible nonprofit organization.
  2. For every 25 volunteer hours, PNM will provide a $300 donation.
  3. If an employee volunteers at least 25 hours AND serves on the nonprofit’s board of directors, PNM will provide a $500 donation.

Learn more about PNM’s volunteer grant program.

BSOCBlue Shield of California

With 4,500 employees, Blue Shield of California is based in San Francisco. It is a nonprofit health plan provider that serves more than 3.4 million health plan members and almost 65,000 physicians across California.

BSOC Volunteer Grant Program

Healthcare Organizations:

When a BSOC employee volunteers at a healthcare organization and makes a monetary donation up to $3,000, BSOC will match the donation at a 2:1 ratio, effectively making the total donation $9,000! When a BSOC employee serves on the nonprofit’s organization governing board and makes a monetary donation up to $5,000, BSOC will also match the donation at a 2:1 ratio, totaling $15,000!

Civic and Community Organizations:

BSOC employee volunteers at civic and community organizations can have donations of $1,500 matched at a 1:1 ratio. BSOC employee volunteers who are on the governing body of these organizations can have donations up to $2,500 matched at a 1:1 ratio.

Learn more about BSOC’s volunteer grant program.

Global Companies Corporate Giving Policies

SchneiderSchneider Electric, Square D NOAD & Subsidiaries

Schneider Electric is a France-based multinational corporation with nearly 10 U.S. business acquisitions that specializes in electricity distribution and automation management. It employs more than 152,000 people as of 2012.

Schneider Electric Matching Gift Policy

Schneider Electric, Square D NOAD & its subsidiaries provide a 1:1 match on all donations up to $10,000! If an employee is also an active member of a nonprofit organization’s board of directors, the match ratio is increased to a 1.5:1 ratio (that would total a $25,000 donation for a board member!)

Learn more about Schneider Electric’s matching gift program.

TakedaTakeda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Takeda is the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and Asia, boasting 30,000 employees worldwide. It is focused on metabolic disorders, gastroenterology, neurology, and inflammation. Despite being headquartered in Osaka, Japan, Fortune Magazine ranked the Takeda Oncology Company as one the 100 best companies to work for in the United States in January 2012.

Takeda Volunteer Grant Program

When an employee of Takeda Pharmaceuticals serves on the board of directors for eligible nonprofit organizations, said employee can request a $2,500 volunteer grant for the organization.

Learn more about Takeda’s volunteer grant program.

novartisNovartis International AG

Novartis is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. In 2010 it ranked number two among the worldwide pharmaceutical industry in sales ($46.8 billion). Novartis employs nearly 120,000 people.

Novartis Volunteer Grant Program

Novartis offers three types of volunteer grants:

  1. Individual Volunteer Grants: employees who volunteer at least 40 hours with an eligible nonprofit organization can request a $250 volunteer grant.
  2. Board Service Grants: employees who serve on the board of directors of an eligible organization can request a $750 volunteer grant after one year of board service. These grants are renewable every year for up to three years.
  3. Team Volunteer Grants: when five or more employees volunteer as a team on a special project for an eligible nonprofit, Novartis will donate $500 to the organization. (This is exclusive of Community Partnership Day.)

Learn more about Novartis’ volunteer grant program.

Reference this sample job description when its time to hire a matching gift coordinator.

Finding A Matching Gift Coordinator: Sample Job Description

Is your nonprofit organization missing out on potential funds from matching gift donations? Yes.

Does your development department have someone who is knowledgeable about matching gifts and the intricacies of the process? No.

Would you be interested in having someone on your staff who can bring added value to your annual fund? Yes.

If your answers match ours, then it might be time for your organization to bring on a dedicated matching gift coordinator. We’re going to explore hiring a matching gift coordinator through the following topics:

With the sample job description, we’ll look at a general overview, key responsibilities, and the characteristics of a qualified candidate. Follow along for a deep-dive into hiring a matching gift specialist.

Learn the basics of being a matching gift coordinator.

What is a matching gift coordinator?

A matching gift coordinator is simply the staff member in charge of all of your organization’s matching gift needs, from discovering which donors are match eligible to educating those donors about submitting match requests.

This is the staff member that, for a smaller nonprofit, directs donors to your organization’s searchable matching gift database or even searches donors’ information themselves. Or, on the other hand, if you’re a larger nonprofit– this is the staff member that manages your matching gift automation tool. Finally, after determining eligibility, this staff member follows-up with donors, starting the process.

Bonus! If your organization doesn’t currently have either of these tools and they seem like a good solution for you, visit Double the Donation to sign up for a 14-day free trial.

We’ve put together a sample job description for a matching gift coordinator that you can post on a multitude of great nonprofit job and career sites. Of course, you’ll need to add in the more specific elements that make your organization unique to help you stand out from the crowd. Use this template to get started, and customize it according to your organization’s specific successes!

Here is a sample job description for a matching gift coordinator.

Matching Gift Coordinator

Overview

The Matching Gift Coordinator is responsible for the oversight of the matching gift program, a component of fund development. This position entails communicating with individual donors to ensure knowledge about the possibility of matching gifts, as well as maintaining and updating appropriate information on the website and within relevant marketing materials.

The Matching Gift Coordinator reports to and works in collaboration with the Director of Development.

Key Responsibilities

  • Checking all individual donations against the donor’s employer to see if they are eligible for a corporate match.
  • Reaching out to individual donors to inform them of the possibility of a corporate matching gift.
  • Providing donors with appropriate information and guidelines to make the match process as effortless as possible.
  • Maintaining and updating the matching gift information on software such as Double the Donation as necessary.
  • Sending timely acknowledgments to individual donors and matching gift companies.
  • Maintaining the matching gift section on the fundraising pages of the website.
  • Marketing matching gift opportunities via various outlets including social media, email campaigns, and annual fund letters.

Characteristics of a Qualified Candidate

The Matching Gift Coordinator position requires an organized, proactive, and energetic individual who will work effectively with donors and corporations.

A successful candidate will have the following qualities:

  • At least 2 years of experience in fund development in nonprofit organizations.
  • An ability to think independently and communicate effectively.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • An ability to learn quickly, especially with regard to software management.

A matching gift coordinator can help your organization increase its incoming donations through matching gift programs. These programs present a huge opportunity, and you don’t want to miss out due to being understaffed!

If it’s time for your organization to bring on a matching gift coordinator, use the above job description to start your search.

 

Learn about which major companies match gifts made to elementary schools.

Companies that Match Gifts to Elementary Schools

Oftentimes, educational institutions have avid supporters who make major donations. However, pinpointing which employers will match these donations can be difficult. This is because of the multitude of guidelines surrounding eligible organizations.

High schools and higher education institutions often receive matching gift funds, but elementary schools and foundations can also be major recipients of match-eligible donations.

If your school is fortunate enough to have a large donor base, make sure you’re researching large employers in your area. To revamp your fundraising strategy, you’ll need to raise awareness and make it easy for donors to submit match requests.

It’s well-known that almost all companies with matching gift programs will match donations made to higher education. However, the policies surrounding K-12 schools can be confusing. Let’s review a few companies that match employee donations to elementary schools, such as:

  1. The Home Depot
  2. McDonald’s
  3. Texas Instruments
  4. The Walt Disney Corporation
  5. Additional Matching Gift Companies

Elementary schools have a lot to gain from corporate matching. Companies want to actively support their local elementary schools, and there’s no better way to do that than matching donations made to them by employees. Let’s take a look at a few of these major matching gift corporations.

The Home Depot

Home Depot, a company that matches gifts made to elementary schools, matches donations anywhere from $25 to $3,000.Home Depot will match gifts to almost all 501(c)(3) organizations and educational institutions (elementary schools included). The company matches employee donations starting at as little as $25. Like many companies, Home Depot matches at a dollar-for-dollar ratio. In other words, eligible donations can be doubled!

Home Depot matches up to $1,000 annually per employee for each organization to which they donate. However, there’s a maximum amount of $3,000, too. Also, they simplify the match process by allowing employees to submit their requests electronically—no paperwork necessary!

Both full-time employees and part-time employees are eligible, so be on the lookout for this popular employer.

Read more about Home Depot’s matching gift program.

McDonald’s Corporation

McDonald's, a company that matches gifts made to elementary schools, offers the program to both full-time and part-time corporate employees.As one of the largest employers in the world, McDonald’s matching gift program has the potential to impact schools across the United States. In addition to its work with the Ronald McDonald House, the company has a generous philanthropy program.

The company will match corporate employee donations a year to elementary schools. While full-time and part-time corporate employees are eligible to participate, franchise employees are not eligible.

Additionally, McDonald’s will match up to $5,000 per employee per year and $10,000 per vice president and board of director member per year. There are a few more restrictions surrounding eligible employees, so make sure to do a bit more research on the company before submitting a request.

Read more about the McDonald’s matching gift program.

Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments is a company that matches gifts made to elementary schools and encourages its employees to volunteer.Not only does Texas Instruments produce classroom technology, but it also supports elementary schools with its matching gift program. Plus, TI stands out for doing an exceptional job of notifying employees and retirees of its programs.

The company matches donations of between $25 and $10,000 per employee each year. As an added benefit, Texas Instruments also matches donations from retirees. Double the Donation has a full list of Texas Instruments’ matching gift guidelines for educational institutions.

In addition to its matching gift program, TI encourages its employees to volunteer. After an employee volunteers 20 hours with an eligible educational institution (K-12 included), they can request a $250 grant for the school. Employees and retirees can request up to four volunteer grants (i.e. $1,000) each year.

Read more about the Texas Instruments matching gift program.

The Walt Disney Corporation

The Walt Disney Corporation, a company that matches gifts made to elementary schools, also offers a generous volunteer grant programs.The Walt Disney Corporation will match donations to elementary schools made by current full-time employees, part-time employees, and retirees of between $25 and $25,000 annually. The company matches to all K-12 schools.

Additionally, Walt Disney offers a volunteer grant program, called Disney VoluntEARS. Once an employee volunteers a minimum of 10 hours, they can request a grant. Like most corporate giving programs, the amount received depends on the number of volunteer hours. In other words, 10-24 hours equals a $100 grant, 25-49 hours represents a $250 grant, and so on. Once an employee exceeds 150 hours, they receive a $2,000 grant.

Also, the company recognizes exceptional individual volunteers with its “VoluntEARS of the Year” grants of $2,500.

However, Walt Disney’s grant request process is slightly different from other companies. Employees register their donations online and then email the certificate to the nonprofit. The certificate includes a “Gift ID” which the nonprofit uses to claim the matching gift funds.

Read more about Walt Disney’s matching gift program.

Additional Matching Gift Companies

While these companies offer generous matching gifts to educational institutions, they aren’t the only companies that do this. Here are a few other major employers that match gifts made to elementary schools:

  1. ExxonMobil
  2. HP, Inc.
  3. Chevron
  4. Microsoft
  5. Verizon

When developing your corporate philanthropy fundraising plan, make sure to research all your donors’ employers, not just those listed here. However, these are great companies to consider when kicking off your research!


Learn how Double the Donation can help your nonprofit pinpoint companies that match donations made to elementary schools.

How a Matching Gift Database Can Help

A matching gift database ensures that your elementary school, along with most other organizations, isn’t missing out on any corporate philanthropy opportunities.

Double the Donation works with organizations (including K-12 schools) across the country. The search tool, which can be embedded across online fundraising tools, has information on over 20,000 companies. Here’s what it does:

  • Enables donors to search their employers.
  • Provides users with forms and up-to-date information about companies.
  • Allows nonprofits to pinpoint matching gift opportunities.

Depending on the size of your donor base, you may benefit more from 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. This tool automatically recognizes match-eligible donors, follows up with them until the match process is complete, and even creates an automated matching gift plan for you.

Determine which tool is best for your elementary school (or other organization) and start boosting your matching gift revenue!


Matching gift programs are an additional source of funding for elementary schools that most individuals overlook. By identifying all of your match opportunities, you maximize your revenue potential. Plus, a lot of companies also have volunteer grant programs, where your generous volunteers can receive grant money for your school!

By knowing about employers in your area that offer matching gifts, you set your school up for fundraising success. Start looking for these opportunities, and maximize your revenue now!

If you’re looking to learn more about corporate giving programs, make sure to check out these useful articles:

  1. Corporate Giving Programs: The Ultimate Fundraising Guide. Matching gifts aren’t the only type of corporate philanthropy. Learn about other corporate giving programs with this comprehensive fundraising guide.
  2. 30+ School Fundraising Ideas That Work (Year After Year!) Spark a few ideas for your next school fundraiser with this creative list by Snowball Fundraising.
  3. Marketing Matching Gifts. Learn a few ways to promote matching gifts to your generous donors. That way, you can boost your fundraising potential.
Donor-advised funds can make a difference in your nonprofit fundraising strategy. Learn more with this post!

Donor-Advised Funds: Are DAFs Eligible for Matching Gifts?

Donor-advised funds (DAF), which make giving charitable donations simple and easy, are quickly gaining popularity, but because nonprofits don’t know the ins and outs, they might not be fully taking advantage of them.

As a nonprofit professional, you likely know the DAF basics, such as how they allow donors to give today and receive a tax deduction now, rather than waiting for tax season. However, what if you could double these gifts through donors’ employers?

To fully answer this question, there are a few key points you need to review:

  1. Typical Eligibility Requirements.
  2. Corporate Examples.
  3. How a Matching Gift Database Can Help.

If you’re ready to boost your nonprofit’s revenue, let’s get started!
Different companies have different eligibility requirements for donor-advised funds.

1. Typical Eligibility Requirements

All too often, nonprofits assume donor-advised funds are ineligible for corporate matches without even checking, which makes them miss out on vital fundraising opportunities. If your donors’ impact can potentially be doubled, why wouldn’t you look into it?

Nonprofit leaders who are unfamiliar with donor-advised funds often accept the donation for face value and don’t even consider that it might be eligible for a corporate match. While donor-advised funds aren’t always matched by employers, a lot of corporate giving programs do offer them!

As you’re probably already aware, matching gift guidelines vary by company. Some companies explicitly state their policies on donor-advised funds while others ignore the subject completely, even in their complete guidelines.

Companies without explicit guidelines in their corporate giving policy make the match process difficult for nonprofits and donors alike.

Let’s take a look at some major companies’ matching gift guidelines for charitable donations from donor-advised funds.
Take a look at these major companies' matching gift policies for donor-advised funds.

2. Corporate Examples

As your nonprofit starts incorporating donor-advised funds into its corporate giving strategy, it may be difficult to immediately recognize companies’ guidelines and restrictions surrounding these donations.

Take a look at the following examples of companies that directly address charitable gift funds. That way, you’ll know what to look for while researching your own donors’ employers.

American Express

American Express matches donor-advised funds to eligible organizations.American Express not only matches employee donations (sometimes at a 2:1 ratio), but they also have very explicit and detailed matching gift guidelines.

This simplifies the donor-advised match process for nonprofits, for its charitable employees, and for the company itself.

Here’s what the company’s match policy says about donor-advised funds:

What is eligible?
“Contributions out of a charitable-gift, donor-advised, community-foundation, or family fund to an eligible nonprofit distributed from an established fund set up by the employee in his or her name.”

What is not eligible?
“Contributions earmarked to an already established or to establish an employee’s charitable-gift, donor-advised, community-foundation, or family fund.”

Learn more about American Express’ matching gift program.

Dow Chemical

Dow Chemical matches gifts from donor-advised funds to eligible organizations.

Dow Chemical offers a straightforward matching gift program that all employees and retirees can use to double their contributions to eligible nonprofits.

While Dow’s matching gift policy does have a few restrictions placed regarding the eligibility of certain organizations, matches that are eligible can range anywhere from $250 to $10,000, which can be matched at a 1:1 ratio.

Here’s what Dow Chemical’s guidelines say about giving from donor-advised funds and other charitable gift funds to eligible organizations:

“As long as the funds belong to a Dow employee/retiree and the funds are that person’s money alone, donations can be given through a donor-advised fund or other charitable gift fund. Employees/retirees will need to submit the matching gift form online after the donation has been made.”

Learn more about Dow’s matching gift program.

CarMax

CarMax is regularly recognized for having one of the top corporate employee giving programs. The company not only matches employee donations, but it also matches donations from dependents until they turn 26.CarMax has a giving program but will not match charitable donations from donor-advised funds.

The company will match up to $10,000 per associate per year. As with other well-designed giving programs, CarMax’s program encourages its employees to give back and strengthen the community.

When it comes to donor-advised funds, CarMax’s guidelines do have some restrictions regarding which gifts are eligible:

“Deferred gifts (annuities, charitable remainder trusts, etc.), bequests, insurance premiums that name the organization as a beneficiary, and gifts to and from donor-advised funds [are ineligible for a match].”

Learn more about CarMax’s matching gift program.

Bank of America

Bank of America matches donations up to $5,000 but does not match gifts from donor-advised funds.Bank of America matches donations to most 501(c)(3) organizations up to $5,000 annually per employee. The company also provides grants when retirees and employees volunteer.

They’ll match donations anywhere from $25 to $5,000 at a 1:1 ratio, allowing employees to double their contributions to eligible nonprofits.

The company provides clear guidelines for matching gifts from donor-advised funds. Here’s what the company has to say:

“We do not match charitable gifts to private foundations, family or donor-advised funds, or gifts to political or fraternal organizations.”

Learn more about Bank of America’s matching gift program.

Chevron

Chevron offers matches for gifts made from donor-advised funds as long as they're directly funded by the employee.Chevron provides matching gifts to multiple types of nonprofit organizations, up to $10,000 per employee each year.

Both full-time employees and retirees are eligible for matches, but while retirees can request up to $3,000 in matches annually, current employees can request up to $10,000 in matches annually.

Here’s what Chevron’s Humankind Matching Gift Program guidelines say about donor-advised funds:

“Donor-advised funds must be directly funded by the employee, retiree, or director only, and the fund must maintain a separate account segregating the contributions of the donor. Contributions made by a qualified family foundation or donor-advised fund must be directed by the donor and made on his or her behalf.”

Learn more about Chevron’s matching gift program.


A matching gift database can help you quickly determine your donors' employers' matching gift policies for donor-advised funds.

3. How a Matching Gift Database Can Help

For the most part, companies’ matching gift programs tend to be well-thought-out, but you’ll likely run into many companies where this isn’t the case. A lot of businesses offer matching gifts but have a lot of restrictions regarding eligible organizations and contribution types.

It’s up to your organization to research all your donors’ employers’ guidelines. This can be a long, arduous process, but a matching gift database (like Double the Donation) can help!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Your nonprofit embeds the tool directly to your site or online donation page.
  2. To determine eligibility, corporate employees search their employers.
  3. The results (i.e. available forms, guidelines, restrictions, etc.) are shown instantly.

Double the Donation offers the world’s leading matching gift database and volunteer grant database. More than 8,500 organizations use it, because nonprofits can’t afford to miss out on these valuable revenue opportunities.

You can pinpoint donors who are eligible for matching gifts, and by searching their employers, you can determine if their contributions are eligible based on factors like donation size or type (e.g. donor-advised funds). A matching gift database like this ensures that you maximize your donors’ impact!


While not all companies offer matches for gifts from donor-advised funds, there are a considerable amount that do. It just takes a bit of research on your end!

Instead of assuming that these contributions can’t be matched, check into all eligibility requirements for your donors’ employers. Otherwise, your nonprofit will miss out on some major revenue opportunities!

Managing finances and donations can be a difficult step for nonprofits, and it comes along with a lot of questions. To make the process easier, check out our matching gift guide below.

Learn more about whether religious organization are eligible for matching gift programs!

Are Religious Organizations Eligible for Matching Gifts?

Leaders for religious organizations such as churches, synagogues, ministries, and other religious groups often wonder if they’re eligible for matching gift programs. As with any nonprofit, donations are a huge part of any religious organizations’ financial stability, so doubling donors’ contributions can make a significant difference.

To better understand your faith-based organization’s standing with corporate philanthropy, familiarize yourself with:

  1. Typical wording from companies with matching gift programs.
  2. Eligibility for faith-based organizations that provide social services.
  3. Double the Donation’s matching gift database.

When an organization is eligible, matching gifts are an effective component of overall church fundraising strategy, so hopefully, this article provides the clarification that your religious organization needs. In fact, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you were directed to the article by Double the Donation’s customer service team or from a search engine where you were looking for this exact information.

If you’re ready to find out if your religious organization can benefit from matching gifts, let’s get started!

Familiarize yourself with typical matching gift guideline wording regarding religious organizations.

1. Typical Wording from Companies with Matching Gift Programs

While every company’s matching gift guidelines are different, companies typically address the matching gift eligibility of religious-based organizations. Take these large corporations for example:

American Express

American Express matches donations to most 501(c)(3) organizations. In fact, the company will even match select donations at a 2:1 ratio if an employee also serves on the nonprofit’s board or volunteers for over 50 hours in a year. That means your donors who work for American Express can potentially triple their donations.

Here’s what American Express says about houses of worship in their matching gift guidelines:

Question: Are houses of worship eligible organizations?

Answer: No, gifts to houses of worship (churches, synagogues, etc.) will not be matched. However, the program will match a gift to an ongoing and independently-run program affiliated with a religious organization, if the gift is restricted to a nonsectarian project that provides needed social services to the community at large on a nondiscriminatory basis without any religious teaching, directive or requirements to receive services (e.g. a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a food bank, etc.).

Read more about American Express’s employee giving programs.

General Electric

In 1954, GE became the first company to offer an employee matching gift program. At the time, GE only matched to higher education but has since expanded its matching to encompass most schools and nonprofits.

Here’s what GE’s guidelines have to say about whether churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship are eligible for matching gift funds:

Ineligible recipient organizations include religious organizations (churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship), or other organizations primarily promoting religious purposes. Other faith-based community service organizations or schools may be considered eligible if their programs:

  1. Are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief;
  2. Serve a secular purpose, such as food pantry, homeless shelter, or education;
  3. Do not require participation in prayer, worship, or other religious activities as a condition of receiving service(s) offered; and
  4. Do not use the individual donation or resulting match for religious purposes.

Read more about General Electric’s employee giving programs.

DIRECTV

DIRECTV offers a highly-generous employee giving program. The company matches employee donations up to $20,000 annually and provides a grant of $250 after an employee volunteers for 25 hours in a year. Like most companies, DIRECTV provides a detailed match policy.

Here’s what DIRECTV says about matches to religious organizations:

DIRECTV will match gifts to qualified institutions affiliated with religious organizations but will not match gifts made directly to religious organizations.

DIRECTV will not contribute matching funds to churches and religious organizations which fulfill tithes, pledges, or other church‐related financial commitments.

DIRECTV will not contribute matching funds to institutions that restrict admission or aid due to race or religious beliefs.

Read more about DIRECTV’s employee giving programs.

The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts program provides a 2:1 match on employee donations up to $10,000 annually (meaning a $20,000 match). In other words, eligible donors can triple their gifts!

Here’s what The Pew Charitable Trusts says about matches to religious organizations:

Yes, Pew will match contributions made to religious organizations, such as houses of worship, schools, hospitals, shelters, etc., just as it would to any other qualifying organization.

Read more about The Pew Charitable Trusts employee giving programs.

Chevron

Chevron matches donations from full-time employees and retirees, and the company offers volunteer grants. When their employees or retirees volunteer 20 hours or more and request a grant, your organization (if eligible) will receive a check!

Here’s what Chevron says about matching to faith-based organizations:

Chevron Humankind will provide matching funds and grants to programs operated by faith-based organizations if those programs: (a) are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief; (b) serve a secular purpose, such as a food pantry or a homeless shelter; and (c) do not require participants to join in religious worship as a condition of receiving the services that the nonprofit offers.

Read more about Chevron’s employee giving programs.

Religious organizations that provide social services are often eligible for matching gifts.

2. Eligibility for Religious Organizations that Provide Social Services

In general, either companies match donations made to all 501(c)(3) nonprofits and schools, or they place certain restrictions on the types of organizations eligible.

Oftentimes, companies don’t match donations to churches, synagogues, temples, and other religious or faith-based organizations unless the organization provides social services to the greater community or is a K-12 school.

Common examples of social services provided by faith-based organizations that make them match-eligible are:

  • Food banks.
  • Homeless shelters.
  • Disaster relief efforts.

If you come across a donor’s company that doesn’t match contributions to religious or faith-based organizations, chances are, they may make exceptions for those that provide social services. Make sure to read all the requirements instead of glancing over them. Otherwise, you may miss out on important revenue opportunities!

Double the Donation's matching gift database can help your religious organization find matching gift opportunities.

3. Matching Gifts: Double the Donation’s Search Tool

While we love to grow our business, we only want to accept customers who can benefit from our service. When you incorporate a tool like our matching gift database, you’ll be able to instantly determine your organization’s eligibility and maximize your revenue.

Donors might double (or even triple!) their contributions with the help of their employers. The key is to determine your organization’s eligibility with employers in your area and to make donors aware of their opportunities.

So how do you know if your organization can benefit from Double the Donation’s service? It’s important to remember many companies exclude religious organizations unless the match goes to support services in the broader community (ex. food banks, homeless shelters, schools, etc.).

The easiest way to determine whether our matching gift service would be beneficial is to look over your donation records. If you’ve received matching gifts from companies in the past, there’s a good chance your organization meets the general eligibility requirements.

How the Database Works

The number one reason donors don’t submit matches is that they simply don’t know about them, let alone how to check their eligibility and submit a request. In fact, the matching gifts application process is straightforward:

The matching gift process is fairly straightforward for religious organizations and other nonprofits.

With Double the Donation’s tool, this process is simplified even more! Supporters will be able to:

  • Search their employer in the database.
  • See any requirements, restrictions, and important deadlines.
  • Access necessary documents and forms.
  • View up-to-date, accurate information.

If you’ve determined that your religious organization typically qualifies for matching gifts, Double the Donation’s tool might be a useful fundraising tool for you. It’s easy to incorporate into your existing fundraising strategy and can help you pinpoint match-eligible donors instead of waiting for them to come to you. Plus, you won’t miss out on any major revenue opportunities.


Religious and faith-based organizations aren’t excluded from matching gifts programs as often as you might think! Becoming more aware of what corporations match gifts to religious organizations like yours will help you understand if promoting matching gifts would be beneficial to your organization.

Remember, check all eligibility requirements, because if there’s a restriction against religious organizations in a company’s matching gift guidelines, chances are, they might make exceptions for those that provide services to their communities. Now that you know the typical eligibility requirements and restrictions, get out there and maximize your matching gift potential!

Discover more matching gift and fundraising advice with our additional resources:

  • Church Fundraising Ideas. Even if your church isn’t eligible for matching gifts, that’s okay! There are plenty of other fundraising ideas available, and we have a list that covers many events, activities, and strategies you can use to raise money.
  • Corporate Matching Gift Programs. Need a refresher on the basics? Our comprehensive guide will give you the rundown on corporate matching gifts.
  • Top Matching Gift Companies. For a list of companies that offer fantastic matching gift programs, check out our list of top matching gift companies.
  • Matching Gift Eligibility. Still have questions about your match eligibility? Check out this guide that breaks down each type of organization to help you figure out typical restrictions.
Learn about companies that match gifts made to high schools.

Companies that Match Donations to High Schools

Across the United States, there are more than 26,000 public high schools and 10,000 private high schools all looking to build on their existing fundraising ideas. At Double the Donation, we work with high schools and education foundations across the country to help them increase the amount of money they receive from corporate matching gift programs.

We know it can sometimes be tricky trying to navigate the complex policies surrounding each company’s matching gift program so we’ve created a number of resources to help organizations better understand employee giving programs. These include:

Since Double the Donation is committed to helping all segments of the mission-based sector optimize their fundraising with matching gift programs, we created this post on matching gift companies that match donations to high schools.

Learn about matching gift programs that benefit education.

Matching Gifts and High Schools

After higher education, the most common matching gift category is K-12 schools.

Included in this grouping are high schools since many companies do not distinguish between elementary, middle, and high schools when it comes to match-eligible organizations. Many of these companies will also match to PTA groups, after school organizations, and education foundations. Most matching gift companies do not distinguish between public and private high schools, though specific eligibility does vary by company.

For high schools with a large donor base, whether it’s parents, alumni, or community supporters, it’s important to market matching gifts as an easy way for donors to increase their impact.

Learn how to market matching gift programs.

How to Market Matching Gifts

One of the biggest obstacles for organizations, such as schools, trying to receive matching gifts is a lack of awareness of the programs. That means all you need to do to increase your matching gift revenue is simply spread the word!

Our favorite way to inform people about matching gifts is through a software dedicated to doing just that. For high schools, and really any other educational institution, we recommend checking out Double the Donation’s Premium Plan.

This plug-in allows you to embed a searchable matching gifts database directly on your website and, if you use one, your online donation tool. Then, when potential donors visit your website to learn more about giving in general, they can discover the wonder of matching gifts and whether they’re match-eligible.

If you’re interested in trying out matching gift software, sign up for a 14-day free trial. With that, read on for a list of the top companies that match gifts made to high schools.

Check out this list of companies that match gifts made to high schools.

List of Companies with Matching Gift Programs for High Schools

To help schools navigate through the matching gift process we created a shortlist of some of the largest companies that will match donations made to K-12 schools and educational programs. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you aren’t seeing a company here, don’t rule it out just yet.

IBMIBM is a top company that matches gifts to high schools.

IBM is known to many schools for its generosity in donating software and computers to school systems.

An employee can have their donation matched on a 2:1 ratio with IBM products, or a donation can be matched on a 1:1 basis with cash.

Read more about the IBM matching gift program.

 

 

Wells FargoWells Fargo is a top company that matches gifts to high schools.

As one of the leading banks, it’s no surprise that many communities have a Wells Fargo presence. Employees of Wells Fargo can have their donations to high schools matched up to $2,000 each year.

Volunteer grants are also available for those who volunteer with educational organizations.

Read more about the Wells Fargo matching gift program.

 

 

StarbucksStarbucks is a top company that matches gifts to high schools.

Starbucks Corporation will match up to $1,500 in donations made by an employee each year to high schools and many other organizations. All educational institutions are eligible for the program.

And if you have a volunteer opportunity coming up, be sure to mention it to your local barista since Starbucks also provides grants to organizations where employees volunteer.

Read more about the Starbucks matching gift program and volunteer grants.

 


Want to know more about corporate giving programs and how they can contribute to your high school’s fundraising efforts?

Learn more about best practices for matching gifts resources, blurbs, and verbiage.

Matching Gift Wording, Text, & Verbiage: Best Practices

As with any type of outreach, the wording in your matching gift appeals is vital and should be considered when revamping your organization’s matching gift strategy.

Matching gifts are a great source of additional revenue for nonprofits. In fact, an estimated $2 to $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs every year. Choosing not to take advantage of corporate philanthropy could cause your organization is to miss out on a lot of revenue!

Choosing the right message when promoting matching gifts can be the determining factor in whether or not a donor looks up their employer’s match program. Considering this, you should take time to carefully craft your outreach.

To make sure you send the right message, familiarize yourself with recommendations for:

  1. Matching Gift Resources
  2. Matching Gift Blurbs
  3. Matching Gift Verbiage
  4. Finding Matching Gift Opportunities

By learning the specific language of effective appeals, your nonprofit will be one step closer to maximizing its revenue potential.

Ready to revamp your matching gift outreach? Let’s dive in!
The resources you use to make matching gift appeals is as important as blurbs and verbiage.

1. Matching Gift Resources

The first step to boosting your revenue through matching gift appeals is by producing effective copy. In other words, you need to create multiple well-written resources for donors (and potential donors) to learn about matching gifts.

If you want to create high-traffic matching gift outreach, go to where the most supporters are: online! Your website is likely the first impression most people have of your organization, so make it count! From there, you can coordinate your outreach to include other online outlets.

Let’s go through a few best practices for developing effective matching gift appeals using your online presence.

A Dedicated Matching Gift Page

An easy way to increase the visibility of your matching gift promotion is to create a dedicated page for matching gifts. This should be located either on your website or by using a custom match page on Double the Donation’s servers.

Across your marketing efforts, you can include links to this page to help inform donors of their employers’ match programs. On the page, you may want to include the basics of matching gifts and instructions for typical match programs.

Also, if you subscribe to a matching gift service (like Double the Donation), don’t forget to embed the search tool. That way, users won’t have to go out of their way to research their companies’ programs.

Check out this great example of a matching gift page from Goodwill:

Create a dedicated matching gift page to enhance your matching gift appeals.

In addition to linking to your matching gift page on other resources, include a link in your navigation bar. When adding a link in your navigation bar, the exact wording your organization uses is vital. It can mean the difference between a supporter clicking the link or moving on without any further thought.

We recommend using “Matching Gifts,” “Double your Donation,” or “Matching Gift Company Search.” On the other hand, we don’t recommend nonprofits use wording such as “Corporate Matching” or “Corporate Giving” since these don’t resonate with individual donors.

Emails

As an established nonprofit, you should already be using email to maintain contact with donors. Your team may know the general best email practices, but do you know the best email practices for marketing matching gifts?

The text you use in your outreach should be persuasive but to the point. Make sure to emphasize certain points with bolding and convey the importance of matching gifts for your organization.

For instance, check out this newsletter about matching gifts from the National Kidney Foundation:

Make sure to use persuasive but concise wording in your matching gift resources and appeals like emails.

Takeaway: The text you use in your matching gift appeals is a vital component of fundraising. It should be straightforward and to the point but should also be persuasive.

For more ways and examples of promoting matching gifts, visit this guide to marketing matching gifts.

The matching gift blurbs you send out are significant like the resources you provide and the verbiage you use.

2. Matching Gift Blurbs

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of a blurb before. While you may have never heard this terminology, you’ve probably come across a blurb at some point. It’s a short piece of writing, usually accompanying a piece of creative work. A few examples might be:

  • An advertisement about matching gifts that appears alongside your online resources.
  • A paper insert in your physical communications.
  • Team members’ email signatures.

Your matching gift blurb doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, brevity is important. You want to get the message across before the reader loses interest. Let’s go into how well-written blurbs are an effective way to promote matching gifts.

Inserts

If you send emails or letters to your donors that promote matching gifts or volunteer grants, consider including a matching gift blurb that accompanies these works. These are known as inserts. Otherwise, your organization will miss an important opportunity.

Take a look at this insert from the National Kidney Foundation:

Include matching gift appeals in more of your outreach by creating blurbs.

Inserts don’t necessarily have to be entirely relevant to the communication itself. For instance, if your nonprofit is sending out its monthly newsletter or if you’re sending a donation acknowledgment letter, include an insert with a brief sentence or two about matching gifts.

The point is, blurbs should entice the reader to research their company’s giving program.

Blurbs on Donation Forms

Another great place to promote matching gifts is on your online donation form. At this point in the process, the user is already ready to donate, so why wouldn’t they want to increase their donations without having to reach back into their own pockets?

Plus, they might even give more after learning about their match eligibility. In fact, 1 in 3 donors indicates they’d give a larger gift if a match is applied to their donation.

When formatting your donation page, consider this example of a donation form blurb from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
Donation forms are a great place to include a matching gift appeal blurb.

If you’re subscribed to Double the Donation’s services, your donation page is the perfect place to include the search tool! This matching gift database tool will point your donors to valuable information about their employers’ matching gift programs. Jump ahead to find out more about this tool and how it can help promote matching gifts.

Takeaway: Blurbs, such as paper inserts or donation forms, are an effective, quick way to let donors know about matching gifts. Whenever you see the opportunity to promote corporate giving, do it, and make sure you get straight to the point.

If you need a bit more insight into effective outreach strategies, check out these examples from nonprofits who do a great job of marketing matching gifts

While resources and blurbs are important, the matching gift verbiage you use makes for even more effective appeals.

3. Matching Gift Verbiage

When making an appeal to donors (or even potential donors), the wording of your appeal is important. However, it goes a bit deeper than this. Breaking it down further, your choice of verbs can affect the success of a campaign.

People often need a call-to-action in order to get involved. The key is to ask your donors to do something, to somehow take action. Matching gift appeals need action verbs. Otherwise, donors won’t be entirely sure what their next steps should be.

In an email or on a webpage, phrases like “Click Here” or “Read More” tell your audience what they need to do in order to help the cause. Plus, they create a sense of urgency. In online appeals, a button that links directly to content can be very useful.

ASPCA does a great job of calling its supporters to action on its website. Check out the organization’s dedicated matching gift page:

Online matching gift appeals require strong verbiage that calls readers to action.

On paper, use the same type of language, but be even more specific about next steps. For example, here’s a postcard from the Florida Institute of Technology:

When creating your matching gift appeals, include action verbs.
Takeaway: Supporters want to help. Too often, they are held back by a lack of information and no clear directions for how they can be of service. Using the right, clear verbiage can help clarify the steps your donors need to take next.

In order to create effective matching gift resources, blurbs, and verbiage, you'll need to identify your match opportunities with a matching gift database.

4. Finding Matching Gift Opportunities

When revamping your matching gift strategy, a database (like Double the Donation) can help you pinpoint these opportunities. That way, you can direct your matching gift outreach to those whose employers offer a giving program.

Double the Donation’s service is designed to help nonprofits raise more money from employee matching gift programs. Our tools can help your organization raise donor awareness and make it easier for your donors to submit matching gifts. Once you embed it across your online fundraising channels, here’s what the tool does:

  • Enables donors to search for more than 20,000 companies.
  • Provides updated forms and guidelines for each company.
  • Allows your nonprofit to identify match opportunities.
  • And more!

Larger organizations may benefit even more from 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. This fully-automated tool pinpoints match-eligible donors through email domain screening, enables live tracking of where donors are in the match process, automatically contacts eligible donors, and more! That way, you won’t have to create quite as many matching gift appeals yourself!

Either tool is great for pinpointing the best possible moment to make matching gift appeals to specific donors. Think your organization could benefit?


Matching gifts are often overlooked by nonprofits and supporters alike. Learning about the best resource, blurb, and verbiage practices is just the first step in boosting your matching gift revenue.

Now, apply these best practices to your corporate giving appeals and reach your matching gift potential!

Additional Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about matching gifts, check out the following additional resources: