Corporate Philanthropy in 2020: How to Take Advantage of Enhanced Matching Gift Programs

This guest post is from Double the Donation, the industry-leading matching gifts platform. You can enable the GiveSignup – Double the Donation integration for any event, donation form, donation website, or fundraising campaign to grow donations through corporate matching gifts. Learn more about the integration here.

This year has certainly been a challenging one – in more ways than we can probably list. In the fundraising industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned our usual practices upside down, and there is no doubt nonprofits have been scrambling to find the answer to the question: what on earth am I supposed to do now? 

While there are certainly fundraising strategies that are no longer viable, some programs have actually expanded in order to support nonprofits during this tumultuous time. A perfect example of this is corporate philanthropy, particularly employer gift matching. 

Gift matching programs allow donors to double their contributions to your organization – without actually having to give more of their own money. They simply submit a matching gift request to their employer, and then the company matches the donation.

Employer gift matching is actually the most common form of corporate philanthropy, and over 18 million individuals are eligible for matching gift programs. This means that its expansion could be huge for your organization – especially as you are trying to grow donations without asking donors for additional funds during a challenging time. 

Below we’ve shared some of our favorite facts and best practices to help your organization double donations through employer gift matching. With these industry updates and valuable strategies, your organization could double or even triple its matching gift revenue. 

1. Gift Matching Programs Have Improved in Response to COVID-19

The first thing to know about matching gift programs is that they can vary greatly from company to company. These changes can include eligibility qualifications, minimums/maximums matched, submission deadlines and more. These changes also come into play, of course, when discussing the different corporate philanthropy responses to COVID-19. 

As mentioned above, many companies have expanded their matching gift programs to offset negative impacts caused by the pandemic. What varies here is how these programs have changed. For example, companies like AbbVie, Apple, AutoDesk, Caterpillar, PepsiCo (and much more) have changed their matching gift ratio from 1:1 to 2:1. That means if a donor donates $50 to your organization, then these companies will add an additional $100 to that contribution. It’s easy to see that these changes can cause a significant revenue increase for your organization. 

Other companies, like Google and Honda, have chosen to simply raise their matching gift minimum to a higher amount for a greater giving impact. That means that more (and greater!) donations now qualify for more matching gift funds. Think of all that your organization could accomplish if some of its large contributions could now be doubled.

These changes are especially significant because so many of your donors might be eligible for matching gift programs. In fact, around 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer employer matching gift benefits. With a fair amount of these companies expanding their programs, the potential for matching gift revenue is higher than ever. 

It is important to note that these are just a few of the changes taking place in the gift matching space. There are constantly new policies being introduced to expand corporate philanthropic impact. For an extensive list of company responses to COVID-19, check out this resource

2. Educating Donors Will Fuel Your Fundraising Efforts  

These matching gift program expansions could make a huge difference for your organization – but only if you take advantage of them. Unfortunately, corporate matching gifts are not automatically given to you in response to a donation. Instead, donors must submit a matching gift request in order for your organization to receive the additional contribution. 

For example, if one of your donors makes a $50 contribution and works for The Home Depot, she would be eligible to receive a matching gift. She would first need to make her donation, submit a matching gift request with The Home Depot, receive approval and then your organization would receive their additional contribution. 

While this is a pretty simple process, there is one major problem with this method: most donors have no idea that they are eligible for a matching gift, muchless that they have to complete a submission request. In fact, 78% of match eligible donors have no idea that they qualify for a gift matching program, meaning that without education, the corporate philanthropy covid response will be widely underutilized. 

This also means that is very important for your organization to educate your donors about matching gift programs. If you do, it could very well result in a large revenue increase for your organization. 

There are many ways to educate your donors and take advantage of employer matching gifts. You could utilize communication avenues that are already in use, such as newsletters, webpages and email streams. You could also create a dedicated page on your website to teach donors how to check their own eligibility and learn more about matching submissions. 

We also understand that creating a matching gift educational initiative can be a little daunting. There are many tools and resources to simplify this process. Keep reading to learn more about automating your matching gift activities for a streamlined solution. 

3. Automated Gift Matching Tools Make Fundraising Easy and Efficient 

Now that we know about enhanced matching gift programs along with industry best practices, we can talk about actually putting this plan into action. Sure, you know that you must educate your donors, but what is the best way to do that? You could certainly do it manually; however, that is time consuming and cannot always capture all relevant information. Using automated software makes identifying, educating, and motivating donors easy and efficient. 

360MatchPro by Double the Donation is able to accomplish all of these things without any unnecessary work from your team. It integrates seamlessly with your events, donations, and fundraising campaigns on GiveSignup to help you reach your matching gift potential. 

Once you integrate this software, a new field will be added to your donation forms. This streamlined search bar is sleek and simple, meaning it won’t cause friction or slow down the donor experience. This tool allows donors to search for their employer directly on the donation page. Then, this software scans an extensive database of matching gift programs to identify match eligibility. 

This database was created by diligent researchers at Double the Donation. It contains over 20,000 entries, making it the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of matching gift and volunteer grant programs. This automation feature saves time because your team will no longer have to ask donors for employer information to research individual giving programs. Instead, all of that information can be provided simply and securely during the donation process. 

Once the donor submits their donation, you can configure 360MatchPro to send follow-up emails regarding matching gifts. These messages can contain personalized or general matching gift guidelines depending on what information was entered on the donation form. The most important aspect of these emails is that they contain a direct link to the donor’s matching gift submission form based on the information provided in the streamlined search tool. That means that it will not only educate donors, it will also give them a very simple solution to submit a match request for your organization. 

The 360MatchPro software then tracks valuable insights from this process. This might include your donors’ company information, gift matching program guidelines, response to messaging and more. By storing this data in one easy to read dashboard, this tool makes it easy to formulate gift matching strategy and outreach efforts. For example, this dashboard will show when a donor submits their matching gift request. You could then automate thank you messages with personalized information based on the data from the 360MatchPro dashboard. 

These tools make it very easy to drive donations using employer gift matching. Using these resources, your team can mobilize efforts and accomplish your goals during this unpredictable time. To learn more about employer gift matching for your organization, schedule a personalized demo with Double the Donation. 

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