4 Ways to Increase Matching Gifts at Your Fundraising Event

Whether you’ve explored the world of corporate philanthropy before or not, matching gifts are a must-have at your next upcoming fundraising event. After all, this is a fantastic opportunity to maximize your fundraising dollars so that donors’ gifts go even further!

Corporate matchinggift programs are one of the most popular forms of corporate giving in which companies match donations made by their employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. While these matches are typically made dollar for dollar, some employers will match at a higher rate such as 2:1, 3:1, or even 4:1.

The problem is that the vast majority of match-eligible donors are still unaware of these generous programs put in place by their employers. In order to leverage these underutilized opportunities, it often falls on the nonprofit to take steps to increase matching-gift efforts and drive corporate revenue.

When it comes to incorporating corporate matching gifts into your next event, we suggest the following best practices:

  1. Promote matching gifts on your event website.
  2. Segment your donor outreach.
  3. Incorporate gamification tactics.
  4. Invest in a matching gift automation tool.

Ready to learn more about each of these powerful ways to improve your fundraising event by prioritizing matching gifts? Let’s begin.

1. Promote Matching Gifts on Your Event Website

If you’ve created a dedicated event website for your upcoming fundraiser, you’ll definitely want to craft a page that explicitly encourages matching gifts. If you’ve chosen to promote your event through a page on your organization’s existing website, be sure to incorporate matching gifts there as well.

But how can you ensure donors are seeing this information? Try to reach them at multiple touchpoints! Consider promoting matching gifts in the following locations within your nonprofit or event website:

  • Donation forms
  • Confirmation screens
  • Dedicated matching-gifts page
  • “Ways to Give” page
  • Website navigation

To take things a step further, we suggest embedding a searchable matchinggift database within your online donation pages and in other relevant, easily accessible areas. This way, donors who are curious about matching gifts can do a quick search for their employer and be met with a ton of targeted, company-specific information for their next steps.

2. Segment Your Donor Outreach

Many donors will submit their gifts for your event without looking into employer matches. To encourage these individuals to get their donations matched after the fact, you should consider incorporating strategic donor outreach.

As you draft the copy for your follow-up matchinggift communications, consider writing to each of the following three audiences:

  • Donors who are likely eligible for a match: When you know a donor’s employer and they do have a matching gift program, make sure the supporter is aware and understands how to take the next steps in the match process. If you have access to the company’s online request forms or other relevant information, send that over as well!
  • Donors who are likely ineligible for a match: If you know your donor’s employer but don’t believe they offer matching gifts, you might determine that the individual is likely ineligible to get their donation matched. Still, consider reaching out and asking them to confirm with their company to know for certain.
  • Donors with unknown eligibility: Sometimes you won’t know your donors’ employers, or you won’t have information on that company’s giving programs. If that’s the case, send a message asking donors to search in your company database or reach out directly to their employer to learn more.

Remember, the right data can fuel your fundraising efforts by allowing you to better target different donor segments personally and ensure your communications are meaningful and effective.

Picture this: Donor A works for The Home Depot and has recently made a $100 donation to your upcoming fundraising event. Which follow-up message do you think would be the most impactful in their inbox? 

1) “See if your employer will match your gift! Find out here.”

2) “Home Depot matches employee gifts! Find out how.”

The more specific your communication is to the recipient, the more likely they’ll be to take your intended next steps⁠ — which, in this case, is requesting an employer donation match. 

3. Incorporate Gamification Tactics

Gamifying your fundraisers is a surefire way of raising additional revenue and driving participant engagement through the roof. Consider leveraging these same elements (such as friendly competition, goal completion, winning, and more) to encourage matching gifts throughout your event.

Here are a few of our favorite gamification ideas when it comes to increasing matching gifts:

  • Set and track specific goals. Determine lofty yet realistic matching-gift goals before launching your event, measured either by the number of gifts matched or total corporate revenue. Then, encourage supporters to help you reach your corporate giving objectives by submitting a match request with their own employer.
  • Visualize progress with fundraising thermometers. Once you’ve set your goals, be sure to help your audience visualize your progress with a fundraising thermometer. Don’t forget to celebrate milestones along the way as well!
  • Encourage donors to compete by employer. Leverage competition among donors by encouraging participants to help determine the most generous companies in your network. Create a company leaderboard that displays total matching-gift revenue from top employers and encourages individual donors to get involved to represent their companies well.

Donors already love matching-gift programs because employer matches allow their donations to go twice as far without having to reach back into their own wallet. But if you need a way to encourage match requests even further, gamification can be a very powerful tool.

4. Invest in a Matching-Gift Automation Tool

As you know, having the right tools can go a long way for optimizing your fundraising efforts and providing positive user experiences for your event participants. As a result, organizations have found that leveraging technology allows them to raise more for their causes and unleash higher levels of generosity among their audiences.

The same is true with matching gifts! When you leverage top matching-gift technology, you can increase revenue and simplify donor communications by automating the process from start to finish.

Here’s how the process works when you employ matching-gift automation:

  1. A supporter makes a donation in conjunction with your fundraising event.
  2. Your automation tool scans collected donor information for employer data and determines whether they’re likely eligible for a match.
  3. An automated email is triggered based on the donor’s likely eligibility for a matching gift containing information about their employer’s giving program and how to secure a match.
  4. The eligible donor follows the suggested next steps and is directed to their employer’s online or downloadable request forms where they submit their match request.
  5. The employer confirms the donor’s contribution to your event and submits their matching gift.
  6. Your software system tracks where donors are in the request process and follows up to maximize the number of completed matches.

Not only does automation save time and effort for your team behind the scenes, but it also simplifies the process for your supporters. With so many other tasks to juggle during the event planning process, leaving matching gifts to an automation tool is an excellent idea.

Whether you’re planning a highly engaging run/walk/ride, or an innovative virtual event, making the most of matching gifts to individual monetary donations can drive both supporter participation and overall revenue. 

When you consider these tools and strategies, you can set your team up for success and make an even larger impact on your mission. Just remember to encourage matching gifts through multiple avenues both during and following the donation process and leverage the right software to simplify your efforts. Good luck!

Adam Weinger is the president of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools for nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching-gift and volunteer grant programs.
Double the Donation’s robust solution, 360MatchPro, provides nonprofits with automated tools to identify match-eligible donors, drive matches to completion, and gain actionable insights. 360MatchPro integrates directly into donation forms, CRMs, social fundraising software, and other nonprofit technology solutions to capture employment information and follow up appropriately with donors about matching gifts.

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