How To Raise More Money Through Employee Matching Gifts
As you know, every dollar counts when it comes to fundraising. So what if you could turn a single dollar into $2? Or $3? Or $6? That’s exactly the opportunity that employee matching gifts present and why it’s so important to promote the option to your donors.
What exactly is an employee matching gift? It’s a donation made by a company to a nonprofit that employees of said company have already contributed to.
For example, if a Kindful employee donates $100 to Beat Nb, the employee matching gift would be Kindful’s additional donation of $100. Instead of receiving a one-time $100 donation from a Kindful employee, Beat Nb receives $200 thanks to the employee and Kindful.
As you can see, there’s a lot of exciting potential here. To help you get the most out of a matching gift program, we asked our friends at Double the Donation to put together the following matching gift information you can use to boost your revenue.
Here’s what they want you to know:
Matching gift guidelines
Each company that offers employee matching gifts sets their own guidelines. Although the specifics of these guidelines are different from company to company, the elements that shape the program are almost always the same.
Match ratio: This defines how much a company will donate in relation to the amount of the initial contribution. A 1:1 match is most common, and it indicates that the company will donate the exact same amount as their employee did to the same nonprofit.
Minimums and maximums: This refers to the minimum amount the employee must donate to qualify for a matching gift and the maximum amount that a company will contribute in matching gifts per employee per year.
Employee status: Sometimes the initial donor’s level of employment within the company impacts the match offered. For example, a part-time employee at Gap, Inc. qualifies for $1,000 per year in matching gifts, while a Senior VP qualifies for up to $10,000 in matching gifts per year.
Nonprofit eligibility: The nonprofit itself can sometimes affect the match offered by the company. Employees at ExxonMobil are offered a 3:1 match for donations made to educational nonprofits, while donations made to cultural organizations are matched at a 1:1 ratio.
Deadline: All donations have a shelf life when it comes to matching gift requests. Companies will either set a firm date for all requests to be submitted by (often December 31st or April 15th) or will offer a window of time after the donation is made (90 days).
It’s good practice to keep these elements in mind as you navigate the world of matching gifts. It can also be helpful to take note of the deadlines presented by major companies in your area, or to be aware of companies that might not match to your organization.
Collecting matching gifts
Unlike the guidelines that each company can set to their liking, the process for actually collecting matching gifts is universally the same.
Employee makes a donation to their chosen nonprofit
Employee submits matching gift request to their employer
Nonprofit verifies details of the initial donation
Company sends matching gift to nonprofit
The most vulnerable step in this process by far is the second step. Nonprofits are not able to submit matching gift requests on behalf of their donors, and unfortunately many donors are unaware of matching gifts.
Lack of donor awareness results in $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue getting left on the table every year.
The best way to increase matching gift revenue for your organization is to narrow the gap in knowledge for your donors. This is what makes marketing so important.
Marketing matching gifts
What’s amazing about matching gift information is how easy it is to incorporate into your website and communications. The best part is that mentioning matching gifts in your fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in donation amount. These statistics don’t have anything to do with match-eligibility—these increases come simply from the possibility of matching gifts.
When it comes to marketing matching gifts, you’ll find email campaigns can be particularly effective. In addition to email campaigns specifically geared toward matching gifts, you can also include matching gift information in your seasonal campaigns or special events.
For example, you should always include matching gift information in your year-end fundraising push. What’s special about year-end campaigns is that you can encourage previous donors to have their gifts matched before that common December 31st deadline, as well as encouraging new donors to contribute with the intention of having their gifts matched.
Along with reaching out to supporters via email and social media, your organization should have plenty of matching gift information available on your website. We suggest creating a dedicated matching gift page where people trying to learn more about your organization can discover this amazing opportunity. Including this dedicated matching gifts page in your navigation page is a great way to lead potential donors to this information.
You should also include matching gift information right on your donation form. Including matching gifts in the donation process makes it easy for donors to include employment information and alert your organization to their match-eligibility.
Did you know that donors are 84% more likely to donate if their gift will be matched? By including a streamlined matching gift search tool in a critical spot on the donation form, you’re ensuring that each donor sees and engages with the tool without sacrificing the donor experience.
Matching gift software
Historically, managing matching gifts could be a lot of work for an organization. An employee would need to manually follow up with donors about employment information, track down each employer’s matching gift guidelines, sort through match-eligible and ineligible donors, and follow up with the match-eligible donors about submitting match requests to their employers.
Nowadays, there are software programs that can completely manage your matching gift program. For Kindful customers, it’s even easier. Kindful seamlessly integrates with Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro, the industry-leading matching gift super platform.
Double the Donation maintains the most extensive matching gift program database available. It includes over 20,000 entries, which cover parent companies, subsidiaries, and spelling variations so that not a single matching gift opportunity slips through the cracks.
360MatchPro is a fully automated platform that provides matching gift tracking, automated email follow-ups, and actionable insights for improving your matching gift efforts as you go.
With this Kindful integration, you can incorporate Double the Donation’s streamlined matching gift search tool on your dedicated matching gifts page, your donation form, your donation confirmation screen, and anywhere else you’d like to incorporate matching gifts.
Donations will flow instantly from Kindful into 360MatchPro, where they will be tagged, sorted, and tracked for matching gift opportunities. The 360MatchPro donation stream provides an overview of the donor’s information, the status of the match, and the donor’s engagement with the automated emails they’ve received.
We hope this information has you excited about all the possibilities when it comes to matching gift programs. The funds are out there. Now you just have to work with your donors to claim them!
Have questions? Schedule a demo to learn more about the integration.