One of the most commonly asked questions we receive at HEPdata is, “How do I make my donors aware of the benefits of matching gifts?” Below are 10 simple steps you can take to raise donor awareness. Many donors don’t know about matching gifts, while others may think if they make a gift, the recipient institution is responsible for seeking the match amount from their employer. Nonprofits need to educate donors on the benefits of matching gifts.
Research suggests that approximately $10 billion of corporate matching gift money goes unclaimed annually, which represents about $20 billion to nonprofits. Approximately 1 in 10 gifts to nonprofits can be matched. That’s a staggering 10% of total donations!
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!
Here are 10 tips on the benefits of matching gifts:
Add a matching gift FAQ to your web site
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center does an excellent job of providing their donors with an FAQ on the matching gift process. On this FAQ page they educate the donor on matching gifts, provide the donor with a link to search if their gift is match eligible, and a contacts name at Memorial Sloan Kettering for more information.
Add HEPdata’s E-match Link to your web site
E-Match allows donors and friends to determine the match eligibility of their gift, with “how to” instructions and access to employer-specific match forms. It is a proactive approach to increasing matching gifts.
Promote matching gifts in several places on your web site
Include a reminder about matching gifts in your thank you letter and gift receipt
Again, thank you so much for your generous support to (insert non-profit name). We think you may work at a company that has a matching gift program. You can take advantage of this great benefit by contacting your human resources department or by visiting (insert HEPdata E-match link).”
Remind donors during your phonathons
This is a great opportunity to promote matching gifts. Ensure that your telefund callers have a script for verifying and asking for employer information and reminding alums and donors alike of the possibility of matching gifts; input or import matching data into phonathon software.
A Matching Gift Can Turn into a Major Gift
Educate your major gift officers and prospect researchers on the potential of matching gifts. Having knowledge of details like preferred matching rates and if the prospect is a board member of the company is powerful information to add into a negotiation for the next gift. Many companies offer senior executives and board members a higher matching gift opportunity. For example, Sierra Health Foundation offers board members a 3:1 matching gift benefit up to $45,000. So, make the next major gift a matching major gift!
Share a Success Story around Matching Gifts:
LSU is a great example of how you can share a success story on matching gifts. ExxonMobil donated $1.2 million to LSU Foundation in 2016 through their matching gift program. This is also a great way to publicly thank your corporate donors. Another great example comes from Dennison University. They take a different approach and list interesting facts/statistics on the matching gifts they received.
Use Social Media to promote matching gifts
Nonprofits understand the power of social media but how do you leverage that platform to maximize your matching gift message? Go viral with your matching gift promotion via social media. Check out some sample messages that can be easily shared on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
American Cancer Society Twitter post: Good Morning Rappellers! Did you know that many companies make matching gifts?! Go to this link, type in the… http://fb.me/2JKGY0uO8
Video from the Pingry School promoting matching gifts. http://www.supportingfundraising.com/pingry-school-matching-gifts-video/
Craft a targeted email solicitation
Send a special solicitation to your matching-gift-eligible alumni and/or donors letting them know that their employer will help them double their impact to your institution. Send an email to recent year-end donors letting them know that their donations can still be matched if their employer participates in the matching gift program.
Add a sentence about matching gifts under your signature
Please consider doubling the impact of your gift. Your donation may be eligible for a matching gift from employer. Find out when you give to (insert nonprofit name) at <insert E-Match Donor Link>.”
Founded in 1997, HEPdata’s primary purpose has always been to help fundraisers engage donors through better data. We pioneered the first electronic matching gift data base in the industry, GiftPlus®, which made it easier for fundraisers to identify and promote matching gifts to donors. We also built a preeminent data enrichment division that updates donor address, cell and employer information as well a world class wealth tracking solution. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.