How to Promote Employee Matching Gifts to Your Donors

Employee matching gift programs are among the most widely offered forms of corporate giving, yet there’s a lack of awareness among donors who work at companies that match donations.

Many employees have never heard of a matching gift program, or it doesn’t cross their mind that their donation may be eligible.

Because of this lack of awareness, it’s important that organizations prompt donors to submit matching gifts.

Here are five strategies your nonprofit should be using to increase fundraising from matching gift programs.

Modify Your Donation Pages

When was the last time you went through your organization’s online donation process? If it has been a while, you should pause right now and go straight to your organization’s website to get a feel for the donor experience.

For most nonprofits, making an online donation involves going through three screens:

  1. Ways to give pages
  2. Donation processing pages
  3. Confirmation page

Is your organization prompting a donor to submit a matching gift on one or all of the above locations? If not, you’re missing prime opportunities. Online donors are already taking the time to donate, so take advantage of their engagement with your organization and remind them about matching gifts.

Use Social Media

Have you ever wondered what makes for a strong social media post? Often it can be boiled down to shareability. Vibrant Data found that matched gifts more than doubled with the use of social media marketing.

If you post something of value, the message will be re-tweeted,

shared, and reposted so exponentially more people outside of your own audience see the message. While posts on matching gifts may not be as breathtaking as an image showing off all the great work your nonprofit is doing, there’s still hope. Show the impact that the additional funding could have.

For instance:

Everyone can post something along the lines of “Last year we raised $XXXX from matching gifts! Help us double it this year…”

If you’re an animal rescue organization, perhaps “Funding from employer matching gifts helped get an additional XX animals adopted. Will your company double your donation?”

If you’re a museum, consider posts like “Matching gifts enabled us to provide free admission to XXXX school children. Check to see if your company will match your donation!”

The key is to draw attention and show the impact that employee giving programs can have on your core mission.

Social media is an effective way to reach digitally savvy donors. And the nice part is social media is one of the easiest and cheapest (free!) ways to communicate with donors. So log in to your social media accounts and schedule monthly matching gift posts today.

Check out these additional ideas and sample Twitter and Facebook posts.

Use Your Content

Does your nonprofit send out a weekly or monthly email newsletter? Do you send out a quarterly paper newsletter? What about maintaining an online blog? If you do, you’ve probably wondered, What do we write about?”

If you do any of those, you’re in a great spot to insert an article on matching gifts within your next publication. Regardless of your preferred communication method, make sure your article:

  • Provides an overview of matching gifts
  • Shares examples of a few companies which have previously matched to your organization
  • Explains the positive impact (i.e., how much did you raise last year?)
  • Encourages submission of match forms

You’ve already spent the time and energy capturing donor email and mailing addresses. Use them as an additional method to showcase how easy it is to submit matching gifts.

Provide Donors with Company Specific Information

One of the most significant barriers for donors is a lack of knowledge around the submission process. While asking donors to “check with HR to see if your company will match your donation” is a good place to start, providing donors with company specific guidelines and forms can make a big difference.

If your donors are concentrated in a single city, try compiling information on the five largest matching gift companies in the area. If your donors are scattered across a large city or the entire country, consider subscribing to a matching gift database service.

Providing donors with access to the information they need to submit match requests in minutes can pay off with a significant increase in matching gift revenue.

Thank Donors Who Secure Matches from their Employers

Have you reviewed your process for sending matching gift thank you letters? We regularly hear from nonprofits that they only send a matching gift acknowledgment letter to the company making the donation. Do you know what the process is at your nonprofit?

It’s a best practice to recognize both the company and the employee who originally submitted the match request. Not only do donors appreciate the recognition, but it will prompt them to donate again to your organization as well as submit an additional matching gift.