3 Strategies To Encourage Donors to Submit Matching Gifts

Every nonprofit fundraiser should know about the power of matching gift programs as they’re one of the most prevalent types of corporate giving. But are you doing the most to maximize the number of incoming donations being matched?

Unfortunately, matching gift policies are too often buried in orientation handbooks and forgotten by employees. That means that any successful nonprofit fundraiser needs to gently remind donors if their gifts are eligible for a matching contribution from their employers.

With a little bit of marketing ingenuity, increasing your matching gifts will be a breeze. Here are a few pointers.

#1 Use Your Existing Social Media Platforms

Chances are, your nonprofit has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and maybe even Tumblr. Social platforms are one of the few examples where most of the people seeing your message want to see your message. Unlike TV or radio ads, your followers had to click “like” or “follow” to receive your message (except, of course, for paid Facebook ads). That gives fundraisers a great opportunity to craft extremely effective messaging.

Here are some examples of social media messaging for matching gifts.

  • Did you donate to us in 2013? There’s still time to submit a matching gift request from your employer!
  • We sincerely appreciate all donations to <Your Organization’s Name>! Did you know that your generosity has the potential to be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled? Check to see if your employer offers a matching gift program!
  • Did you know that tons of companies offer matching gift opportunities? Check to see if yours does.

If I can stress one thing about social media marketing, it’s this: ask questions on Facebook! While seemingly trivial, posts that add in questions see a 10%-20% increase in interaction. Why is that good? Not only does it mean more people are noticing your message, but it means more “likes”, comments, and shares. And it’s that boost in interactions that will tell Facebook’s algorithm that you should be seen in more people’s feeds.

#2 Optimize Your Site

Does your website prompt donating users to apply for a matching grant? Do these donors even know they might be eligible? There are plenty of ways you can optimize your website and donation page to drive users to apply for matching gifts.

After individuals donate online, do they get an email encouraging them to submit a matching gift?

You could provide a link to a service like Double the Donation that allows users to verify if their gift is eligible and provides easy instructions to get that gift matched.

And get visual! Users will more often than not respond to images better than text. Creating a banner with information on matching gifts will grab a user’s attention and help drive conversions.

#3 Target Local Companies

If you’re a local nonprofit, or a national nonprofit with local chapters, this applies to you. If you have a company in your neighborhood with a strong corporate giving program, you should be doing everything you can to forge a working relation with them.

This can be as simple as targeting members of certain companies in your messaging. For example, if your organization is local to Google’s headquarters, why not make use of messaging like “Attention Google Employees, Your Contribution Will be Matched by Your Employer!”

But creating a longer term strategy will pay off better in the long run. Entice local corporations to get involved with your organization by providing volunteer opportunities. Many companies have a “Day of Service” that could help familiarize employees with your organization. Not only will that familiarity breed future contributions, it can breed future doubled contributions.

Even better, if someone catches the “volunteer bug,” many companies offers “Dollars-for-Doers” programs that gift cash grants to organizations that employees have volunteered for.

Readers: What sort of strategies do you use to drive matching gifts?

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