For all nonprofits big and small, fundraising is paramount. So if you were presented the opportunity to double your donations, would you do it? Of course!
Revv recently partnered with Double the Donation to bring you the most advanced technology in matching gifts. Double the Donation has the largest, most detailed database of available matching gift programs, and now you can provide your donors with access to that information.
With corporate matching gifts, your organization stands to double, or even triple, your donations. In this article, we will explore the wonder of matching gifts by answering the following questions:
- What are corporate matching gifts?
- Who offers matching gifts
- What is the process for collecting matching gifts?
- How do we increase our matching gift revenue?
Let’s dive in!
1. What are corporate matching gifts?
Corporate matching gifts are donations made by a company to a nonprofit organization that an employee of said company has already supported. However, there are some important parameters to be aware of.
Every matching gift program is unique to the company and the employee. Let’s break down some of the varying guideline staples:
- Minimums and maximums: This refers to the dollar amount of the initial donation. For example, if there is a minimum of $25, but an employee only donates $15, that donation is not match-eligible. Additionally, if the company maximum is $500, and a donor gives $1,000, that donation will only be matched up to $500.
- Match ratios: A 1:1 ratio means that a company will match an employee’s donation dollar for dollar. Ratios are typically between .5:1 and 3:1.
- Employee status: Sometimes the program guidelines specify different parameters depending on the level of employment. A part-time employee can qualify for a 1:1 match at the same company as a CEO who qualifies for a 2:1 match. Retired employees are also often eligible for matching gift programs, though sometimes at an adjusted ratio.
- Type of organization: Though most programs will match gifts to any 501(c)(3) organization, some clarify specific types of organizations that they will or will not support through matching gifts.
These elements are defined in every matching gift program. It can seem like an overwhelming amount of details, but Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro instantly presents each donor with all the necessary information about their own employer’s matching gift program.
2. Who offers matching gifts?
Many companies and corporations offer matching gift programs, though donors often do not realize that they have been offered the opportunity. In fact, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gifts.
Here are some fast facts about some of the top matching gifts companies in the country:
- General Electric: GE was the first company to setup a matching gift program for employees.
- BP: When an employee participates in a peer-to-peer fundraiser, BP will match the total amount raised by that employee for the nonprofit running the campaign.
- GAP: GAP has varying maximums depending on seniority. A part-time employee has a match maximum of $1,000 per year, while a senior VP can request up to $10,000 in matching donations per year.
- Microsoft: In 2017 alone, U.S. employees raised an incredible $156 million.
It is important to keep any eye out for donors who are employed by these companies. These funds are set aside by these companies to go to your organization. All you have to do is ask your donors to help you claim it.
3. What is the process for collecting matching gifts?
Matching gifts can be collected through a simple, five-step process:
- Initial donation: There can be no matching gift collected without an initial gift!
- Donor submits request: A donor must submit a request to their employer for their gift to be matched. This request is often an online form within a company’s portal, though there are still some companies using PDFs or physical forms.
- Employer reviews the request: Many companies have employees dedicated to matching gifts and authorizing the requests. They must compare the initial donation to the company’s unique guidelines. A donation qualifies for a match when it is made by a match-eligible employee to a match-eligible organization and it is within the minimum and maximum range.
- Employer confirms initial donation: A company will reach out to the organization and simply confirm that the initial donation was made for the reported amount on the reported date.
- Organization receives matching gift: The final step is completed when an organization receives a check from the original donor’s employers for that matched gift!
When you break it down, the process is really quite simple. It only takes a few minutes, and suddenly a donor can make twice the impact on your organization.
The most important step of the process is when the donor submits the request. It is so important that you as an organization communicate with your donors. 360MatchPro includes fully automated email outreach capabilities to make that communication easy and instantaneous.
These emails can be set up to present a donor with their unique matching gift program guidelines and encourage that donor to submit their match request. Plus, the same email includes a button, which your donor can click to report back to you about submitting their match request.
4. How do we increase our matching gift revenue?
The most important, singular step you can take toward increasing your matching gift revenue is incorporating a matching gift field in your donation process.
Fortunately, Revv users can turn on such functionality with just a few mouse clicks. Now that Revv has partnered with 360MatchPro, Revv customers will be able to incorporate Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool right into their donation process.
Rev is now offering the 360MatchPro matching gift search tool as an upsell in the Revv donation process. When a donor submits a donation, they are presented with the upsell, which in this case is a prompt to search for their employer using Double the Donation’s tool. The donor is then presented with the appropriate matching gift information.
If the donor doesn’t fill-in the employer search field, have no fear! 360MatchPro also scans a donor’s email domain for employment information.
Immediately following the donation, that donor’s information, employment information, and match-eligibility status flows automatically into your 360MatchPro account.
And with Revv’s customizable page builder, it is simple and easy for each and every user to shape and streamline their entire donation process.
For more information on Revv’s 360MatchPro integration, check out the full integration guide!
In order to increase matching gifts outside of the donation process, you absolutely must commit to marketing matching gifts. Your donors want to support your organization, that is why they are donating in the first place. As we said before, all you have to do is tell them how to increase that impact, and they will typically take the extra few minutes to help further your cause.
With $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue left on the table each year, there is no reason not to focus on claiming some of those funds for your organization. Below, we’ve laid out a few suggestions on how to market matching gifts:
- Dedicated matching gift page: This is a page where you share with your donors what we have shared with you. Explain what matching gifts are and how they can impact your organization. We suggest embedding Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool right onto this matching gift page. This way, a donor has the opportunity to see the impact that they are eligible to make.
- Navigation bar: Include that matching gift page in your website’s navigation bar. Make sure that a casual visitor to your website will find out about matching gifts. Just mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount. This is free money on top of an increased initial donation!
- Emails: As you know, your 360MatchPro account can be set up to send out automated follow-up emails to each of your donors presenting the specifics of their employer’s matching gift program. These emails encourage your donors to submit that match request and report back to you.You should also be including information about matching gifts in any emails sent out to your LISTSERV; they want to help you!
- Social media: Use these platforms to share information about matching gifts. You can spotlight donors who have followed through on submitting matching gift requests, which encourages that donor to get another gift matched, and it could inspire a future donor to seek the same recognition.
These marketing strategies are not mutually exclusive. The most effective organizations will utilize all of these marketing strategies to spread the word about matching gifts far and wide.
Takeaway: Matching gifts are out there, and they are easy to claim. The most important thing that you can do as an organization is inform your donors about matching gifts and encourage all of your match-eligible donors to follow through on submitting matching gift requests to their employers.
Using 360MatchPro, most of this process is already done for you. You’ll be able to keep track of your donors’ eligibility and the status of each potential matching gift request in real time. For more information on the integration and step-by-step instructions, check out this integration guide. Now, Revv customers can do it all!