How to Communicate with Donors about Matching Gifts

February is Matching Gift Month, a time each year to celebrate corporate matching gift programs and educate donors on these opportunities. According to Nonprofitsource.com, “an estimated $2-3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually, with $4-$7 billion going unclaimed each year.” Development professionals play an important role in educating donors about these opportunities to harness the giving power of matching gifts. Additionally, Nonprofit Source states nearly 27 million individuals are working at businesses that offer matching gift programs.

Educating donors on employer-matching gift opportunities can be a terrific way to increase giving to your nonprofit organization. Matching gifts are an easy way for donors to make an even greater impact on the missions they care most about. If you aren’t communicating with donors about matching gift opportunities, don’t let the chance to increase giving pass you by – include this as part of your nonprofit’s donor-centric communications plan today.

Communicate with donors about matching gifts when they are making their donations.

Include a simple box to check on the online giving form or the printed pledge card that your nonprofit sends with the fundraising appeal letter. Ask the donor to check “yes” if their employer provides matching gifts. Have a member of your development team follow up later, possibly during the acknowledgment process, to encourage the donor to complete the matching gift request. This will provide another donor stewardship touch point and deepen the relationship with the donor, which can aid in donor retention.

Remind donors about matching gifts when sending acknowledgment letters.

Another ideal time to educate donors about matching gifts is within the acknowledgment letter. Nonprofit organizations should already be sending emails or mailing letters to donors thanking them for donations and providing tax receipts. Consider including a P.S. line encouraging the donor to apply for a matching gift if they work for an employer with a matching gift program. Better still, if you already know their employer has a matching gift program, provide a link to the company’s matching gift policy and process if it’s accessible online. Including information that makes it easy for the donor is positive for both donor stewardship and your nonprofit fundraising success.

Include matching gift information on your nonprofit’s website.

A nonprofit’s website is an important hub of information for donors. Including information on matching gift opportunities and the steps needed to complete the process is essential. Always include a contact for donors to reach out to if they have questions. Some nonprofit organizations choose to include a search engine for donors to see if their company provides matching gifts. Companies like Double the Donation offer opportunities to automate the gift match process.

Share a post on social media about matching gifts.

Matching Gift Month is a wonderful time to share information about matching gifts on your nonprofit’s social media accounts. Double the Donation even offers free social media graphics to make this easy (get them here). Sharing this information is a great way to get donors excited about matching gift opportunities and the impact they will have on your nonprofit mission.

Communicate with donors this February about Matching Gift Month to boost matching gifts for fundraising success. Incorporate Matching Gift Month into your annual donor-centric communications plan and track data on donors who apply for matching gifts so you can encourage this again in the future. Lastly, ensure your development team and nonprofit leadership know about matching gifts and can answer questions they might encounter when working with donors.

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