5 donation matching strategies for nonprofits and schools

matching donation challenge for nonprofits

Nonprofits, schools, and other fundraising organizations are constantly seeking innovative strategies to fuel their fundraising and engagement efforts. One powerful tactic gaining traction in recent years is donation matching⁠—a key form of corporate giving that has the potential to scale up an organization’s fundraising outcomes.

Why? In fundraising, every dollar counts. Donation matching empowers your team to make each one count twice⁠, stretching the initial dollar further than otherwise possible. In this blog, we’ll share several tried-and-true strategies for nonprofits and educational institutions looking to maximize fundraising dollars, including how to:

  1. Create a dedicated matching gifts page on your website
  2. Automate matching gift outreach to donors
  3. Communicate gratitude for matching gift participation
  4. Consider one-off donation matching partnerships
  5. Identify volunteer grant opportunities

By implementing these tactics in your organization’s overall fundraising plan, you can ensure your team is equipped with the revenue and resources to better fulfill its mission.

Create a dedicated matching gifts page on your website

A dedicated matching gifts page on a nonprofit or school’s website or branded giving day site can serve as a strategic resource in the organization’s overall matching gift marketing strategy. When designed well, such a web page can supply comprehensive information about corporate matching gift programs and streamline the donation matching process, making it easier for donors to double their impact with the click of a button.

This page also works by providing a centralized hub where donors have easy access to relevant information, answers to frequently asked questions and other helpful resources.

Automate matching gift outreach

Smart matching gift outreach efforts maximize fundraising impact by reminding donors about matching gift opportunities, encouraging further engagement and increasing matching gift submissions. However, a manual approach to identifying eligible donors and triggering personalized follow-ups requires a significant amount of team time and effort.

That’s why automating matching gift outreach, such as by implementing post-donation email cadences, offers significant benefits for nonprofits and schools seeking to maximize their fundraising efforts.

A key advantage of automated matching donation outreach is its ability to scale outreach efforts without placing undue burden on staff resources. With email reminders triggered when donors give, organizations can ensure timely and personalized communication that enhances the donor experience and encourages continued engagement. And when you invest in a matching gift solution that integrates with your online fundraising platform (such as Double the Donation and Gravyty), automating the process is easier than ever before.

Share gratitude for matching gift participation

Communicating gratitude to donors for participating in their employers’ matching gift programs is crucial for sharing appreciation, strengthening donor relationships, and increasing the likelihood that individuals give and get their gifts matched again in the future.

For the best results, a personalized thank-you message should be sent promptly at a few key points in the matching gift process. These include:

  • Upon confirmation of a matching gift submission. This message will recognize the steps the donor has taken to complete their match and thank the individual for doing so.
  • After you receive the completed match payment. Close the loop with the individual donor and reiterate your appreciation for their efforts by sending an additional acknowledgment when the match is finalized.

Expressing thanks acknowledges donors’ efforts to go above and beyond to maximize the impact of their contributions on your mission. And that reinforces their sense of investment in the cause. By recognizing donors’ participation in matching gift programs, nonprofits and schools deepen donor engagement and inspire continued support.

It also provides an opportunity to educate donors about the impact their matching gifts have on the organization’s programs and beneficiaries. Sharing success stories or testimonials empowers your organization to illustrate the tangible outcomes of matching gift contributions, further motivating donors to participate in the future.

And don’t forget to tailor your thanks based on your supporters’ unique preferences, giving history and interests. For example, one matching gift donor may appreciate a handwritten note, while another prefers a personal thank-you video!

Consider one-off donation matching partnerships

At this point, not all companies have existing donation matching programs⁠. However, even many employers that don’t match gifts would be willing to explore a dedicated philanthropy partnership when the idea is proposed. And that’s what’s generally known as a one-off matching gift program.

One-off matching gifts⁠—or custom, unique, or exclusive matching gift programs⁠—are initiatives set up between a company and a single nonprofit or school it encourages its employees to support. Then, at the conclusion of the campaign, the company matches the sum of all employee donations contributed to the cause.

These partnerships are typically organized around a time-based campaign (e.g., a pharmaceutical company matching gifts to a cancer research organization during Breast Cancer Awareness Month) or even a single Giving Day fundraising event. That makes them an excellent choice for schools and other nonprofit fundraisers looking to quickly drum up support with a targeted approach to matching gifts.

Not to mention, the partnerships foster deeper connections with corporate sponsors, showcasing the impact of matching funds on the organization’s programs and initiatives.

Identify volunteer grant opportunities

This last strategy centers on a different type of donation matching program: volunteer grants.

Corporate volunteer grants, or Dollars for Doers, are another leading form of corporate philanthropy that presents a unique opportunity for nonprofits and schools to monetize their volunteerism programs. And the good news is that most leading matching gift programs also offer volunteer grants.

Here’s how it works: When an eligible employee donates their time to a nonprofit or school, they can request corresponding grant funding for the organization according to the number of hours spent conducting volunteer service.

By actively seeking out these opportunities, your team can tap into an additional source of funding to complement traditional donation matching initiatives. Fortunately, a matching gift database tool like Double the Donation will supply detailed volunteer grant program information, too⁠—making it just as quick and easy to uncover the opportunities in your volunteer base. Then, inspire eligible supporters to participate in volunteer activities or encourage existing volunteers to complete the appropriate forms (which are typically also provided by your database tool).

Boost dollars raised with matching gifts

Matching donations effectively double the impact of individual contributions, making them an attractive option for donors and fundraisers alike. Staying ahead of the curve is essential for nonprofits and schools striving to make a meaningful impact on their respective communities.

All in all, donation matching presents a compelling opportunity to amplify donors’ generosity. By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog, fundraising professionals can harness the power of corporate giving to do more.

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