10 tips to supercharge your giving day with matching gifts

Boost donor participation with matching gifts

Giving days have emerged as powerful fundraising initiatives for educational institutions, nonprofits, and other fundraising groups. Rallying donors around a cause in a limited-time wave of collective generosity, these campaigns offer an opportunity to maximize fundraising impact and engage supporters in new and exciting ways. And it’s a tactic that’s seen great success in colleges, universities, and organizations across the globe.

But what if you could amplify your giving day impact even further?

Enter corporate matching gifts: a game-changing strategy that has the potential to supercharge your fundraising efforts on giving day and every other day.

Corporate matching gifts, made through employer matching programs, offer a golden opportunity for fundraisers to unlock the hidden potential of their donors’ contributions. This blog post delves into several tried-and-true tips to leverage corporate matching gifts on your institution’s giving day.

We’ll focus on the following practices:

  1. Prepare your team for matching gifts prior to giving day.
  2. Create a matching gifts page on your website.
  3. Lean into the power of storytelling.
  4. Communicate a matching gift goal.
  5. Incorporate matching into the giving experience.
  6. Use match reminders as a post-donation touchpoint.
  7. Encourage two-way communication.
  8. Focus on your highest-value matching gift donors.
  9. Utilize employment information moving forward.
  10. Automate the matching gift fundraising process!

Get ready to take your upcoming giving day to new heights by making the most of untapped corporate giving resources.

1. Prepare your team for matching gifts prior to giving day

Before you can dive into effective matching gift fundraising practices on your giving day, it’s important that you begin by training your internal team on the opportunity.

To get started, outline the benefits of matching gifts, including their ability to amplify donation impact, boost supporter engagement, increase generosity, and elevate donor satisfaction.

Cite internal metrics (e.g., our organization collected $10,000 in matching gifts last year, while an additional $100,000 in match-eligible donations went unclaimed) as well as external data sources (e.g., industry research indicates that more than 26 million individuals work for companies that match gifts, and 84% of donors are more likely to give if a match is offered) to highlight the anticipated growth and game-changing results.

Make the case that corporate matching gifts are a wide-reaching yet continually underutilized revenue source⁠—and that it’s time for your team to take steps to close the funding gap. From there, you’ll also want to cover:

  • The complete matching gift process overview (including which team members will be responsible for specific tasks)
  • Solutions for common matching gift roadblocks and how your staff can assist donors through the experience
  • Matching gift program guidelines, such as donation minimums and maximums, match ratios, qualifying employees and nonprofits, and more
  • Popular matching gift companies to be aware of and how to locate information about other matching gift programs

When your fundraising or development team fully understands matching gifts⁠—and the value the programs offer⁠—you can craft an effective strategy tailored to your particular donor base, campaign, and funding need. Thus, equip your staff with educational resources and other matching gift training materials beforehand to ensure matching goes smoothly on the big day.

2. Create a matching gifts page on your website

your institution’s website. This resource should serve as the foundation of your matching gift promotional strategy, providing comprehensive information about corporate matching programs, how they work, and their impact on your organization’s fundraising efforts. Embedding a searchable company database in your match page is another easy way to encourage donors to locate their employer and initiate the matching process⁠—on your giving day or afterward.

Then, link out to this page in your other marketing materials⁠, such as social media posts, emails, and more.

3. Lean into the power of storytelling

Dynamic storytelling is one of the most crucial skills a school or nonprofit fundraising team can have. And it can be used in conjunction with matching gift opportunities to produce significant results on your giving day.

To do so, share stories demonstrating the tangible impact corporate matching has made⁠—or has the potential to make⁠—on your institution’s fundraising need. Testimonials from donors who have participated in matching gifts can further inspire others to get involved (e.g., Janet had her giving day donation tripled by her employer last year, and she loved having the chance to support her alma mater so generously), while personal anecdotes from those who benefitted from your better-funded services can help put a face to the ask (e.g., Tim and his brother Jim both received scholarships funded through corporate matching).

4. Communicate a matching gift goal

Your institution has likely enacted a fundraising goal for your upcoming giving day. To bring your matching gift strategy to fruition, we recommend implementing a separate goal regarding total match funding secured or number of matches submitted.

Setting a matching gift objective establishes an additional sense of urgency and challenge during a giving day. Be sure to clearly communicate this target to donors, then update your supporters on the progress towards your matching goal to foster a collective sense of achievement throughout the course of your campaign.

5. Incorporate matching into the giving experience

Your giving day campaign will likely produce an influx of visitors to your institution’s website⁠—specifically your donation pages. Make the most of that increased traffic by integrating matching gifts directly into the donation experience!

To do so, be sure to collect employment information from donors as they complete their gifts, ideally by embedding an intuitive company search tool into your online forms. Then, after they finalize their donations, use your confirmation page to provide eligibility criteria and encourage supporters to take the clearly laid-out next steps to submit their match requests.

By making matching gifts an integral part of the giving experience, you increase the likelihood of donors taking advantage of this opportunity while at an already high level of engagement with your cause.

6. Use match reminders as a post-donation touchpoint

In the hours and days after donors support your giving day campaign, you don’t want them to lose that momentum. Thus, matching gift reminders can be an effective way to re-engage them without asking for another dollar.

Send personalized emails to match-eligible donors (or those with unknown eligibility), reminding them of the potential to double their impact through matching gifts. If you know what company an individual works for, tailor your messaging with a direct link to their employer’s submission portal to further simplify the process.

Fun fact: According to Double the Donation studies, match reminder emails sent within 24 hours of a donation see a 53% open rate. That’s 2.6 times higher than the average nonprofit email open rate!

7. Encourage two-way communication

The most effective matching gift strategies rely on two-way communication with donors. That means that your matching gift messaging on and after your giving day should go both ways. Your team will send information to its supporters and ask that, in turn, donors keep your organization up-to-date on the status of their matching gift requests.

Specifically, ask that donors let you know once they’ve completed their matching gift submission forms. This will allow you to effectively track matches through the disbursement process, keep an eye out for any incoming verification requests, and more accurately forecast incoming revenue.

Plus, you can foster open lines of communication regarding matching gifts, encouraging supporters to reach out if they have any questions or roadblocks.

8. Focus on your highest-value matching gift donors

As you identify giving day matching gift opportunities (either manually or using a matching gift software), consider filtering out your highest-value matches. This might mean large-dollar donors who work for companies with high donation maximums or gifts that qualify for triple or even quadruple matches.

Then, take a more personalized approach with these individuals. For example, if a valuable matching gift prospect seems to prefer phone conversations, pick up the phone and give them a call. Other ideas might include sending a personalized video or even having a face-to-face meeting.

9. Utilize employment information moving forward

Your upcoming giving day is an excellent time to gather data about your supporters. And the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can do with that information after the fact!

For example, the employment details collected on your giving day can be a valuable asset that informs your fundraising efforts going forward. Not only will you be able to identify match-eligible gifts when your donors give again in the future, but the information can be used to uncover top opportunities for broader corporate partnerships, as well.

And you can also use collected employment data to send alumni industry-specific information, such as invitations to relevant networking events and more.

10. Automate the matching gift fundraising process

To streamline matching gift efforts on your giving day and beyond, consider automating the matching gift fundraising process. Utilize matching gift software that can integrate with your giving day platform and handle the identification, tailored outreach, tracking and reporting of matching gifts⁠ like Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro integration with Advance from Gravyty.

Automation will save time and resources, enabling your team to focus on other critical aspects of your giving day. Not to mention, it also reduces the chance of matching gift opportunities slipping through the cracks at a busy time, instead ensuring that all donations are followed up with in a timely and efficient manner.

Set your giving day up for success with matching gifts

By implementing these tips and harnessing the power of corporate matching gifts in your efforts, your giving day will take a significant leap forward. 

But remember, the impact of corporate matching gifts extends far beyond any single day. Building strong and enduring relationships with individual donors and corporate partners ensures an ongoing stream of support for your institution now and in the future.