Boosting the matching gifts your nonprofit receives
Corporate matching can double the value of donors’ gifts — a bonus no not-for-profit organization can afford to pass up. Are you doing everything you can to educate your financial supporters and their employers about matching gifts?
Encourage donors and employers
Most matching programs are managed by HR departments, which provide employees with matching gift forms. Typically, the employer sends the completed forms, along with the matched donations, to the charity the employee has chosen. Dollar-for-dollar matching is most common among participating corporations, but some companies offer more, others less. Many match donations to any nonprofit, but some are more restrictive.
To encourage increased matching gifts, draw up a list of employers in your area that offer matching. Typically, you can find this information in annual reports, on company websites or by calling companies’ HR, PR or community relations departments. If the company operates a foundation, its matching program may run through that entity.
Once you have a comprehensive and accurate list, post it on your website’s donation page. Also use the list to reach out to existing donors you know work for those companies. All of your nonprofit’s solicitations should encourage supporters to check with their employers about the availability of matching.
Set up your own program
If, despite your nonprofit’s best efforts, matching gifts only occasionally trickle in, consider creating your own matching pool. Ask board members and major supporters to match donations during a certain time period, for certain populations or for a minimum donation amount. For instance, your board might match all donations from new contributors in February or a major donor might commit to match gifts made at your annual gala.
Also keep in mind that some charitable foundations will match gifts to jump-start a fundraising effort or major campaign. Such an arrangement might be easier to set up than securing a large employer to donate to your organization.
Gift-matching enables donors to make larger contributions than they can manage on their own. Knowing their gift will be matched, they might even bump up the amount. Therefore, do everything you can to foster matching gifts.
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