Is this article for you? It covers services only available to Give Lively member nonprofits.
Is this article for you? It covers Salesforce integration services only available to Give Lively member nonprofits.

Make the most of employer matching gifts: our ultimate guide

Explore the elements and best practices of our ability to integrate with employer matching gift technology, so you can leverage the power of gift matching.

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Nonprofit organizations would do well to understand the substantial power and opportunity presented by employer matching gifts. Few truly optimize their fundraising strategies to collect all they can through it. 

Employer (or corporate) matching gifts are a favorite form of workplace giving and corporate philanthropy. Companies that offer matching gift programs agree to match the charitable donations their employees make to qualifying organizations. This is most often done at a dollar-for-dollar rate (1:1), though some employers agree to match at 2:1 or even 3:1 donation ratios.

Matching gifts are therefore an excellent way for nonprofit professionals to take in more revenue for their causes through both increased individual contributions and available corporate funding.

To maximize your nonprofit’s match revenue, it’s important to have a solid knowledge foundation regarding the programs. In this guide, we assist with information about the following topics:

  • Matching gift industry review: what to know
  • Best practices for effective matching gift fundraising
  • Double the Donation & Give Lively integration summary

Matching gifts industry review: what to know

Is your fundraising team well equipped with the knowledge you need to expand matching gifts effectively? We’ve compiled a list of key ideas.

Employer matching gifts are the most popular form of corporate philanthropy.

Matching gifts are the most-offered workplace giving program, loved by fundraisers, employers and donors alike.

More than 65% of Fortune 500 companies incorporate matching gifts in their business practices, not to mention thousands of smaller and mid-sized corporations following suit. Even better, according to matching gift research, more than 26 million individuals are employed by companies that offer matching gift programs. And that figure is constantly rising.

Unfortunately, matching gift funding continues to be underutilized.

Despite the huge potential of matching gifts, less than one-third of available matching gift revenue actually reaches nonprofits each year.

Though $2-3 billion is contributed to charitable organizations through employee matches, an additional $4-$7 billion goes unclaimed! 

The problem isn’t that donors aren’t interested in participating⁠. More often than not, they just don’t know how to get involved.

Strategic matching gift marketing can drive more employee matches.

The key challenge to matching gift success is a lack of knowledge among donors. Carefully crafted marketing efforts play a significant role in helping bridge that gap.

There are two vital moments when potential matching gift donors drop off. First, they were never told about their employer’s matching gift program and have no idea that they can submit a match⁠. Second, if they know about the program, they’re unsure how to go about processing a request for a corporate match.

Helpfully, you can overcome both obstacles by strategically marketing employee match opportunities to your donors⁠ and providing the information needed to push them through.

This can be accomplished through your nonprofit’s social media profiles, email blasts, website and even by letting donors know about matching gifts during the donation process itself. The more you can spread the word, the better.

Best practices for effective matching gift fundraising

The right tips, tricks and tools can empower your organization to raise more through corporate matching gift programs. Here are two essential practices:

Incorporate matching gift information into your donation confirmation page.

Once donors click “Submit” on a donation form, they should be redirected to a donation confirmation page with a quick thank-you message confirming the completion of the donation process. This page is valuable real estate and exactly where you can expose donors to a post-transaction matching gift promotion.

Highlighting matching gifts on a confirmation screen is also a great way to capitalize on individuals’ elevated charitable feelings. Donors tend to be at their highest levels of engagement while actively completing their gifts, and the end of that experience is a perfect time to leverage the remaining giving momentum.

Send post-donation matching gift emails.

Sending matching gift follow-up emails in the days after the initial contribution is a great way to remind donors about a matching gift opportunity. If you have the donor’s employment information on record, include company-specific matching gift guidelines and submission forms to help.

Research shows that matching gift reminder emails sent within 24 hours of a donation have a 53% open rate⁠, which is 2-3 times higher than the average nonprofit rate. At the same time, you don’t want to send these follow-ups too soon, as you don’t want to risk the donor mistaking the email as an automated gift receipt or acknowledgment.

Double the Donation & Give Lively integration summary

Arguably the single most effective way to elevate matching gift fundraising is by utilizing matching gift automation software to streamline your efforts. Luckily, this can be managed quickly and easily thanks to a seamless integration between industry-leading matching gift provider Double the Donation and Give Lively fundraising technology.

This requires purchasing a Double the Donation subscription and provides access to robust and innovative features such as the following:

Matching gift company search tool

One of the integration’s most notable features is its embeddable matching gift company search tool. It can be easily incorporated into your Give Lively donation experience, your organization’s “ways to give” page on your own website and more.

When donors come across the matching gift widget, they are prompted to enter their employer’s name in a simple search box. As donors begin typing, they are met with auto-filled suggestions until they select the correct company from a dropdown list.

Donors are immediately see details about their employer’s matching gift programs pulled from an extensive database with information on thousands of companies, large and small. Donors are provided guidance about the available matching opportunities and directed to the company’s online submission forms or matching gift portal to begin the request process.

Automated follow-up emails

Another key feature of the Give Lively–Double the Donation integration is automated email prompts. These enable nonprofits to send personalized and timely outreach to match-eligible (or match-unknown) donors following their gifts.

If you have a donor’s employer name, the automated emails will even populate with the comprehensive matching gift information and encourage individuals to take the next steps. For donors whose employment data is unknown to you, your email follow-ups will incorporate a link to the above-mentioned company search tool through which donors can conduct their own research. As an added bonus, the software records the company name an individual searches for and associates it with the donor record for future use.

Matching gift portal

Double the Donation also offers a robust online matching gift portal that enables nonprofits to quickly and easily review everything they need to know about their matching gift fundraising, especially where they’re seeing high levels of success and where there remain opportunities for strategic improvement.

For high-level data, the portal provides aggregated matching gift statistics to help nonprofits visualize corporate gift-matching⁠, including the number of matches identified, submitted and fulfilled, how donors have interacted with automated emails and which companies donors select from the employer search tool. There are also more individualized donor metrics.

Matching gifts have the potential to bring your nonprofit to the next level of individual funding, additional corporate giving opportunities and strengthened donor relationships. It all starts with having the right tools in your nonprofit’s toolkit.

Learn more about the benefits of the Give Lively–Double the Donation matching gift integration by getting started with our detailed integration guide here!

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