As a nonprofit professional, you’re probably well aware of the benefits of matching gifts and may know a few techniques for how to encourage donors to submit a request.
That’s great! Your organization is already off to the right start.
Even with the right tips and tricks in place, though, keeping all your matching gift information organized can be a challenge. Without an easy way to track matching gift requests and eligible donations, your team can’t create an effective plan or measure your progress.
But thanks to matching gift tools, you can improve your fundraising plan and make your team’s job easier.
In this article, we’ll look at four ways you can improve your fundraising using matching gift tools:
- Promote matching gifts in a convenient way.
- Filter donations by most matching gift potential.
- Track the status of matching gift requests.
- Learn about top matching gift companies.
Ready to learn more about matching gift software and how it can benefit your organization? Let’s dive right in!
1. Promote matching gifts in a convenient way
Despite all the benefits associated with matching gifts and the simple process, many donors don’t participate in matching gifts because they don’t know their employers offer such a program or what donations qualify as eligible gifts.
One of the most essential parts of raising money through matching gifts is by promoting these programs and educating donors on the request process.
Many organizations use their websites, social media, email, and even direct mail as prime methods to let donors know about matching gifts.
Having a dedicated matching gift page on your website and mentioning the program in acknowledgment letters is so effective because supporting your nonprofit is still on your donors’ minds. However, it’s still up to donors to learn about their employers’ matching gift programs and follow the proper guidelines to submit their requests.
What if there was a way to help donors learn about their specific program?
Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool is one solution. Linked to our database of hundreds of companies, the search tool allows donors to instantly find detailed information about their matching gift program.
Using the search tool is very simple: after your organization embeds the tool on your website, for example, donors just have to type in the name of their company.
In the example above, the National Audubon Society decided to create a dedicated matching gift page that has common questions about the request process and a matching gift search tool.
As you can see, when donors search for their company, they’ll be directed to a page that includes the following details of the company’s matching gift program:
- Contact information
- Links to matching gift guidelines and request forms
- Matching gift minimum and maximum amounts
- Match ratio
- List of organization types the company accepts donations from
All this information can help donors determine if their gifts qualify and how to submit a request. Since the information is right at their fingertips, donors can easily complete the process right then and there so no matching gift request goes missed!
Another feature of matching gift software is that it can reveal prospect research data for your donors. These insights can help you promote matching gifts in a more effective way.
Plus, the data that your matching gift software collects can be incorporated into your donor outreach automatically.
For example, if a donor uses their employee email to make a contribution, matching gift software can scan the domain, locate the donor’s matching gift program, and send them a personalized email with the information.
The bottom line: Using matching gift software makes the job of learning about their employers’ programs easier. That way, nothing is stopping your donors from putting in a matched gift request.
2. Filter matching gifts by most matching gift potential
Depending on your organization's size, you might have a matching gift team or a single expert that handles matched giving. Either way, it can be difficult to manage all your donations to ensure that eligible gifts are submitted.
No matter how hard you try or how large your team is, there are going to be some donations you can’t get to.
That’s why many nonprofits focus their efforts on receiving matches from donations with the most potential (and yours should too!)
Essentially, this means looking at major contributions that have the potential to be doubled or even tripled.
The great thing about matching gift software is that it can filter your donations to show which eligible gifts can give you the most funds in return.
Matching gift software can run through your entire donation database to identify donations that came from donors who:
- Work for companies with high matching gift limits and ratios
- Can submit donations electronically
- Are nearing their company’s matching gift deadline
- Contributed major donations
Once you’ve identified your organization’s top opportunities, your matching gift team can create a fundraising strategy to secure those matched gifts by sending out letters and emails or making phones calls.
The bottom line: Filtering your eligible donations by the most giving potential allows your team to focus their time and resources into securing the most matching gift funds as possible.
3. Track the status of matching gift requests
The matching gift request process takes several steps before your organization will receive its funds. After the donor contributes to your organization, you won’t receive a check from the company until:
- The donor submits a request and sends the necessary forms to their employer.
- The company receives confirmation from the organization that a donation was made.
- The donation and organization are determined eligible for a match.
Since there are several steps in the process, it’s important for organizations to be able to follow a request from start to finish. That way, if any action on you or the donor’s part is needed, you can take the next step.
Much like your online fundraising software is able to track donations and send out emails to thank your donors, matching gift software is able to keep a detailed record of the status of each donation from start to finish.
For instance, matching gift software can send out automated emails with information about submitting a matching gift request after a donor has contributed.
Organizations can include a one-click notification on their emails. Once donors have completed their requests and clicked the link, your matching gift CRM will automatically update the status of their donation.
As you can see in the image above, donors just have to click the “I’ve submitted my matching gift request” link to update the status of their contribution.
When your organization knows how each donation is moving through the matching gift process, you’ll be able to:
- Accurately estimate your matching gift revenue
- Determine when your nonprofit needs to take action
- Identify donations that haven’t submitted a request
- Thank donors once you’ve received the donation from their employer
For example, if you’re trying to raise money for a year-end appeal, you can estimate how much of the funds will come from matched donations by checking the status of your requests.
The bottom line: It’s important for your organization to know what stage in the process every donation is at. That way, you can make more accurate estimations and take the necessary steps to move the process along.
4. Learn about top matching gift companies
Last, but certainly not least, your matching gift software can give you insights into your organization's top matching gift companies.
Since you’ll have a record of all the donations matched, you’ll know where the majority of your donors work.
For instance, you may find that many of your donors work for local companies, which could affect how you promote matching gifts.
Additionally, as part of your matching gift software, you’ll have access to the vendor’s entire matching gift database.
With this information at your fingertips, your team can learn about the corporate philanthropy programs of the companies where the majority of your donors work. By getting familiar with these programs, you’ll be able to answer your donors’ questions about how to submit a gift and whether or not their contributions qualify.
Moveover, having knowledge on the top matching gift companies (like the ones on 360MatchPro’s list) means you can spend more time encouraging supporters from these companies to submit requests.
Once your matching gift team has a better understanding of how top matching gift programs work, they’ll be able to promote these guidelines more accurately to your donors.
The bottom line: With a database of thousands of companies at your disposal, your matching gift team can learn about top philanthropy programs to better market them to donors.
Now that you know how valuable matching gift software can be, it’s time to put these tools to the test and see how much you can raise with their support. Good luck fundraising!
Adam Weinger is the president of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.