By: Jessica Borges
HIPGive Associate, Partnerships
When thinking strategically about maximizing your fundraising revenue, you shouldn’t forget about corporate matching gifts programs.
Matching gifts programs are a growing field within philanthropy by which companies financially match the donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations. Therefore, every time an employee makes a contribution, they can request the matching gift from their employer, who then makes their own equivalent contribution.
Matching gifts programs are increasingly relevant, as corporate social responsibility continues growing and the sector is moving towards improved transparency, community, diversity and inclusion, and employee engagement.
According to Double the Donation, in the US alone, 65% of large companies offer matching gift programs, while 28% of small to midsize companies do as well. This makes 15-19 million employees eligible for matching gifts in the US; that’s 10% of the US workforce! However, they also estimate that up to $7 billion in potential matching gift revenue goes unclaimed annually.
At HIPGive we’d love to see more of these funds invested in your work!
Here’s 4 simple steps to take advantage of corporate matching gifts programs.
- Educate your donor base
The large majority of match-eligible employees don’t know if their employer offers matching gift programs. Communicate with your donors, or HIPGivers as we call them, and educate them about the opportunity to increase the impact of their contributions. Donors are more likely to respond to fundraising appeals that mention matching, and we know at HIPGive that HIPGivers are more likely to contribute to projects if their contributions are matched.
- Get ready to send matching gift outreach
The HIPGive platform provides access to your HIPGiver’s contact information. Use your database to send personalized emails with matching gift information. You can also include in your thank you emails a mention that the contribution made can be increased if the HIPGiver is match-eligible by their company.
- Follow up with your donors
Once the HIPGiver makes a contribution to your project, remind him/ her to submit a matching gift request to their employer if applicable. Accompany your HIPGiver through the entire process that includes: 1) requesting the match, 2) receiving the company’s approval; and 3) the completion of final payment to the organization.
There are different software companies that automate the outreach and follow up with donors like Double the Donation, which has one of the largest databases of matching corporate matching gifts programs.
- Monitor and Evaluate your success
As in every process, monitoring and evaluation help you understand best practices and your potential to raise additional funds. We recommend that you track and measure the number of match-eligible donations against the total number of actually matched donations. Analyze the total revenue from gift matching and set new goals for the next fundraising campaigns.
We hope these tips are helpful to take advantage of corporate matching gifts programs as part of your fundraising strategy. Your organization might also consider developing a more comprehensive partnership strategy to work with companies and employee resource groups potentially interested in supporting your initiatives.