Matching Gift Databases: 5 Important Things You Should Know
It’s just this simple: by using matching gift databases, there’s no better way for donors to see their charitable giving taken to the next level for the nonprofit organizations they love.
With these useful tools, all it takes is a few clicks for individuals discover the reach of their giving potentialand for nonprofits to make more strategic donation requests.
Whether you’re a corporation looking to adopt a matching gift database of your own or a nonprofit organization looking to learn more about this special software, it’s time you brushed up on the ins and outs of matching gift databases.
Ready to learn more? We’ve got answers to your most asked questions on matching gift databases, including:
- What are corporate matching gift programs?
- How does a matching gift database work?
- Who benefits from using matching gift databases?
- Which features should a matching gift database have?
- What are some of the best matching gift databases on the market?
Let’s get started!
1. What are corporate matching gift programs?
Many companies (large and small) like to give back to the community as part of their business model. When businesses earmark funds for philanthropic purposes and allocate these funds to encourage employee giving, we call these corporate giving programs.
There are many models of corporate giving. For example, when companies reward employees for volunteering a set number of hours to a charitable organization, that’s called a volunteer grant. Additionally, some businesses agree to “fundraising matches” where they match funds raised in events like walkathons, crowdfunding campaigns, and more.
Matching gift programs are another model of corporate giving. In these programs, businesses match individual gifts from employees to their favorite charities.
They may agree to match gifts at a 1:1 ratio, a 2:1 ration, or even higher. Typically, gifts are matched to a certain dollar amount per an agreed-upon period. This means that a single employee can’t raise an infinite amount of money for an organization and expect their company to match it dollar-for-dollar.
Even so, you’d be surprised at how many companies have matching gift programs in place and at how much money these companies give back every year.
For example: GE, the first corporation to enact a matching gift program, matches gifts at a 1:1 ratio for current employees, retirees, and even the surviving spouses of employees. GE will match gifts between $25 and $25,000 to any U.S. or U.K. nonprofit. That’s a lot of fundraising impact!
Bonus tip! Matching gifts isn’t just for one-off donations. Nonprofits can incorporate matching gifts into their fundraising strategy for all sorts of campaigns, including crowdfunding campaigns, capital campaigns, annual giving campaigns, and more.
2. How does a matching gift database work?
Matching gift databases make it crystal clear which companies offer matching gift programs for their employees, and which kinds of gifts are eligible to be matched by employers.
Unfortunately, millions of dollars of charitable gifts go unmatched every year simply because people are unaware of their matching gift eligibility or how to complete their matching gift requests to employers. This is where matching gift databases come in.
With a matching gift database, individuals can not only verify whether or not their employer will match their donations to charities, but also learn how to process their matching gift requests and ensure that their donations are doubled.
To understand how a matching gift database comes into play in this process, let’s review the lifecycle of a matching gift request:
- First, donors make a gift to their favorite charity, church, or other nonprofit organization.
- Then, donors must submit a matching gift request to their employer.
- Next, their company reviews the request and reaches out to the nonprofit in question.
- After that, the nonprofit verifies with the company that a donation was made.
- Finally, the company cuts a check to the nonprofit and the gift is successfully matched.
A matching gift database can be used before, during, and after donation to ensure that any potential gift match is successfully processed. Donors can search their company in the database and discover all sorts of information to make this process easier.
See how the ASPCA seamlessly integrates Double the Donation’s matching gift tool into their website?
By including helpful instructions and information on matching gift programs, the ASPCA is able to effortlessly drive donors to double the impact of their donations.
3. Who benefits from using matching gift databases?
The great thing about matching gift databases is that these tools truly benefit everyone involved in the matching gift process from the top down.
Whether you’re the employee, the company, or the nonprofit, it simply makes sense to make the most of matching gift databases.
For employees, knowing that your gift will be amplified by your company’s matching gift program makes you more likely to give, and more likely to give more. If you’re on the fence about donating, knowing that your employer will match your gift can be the push you need to make a donation.
Companies with matching gift programs in place also benefit from incorporating matching gift databases into their giving model.
From large corporations to small businesses, companies of all shapes and sizes benefit from tax incentives commensurate with the amount of revenue they give back to charities. When it’s easier for their employees to verify their matching gift eligibility, that directly correlates to more money that companies can write off.
Finally, it might seem obvious but it’s worth being restated: when more donors are able to see their gifts matched by employers, that equals more dollars donated to nonprofits. For this reason, matching gift databases are one of the most powerful tools for charities to lean on.
If you’re a nonprofit organization looking to maximize the amount of contributions you receive from individual donors and corporations, you should definitely market matching gifts to your supporters at every level of the engagement process.
4. Which features should a matching gift database have?
It’s important to note that not all matching gift databases are created equally. To ensure that your matching gift database is fully equipped to maximize the giving power of donors, there are several key features you need to look out for.
For nonprofits in particular, keep in mind how the following features can elevate your matching gift strategy and make doubling donations even easier:
- CRM integration. Your matching gift database should integrate easily with your CRM, or at least allow its data to be easily exported. This way, you can collect information on businesses and on your donors that you can use to improve your fundraising strategy over time.
- Regularly updated data. If a matching gift database isn’t updated regularly, you could be missing out on potential matched gifts. Many companies update their matching gift program policies throughout the year, so your database should stay on top of these changes.
- Customizable interface. Being able to brand matching gift database pages and plugins to your nonprofit can be crucial to streamlining the matching gift process. When donors see the matching gift database as a seamless feature of your website, they’re more likely to complete their search and request.
- Electronic matching gift forms. When matching gift databases direct donors to electronic matching gift request forms, they’re more likely to successfully complete their request. Some databases simply tell them to contact their HR department, which increases the risk of them forgetting to complete the request process.
- Software support. Your matching gift database should offer reliable tech support to troubleshoot software problems that arise. Don’t be left to your own devices! This database will be an important part of your fundraising strategy, so you shouldn’t risk donors losing access to the database at any time.
Bonus tip! Looking to invest in the right matching gift or fundraising software? Check out this list of the top 12 must-know nonprofit software solutions to get inspired.
5. What are some of the best matching gift databases on the market?
Are you ready to find the right matching gift database for your nonprofit? Check out our favorite matching gift databases and choose the right one for your organization.
Double the Donation — For Small-to-Midsized Nonprofits
Double the Donation offers a best-fit matching gift solution for small-to-midsized nonprofits that earn under $10 million each year in revenue.
With this software, your organization can create customized donation pages and incorporate their database plugin directly on your website and online giving forms.
Double the Donation updates their database regularly, so you’ll never miss a beat when it comes to which companies match gifts and the details of their giving programs.
360MatchPro — For Large Nonprofits
360MatchPro is Double the Donation’s matching gift solution for large nonprofit organizations that bring in over $10 million every year.
When your nonprofit uses 360MatchPro, they’ll help drive your matches to completion by tracking donors at every step of the gift matching process. Just like Double the Donation, 360MatchPro seamlessly integrates with your nonprofit’s website, so your online visitors never miss a beat.
360MatchPro offers nonprofits complete automation of the matching gift process, so your team can focus on other fundraising efforts while donations are effortlessly doubled.
- 43 Fundraising Ideas for Cancer Treatment and Awareness. Your nonprofit can use corporate matching gift programs as another way to boost your fundraising for cancer awareness. Learn more cancer fundraising ideas with our helpful list!
- 7 Incredible GoFundMe Alternatives. Like capital campaigns, your nonprofit can use matching gifts to get you closer to your next crowdfunding campaign’s goal. Looking to discover more about holding a successful crowdfunder? Check out or list of the best GoFundMe alternatives!
- Capital Campaigns | How to Set and Exceed Your Goals. Matching gifts can be incorporated into any kind of fundraising campaign, including capital campaigns. Learn more fundraising tips for capital campaign success over at Averill Fundraising Solutions!