Companies who offer matching gift programs donate the same amount of money to the charities that their employees do. Typically, employees must submit paperwork to their employers to initiate the process. Companies may also specify what percentage of their employees’ donations they will match or which employees are eligible.
Understanding Matching Gift Software
What are the benefits of matching gift software?
Lack of awareness is an obstacle for many nonprofits hoping to benefit from corporate matching gift programs.
Employees can’t participate in corporate charitable giving programs they know nothing about, even if they care about charitable causes and want to support them.
Matching gift software goes a long way toward filling the knowledge gap! Through software, it’s easy for employees to find information about their employers’ programs.
Matching gift programs can seem complicated to participate in, but luckily there are ways to simplify the process.
Don’t let donors get bogged down in a maze of paperwork — some may decide to not follow through instead of untangling the finer details!
Software can help by simplifying the procedural elements. Automated online forms and guidelines lead employees through the submission process, leaving no gifts unclaimed.
Your donor database is one of the most important resources you have, so why not use it to its full potential?
Employment information is an important detail to include in your CRM because it allows you to reach out to doors eligible for matching gifts or other corporate giving programs.
Matching gift software can help keep you and your donors on top of their matching gifts. Some can even automate the process for you.
What is the best option for matching gift software?
Double the Donation
Double the Donation is arguably the best option for nonprofits to get the word out about matching gift programs to eligible employees.
This company aims to simplify the matching gift process for nonprofits and their donors from start to finish. Their innovative product, a complete automation platform called 360MatchPro, streamlines the matching gift process.
From collecting donor employment information to identifying matching gift opportunities to triggering personalized email follow-ups and tracking donors’ submissions, Double the Donation makes matching gifts as easy as can be for everyone involved.
Highly customizable and automated, 360MatchPro takes the hardest elements of matching gift programs out of nonprofits’ hands, allowing them to focus on other initiatives that need their time and resources.
What features should you look for in matching gift software?
You shouldn’t just consider the merits of the matching gift software on its own.
Finding a software that integrates well with your website and current solutions will make things easier for you later on.
Identify where you want to incorporate matching gift software and make sure the product you choose will allow seamless integration in those areas.
Your nonprofit has a mission, vision, and procedure that are all its own.
A matching gift software should reflect your individuality in its design and format.
Plus, donors are more likely to trust and follow through with a seamless donation process — think of a form branded the same way as the main website that works the same way as the other forms on the website.
You shouldn’t have to dedicate your time and energy to troubleshooting problems with your software. You’ve got more important things to worry about!
Look for a matching gift software that offers reliable online and phone support if something goes wrong.
Any amount of time your software isn’t running is time your donors can’t match their gifts, which means you lose out on that revenue for your cause.
What should you consider before purchasing matching gift software?
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Maximizing Your Matching Gift Software
How can you incorporate matching gifts into your fundraising campaign?
While you’ve got everyone together, why not use the occasion to educate your supporters about matching gifts?
You could hand out informative flyers or even show a demonstration of your software at work on the big screen.
In-person information sessions are also great opportunities to clear up any confusion your donors may have about matching gifts. Keep this in mind while planning your event.
Chances are you’re already sharing updates about your fundraising efforts online with your donors.
Emails and social media posts about your current fundraiser are great avenues to share information about matching gift programs, especially if your donors already receive online communication from you.
Including direct links to matching gift information or plugins in your communications makes it easier for donors.
One of the most effective ways to elicit matching gifts is by asking those who have already donated to you.
Donors who see the page have already made a contribution to your current fundraising efforts, so you know they care about your cause.
You can incorporate matching gift information in your thank-you messages to show that you appreciate your supporter’s donation as well as future (doubled!) gifts they’ll give.
How can you market matching gifts to your donors?
One of the most effective places on your website to include information about matching gifts is the page dedicated to online giving.
By presenting information where anyone from a casual visitor to a loyal supporter can see it, you ensure that everyone who decides to donate has the facts they need to proceed with the matching gift process.
An easy way to integrate matching gift information is to find software with a plugin you can code directly into your website. This seamless integration makes matching gifts a natural part of the donation process.
Social media is also a great way to spread the message about matching gifts. Consider including a link to your donation page in the descriptions or bios of your profiles. You can (and should!) also schedule regular posts reminding your followers about matching gifts as you remind them about your current campaigns to combat the lack of awareness challenge and drum up doubled donations for your current fundraiser.
Here’s a useful exercise: Break up your donation process into steps from beginning to end. Now brainstorm ways in which you could encourage matching gifts in each of those steps. Links, copy and paste, and plugins can make including this information seem natural.
Don’t limit your brainstorming to your online donation forms, though. If you accept direct mail or phone giving, you can also incorporate the matching gift process into those channels. Include flyers with paper donation forms, and ensure that whoever answers the phone is knowledgeable about matching gift programs.
If a donor is already thinking about donations (as they surely are during the process), it’s the perfect time to emphasize the good that matching gifts can do. Don’t miss opportunities to make it easy for them!
If a donor didn’t engage with your matching gift information during their donation, that doesn’t mean they won’t. It’s important to include matching gift information in the confirmation message you send them, either electronically or otherwise. In your message, after thanking them for their donation, ask your donors if they submitted matching gift paperwork.
Make sure to tell them that there are limits on how long companies will allow them to wait to submit those forms after they’ve made a donation, and point them to a resource with that information.
In future acknowledgement emails or letters after your campaign ends, make it a habit to include information about how your supporters can make their donation go twice as far next time.
Who are the top matching gift companies?
With all full-time, part-time, and retired employees (including spouses of retirees) eligible for matching gifts, General Electric matches all donations between $25 and $25,000 on a 1:1 ratio.
General Electric will match gifts made to almost all 501(c)(3) organizations. Employees should submit paperwork online before the first April 15 after the date the donation was made.
Full-time, part-time, and retired employees of Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy can have gifts between $25 and $10,000 matched on a 1:1 ratio. Most nonprofits are eligible for matched gifts, and employees must register their requests online within 120 days of donation.
It’s worth noting that Gap spreads its match limit out throughout the year, so some employees may have to wait a month or two before their gift can be matched.
Microsoft will match gifts to a wide range of nonprofits if employees submit online paperwork up to a year after their donation.
Full-time and part-time employees are eligible to have their gifts matched on a 1:1 ratio for amounts between $1 and $15,000.
For those with more time than money to give, Microsoft also offers volunteer grants of $25 per hour.
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Additional Matching Gift Software Resources
Want to know more about how matching gifts work before buying software?
Head on over to our ultimate guide to understanding, marketing, and integrating matching gifts into your fundraising campaigns.
Can’t get enough software guides?
Check out our guide to the best software providers for the nonprofit sector this year (so far!), including matching gift software.
On the lookout for software with a database of the most charitable companies near you?
We’ve got a list of more than 90 companies proud to offer corporate philanthropy programs!
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