Supercharge Donations with Matching Gifts

Nonprofit fundraising initiatives often focus heavily on individual givers or cater to a core group of repeat givers when formulating campaigns. However, setting aside time to specifically target donors who will match additional funds can be well worth the time and effort. Establishing a diverse and active matching donor list will improve individual giving as well. The process of establishing a matching donor list can seem intimidating, but in reality, much of the work has already been done.

Locate and Recruit Matching Donors
One big mistake that nonprofits make is targeting only large corporate donors for their matching program. While focusing on large donors can be tempting, time may be better spent targeting smaller companies and businesses. Many large corporations already have matching donor programs in place, so there is no reason to recreate the wheel. It takes only a few minutes to research company websites or sites like to find out the details of their matching program. After that, nonprofits simply have to advertise the established program so that employees and other qualified givers can take advantage of it.

The remainder of your time could be spent targeting slightly smaller companies who don’t currently offer a matching program. Start by developing a list of companies who are already active donors to the organization and solicit their help for a specific fundraising goal, such as #GivingTuesday. After contacting current donors, target local or regional businesses that you see are advertising in the community. Community-based banks are often wonderful resources of matching funds.

When soliciting matching gifts, keep in mind that smaller businesses often want more than just a mention on your website, so give them their moment of glory. You can accomplish this by offering challenge gifts. Simply announce, via Facebook, Twitter or even local media, that  a specific company will match every donation for the next two hours, or whatever time is appropriate.

Use #GivingTuesday to Establish a Matching Donor Program
Nonprofits can capitalize on the growing success of #GivingTuesday to help “sell” their matching donation requests. Remember that the benefits of a matching donor program are three-fold: The individual giver feels like they are getting a great deal, the corporate matching partner gets good PR and the nonprofit gets much-needed funds. Since a large part of the corporate incentive is gaining positive PR, #GivingTuesday is a perfect time to accomplish this. With this in mind, don’t just ask potential donors for matching donations. Instead, provide concrete numbers on the success of #GivingTuesday and the wide marketing venues that it reaches. Ensure that these donors know you see them as a partner and will do everything possible to help publicize their company during the specified giving event.

As with anything worth doing, it’s worth creating a plan and thinking through your strategy and tactics. A focused and well-implemented matching donor strategy can have a tremendous impact on your fundraising efforts. Seize the opportunity!