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How Corporate Matching Gift Programs Double the Impact

Does your team have a strategy in place for maximizing corporate matching gifts? If not, you’re likely missing out on a ton of revenue available to nonprofits like yours. When you make a point to pursue this funding source, however, you can do a lot to increase your organization’s overall impact.

In partnership with Double the Donation, this guide will help walk you through the process with a comprehensive overview of the vast benefits that matching gift opportunities can provide.

Ready to learn more about employee donation-matching and the widespread value of this key corporate giving opportunity?

Let’s dive in with the basics!

What Are Corporate Matching Gifts?


Matching gifts are a specific type of corporate philanthropy initiative offered by tens of thousands of companies across the globe.

Businesses that establish such matching gift programs essentially agree to match donations made by employees to qualifying nonprofit causes. This is most often done at a 1:1 (also known as “dollar-for-dollar”) rate. However, some employers set lower (i.e., .5:1) or higher (2:1, 3:1, or even 4:1) ratios.

In other words, let’s say an individual contributes to their favorite charitable organization ⁠— such as yours! After submitting their gift, the donor is prompted to determine their matching gift eligibility through their employer. From there, they complete a brief (typically online) submission process to request a corporate match on behalf of your organization. The company then reviews the match application to ensure it aligns with predetermined criteria. From there, the company makes its own matching donation to the nonprofit.

In the end, your organization receives two donations for the cost of soliciting one!

The Financial Impact of Doubling Donations

Matching gifts enable organizations to substantially increase their potential fundraising revenue by growing corporate and individual giving alike.

Let’s take a closer look at the monetary value of doubling donations.

Additional corporate revenue streams

When pursued with the right tips, tricks, and tools, eligible nonprofits have the ability to bring in thousands of dollars in eligible corporate matches—a portion of the $4 to $7 billion in matching gifts going unclaimed each year.

In fact, the average nonprofit can estimate upwards of 10% of their individual fundraising revenue qualifies for matching. This is true despite an average of approximately 1% of gifts actually being matched.

Corporate matches are generally the direct result of an individual donation (and subsequent match request). Corporate matching gifts may double, triple, or even quadruple the value of the initial contribution! By following up on eligible donations and driving more matches to completion, organizations can benefit from increasing corporate donation matches flowing into their cause.

But the benefits don’t end there when it comes to driving corporate funding. In fact, effective employee-matching strategies can also pave the way for impactful corporate partnerships in the long run. For example, this Double the Donation guide recommends identifying and pursuing sponsorship opportunities by targeting some of your organization’s top matching gift companies.

Elevated gift conversion rates

In addition to the obvious benefits of incoming corporate matches, lesser-known facts indicate that promoting matching gifts can drive increased individual giving, as well. In fact, matching gift research reports that 84% of donors are more likely to give charitably if they know the donation will be matched.

And that idea is backed up by the reality that simply mentioning matching gift opportunities in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in donation response rate. So not only does your organization receive additional funding through match revenue, but you’ll also benefit from more donations that may not have been made without the presence of matching programs.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say Johnny is passionate about your organization’s mission and has been following your efforts for a while. But he’s always been on the fence about contributing financially. After all, he doesn’t feel as if he’s able to give a substantial amount to the cause. So what’s the point? But when he learns about matching gift programs and determines that his employer matches individual gifts, he knows that his donation will go further. He is not limited by his own wallet. He decides to make the leap and become a donor!

Increased average donation amounts

The same donation-matching studies mentioned above report that, in addition to driving gift conversions, 1 in 3 donors are willing to make a larger donation if a match is offered. As a result, incorporating matching gifts in an organization’s fundraising strategy produces a 51% increase in average donation amount.

There can be a few reasons behind this finding. For one, an individual might determine that their employer has established a minimum matchable donation amount that their intended gift does not reach. In that case, they decide to up their initial donation amount to reach their company’s matching threshold! Alternatively, a donor may simply be inspired to give more due to the impending match offer and the amplified impact it represents.

Thus, organizations that strategically pursue matching gift opportunities ultimately benefit threefold (at least). Organizations will see increased conversion rates, growing donation sizes, and corporate matches that amplify initial giving.

Corporate Matching Gift Stakeholders: Who Really Benefits?

When it comes to understanding the impact of matching gifts, the financial impact is, of course, a key component. But that’s not all⁠ — and the organizations receiving the funding are not the only party who benefits from the programs.

Nonprofits

Nonprofits that strategically pursue corporate matching gifts see a ton of value-driven benefits. Beyond substantial increases in revenue highlighted above, advantages include ⁠— but are not limited to⁠—optimized donor relationships.

After all, most matching gift fundraising strategies include additional donor touchpoints post-transaction. These often focus on gift impact. They provide chances to re-engage supporters without asking them to reach back into their own pockets, display financial stewardship efforts, and acknowledge them for the steps they take to go above and beyond for your cause. And all the while, these unique messaging opportunities are also keeping your organization and its mission at the forefront of your donors’ minds for longer.

Donors

Speaking of nonprofit donors, this group loves to participate in corporate matching gift programs. They benefit greatly from knowing that their contributions are able to make twice the impact on a charitable cause that they obviously care about.

By participating in their employers’ corporate matching gift initiatives, donors feel more connected to their favorite nonprofit organizations than ever before. Not to mention, they love getting their employing companies involved with the causes, as well!

Corporations

Companies that offer employee matching gift initiatives can do so for a wide variety of reasons ⁠— from genuine altruism to tax benefits and more. In fact, Double the Donation’s research into the various benefits of corporate philanthropy participation on the companies offering these programs report that:

  • 77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies making the world a better place. In fact, over 66% would pay more to socially responsible businesses.
  • 71% of employees state that it’s very important to work at a company that partakes in philanthropy. Meanwhile, 54% of individuals who are proud of their company’s societal contributions report being fully engaged in their job. Also, engaging in socially valuable efforts reduces staff turnover by approximately 50%.

And when a company takes an employee-led approach to philanthropic engagement (such as matching team member donations to the causes they care about), the internal benefits are even greater!

Mission Recipients

The last key beneficiary of matching gift programs is often overlooked within discussions of donation-matching initiatives⁠ — and that’s your organization’s own mission recipients. After all, this critical segment benefits from your nonprofit and its cause. Therefore, it makes sense that the group would benefit even greater when your organization is equipped with additional funds.

For example, let’s say your organization runs a food pantry. You have a steady base of donors who give generously to support your cause. They donate money that go towards purchasing food supplies for your community.

However, your incoming donation revenue directly correlates to the number of community members you’re able to support. In this case, imagine that 100 donors provide enough funding to feed 1,000 individuals and families. Now, enter matching gift funding that empowers your team to feed over 2,000 families. Those impacted by your organization have essentially doubled!

Final Thoughts

Once you understand the opportunity presented by corporate donation matching, it’s time to establish or finetune your organization’s strategy regarding the programs.

Many nonprofit fundraisers cite limited staff and resources as a critical roadblock keeping them from matching gift success. However, automation represents the key to the future⁠and boosts matching gift revenue alongside it. By equipping your team with the right technology, you can simplify matching gifts for your nonprofit and your donors while maximizing the impact produced for everybody involved.

What you should do now

Below are three ways we can help you begin your journey to building more personalized fundraising with responsive technology.

See the Virtuous platform in action.  Schedule a call with our team for personalized answers and expert advice on transforming your nonprofit with donor management software.

Download our free Responsive Maturity Model and learn the 5 steps to more personalized donor experiences.

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