Matching Gift – Tools & Tips

How to Create a Matching Gift Strategy

A matching gift program is an opportunity for an organization to receive twice as many contributions. It’s why a well-thought-out strategy will ensure donors are aware of the program and how their gift will go twice as far. Promoting matching gifts by utilizing direct mail, email, and social media is highly impactful. Matching Gifts – Tools & Tips will provide strategies that will increase revenue for your organization.

What are matching gifts?

Matching gifts are specified funds from a corporation, foundation, or major giver which are matched, based upon the amount of new funds raised, within a defined time-frame.

For example, XYZ Foundation offers your organization a $75,000 grant providing you raise $75,000 in new dollars by May 15th.

The result, the potential to double or in some instances, even triple the initial amount donated.

What every matching gift program must convey

Every matching gift fundraising appeal should convey three important points. A deadline, a sense of urgency, and a statement saying that the gift will go twice as far.

Donors will be motivated by thinking, “If I give now, I’ll be giving double or triple the amount. If I wait past the deadline, my gift will only be worth half or a third of what it could be.”

Provide information about the matching gift opportunity, in addition, show the donor what their donation will accomplish. Done correctly, a matching gift program provides as great incentive to increase the amount of donations your organization receives.

Matching gift fundraising strategies

Inspire donors with effective fundraising strategies incorporating direct mail, email, and, social media.

Direct mail for matching gifts

A direct mail appeal is the most effective way to fundraise for a matching gift. Create a special appeal entirely around this opportunity. Invite the donor to be a part of something special.

Include letter copy informing the donor about where the matching gift came from and what it will accomplish. Provide a deadline letting the donor know the opportunity for their gift to be matched two for one is only for a limited time. Emphasize how the donation will go twice as far, providing incentive for them to make a larger impact than they would have otherwise. Lending a sense of urgency to the appeal, especially on the outer envelope, encourages them to donate now.

Email for matching gifts

An email series is a cost-effective way to fundraise. A series of six or more emails will get the message out without being too intrusive. Convey the three important points discussed above: Deadline, sense of urgency, and a statement emphasizing the gift will go twice as far. When you send your second or third email out, omit those donors who gave to prior email appeals in the series. Online fundraising tools & tips is an additional resource to assist you with email fundraising campaigns.

Social Media for matching gifts

Utilizing Twitter and Facebook is a quick and cost-effective way to reach those donors who prefer to donate online. Plan and schedule posts in advance. Encourage retweets and shares. It allows donors to easily get information about the program in front of new donors. Read How to Create Effective Social Media Campaigns for more tools & tips.

Bonus: Include matching gift information in a newsletter

If you have a newsletter going out around the same time as the matching gift, by all means, include a page providing important information about the program. Include a story about a need your organization has and how the donor’s gift will impact that need. Utilize engaging photos and captions. Include a deadline, a sense of urgency and copy about how their donation will go twice as far. Don’t forget to include a reply envelope for the donor’s gift.

TIP: Don’t use buck slips to promote matching gifts

I don’t recommend utilizing a buck slip to promote matching gifts. It’s just not an effective way to motivate donors to give. The main problem with buck slips is they feel like an afterthought. A matching gift is a significant opportunity that warrants serious attention. If you don’t treat it as a special opportunity, your donors won’t either.

Matching gift programs are unique opportunities for any organization to raise much-needed funds. Take the time to fundraise effectively by using these strategies. They will help increase donations and create awareness for your cause.

If you need help with your matching gift program, Write Choice Marketing can create a cost-effective strategy that incorporates results-oriented fundraising efforts. Contact us today.

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