Don’t Go Empty Handed, Tap Into Corporate Matching Gift Efforts

Going after money is hard work. You’ve got to be willing to go hat in hand to ask for funding, and you’ve got to be able to show why your organization – as opposed to somebody else’s – deserves to be funded.  

That means innovation, and tapping into the latest trends, will get you ahead of the game. Grant seekers need to tap into a new growing trend, corporate matching gift programs. These are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees. You can double the impact of your donation by utilizing the matching gift programs that are in place at thousands of employers. The standard match is dollar for dollar up to a set limit that normally ranges between $2,000-$10,000 per employee each year.

Volunteer grant programs, also known as “Dollars for Doers” programs, are charitable giving programs setup by corporations in which the company provides a monetary donation to eligible nonprofits as a way to recognize employees who volunteer.

Here are 10 Steps to a better matching gift program

  1. Know which of your donors submitted matching gifts in the past. There is a good chance they still work at the same company. Design a special campaign or email for those donors as their donations can likely go twice as far.
  2. Feature matching gifts across your website and e-solications. Check and see if matching gift information is displayed prominently on your website? Send out a dedicated matching gift email to supporters.
  3. Make it a team effort. Clearly define staff roles and responsibilities for matching gift solicitation and fulfillment processes. Who is responsible for modifying the website?
  4. Who verifies the matching gift requests? Who sends matching gift emails to donors?
    Make sure your internal processes are in order. There’s nothing worse than losing out on free funding!
  5. Feature matching gifts in the donation process. This can either be on the donation form or confirmation screen. If you prompt eligible donors at the appropriate time they’ll submit their matching gift forms.
  6. Feature matching gifts in your offline marketing. This could be social media, a paragraph in thank you letters, a paper insert with a link to your matching gift page, or a matching gift postcard.
  7. Major gifts represent huge matching gift potential. Make sure your major gift officers are familiar with matching gift programs.
  8. Identify your organization’s matching gift potential. Review your organization’s historical matching gift figures and establish annual goals. Track them. It’s impossible to know how you’re doing without reporting. You can’t value what you can’t measure.
  9. Incorporate a matching gift search tool throughout your digital fundraising. This allows donors to instantly determine if they’re eligible

And finally, say “thanks” to your matching gift donors! The additional funds wouldn’t be possible without them spending five minutes to make the request. Always keep in mind that while your organization may have lofty goals or the best interests of the public in mind, it still remains a business. It must continue to serve its clients, donors, and stakeholders or die.


About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
This entry was posted in Tips. Bookmark the permalink.