The ins-and-outs of launching matching gifts program

A matching gifts program can be a big hit for nonprofits and higher education institutions.

If you’re not familiar with them, these typically involve a corporate sponsor offering to donate the same amount as your contributors do during a given time frame.

Often, this becomes a win for everybody involved. Your organization can run an exciting campaign that generates additional revenue. A corporate partner receives great publicity in return for their support. And your donors can double the impact they would otherwise have with a gift.

Here, we look at the three keys to executing a successful matching gift program:

Identifying the right matching gifts partner

The biggest obstacle to launching a matching gifts program is, of course, finding the right corporate supporter to participate. Beyond pure interest, two factors will make for a perfect fit. For one, it should be easy for your partner to reach a large audience to help raise awareness with potential donors. For this reason, consumer-focused companies with large mailing lists are often better partners than business-to-business organizations. However, B2B companies with large numbers of employees can have a big reach, too.

Second, for the business to have real interest in participating, they will need to not only be passionate about your cause but also share a target market with your supporters. That will help make the awareness they generate more value to the business.

Finding the right partners can be a long-term task. Effectively tracking the process with different potential fits through Causeview’s “Opportunity” object can help make it simple and smooth.

Promoting the campaign to supporters

Once you have setup your matching gift program with a partner, it’s time to get the word out to potential donors. These initiatives can interest two sets of donor prospects, and each should be appealed to differently.

For your existing supporters, the matching gift campaign can be presented as a fantastic opportunity to make a gift they may have been considering. If they haven’t given in a while, the chance to have their gift doubled makes it the perfect timing. If they have donated recently, they can continue to have a big impact without requiring another large contribution.

Ideally, the program will also include reaching your corporate partner’s audience, which could include their staff, customers, or wider mailing list. These individuals may or may not be aware of your cause. Offering some information about who you are, who you benefit, and the impact they can make will be crucial before asking for a donation.

Tracking and attributing the gifts

Data management is crucial for running a successful matching gift campaign. Your corporate partner will require detailed records to ensure that they are matching the right gifts. It will also help your organization to track the gifts that were part of the campaign to be able to determine its overall impact.

In addition to giving you the tools to process each gift – whether online, offline, recurring or by a pledge – Causeview makes it easy to link a donation to the matching organization. This ensures that you’ll be able to accurately report back to your partner and maintain accurate records for financial tracking and internal analysis.

Looking to launch your matching gifts program? Causeview can help!

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