This post is from Rallybound partner Double the Donation, which “provides technology and tools to nonprofits looking to increase revenue through matching gifts.”
Matching gifts are an often overlooked source of nonprofit fundraising. While it’s true that individual contributions make up about three-fourths of all charitable giving, matching gifts have the potential to double the contributions of donors who work for companies with matching gift programs.
How do matching gifts work?
The matching gift process is primarily driven by donors and their employers, but it’s still crucial for nonprofits to understand how they work. It usually goes something like this:
- A donor makes a contribution to a nonprofit organization.
- The donor submits a matching gift request to their company’s HR department or corporate philanthropy division.
- The company reviews the donation and determines if the nonprofit is eligible.
- The nonprofit must then verify the initial donation made by the employee.
- If all of the requirements are met, the company cuts the nonprofit a check for the same amount as the employee’s donation.
Granted, not all of your donors are going to work for matching gift companies. And even those that do will likely not submit matching gift requests for every single donation that they make to your organization. But here’s the thing: between $6 and $10 billion in matching gift revenue goes unclaimed every year. Even if your organization gets a tiny slice of that giving pie, you still have the potential to bring in extra revenue.
Matching gift requirements, restrictions, and deadlines
Each company requires a different amount of information from the employee/donor and the nonprofit before funds are released. At the very minimum, the company will ask for verification that the donation was made (provided by the nonprofit) and the tax ID number or EIN number (provided by the employee/donor). Additionally, some companies will only match donations made by certain types of employees. Employers have different restrictions on part-time, full-time, and retired employees. Some matching gift programs even outline the stipulations for charitable donations made by spouses!
Finally, the deadlines for matching gift submissions vary from company to company. Some require employees to submit paperwork within 3 months, while others will extend the deadline to a year or more. These companies require employees to submit requests by a set date, usually January 31 of the year following the donation. It’s important to keep these matching gift requirements, restrictions, and deadlines in mind. They will help you hone your marketing efforts and target the right supporters.
How to promote matching gifts
Your nonprofit should be letting your donors know about the opportunities that matching gifts present. Remember that unclaimed $6 to $10 billion we mentioned earlier? The main reason that those funds don’t go to nonprofits is because donors just don’t know about them.
As you likely know, supporters are most engaged during the donation process. Supporters are clearly invested in giving your organization a contribution so this is the best time to mention and ask for a matching donation. Other ways to ask for donations include on your “Ways to Give” page, a dedicated matching donation page, or included in emails, social media and other marketing outreach to supporters. Check out all of the ways that Double the Donation, which can be integrated into your RallyBound fundraising solution, can be displayed to your website visitors.
Image: Double the Donation