For most nonprofits, donor retention is always front of mind.
A strong donor retention strategy doesn’t just help power your fundraising campaigns. Knowing how you’ll keep contributors involved (and engaged) over time helps you develop meaningful relationships that can lead to ongoing support in a number of different areas.
Though there are myriad approaches for maintaining donor relationships, there’s one area you might have overlooked: matching gifts!
Through corporate matching gift programs, you can lock in additional donations while nurturing the relationships you already have with existing donors.
If matching gifts aren’t a part of your nonprofit’s fundraising or stewardship strategies, you might be wondering how they fit in. To help you out, let’s look at 3 specific ways that matching gifts can play a role in boosting donor retention rates:
- Matching gifts extend a donor’s impact.
- Matching gift promotion helps you keep in touch with donors.
- Matching gifts can open the door to other forms of corporate philanthropy.
Soon, you’ll be well on your way to extra contributions and enhanced retention. Keep reading to learn how!
Bonus! In this post, we’ll walk through how matching gifts can boost retention rates. But, if you’re not yet familiar with the specifics of how these corporate giving programs work, catch up by reading 360MatchPro’s thorough guide to matching gifts.
Through the act of making even a single donation, your supporters prove that they value your nonprofit’s cause and want to have an impact on the community you’re serving.
Your donors want to do as much as they can for your organization, but it’s your responsibility to show them how!
That’s where matching gifts come in. Through educating your donors on these game-changing corporate giving programs, you provide another way for them to contribute to your cause with almost no extra effort required on their end.
Here are a few expert tips for showing donors what they can do with the power of matching gifts:
- Take advantage of your donation page. Donors in the giving process are at their peak engagement level, so don’t let them complete a transaction without learning about matching gifts! Include a search tool or link to your matching gift page on your donation form to ensure supporters know how to double their gift before they even finish giving.
- Create a visually engaging matching gifts page. Your website is a great opportunity to showcase your donors’ potential impact using visual elements. Try adding a high-quality photo or video to your matching gifts page to display exactly what the extra contribution can supply for your cause.
- Use matching gifts as an incentive to give more. Since most matching gift programs have a set minimum donation amount, use that number as a selling point to ask a donor to increase their gift. For example, if a company’s minimum match amount is $50, and a donor has only given $40, an extra $10 can actually take their contribution up to $100!
- Provide matching gift educational materials. Aside from your matching gift page or donation page, you should always have resources available for donors to learn everything they can about corporate giving. Consider offering downloadable PDF materials so supporters can share the information with their coworkers.
To make it even easier to promote matching gifts during the donation experience and all across your website, try integrating a matching gift database search tool like the National Kidney Foundation does on their dedicated matching gifts page:
In addition to being effective for raising funds, matching gifts can help reinforce a sense of trust with your donors.
Almost all nonprofit supporters want to know that their gifts are going as far as possible, and matching gift programs are one of the best ways to maximize their impact and make the most of your available resources.
Bottom line: Matching gift programs can extend the power of a donor’s initial contribution and inspire them to continue giving in the future. Take the lead on showing them how vital this fundraising method is, and they’re sure to jump on board.
Effective communication is at the core of donor retention. After all, how can you possibly keep donors involved with your organization if you don’t have any contact with them?
Your matching gift promotion strategy can help you connect with donors and stay at the front of their mind all throughout the year, even when you’re not directly asking for another gift.
Of course, you can (and should) be sending dedicated matching gift informational emails or direct mailings often. But you don’t have to map out an entirely new communications strategy in order to promote matching gift programs; you can fit these fundraising opportunities into your existing communications!
Let’s look at a few types of communications that pair well with matching gift promotions:
- Donation confirmation emails. After a supporter has made their gift, you should always follow up to let them know you’ve received it. In that same email, include a link to more information on how their contribution can go twice as far, as well as an embedded search tool so they can find out about their specific employer’s giving programs.
- Thank-you emails or direct mailings. Separate from a confirmation message, a thank-you note can go a long way in terms of stewardship. Be careful not to ask for more gifts directly within your thank-yous, but feel free to include a link to your corporate giving page or, in a direct mail note, a brief note about matching gift programs.
- Email newsletters. Your newsletters are one of the easiest ways to keep donors in the know with your campaign progress, fundraising updates, and more. Try theming one of your newsletters to be all about different forms of corporate giving, or incorporate different matching gift information into a series of newsletters.
You don’t have to make your matching gift emails complicated. In fact, you should focus on keeping your content concise and to-the-point. Don’t be afraid to include an eye-catching graphic to draw your email recipients in, too!
For inspiration, check out how the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation used their acknowledgment email to educate donors on the matching gift process without overwhelming the reader:
A brightly colored image links out to their matching gift page, which includes Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool. They even remind donors to check for volunteer grant program eligibility too, encouraging supporters to get involved with corporate giving programs in as many ways as they can.
Bottom line: By communicating regularly with donors to remind them about matching gifts and other corporate philanthropy programs, you can easily stay at the front of their minds and remind them how dedicated you are to your cause.
Matching gifts are one of the most popular forms of corporate giving—but they’re not the only corporate philanthropy program your organization can make use of!
Once you’ve introduced your supporters to the concept of matching gifts, try expanding your fundraising strategy to include other corporate giving programs.
There are plenty of corporate philanthropy options available to try and all of them are worth integrating into your fundraising plan.
However, you can decide which corporate giving program connects most naturally with your supporter base by analyzing what fundraising tactics you’re already using (and succeeding with). For example:
- If you plan fundraising events, search for corporate sponsors. Scan your donor database for supporters who own a local business or hold top-level positions at their companies. You might be surprised how willing your constituents are to help out by donating a venue space, food, or other necessary event resources.
- If you rely on volunteers, promote volunteer grants. Similar to matching gifts, volunteer grant programs allow companies make donations to nonprofits when employees log volunteer hours. Some employees even donate more to large groups of volunteers through team grants.
- If you’re hosting a peer-to-peer fundraiser, try fundraising matches. Some employers will match the amount of money their employees raise for peer-to-peer fundraising events like walkathons. See if you have a number of donors who work for one of these companies, and encourage them to set up peer-to-peer fundraising pages.
The more ways you engage your supporters through corporate giving programs, the more chances you have to bring invaluable corporate donations.
Plus, by promoting these programs regularly, you’ll hopefully encourage donors to get involved in new ways that they might not have otherwise considered.
For instance, if a donor has already made a financial contribution that has been matched by their employer, they might be excited to find out that they can have their volunteer time matched, too. Then, they’ll extend their involvement from being a one-time donor to becoming a volunteer, improving the likelihood they’ll stay involved with your nonprofit long-term.
Bottom line: When you provide and promote a variety of corporate giving opportunities to your donors, you increase the odds that they’ll find an engaging style that works for them. And you’ll further increase your fundraising dollars through corporate philanthropy!
Matching gifts can be the perfect gateway to increased revenue, more intentional engagement and communication, and long-term support from your constituents.
With the right strategy in place, you can use corporate giving to raise funds for your cause while nurturing the donor relationships you need to continue your mission.
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.