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How can matching gifts boost employee giving?

Matching gifts can help light a fire under an employee giving campaign.

Matching gifts are a way that many businesses boost employee morale. Companies promise to match any charitable donation that employees make within certain limits. The programs match a percentage of the gift (up to 100%) to a maximum cap per employee (say $500-$2,000). Typically, the bigger the company, the bigger the match.

Matching gifts sometimes sit around getting moldy.

Matching gifts seem like a great deal. Who doesn’t like to double their money? Unfortunately, employees do not always take advantage of the match. The primary reason is that they don’t know about it. Or maybe they heard about it once at a meeting and then promptly forgot.

Companies need to know about the gift being made in order match it. If the employee/donor forgets to fill out form 27A-3 and turn it in to the human resources department, that matching money just sits there getting moldy.

Light that match.

Since you’re the one that is receiving the money, it’s your responsibility to help employees make it happen. The big key here is building awareness. You have many options for how to do this.

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Mention “Check with your employer about matching gifts” on your communications. This is a pretty low-impact approach, but it will spark the minds of a few donors. You can put this reminder on newsletters, direct mail, website, and social media. The weakness of this approach is that it requires your donors to do something extra, which reduces the likelihood that they will follow through.

2. Help donors check for matching gifts.

You can provide a way to check if employers provide matching gifts on your website. Several different web vendors will provide forms that can be embedded into your donation page. Donors just type in their employer’s name and information on how to get their gift match shows up. This approach can work, but does pose a danger of making your donation page look too busy and confusing. Good design is important.

3. Do a company campaign.

The strongest way to cultivate these additional gifts is to partner with companies who will match gifts. Identify employers in your community do this kind of giving and have a significant number of employees. Reach out to them and pitch the idea of a fundraising campaign. If their human resources department gets excited about what you do, they will allow you to do a campaign with their employees. The company match is icing on the cake.

Learn more about doing an employee giving campaign.

Build awareness for the company

One thing to keep in mind is that companies give for a reason. They want to build their reputation in the community or improve workforce morale. Get creative about the way that you thank companies for their contributions. Make sure that they know how you’re spreading the word of their good works.

Your relationship with the company will continue as long as you’re doing something important and the partnership reflects positively on them. Supporting the public image of your sponsors is one of the main reasons that they will keep giving.


Looking for more articles about corporate giving? Try these:

Check out The Fundraiser’s Playbook for a full list of fundraising articles.


Would you like to learn more about raising money for Church and Ministry? Check out Letters From The Almoner, now available on Amazon.com.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com, via Creative Commons License, no rights reserved.
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