Eighty-four percent of donors are more likely to give if their gift will be matched, and one in three say they’d make a larger gift if they knew it would be matched. Matching campaigns are a great way to motivate your supporters. By knowing their donation will be doubled, supporters can feel like they’re making an even bigger impact toward your mission.
However, $4 to $7 billion in matching funds are estimated to remain unclaimed each year. To ensure the success of your campaign and be able to leverage the full value of your match, your nonprofit needs to clearly and creatively communicate the opportunity to your audience. Below, we share four tips for attracting donors to your campaign to boost matching gifts and examples of nonprofits putting them into action.
4 Tips to Boost Matching Gift Revenue
1. Crowdsource Your Matching Fund
Traditionally, nonprofits rely on a foundation, business, or other key partner to contribute the money for a match. Securing these large matching funds requires significant relationship building, reporting, and time from your development team. If your nonprofit doesn’t have the capacity to cultivate that type of partnership, consider crowdsourcing your matching fund.
You can create a campaign page where supporters can donate toward a matching fund to be used during a future campaign. While this crowdfunding effort is in support of a future matching campaign, you can use the same type of marketing to encourage participation, letting donors know that their $10 contribution, for example, will ultimately have $20 of impact for your nonprofit.
Charity Navigator created a campaign page to raise $75,000 for a matching fund. Everything raised was put up as a self-generated match for any future campaigns to drive donations.
The campaign page includes a short video to explain the initiative and uses language targeted toward people who want to make informed, impactful philanthropic decisions. It also ensures supporters they’ll receive updates on how their contributions are used for future campaigns and the overall performance of those fundraising efforts.
2. Market Your Match on Your Campaign Page
When supporters visit your campaign page, they should be able to quickly learn about your matching opportunity. Use your campaign page to describe your partnership with your match partner and the impact someone’s donation will make towards your goal. You’ll want to include information about any time limitations on the match and how large it is. Also consider creative ways to confirm donations have been matched as supporters make their gifts.
First Descents, a nonprofit focused on the healing aspects of time spent in nature, teamed up with The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation and VF Foundation for a campaign called Hero Recharge. The effort raised money to provide outdoor adventure programs to healthcare professionals working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the initiative, VF Foundation provided a matching gift for donations up to $50,000.
The initiative’s campaign page describes the impact of the match clearly, letting supporters know that every donation will be matched dollar for dollar beginning June 18, 2020, for the first $50,000. In the “Campaign Activity” section of the page, each report of a donation is followed by the match so supporters can see the impact of the match in real time.
3. Keep Your Message Short and Sweet
Let your supporters know they can always follow up with you for more information about your matching campaign, but aim to keep your messaging about it straightforward on the donation form. Donors can have a short attention span with many distractions around, so you want to capture their interest quickly with the matching opportunity.
Blood:Water keeps the donation form for its $50,000 matching campaign simple. It begins with one sentence that describes the nonprofit’s mission, then one sentence in bold font that introduces the match amount and how it will help meet that mission, and then a final sentence asking for the donation with a reminder that it will be matched.
Within two lines, a donor knows their gift will be matched, and within just three sentences, they are introduced to an easy-to-use donation form to submit their gift. This streamlined campaign page encourages donors to give at that moment rather than a later date after sifting through additional information.
4. Leverage Marketing Emails to Highlight Your Match
Email marketing is an excellent way to communicate your match opportunity to your supporters and drive traffic to your campaign page. You can use the length of an email to explain how your matching fund works in more depth, include testimonials that showcase your impact, and tap into the emotional hooks of your mission.
Your marketing emails are a chance to demonstrate to your supporters why they should click on the link to your donation form. Once they have, make sure that page is built for a quick checkout process.
To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) used email marketing to promote a $10,000 matching campaign it ran in partnership with Newport Academy.
The email has an eye-catching graphic at the top to draw the reader in and highlight the dollar-for-dollar match. It then moves into quotes from real people who have benefitted from TWLOHA’s work in the past to demonstrate the nonprofit’s impact on people’s lives. Next, it introduces the match with more specifics on how many services the campaign will allow them to provide and moves the reader toward a bright orange “Double Your Donation Now” button.
With the storytelling aspect of the campaign communicated primarily through the email, the donation form can be streamlined for fast checkout.
Get Creative to Boost Matching Gift Revenue for Your Next Campaign
Matching gifts provide an opportunity for your nonprofit to motivate supporters to donate and double the impact you’re able to have. To boost the impact of a match, use creative and clear messaging to draw in donors.