3 Matching Gift Pain Points (and How to Fix Them)

Adam Weinger

Adam Weinger

President - Double the Donation

You’ve probably heard of employer matching gifts and may even have a strategy to capture this form of corporate philanthropy. Even with a matching gift strategy in motion, however, your organization is likely not living up to its potential in matching gift revenue. In fact, there is around $4-7 billion in matching gifts that go unclaimed every year. So why is your organization missing out on these funds? 

Despite being a simple source of support, employer matching gifts often usher in pain points that organizations don’t address. After extensive research, we’ve identified three common pain points:

  1. Donors don’t know about matching gift programs
  2. Donors don’t know how to submit matching gift requests
  3. Donors are not aware of their matching gift guidelines

You probably noticed a trend: these pain points focus on donor action, which is why they can feel difficult for your organization to address. Luckily we’ve compiled a list of why these pain points occur and the best methods to alleviate them. Let’s jump in!

Pain Point #1: Donors don’t know about matching gift programs

The first and most pressing pain point: donors don’t know about matching gift programs.

In fact, 78% of match-eligible donors have no idea their company offers one.

This problem is particularly painful because donor action is a key component in driving matching gift revenue. To clarify, let’s review the matching gift process: 

Step 1: Donors make a gift.
Step 2: If eligible, the donor submits a matching gift request to their employer. 
Step 3: Your organization receives a doubled or sometimes even tripled donation.

This process seems simple, but without step number 2, it cannot be completed and your organization will not receive matching gift funds. Luckily, alleviating this pain point can be achieved with two simple steps: first, educate your donors about matching gift programs, and then tell them how to submit a matching gift request! 

For this pain point, let’s focus on the first step: educating your donors. Marketing matching gifts is easy considering it allows donors to contribute to your organization without reaching back into their wallets. Additionally, mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase  in the average donation amount. This means that just educating donors about matching gift programs can actually lead to greater and more frequent contributions.

Using an automated solution like the 360MatchPro and DonorDrive integration, you can actually send matching gift outreach to all donors with just a couple of clicks. 360MatchPro provides highly configurable email streams that provide donors with matching gift information along with a direct link to their matching gift submission form - making it easier than ever for them to learn about their own matching gift program and submit their requests.


If you don’t use 360MatchPro, you can easily tie matching gift outreach into your current communication strategies. Simply include matching gift information in your next marketing push, and donors could potentially double their donations! These educational emails should also include educating donors to submit their matching gift requests, which we will cover in Pain Point #2.

It’s pretty clear why educating your donors about matching gifts is a no-brainer - it allows them to contribute more to your organization and can even prompt them to make higher base donations to increase their impact!

Pain Point #2:  Donors don’t know how to submit matching gift requests

When donors don’t know how to submit matching gifts - and nonprofits aren’t telling them - nonprofits can't expect to reap the benefits. As a fundraising extraordinaire, you know matching gift next steps can be tricky. Each program submission process is different, and with thousands of matching gift programs out there, it can be hard to map donors to the correct submission form. So how can you help donors navigate this process?

The easiest solution is to utilize a matching gift database that automates this process for you. Using a tool like 360MatchPro, you can direct donors to search for the name of their employer, and then map them directly to their matching gift submission form - easy peasy!

With the DonorDrive and 360MatchPro solution, you can actually provide donors with their personalized matching gift form directly from the donation confirmation screen. That means a donor could make a contribution on your DonorDrive page, and then use the 360MatchPro tool to access their exact matching gift submission form right after their donation was submitted. 

This call to action targets donors while they are in the giving mindset and still feeling connected and committed to your organization - making it more likely for them to fill out their submission form and complete the request. This process coupled with the customizable automated outreach provides multiple avenues for your donors to learn about matching gift programs and easily submit their specific submission form. 

Without a matching gift database, you can still work to map donors to their correct forms. Research common matching gift companies and learn about their submission process so that you can engage donors with this data and provide easy steps to submit matching gift requests for your organization! 

By helping donors navigate the matching gift submission process, your organization can double or sometimes even triple match-eligible donations.

Pain Point #3: Donors are unaware of their matching gift guidelines.

Every matching gift program has its own matching gift guidelines and unique components that determine which donors qualify to submit a request. These include: 

  • Minimums and maximums matched 
    Sometimes a donation is too high or low to qualify for a matched gift.
  • Matching gift ratio 
    Most companies offer a 1:1 match, but some do 2:1 or even 3:1!
  • Eligible employees 
    Sometimes retired employees or even spouses of employees can qualify for a matching gift.
  • Submission deadline
    Typically donors have to submit a request within a year of their donation, but that can vary by program.

Once you understand the matching gift basics, you can turn your pain points into powerful guides for your matching gifts strategy and become the ultimate matching gift fundraiser!

About 360MatchPro:  Automate your matching gift fundraising with the industry-leading solution from Double the Donation. The 360MatchPro platform provides nonprofits with tools to identify match-eligible donors, drive matches to completion, and gain actionable insights. 360MatchPro integrates directly into donation forms, CRMs, social fundraising software, and other nonprofit technology solutions to capture employment information and follow up appropriately with donors about matching gifts. To learn more visit https://360matchpro.com/demo-request/


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