Imagine getting two donations, or more, for the effort of one ask. Corporate matching gift programs can take a single employee gift two, three, or even four times as far, but 78% of match-eligible donors have no idea their company offers a matching gift program. Only 7% of donors at these companies actually submit a matching gift request.
By automating this process, you’re not only securing additional revenue by eliminating work for the donor, you’re keeping the donor engaged with automated communications and freeing up time for your staff.
Matching gifts are a great opportunity to increase your organization’s impact, so why does the revenue source remain underused by nonprofits and donors year after year?
From the donor’s perspective, the most significant roadblock to matching gift success is simply lack of knowledge. This typically encompasses both unawareness of the programs to begin with and a lack of understanding when it comes to the participation process itself.
On the nonprofit’s side of things, one of the largest hindrances to optimal matching gift fundraising efforts is that the organization lacks the time and resources to devote to the strategy. Luckily, matching gift automation provides easy solutions that address each of the main concerns.
Dive into matching gift automation and the way it elevates an organization’s corporate fundraising initiatives in this guide from our partner Double the Donation. We’ll cover:
- What is matching gift fundraising automation?
- The matching gift automation process
- 3 benefits of automating matching gifts
What is matching gift fundraising automation?
Matching gift fundraising is the act of targeting employer matching gift program participation among a nonprofit’s donors. This strategy enables organizations to collect available corporate funding through donation-matching initiatives that otherwise tend to be left on the table. And by automating the matching gift process, fundraising organizations are able to do even more.
Matching gift fundraising automation involves the delegation of repetitive and often time-consuming tasks included in the matching gift fundraising process to smart technology systems. As a result, this decreases the amount of time and effort required of a nonprofit’s team.
Matching gift automation often incorporates procedures such as:
- Collection and screening of employment data
- Identification of matching gift eligible donations
- Communication of match-eligible gift opportunities to donors
- Providing donors with relevant program guidelines and forms
- Tracking and analysis of matching gift data metrics
When organizations automate matching gift efforts, they are able to raise more from the programs, scale up their fundraising, and save more time that can be allocated to additional mission-valuable needs. It’s one of the best investments a nonprofit can make.
The matching gift automation process
Are you ready to get started with matching gift automation and leverage the benefits for your mission? Here’s how the process typically works:
1. An organization equips its team with matching gift automation tools.
The first step in the matching gift automation process is ensuring your staff is equipped with the right matching gift software.
To simplify the process, DonorDrive integrates directly with the leading matching gift automation tool, 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. This integration enables nonprofit users to add matching gift functionality to their online donation forms, where the automated fundraising process truly begins.
2. A donor is asked to provide employment data during the giving process.
Knowing where your donors work is the most critical piece of data when it comes to increasing matching gift fundraising. For organizations automating the process, one of the best ways to collect this data effectively is to incorporate a matching gift search tool directly into your online giving form.
Donors are encouraged to provide their employment information in the auto-completing company search widget, which is then tracked and assigned to the donor’s record.
3. The donor is provided with company-specific matching program guidelines.
Once your organization, or more specifically your software, knows where your donors work, you can quickly scan donor employment data against companies with known matching gift programs. This will help you identify match-eligible donors with whom you can immediately share company-specific matching gift program information — even on the donation thank you page.
Employment information is automatically searched from within a comprehensive database containing tens of thousands of companies, including eligibility data points such as minimum and maximum donations matched, types of qualifying employees and nonprofits, and more.
Not to mention, most companies’ online matching gift request forms are available immediately.
4. A follow-up email is triggered soon after a donor gives to encourage matching gift participation.
Some donors will take steps to get their donations matched directly from your thank you page. But not all will. In order to re-engage these individuals, matching gift software automatically triggers personalized and actionable email communication soon after receiving a match-eligible gift.
These messaging efforts can easily be customized for your organization to maintain seamless branding with your logo, color scheme, and sending email address as well as be personalized to each recipient.
The triggered email streams are intended to remind donors of their likely matching gift eligibility status, provide direct links to their employers’ program guidelines, and encourage them to report back by clicking an embedded link once they’ve submitted their donation for employer matching.
Plus, donors who had not interacted with the company search tool within the online donation form are given another opportunity to do so within their email follow-up. These individuals are, once again, encouraged to select their employer, so your team can determine eligibility and trigger more personalized communications.
5. Matching gift software tracks donors and data through the matching process.
Matching gift automation software also provides detailed information about your donors, their eligibility statuses, common companies they work for, the steps they’re at in the process, your fundraising growth and improvement over time, and more. This enables your team to craft effective outreach strategies, more accurately forecast matching revenue, and locate areas with room for improvement.
The better you can track your success, the more effectively you can adjust your efforts to drive momentum in the future.
3 benefits of automating matching gifts
Matching gift automation has the potential to bring your organization’s fundraising strategy up several notches. Let’s discuss three of the most common and impactful advantages of automating matching gift fundraising:
1. Saving team time and energy
One of the most obvious benefits of matching gift fundraising automation is the amount of time and energy saved by an organization and its fundraising team. Tasks that, in the past, may have taken hours upon hours of a team member’s time, such as company research, manual communications, and follow-ups, are now conducted with just the click of a button.
This enables that team member to invest in other tasks that may bring additional value to the cause — from widening fundraising outreach to improving mission offerings.
2. Ensuring timely donor engagement efforts
The timing of matching gift outreach is essential. You don’t want to send your communications too soon after a donation is made and risk the message being discarded as a basic gift receipt. Yet, you do want to remind donors of matching gift opportunities while their original donation (and your cause) are still fresh on their minds.
For these reasons and more, matching gift research indicates matching gift follow-ups sent within 24 hours of the initial gift is the optimal timeline. In fact, the study reports that sending matching gift reminder emails within the first 24 hours of a donation results in a 53% open rate — 2-3 times higher than the email open rate at the average nonprofit.
However, it would be nearly impossible to ensure your organization stays on the agreed-upon engagement timeline with manual outreach. But, if you have matching gift automation functionality, it won’t be a problem at all.
3. Collecting more match revenue
When you automate matching gift fundraising, you ensure each donor receives matching gift information at the right time — all without the risk of anyone slipping through the cracks. That ultimately means increased donor engagement, higher levels of match-eligible gifts identified, and more matching donations driven to completion.
Not to mention, scheduling your automated follow-ups enables your team to devote additional time and effort to maximizing donor engagement. Your team will have more available resources to invest in above-and-beyond matching gift fundraising efforts at every level.
Partners who integrate, innovate
Double the Donation knows that two is better than one. It’s their entire ethos. So, an integration with DonorDrive is an obvious development to improve the gift-matching experience for your organization, your supporters, and your staff.
Effective corporate gift-matching involves juggling a ton of moving parts, and this partnership innovates the matching gift automation process to free up more time and resources to focus on effectively pursuing your organization’s mission.
So get started with an impactful solution. Launch new strategies, better engage donors, and streamline fundraising operations with matching gift automation efforts. And remember: It all starts with ensuring your team has the right tools and resources for the job.
Plus, with DonorDrive’s enterprise fundraising platform, create meaningful supporter experiences with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising events, tailored Donation Campaigns, native mobile app, Activity Tracking, and Live Stream Fundraising. Connect now to learn more.