Fraternities and sororities give their members support, community, and memories they’ll cherish forever. Planning ways to fundraise for your national philanthropy partner is a big part of the member experience and your members understand the challenges that come with hosting philanthropy events.
Save your members time and stress by developing multiple fundraising channels that support your philanthropy year-round. Among these channels, corporate gift matching is an easy and impactful one to add. We’ll explore these basics to help you get started:
- What is Corporate Gift Matching?
- Making it Easy for Donors
- Promoting Matching Gifts
- Individual Outreach
Matching gifts can help you reach your goals, no matter what your philanthropy partner’s focus is. Let’s learn how to tap into this impactful fundraising opportunity!
What is Corporate Gift Matching?
In recent years, the public has been paying more and more attention to the values of the businesses they interact with. Customers want to know that they’re supporting ethical businesses, so companies have created social responsibility and philanthropy programs to show them that they’re putting their profits to good use.
Corporate gift matching is just one part of companies’ efforts to be more socially responsible. Through these programs, businesses commit to matching their employees’ donations to eligible nonprofits, schools, and community organizations, often at 1:1 or 2:1 ratios. When a gift is eligible for employer matching, a $200 donation to your fraternity or sorority could turn into a $400 or even $600 donation with no extra cost to your donor!
Even if they don’t know it, many of your alumni/ae likely work for companies that offer matching gifts. But they have to check their eligibility and request a matched donation from their employer for your philanthropy partner to receive it, so it’s worth putting in the work to encourage them to do so.
Making it Easy for Donors
Since it takes a bit of work on your donors’ parts to request a match, it’s important to do everything you can to make it easier for them. Many donors won’t be familiar with the process or know off the top of their heads if their employer offers gift matching.
To help alumni/ae more easily take advantage of matching gifts, the best thing your fraternity or sorority can do is invest in a matching gift fundraising tool on your donation page. These tools allow you to use databases containing employer and matching gift program data so donors don’t have to seek out that information on their own.
Some software solutions make it even simpler for your alumni/ae by fully automating the matching gift request process. Double the Donation explains how matching gift auto-submission only takes three simple steps:
- The donor fills out the donation form on your website.
- The donor enters their work email address and checks a box allowing your software to submit their request for a matching gift automatically.
- Your software submits the request immediately and the process is complete!
After that, all that’s left is for their employer to approve the request and send the funds to your philanthropy partner. This method takes the effort out of the hands of your donors, helping you to increase the number of matches you secure.
Promoting Matching Gifts
Even with the best matching gift tool, your alumni/ae won’t request matching gifts for your chapter if they don’t know about the option. To spread awareness, highlight the opportunity and its benefits for donors on all of your marketing channels.
Start by creating a page or blog post on your website that explains the benefits of matching gifts, the extra difference donors can make with them, and how to request a match from their employer. Then, think of creative ways to market matching gifts on other channels, such as:
- Incorporate matching gifts into existing fundraisers: One of the best parts of matching gifts is that you can get them at any time, making it easy to incorporate them into any fundraiser. All you have to do is remind your donors! For example, if you host an annual Valentine’s Day fundraising event, you can add “Request a Matching Gift” to your event flyers, reminders, and thank-you emails.
- Design social media infographics: There are plenty of ways you can creatively promote matching gifts on social media. Design graphics that feature stats about the value of matching gifts, simple steps to request a match, or updates on how much your chapter has raised in matching gifts so far. Then, ask your members to share them to get the word out faster.
- Create a video about matching gifts: A great video can introduce matching gifts to your alumni and convince them to request one in just one minute. Plus, once you create your video about matching gifts, you can reuse it in plenty of ways. Email the video to donors, add it to the matching gift page on your website, or show it to new members helping with fundraising for the first time.
When using any of these marketing strategies, focus on the value of matching gifts for your alumni. Emphasize how they can double or triple their impact on your philanthropy partner without having to devote any more of their budget than they normally would.
Along with widespread marketing, it’s crucial to follow up with individual donors after they give to encourage them to check their matching gift eligibility. You can do this by sending personalized emails or letters to alumni donors explaining the additional impact they could make by requesting a match.
If you need help, use resources like Fundraising Letters’ matching gift letter templates or create your own template that you can personalize for each donor. In each matching gift appeal, you should include:
- A thank-you for the initial donation
- The donor’s exact donation amount
- The specific campaign they donated to, if any
- A brief description of what matching gifts are and how they help your fraternity or sorority
- The steps they need to follow to request a match
- A link to the matching gift page on your website for more information
Then don’t forget to say thank you to those who do request a match! Get creative with your alumni/ae appreciation efforts to make sure they know how much you value them taking the extra step to get their gift matched. For example, send them an extra thank-you eCard or shout them out on social media.
Once you start tapping into matching gifts, you’ll see the difference they can make for your philanthropy partner over time. When you combine matching gifts with a variety of other long-term fundraising channels, you’ll end up with a much more sustainable stream of revenue for your chapter’s national philanthropy efforts.