There’s a public secret that benefits many individuals and nonprofits. It’s called matching gifts. That’s the term for when an employer – or other organization – commits to make a gift to a nonprofit that “matches” the gift made by an employee or other qualified individual. Sometimes there are “qualifications” or “restrictions” set on these gifts, sometimes not. Here’s a simple example: you make a gift to a nonprofit and ask for a receipt. You submit the receipt to your human resources office. A gift is then made from your employer to the nonprofit. That’s it – instant money!
Matching gifts programs – when utilized –make a significant difference in the fundraising growth of a nonprofit. Unfortunately, in too many cases people are not aware, don’t know they are eligible, or just don’t participate. These programs are both an employee benefit and one way that businesses and corporations give back to the community. A matching gift program ensures that funds are directed to organizations that employees believe in.
Tips for employers with a matching gift program.
- Let your employees know about the program. Include information on your website and in new employee sessions.
- Communicate the steps that need to be followed, online links to forms, and limitations if any.
- If different levels of matching are available, let people know what those are.
- Promote the giving program and highlight organizations who benefit and employees who give.
Tips for donors
- Check to see if you are eligible to participate in a matching gift program.
- Ask coworkers to join you in making a meaningful gift to a nonprofit. When you ask others to give – and their gifts are matched – you increase your impact in the community.
- Don’t be discouraged by the “paper work” that might be associated with the program.
- Follow up with the nonprofit to make sure they received the matching gift, and that they know you are one of the people whose gift is being matched.
Tips for nonprofits.
- Make matching gifts part of your fundraising strategy.
- Create awareness and educate your constituency about how they can increase their gift without giving more than they can.
- Train staff and volunteers in how to talk with donors about matching gifts.
- Don’t be afraid to personally reach out to donors you know are employed by an organization with a matching gift program to discuss the importance of using the program and the impact that will have on your nonprofit.
- Acknowledge and recognize donors who make use of their matching gift program
- Encourage matching gift donors to invite their co-workers to support your organization.
- When reporting your fundraising results, highlight the impact matching gift programs make, and list the donors and businesses who have participated.
Matching gifts can double or triple your money – take the time, this could be your gold mine!
Copyright 2018 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
For help growing your fundraising – and creating a diverse and inclusive team – call us at (901) 522-8727 or visit www.saadandshaw.com.
Image courtesy of 123RF.com.