Do Donors Care About Matching Gifts? 7 Stats & Takeaways

December 6, 2023

You may have heard the buzz in the nonprofit sector around matching gifts, the corporate philanthropy program in which companies match donations that their employees make to nonprofits. But is it really an effective fundraising method? In other words, do donors actually care about matching gifts enough to request them?

To find out, let’s do what all successful nonprofits do and look at the data. In this article, we’ll explore seven recent statistics from Double the Donation’s list of matching gift statistics that provide insight into donors’ opinions, and we’ll discuss the most important takeaways for nonprofits. Let’s get started!

1. 84% of surveyed donors said they’re more likely to donate if their gift can be matched.

Imagine that a supporter named Annel is deciding whether or not to donate to your nonprofit’s animal welfare campaign. She’s trying to determine if the $50 she’s able to give is enough to make a difference. Then, she learns that her employer will match her donation at a 1:1 ratio. Suddenly, her $50 donation becomes $100, and she can fund a lifesaving surgery for an abandoned cat in need. Knowing this, Annel donates immediately!

When donors like Annel find out that their employer offers matching gifts, they realize that they can essentially double their impact on your nonprofit’s cause without giving any more money than they normally would. 

Takeaway: Being able to make more of an impact with less of a financial burden through matching gifts inspires donors to give. 

What does this mean for your nonprofit? You can inspire more donors to give with matching gifts, but they have to be aware of the opportunity. This makes marketing matching gifts crucial. Develop a marketing plan that spans all of your communication channels to get the word out and inspire more donors with matching gifts.

2. 1 in 3 donors say they’d give larger donations if they’re matched.

Let’s go back to our earlier example to examine this statistic. Say that Annel’s coworker, Jasmine, was already planning to donate $100 to your campaign. When she finds out that their company offers matching gifts, she decides that she might as well increase her donation to $150. That way, Jasmine can give a total of $300 with her employer’s match, tripling the impact she would’ve made originally.

Takeaway: Matching gifts don’t just inspire donors to give—they can inspire donors to give in even higher amounts than they normally would.

To tap into this potential, emphasize the greater impact donors can make with corporate giving programs like matching gifts in your marketing materials. You can do this easily by including concrete numbers and examples of tangible impacts. For instance, explain how a $100 donation could turn into a $200 or even $300 gift and fund two additional surgeries for animals in need.

3. Mentioning matching gifts in appeals leads to a 71% increase in response rates.

You likely spend a lot of time perfecting your fundraising letters, emails, and other donation appeals. You know the best personalization techniques to combine with impact stories to convince donors to support your campaigns. But did you know that you could improve response rates by 71% just by mentioning matching gifts?

Takeaway: Donors want to give more with matching gifts, but they need to be reminded that it’s an option. 

Improve your fundraising appeals’ response rates by incorporating matching gifts with these strategies:

  • Highlight the additional impact donors can make with matching gifts.
  • Provide examples of the impact matching gifts have made on your work so far.
  • Include matching gifts in suggested donation amounts.
  • Personalize appeals by including information about each donor’s company matching gift program details. 

Using the right software can make these strategies much easier to implement. For instance, features like email templates, integration with your CRM, and automated communications allow you to streamline email personalization and see better results. 

4. 73% of donors use matching gift search tools when they appear on donation pages.

Many nonprofits add search tools to their online donation pages that allow donors to quickly find out if their company has a matching gift program and how to participate. Clearly, donors love this resource! Adding one to your own website will help donors locate the right information and remind them about matching gifts at the critical moment of giving. 

Takeaway: When presented with the opportunity, donors choose to learn more about requesting matching gifts.

How do you add a search tool to your donation page? Invest in matching gift software that integrates with your existing donation platform. This way, donors can search a comprehensive database of employer matching gift programs and get their program’s information immediately. Some software even comes with innovative auto-submission functionality that can submit matching gift request forms for donors with only their company email address!

5. Matching gift reminder emails sent within 24 hours of a donation have a 53% open rate.

The average email open rate for nonprofits is 39%, meaning that donors open matching gift reminder emails at significantly higher rates than average. These emails should be sent soon after a supporter donates without requesting a match, ideally within 24 hours. Emphasize that you’re not asking donors for any additional money, just to fill out a form to request a match.

Takeaway: Donors are more likely to read matching gift reminder emails than other nonprofit emails, so make sure to send them promptly.

You can improve your matching gift reminder emails by:

  • Leveraging email automation through your matching gift software or other marketing platform to automate reminder emails. 
  • Personalizing reminders with the donor’s exact gift amount and employer information.
  • Thanking donors for the initial donation before asking them to take another action.
  • Writing straightforward calls to action that make it clear what donors have to do: fill out a form to request a matching gift from their employer. 

Additionally, follow standard nonprofit email best practices like writing compelling subject lines and addressing donors by their first names. 

6. The top 10 corporations donate $2 billion to nonprofits annually, much of it through matching gifts.

The fact that companies with the top matching gift programs donate billions of dollars through corporate giving shows that donors actively use these programs. When companies have robust philanthropy programs, donors are excited to participate in a variety of ways, including requesting matching gifts for their favorite nonprofits. 

Takeaway: Corporate philanthropy as a whole is a major opportunity for nonprofits. 

On top of building out your matching gift infrastructure and marketing campaigns, your organization can also benefit from other corporate philanthropy opportunities. Consider seeking out more partnerships with businesses through:

  • Sponsorships: Ask businesses to sponsor your events by providing venue spaces, catering, marketing funds, or auction items. 
  • Corporate volunteer days: Partner with a company by organizing a special volunteer opportunity for their employees.
  • One-off matching gift programs: Some companies create custom matching gift programs with a single nonprofit like yours.

When pitching a partnership, remind companies that these initiatives benefit them too by boosting their reputations and employee engagement.

7. 79% of companies report increased donor participation rates in corporate philanthropy programs.

According to Crowd101’s corporate giving statistics, companies everywhere are seeing higher participation rates among their employees when it comes to corporate philanthropy. Many of your donors are likely already participating in their employers’ programs, but are you tapping into matching gifts for your nonprofit?

Takeaway: More donors are participating in corporate philanthropy programs—meaning they’re likely interested in matching gifts.

All of the tips we mentioned so far will help you boost awareness of matching gift opportunities and encourage more donors to request matches for your organization. Discuss these opportunities with your team to develop a plan for leveraging matching gifts to earn more funds.

The main takeaway from all of these statistics is that donors do care about matching gifts! They want to make more of a difference at no extra cost, but they don’t always know how. Tap into matching gifts with these strategies to increase your fundraising capacity and engage more donors.

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