Matching Gifts and 2 Other Ways to Boost Donations
By Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation on August 21, 2019
Would your business like to amplify nonprofit impact by matching employee donations? Use America's Charities' guide, "Matching Gifts: The Definitive Guide for Employers" to get started.
There has been a recent trend of companies wanting to show their commitment to charitable causes, and this is known as corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is a business model for companies that want to be socially accountable, whether this is to itself or to the public. This is also an attractive notion for their employees—a lot of people, especially younger workers, are attracted to businesses that are economically, socially, and environmentally conscious.
What does this have to do with your nonprofit? Well, it’s normal for your nonprofit to have lulls in donations every now and then. What even are fundraising ideas that actually work? Dipping your toes into recent trends, like corporate social responsibility, might be the thing that can get your nonprofit back to the top of its game.
The best trick to expand your fundraising to businesses is to take advantage of corporate giving programs. One of the most popular programs is corporate matching gift programs. This is a great way to increase donations, as it takes advantage of the supporters you already have—all you have to do is inform them.
If your nonprofit wants to learn more about corporate social responsibility and how to use matching gift programs to the best of your ability, read this guide to learn everything from which matching gift database to use to how to display it nicely on your website. We will even be going over 2 other corporate giving programs to increase fundraising as well! You’ll learn about:
1. Matching Gifts
To really take advantage of matching gift programs, you need to first know the basics. What are matching gift programs and how can they help you?
Matching gift programs are when corporations will match a donation made by an employee. Depending on the employer, donations can be doubled or tripled, all based on each individual company’s policy and the employee’s eligibility. This is a great way to increase donations because not many people know their business has a matching gift program and that they can take advantage of it even after they’ve donated.
A great way to increase your matching gifts revenue is to get a matching gift database tool to add to your suite of online donation tools. Having access to this database can:
- Help your donors look up if their business will match their gift. Most donors haven’t even heard of matching gifts, so just learning about this option will encourage more donations.
- Help you search for matching gift-eligible donors and inform them of the opportunity. This is one of those corporate giving programs that actually interest employees because they can give to a cause they care about and confidently know that their donations are generous. Telling your eligible donors about this program is an easy way to inspire them.
Which online donation tool should you be looking out for? Look for these features of a matching gift database to help you get started:
- Can embed directly into your online donation form or thank-you page.
- Provides matching gift forms and guidelines on your nonprofit website.
- Has a large and accurate database with eligible businesses.
Don’t miss out on this chance to increase donations. If you want to learn more, check out Double the Donation for the top matching gift database out there! (P.S. America's Charities' nonprofit members that are new Double the Donation clients are eligible for a $250 credit that can be applied to any Double the Donation plan in your first year! Click here to learn more.)
2. Volunteer Grants
Have you ever worked in a place where your boss encourages you and others to volunteer? Sometimes, volunteering is even required. Corporations that are trying to become more socially conscious will sometimes create programs combining employee volunteering with donating to a charity or nonprofit. This is called a volunteer grant!
Volunteer grants are corporate giving programs that encourage employees to volunteer in organizations and communities where they live and work. The company will then provide monetary grants to the organizations where employees are regularly volunteering.
A lot of nonprofits and organizations should be taking advantage of corporate volunteer grants, as they can both build support from volunteers while also receiving large funds from corporations. If you want to know how your nonprofit can start obtaining volunteer grants, you should invest in a volunteer grant database that is accessible to both you and your volunteers.
The ideas behind volunteer grant programs are simple, but how can you best take advantage of them?
- Screen regular volunteers to see if they are eligible for corporate volunteer grants.
- Embed your corporate giving database into your nonprofit’s website so that individuals have easy access to the information.
- Provide links and forms within your corporate giving database in order to keep the process streamlined and simple.
- Make sure to provide all the necessary details like deadlines, hour requirements, nonprofit restrictions, corporation donation amount, and more.
3. Corporate Sponsorship
The last thing we’re going to go over are corporate sponsorships. Corporate sponsorships are a great way for nonprofits to increase their funds for future events and campaigns. Having this additional revenue is always great as a nonprofit because the time you spend trying to fund your organization can be spent developing campaign ideas and fundraising strategies.
There are two types of corporate sponsorships:
- Organization sponsors are when a corporation sponsors your whole nonprofit all year-round. They’ll help you throughout your regular giving and involvement periods.
- Fundraising sponsors support a nonprofit for specific campaigns. They’ll donate money, items, and volunteers, and also help with expenses for the relevant event.
Corporate sponsors for nonprofits are usually happy to help because they know that a lot of consumers today are very philanthropic-minded and attracted to socially conscious brands. It’s the best of both worlds, with nonprofits and corporations benefiting from the relationship. But how do you get a corporate sponsorship?
Perfect your corporate sponsorship letter.
To get a corporate sponsor, your nonprofit is going to need to write a corporate sponsorship letter. However, corporations must get letters all the time, especially if they’re a bigger one. You need to write the perfect letter and get to the point quickly. What should you include?
- Make a connection between your nonprofit, their brand, and the impact you can make together.
- Outline the benefits that this sponsorship will provide to the corporation.
- Propose a structured plan so they have an idea of what kind of relationship you’re seeking.
Sending a corporate sponsorship letter might not guarantee you a sponsorship, but it can definitely begin a relationship. As we’ve learned, businesses love social responsibility, so even it they don’t want an actual partnership they can support your nonprofit and cause in other ways!
Don’t feel discouraged if your nonprofit is struggling to raise funds. Use corporate social responsibility to your nonprofit’s advantage and help businesses become more attractive to their employers!
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.