Have You Met Your Match?
- Individuals donate or volunteer at a nonprofit.
- Nonprofits notify eligible donors or volunteers of the availability of matching-gift or volunteer-grant funds.
- Donors or volunteers submit grant requests.
- Nonprofits validate the grant requests.
- Corporations cut checks.
How can organizations increase fundraising from these sources? Increasing matching gifts and volunteer grants can be boiled down to two steps: raising awareness and making it easy for donors.
Unfortunately, most individuals outside of the nonprofit sector aren't familiar with corporate matching gifts or volunteer grants, and even less frequently have any idea whether their employers offer these employee-giving programs. Program descriptions often are buried inside employee benefit books, and employees can't submit grant requests if they aren't aware of their company's program. Nonprofits can raise awareness by:
- Providing a brief explanation of corporate employee-giving programs;
- Explaining how the extra funds can benefit the organization;
- Providing donors and volunteers with a listing of employers that offer these programs.
Raising awareness is all about getting donors and volunteers to ask themselves, "I wonder if my donation or ongoing volunteerism is eligible to be matched with a monetary donation by my employer?"
Making it easy
Nonprofits can always ask donors and volunteers to check with HR, but investing time to research employers yields a higher percentage of eligible individuals who actually follow through and submit grant requests. Nonprofits should prevent donors and volunteers from getting hung up looking for information. Provide them with as much of the following as possible:
- Up-to-date company policies;
- Printed forms or links to the online submission process;
- Contact information including the tax ID number, address and a fundraising contact.
Making it easy is all about getting donors and volunteers to take five minutes to submit the grant request, which can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Reducing the burden on donors is one of the most effective ways to increase donations from these sources.