The 5 Best Practices for Matching Gifts Success
4. Say "thank you."
There’s a reason why most kids look up at the scoreboard after swishing a free throw. They want to see that their good efforts actually led to a positive result for their team.
Likewise, donors want to know that their efforts have helped your nonprofit. "Thank you" notes for initial donations are not enough. Matching gifts deserve "thank you" messages, too, and can improve your donor retention.
When donors know that their gifts have been received and are being put to good use, then they’ll likely be more inclined to give future gifts.
Good matching gift "thank you" note etiquette includes:
- Email versus direct mail. Some donors prefer email. Others respond better to direct mail. Learn your donors’ preferences and communicate with them in the ways they prefer.
- Typed versus handwritten. You can’t handwrite every "thank you," but you could handwrite "thank you" notes to your most important donors. Also, simply signing your name at the bottom of a letter can do a lot to let donors know that you truly appreciate their personal contributions.
- What to include. In your "thank you" letters, tell donors how matching gifts allow your nonprofit to do more. Be as specific as possible, and invite donors to continue to interact with your organization through volunteer opportunities and events.
A good "thank you" letter can be the difference between retaining and losing donors. Show your gratefulness, and make sure donors know how much they’re helping the team.
Get started: Learn how to write a fundraising "thank you" letter.
5. Measure your performance.
Companies use matching gift programs to keep employees engaged. Your nonprofit hopes that matching gifts make donors feel more engaged, too, so they’ll continue to donate in the future. From both sides, matching gifts are all about making people come back for more.
How do you know if your nonprofit is doing a good job with its matching gift fundraising? You’ve got to ask yourself some tough questions.
And you’ve got to track the answers to those questions:
- How many matching gift donors have given multiple times?
- Did you raise more money from matching gifts this year or last year?
- How much of your total revenue do matching gifts account for?
- Which companies do you receive the most matching gifts from?
- What costs go into the acquisition of matching gifts?
Too many nonprofits neglect tracking their matching gift fundraising, though it should be part of their broader fundraising. The money might be free, but the potential impact of doubled donations is worth quite a lot to your organization. Track matching gift data so you know what’s working, what’s not and how you can improve.
Get started: Learn five key elements of a successful matching gift campaign.
It’s simple to see how much more a $5,000 donation helps your nonprofit than a $2,500 gift. Ten $200 donations help more than ten $100 donations, too, as that’s $1,000 extra in free money that companies want to give your organization.
Take some time to implement matching gift best practices and your next fundraising campaign could see a big boost. In fact, all of your future campaigns will be poised to strike more fundraising gold than ever.