Crafting a Corporate-Giving Strategy: 4 Best Practices for Your Nonprofit
As a nonprofit’s development officer, stewarding new and existing donors is what you do—day in and day out. Sometimes you can feel like you aren’t doing enough, no matter how many people you reach out to every day.
This is normal. There are going to be bumps in the road. You are going to need to learn how to make the most out of your donor community. This process takes time and a little bit of trial and error, but you will find a fundraising strategy that is just right for you.
Don’t let yourself be put down by fundraising hurdles! If you are reading this, then you are ready to take advantage of one of the most underutilized fundraising strategies: corporate philanthropy.
Too often nonprofits zero-in on stewarding individuals and lose sight of how important corporate involvement is in the nonprofit sphere. These two donor relationships should be pursued in tandem to create the most effective and efficient fundraising campaign.
When you craft your new corporate giving strategy, consider the following nonprofit best practices:
- Equip your nonprofit with the right matching gift database.
- Encourage donors to look into matching gifts.
- Store donor data in your CRM.
- Seek corporate sponsors.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into these four corporate-giving strategy best practices and get you on your way to effectively utilizing corporate philanthropy!
1. Equip Your Nonprofit With the Right Matching-Gift Database
So, you want to learn how to take advantage of corporate giving? Well then I have two words for you: matching gifts.
Two words. That is all it takes to revolutionize the way you are stewarding your donors and receiving donations.
Getting started with a new matching gift database can seem complicated and time-consuming. When your time and resources are so valuable, you need to make sure you choose the best possible matching gift database for your needs.
Matching gift programs are one of your best resources out there to maximize the giving potential of your donors. If you don’t know how they work, the processes typically proceed as follows:
- A donor submits a donation to your nonprofit.
- The donor determines if they are eligible for matching-gift programs.
- The donor submits appropriate forms to their company.
- Their employer makes a donation to your nonprofit.
So where does the matching-gift database come into play?
The matching gift database will help donors determine whether or not their employer has a matching-gift program and will provide them with all the information they need to proceed.
Your matching gift database should:
- Provide easy access to industry-leading data. Make sure your matching gift database is regularly updated, so you don’t miss out on any potential donation matches.
- Be mobile-friendly. Your donors should be able to access this database from the comfort of their own phone without fighting with formatting. When a donor is ready to make a donation, you do not want something as silly as mobile responsiveness to hinder their gift.
- Integrate with your organization’s existing software tools. Don’t forget to check if your database will easily integrate into your existing fundraising platforms. Look for a database that has partnerships with a wide range of donation platforms, CRM and other nonprofit resources.
- Provide donors with the necessary matching-gift forms. This tool will ensure that the matching-gift process is as seamless as it is effortless. Ease of use and readily accessible information will encourage the donor to take that extra step to finish the matching-gift process.
2. Encourage Donors to Look into Matching Gifts
If matching-gifts databases are this easy to use and represent invaluable benefits for a nonprofit fundraising campaign, then why are they not more utilized?
The problem, once again, is simple—and so is the solution: Not enough people know what a matching gift program is, how to use it or where to access the information they need.
Fortunately, with your matching gift software, your donors will have all the tools they need to complete the process. But what else can you do to ensure your donors are leading you to corporate gifts?
You must educate your donors and encourage them to take that next step to maximize their impact on your organization.
If you are unsure what a donor might want to know, consider telling them key statistics like:
- Anywhere from $4 to 7 billion in matching-gift donations go unclaimed every year.
- Over half of fortune 500 companies offer matching-gift programs.
- Many companies will match your donation with a 1:1, 2:1 or even 3:1 ratio!
Your website should display an easy access tool with instructions to let donors and prospective donors know that your organization is eager to help them boost their philanthropic impact. Make sure to display this on your donation page to encourage last-minute increases in donation amount.
Donors are more likely to donate more when they know that a corporation will be at least doubling their impact. One in three donors say that they would give a larger gift if a matching-gift program was available and applied to their donation.
You want these tools to be front and center to ensure that donors are presented with the perfect opportunity to bring corporate philanthropy right to your door.
3. Store Donor Data in Your CRM
Don’t give up on extending a donor relationship to include corporate sponsorship simply because the donation has already been made. Many corporations have a time window for donors to turn in their paperwork and for the organizations to receive their corporate gift.
Take advantage of this time and follow through with your donors.
Your nonprofit most likely has a CRM that can store, organize, filter and analyze all the data you need to keep track of your donors.
To read more about nonprofit CRMs, click here.
This data will be incredibly important for you as you seek out donors whose gifts could potentially be matched by their employer.
There are a number of ways you can sift through your donor data, but make sure you keep records of:
- Email addresses: Email screening can easily provide leads as to who is eligible for match-donations. This can increase total revenue for a nonprofit by 1%.
- Employment/profession: You can filter by top corporations with known matching gift programs to see which of your donors you should target with matching gift opportunities.
If you have this information, as well as your donors’ donation history with your organization, you will be able to reach out to them via email after their donation. There is a 53% open rate for matching-gift reminder emails that are sent within 24 hours of donation—that’s two to three times higher than the average open rate for nonprofits!
Make sure your information is optimally organized and easily accessible, so you can be sure to engage will all potential matching gift eligible donors.
4. Seek Corporate Sponsors
There are so many corporations that already understand the value of supporting a matching-gift program, but it does not hurt to remind them that corporate philanthropy is in their best interest.
A strong relationship between a nonprofit organization and a corporation is good for both parties. While nonprofits benefit from the monetary contributions of a major corporation, companies that participate in charitable giving gain value in the court of public opinion.
If two companies are comparable in virtually every respect, but one of them is known for being philanthropic, people are much more likely to support the company with known ties to the nonprofit world.
This seems fairly intuitive, but you should intentionally reach out to potential corporate sponsors that could work with your nonprofit organization. Encourage these sponsors to not only make direct donations to your organization but to promote their own matching-gift program to their employees.
To help raise awareness of matching gift programs, you and your corporate sponsor can work to inform employees of matching-gift programs’ potential for good.
Nonprofits must always be on the lookout for ways to innovate their fundraising strategy with new trends and techniques. Teaming up with a corporate sponsor will enable both entities to maximize their power for good while mutually generating revenue. These benefits can’t be overlooked!
Corporate philanthropy is a vastly underutilized source of revenue for nonprofits and the solution is simple: Promote and encourage matching gifts the donation process.
Don’t let your organization miss out on the opportunity to maximize the contribution of every donor!