During this holiday season of giving, especially based on the recent success of #GivingTuesday, you can clearly tell there is something magical about using a match. Successful fundraisers have used matches for years and continue to use it. Why? Because it works!
Nearly all of #GivingTuesday emails I received before, during and in the days following included some type of a match. Most matches were straight amounts. Some matches were small. Some were large.
They are successful for several reasons:
- They include goals, realistic but a stretch.
- They have a deadline — by midnight on X day.
- They include urgency.
- They make the donor feel like their gift will be worth more/double/triple, based upon the type of match.
- They also invoke a tiny bit of guilt in the donor. “If I don’t give now, then the organization could lose that money. I don’t want that to happen, so let me make a gift right now.”
Most organizations reached their goal on #GivingTuesday. Some required some additional emails afterwards to extend the deadline and the limit. Virtually all match goals were reached.
Overall, the number of monthly donors generated during that day were up, too. Having a match there certainly helped. Most organizations simply matched the amount for the first gift, to keep it simple.
In my experience, a match beats another tchotchke or trinket any day. No tote bags, socks, plush animals or other premiums to order and ship. No extra expense or time needed.
And you know the best part, matches can work their magic for monthly donor emails and direct mail appeals as well. Why not think about testing a small match in 2021 for monthly giving?
Keep it simple. Use a story you use for your typical fundraising appeal, and instead of asking for a one-time gift, include a monthly giving ask with a match. Something like: “We’re looking for X (a small but realistic number) new monthly donors by deadline X, and a generous donor will donate an extra $X.”
Send one or two follow-ups, maybe three, with updates on the number of monthly donors left to generate by X deadline.
I’ve seen this work even with a $2,500 or $5,000 match. Try approaching all those one-time donors who gave less than $100 during December, and see what happens.
You’re guaranteed to generate some new monthly donors that will give you an even better start of 2021! Happy Holidays!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.