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Three Ways to Strengthen Year-End Appeals Using Matching Gifts

October 30, 2023

As the current year draws to a close, nonprofits and higher education instituations everywhere are preparing for one of the most pivotal seasons in their fundraising journey, the giving season. After all, year-end giving takes place at a time when generosity is heightened and a sense of urgency is felt. The result? Organizations see significantly increased giving levels that can set them up for a well-funded start to the new year.

In order to do so, however, it’s important that your team is prepared to make the most of all opportunities available to you. And that should include corporate matching gifts!

But what if your donors are unaware that their employers offer such giving initiatives? Or perhaps they’ve simply forgotten to complete the match request process. Either way, the best solution involves incorporating matching gift information in your year-end fundraising appeals. Doing so allows you to increase knowledge surrounding the programs and inspire eligible donors to get involved.

Luckily, there are a few key ways to do this⁠—from drafting entirely new matching gift outreach to incorporating quick blurbs into existing donor appeals. Let’s dive into each of the following ideas in this guide:

  1. Incorporating matching gifts in existing year-end appeals
  2. Sending year-end donation match reminders
  3. Following up on retroactive match opportunities

As you read on, we'll explore how these strategies can strengthen your fundraising and engagement efforts and help you unlock the full potential of this year-end season.

Here’s a hint: in doing so, you're not only increasing corporate funds for your mission but also incentivizing greater individual giving and fostering deeper relationships with your supporters.

1. Incorporating matching gifts in existing year-end appeals

Did you know that a recent study indicates that over 84% of survey participants would be more likely to donate if a matching gift is offered? Or that 1 in 3 individuals say they’d contribute more if a match is being applied? 

That’s according to Double the Donation’s corporate giving research⁠, which also states that simply mentioning matching gifts in a donation appeal ultimately results in a 71% increase in conversion rate⁠ and a 51% increase in the average transaction amount.

These are all compelling reasons to make your organization’s end-of-year fundraising appeals stand out by providing matching gift-related information. Donors want to make a difference for the causes they care about, and participating in matching gift programs allows them to do so. All in all, this enables you to capture⁠ and retain⁠ your audience’s attention with your messaging⁠ in a busy period—not to mention inspire higher rates of action!

Check out this sample messaging you might include in a year-end donation appeal:

“As we close another impactful year, we're excited to share an incredible opportunity with you. Many companies offer matching gift programs that double their employees’ personal donations⁠—which means your gift can have twice the impact without any extra cost to you. Simply check your eligibility, make a donation to our end-of-year campaign, and complete a brief submission form for your employer.”

2. Sending year-end donation match reminders

Within the last few weeks of the year, many organizations witness a notable increase in donation traffic and overall giving. In fact, studies indicate that an estimated 30% of total annual giving occurs in December⁠—while around 10% takes place in the final three days of the calendar year. With so much giving going on, it’s the perfect chance to follow up with these already-engaged supporters to ensure awareness of subsequent matching gift opportunities.

Plus, you still have the holiday spirit and sense of increased generosity on your side as you encourage donors to take the next steps for matching gifts on your behalf.

Check out this sample messaging you might send after an individual gives to your end-of-year campaign:

“Thank you for your recent contribution to our end-of-year fundraising campaign. Did you know you can make your gift go even further by requesting a match from your employer? All you need to do is complete a quick form or reach out to your HR department for additional information!”

3. Following up on retroactive match opportunities

Alongside the pursuit of matches for gifts made within the year-end season, you also have an opportunity to follow up on previously made⁠ (yet still match-eligible⁠) donations from earlier in the year. In fact, this might be one of your last chances to re-engage donors to submit their match requests before it’s too late.

Plus, last-minute matching gift reminders are an excellent way to keep your organization at the top of existing donors’ minds in the giving season without asking for additional funds.

Check out this sample messaging you might use to follow up on previously made yet still match-eligible donations:

“Our records indicate that your donation of $[AMOUNT] made on [DATE] likely still qualifies for a match from your employer. However, many companies close their matching gift windows at the end of the calendar year in which a gift is made⁠—so the time to get your gift matched is running out! Completing a brief request form now can allow you to double your impact to our mission without spending another dime.”

Matching gifts are a widely available form of corporate philanthropy that has the power to bring your nonprofit’s year-end fundraising to new heights. By integrating matching gift messaging into your donor outreach efforts at the end of the year, you can set your team up for long-term success in the new one and beyond.

And don’t forget you can automate the entire process by integrating Double the Donation’s matching gift tools with your Shift Fundraising services.

Good luck, and happy giving season!

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