Corporate givingFundraising

How to Elevate Your School’s Fundraising With Matching Gifts

This guide shares insightful tips for securing more matching gifts at any type of school.

Schools need to make the most of their resources, and they can do so by remembering that fundraising isn’t merely about soliciting donations. Instead, it involves developing relationships and maximizing the impact of every contribution to drive meaningful growth within your school.

Matching gifts offer a compelling avenue to achieve this goal, enabling your school to stretch its fundraising dollars further and accomplish more. Essentially, matching gifts are a corporate giving program where companies match their employees’ donations to eligible nonprofits, often including schools. That means you can double or even triple some of the contributions your school receives.

Corporate matching gifts double donors' contributions to your school.

To maximize donations through this avenue, this guide will dive into insightful strategies for schools that want to leverage matching gifts. We’ll highlight corporate giving’s transformative potential for K-12 schools and higher educational institutions alike, laying the groundwork for your school to tap into this revenue source.

Promote Matching Gifts to Your Community.

One of the most important aspects of a well-rounded corporate fundraising strategy is educating donors about matching gifts. There’s a notorious lack of awareness surrounding workplace giving, and you can’t expect donors to submit a match request if they don’t know the opportunity exists!

Proactively promote matching gifts to alumni, parents, and others in your donor network. To make your promotion as effective as possible, implement these tips:

  • Feature matching gifts on your school’s websiteShare information about matching gifts on your donation and Ways to Give pages. Go one step further and create a dedicated matching gifts page that explains what this program is, how it works, and how it’s impacted your school. Wherever you feature matching gifts, embed a company search tool, so donors can research their companies’ programs.
  • Proactively follow up post-donation. Encourage donors to look into their employers’ programs to stretch their recent donation’s impact. Matching gift software can even automate the follow-up process. For instance, the leading matching gift software platform 360MatchPro automatically triggers different emails based on an individual’s match status after they donate. While a match-eligible donor may receive instructions and a link to their employer’s request form, someone whose status is unknown may be urged to check their eligibility with a search tool.
  • Provide clear instructions. Across multiple channels, clearly outline the steps donors must take to request a matching gift. Sharing infographics can reduce confusion further. You can even offer personalized assistance to donors who need help navigating the process.

Above all, incorporate matching gift information into all school fundraising promotions. When possible, explain how a matching gift can enhance the value of donations, emphasizing the idea that donors’ support can go even further with minimal effort. Be sure to tailor messages to resonate with donors’ motivations by explaining how matching gifts support education.

Simplify The Matching Gift Process For Donors.

The secret to securing more matching gifts is to simplify the process as much as possible. The fewer steps donors need to take to participate in workplace giving, the more likely they will submit requests to their employers. Not only will this increase your school’s overall funds, but you’ll also reduce frustration and confusion for donors, potentially leading to continued support and future matching gifts.

Use these tips to simplify the process:

  • Use an employer search tool. This makes it easy for donors to determine eligibility and find the right form to submit to their company. All they need to do is enter their employer’s name. Then, they’ll instantly receive the required forms, submission deadlines, and eligibility guidelines.
  • Check donors’ eligibility and send the right forms. Reduce the need for donors to manually research their eligibility status by doing it for them! If you know their employer, look into their matching gift requirements and determine if your school is eligible. If so, let match-eligible donors know by sending the form directly to them. Software can help by automatically sending custom emails with relevant information for individual donors.
  • Take advantage of auto-submission. Remove the need for donors to request a matching gift altogether. Auto-submission is the latest innovation in matching gift technology and is exclusively available to organizations that use 360MatchPro. When donating to your school online, donors can click a checkbox and provide their corporate email address. If their employer uses CSR software that integrates with Double the Donation’s tools, the form will automatically be submitted on their behalf.

Afterwards, thank donors for taking the time to submit a matching gift request. Then, track the status of each request and provide donors with updates. This transparency helps donors feel confident that their requests are being processed effectively.

Overall, reducing complexities in the match process will inspire more donors to secure a matching gift for your school. Note that dedicated matching gift software removes roadblocks on both ends, so choose one that offers the convenience of employer search tools, automated follow-up, and auto-submission.

Cultivate Corporate Relationships.

Between matching gifts and other types of corporate support, companies can provide a consistent source of support for K-12 schools and higher education institutions. By building relationships with these entities, your school can receive funds, in-kind donations, and volunteer support to enhance educational programs and initiatives.

Not to mention, partnering with corporations provides opportunities for high school and college students to gain real-world skills and explore career pathways through internships and experiential learning opportunities.

Whether you want to boost matching gifts or secure other types of corporate support, here’s how you can find and cultivate valuable partnerships:

  • Research local companies. Pay attention to businesses that employ several of your school’s parents, alumni, or donors. Prioritize any company that offers matching gifts and explicitly gives to schools. Nonprofits Source’s corporate giving trends guide gives a great example of this. Murphy Oil matches employees’ donations to educational institutions at a 2:1 ratio (i.e., they donate twice as much as the initial gift), demonstrating their commitment to advancing education. Even if donors’ employers don’t offer matching gifts, they might establish a custom match program that matches contributions to your school.
  • Align your school’s fundraising initiatives with corporate objectives. From here, you can offer customized partnership packages for corporate sponsors with tangible benefits, such as promotion for their brand and products at school events.
  • Recognize your corporate partners. Send personalized thank-you notes and publicly acknowledge their generosity. Then, provide regular updates on the impact of initiatives they’ve supported through their corporate matches. By highlighting the impact of matching gifts, you’ll show that you value that type of support in particular.

Ultimately, corporate partnerships can enrich the educational experience for students and contribute to your school’s success and sustainability. Make sure you prioritize these relationships and pay special attention to companies that match donations to K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

Next Steps: Start Pursuing Matching Gifts

Leveraging matching gifts in your school fundraising endeavors can be transformative. By proactively pursuing these opportunities, your school can effectively double or triple the impact of donations. In turn, you’ll have the funds to fuel innovation, foster growth, and ultimately enrich the educational experience for students.

Now, make the impact of each donation go further by promoting matching gifts to your donors and removing as many barriers to participation as possible. In turn, you’ll make a lasting impact on your school’s learning environment for years to come.

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