Corporate Matches - an often overlooked source of fundraising revenue

We want to give a shout out to our friends at the Junior League of Denver, for reminding us about a source of fundraising revenue that is easy to access, typically has practically automatic approval, and can instantly increase your fundraising totals.

During our post-event meeting with the Junior League, they mentioned that they were sending out reminders to their guests about their corporate-matching programs.

We thought, "Wow! Why do we always forget to suggest that our nonprofit partners remind their donors that their companies will likely match their gifts?"

According to American Charities, 65% of large corporations provide matches, and 28% of small- and mid-sized companies match their employee gifts. So it's very likely that your donors work for companies that will match their contributions.

Double the Donation reports that 84% of donors are more likely to give a gift if they know their company is going to match it.

Focusing on corporate matches has "been something I have been wondering about for some time,' said Ellen Spangler, Development Director at the Junior League. "Then I received a promotional email about Double the Donation, a platform that makes it much easier for people to look up their employers. After I watched a short webinar, I was sold."

Spangler said, "Double the Donation provides a plug-in that you can put on your website that lets people look up their company right there, then link to the proper forms they need to submit the match."

Here is a link to the page on the Junior League website, so you can see what that plug-in looks like.

The Junior League has just started in this corporate matching gift program, so we'll have to wait to see how it turns out.

One of the biggest challenges with corporate matching gift programs is that many employees have forgotten that their companies offer matches.

A typical employee learned about their company's matching gift program when he or she was first on-boarded with their company, but that employee has never taken advantage of the match and has completely forgotten that the company even offers this benefit.

As a nonprofit, you can initiate this conversation and help your donors discover that their companies have very robust matching programs.

We know from previous experience just how eager companies are to support the things that their employees care about.

I have been a judge on the Janus Henderson, annual J-Tank competition for six years.

Janus Henderson is an international company with employees all over the globe. For years, the company leadership chose the focus of the company's corporate giving. But about six years ago, they flipped the script.

They invited their employees to nominate charities for a competition called "The J-Tank" (which is a take-off on the TV show "Shark Tank"). Janus Henderson was stunned by overwhelming and enthusiastic participation of their employees.

The employees nominated charities that they cared about, then the other employees voted on which should be among the nine finalists, and finally a group of external judges participated in the "J-Tank" to hear the pitches and select the eventual winners.

From that point on, Janus Henderson concluded that it was much better for company morale to let the employees drive the charitable giving rather than the leadership.

That's the primary hallmark of a corporate matching gift program -- the employees are driving the corporate giving, and that's good for the company, good for the employees and good for the nonprofit.

Check out this interview with Janus Henderson's Tiphani Krueger and Demesha Hill, and hear them explain how impactful this program has been.

Reggie Janus J Tank Thumbnail

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