Can’t wait to learn more about matching gifts? Tune into our live webinar about corporate philanthropy hosted by Double the Donation on July 24 at 2 p.m. EST. Register here
Nothing can match the incredible energy of a fundraising event. Whether you’re hosting a gala or a 5K, your supporters are getting energized for your cause around other donors who are just as excited as they are. Your donors even get to meet members of your team, your volunteers, or your beneficiaries face-to-face.
How can you get even more from that unique atmosphere? You may be worried about asking your donors for too much — after all, they’re already giving you their all by showing up in the first place.
With matching gifts, your supporters can double their impact without doing much more at all!
Matching gifts are a type of corporate philanthropy program. Companies budget aside money to donate an equal amount of money to the same nonprofits as their employees. All the employee has to do is make a donation to an eligible nonprofit and then submit a (usually electronic) request to their employer requesting a match. Easy as that!
In this article, we’ll explain three simple ways to encourage your event attendees to get their gifts matched. Your event could bring in double the revenue with hardly any extra effort if you simply:
- Add matching gift information to your ticketing form.
- Promote matching gifts on your social media channels.
- Encourage participation in corporate philanthropy at the event.
Ready to get the most out of your event? Keep reading!
1. Add Matching Gift Information to Your Ticketing Form
One of your attendees’ first interactions with your events will be your online ticketing form. They’ll be excited and ready to get their tickets in the spirit of supporting your mission.
Now is a great time to educate them about matching gifts and encourage them to check their eligibility!
Most donors don’t know about corporate philanthropy programs. In fact, between $4 and $7 billion is left on the table every year. That’s because donors don’t know that they can participate in these amazing programs, even though more than a whopping 15 million individuals in the US are eligible.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution to this lack of awareness! Consider:
- Including a short paragraph on your ticketing form explaining what matching gift programs are. Be sure to keep it short and simple — just enough information to encourage them to participate but not too much that the text looks intimidating. You want them to start the process!
- Providing a way for donors to find out if their employer offers a program! A matching gift database search tool like Double the Donation’s is simple to embed in a form and always provides up-to-date program guidelines and online submission forms to donors who search for their company names.
Whether it’s their event ticket price or their additional donation that they’re getting matched, every extra bit of revenue goes a long way.
2. Promote Matching Gifts on Your Social Media Channels
After your donors purchase their tickets, they’ll start getting engaged in your event even before it starts. They’ll tell their friends how excited they are, get their outfits or teams ready, and, importantly, start following your social media channels more carefully.
After all, your social media channels are where you’ll be sharing updates leading up to the event. Other attendees might also post on the event page to share their own excitement.
Take this increased online visibility in the time before your event and do something with it! Share parking instructions and other logistical information about the event while simultaneously encouraging ticketholders to participate in their employer’s corporate philanthropy program.
How? Try posts that incorporate:
- Images that catch the attention of absentminded social media scrollers.
- Statistics that emphasize the importance of corporate philanthropy.
- Companies with robust matching gift programs that will match donations to your event. Try tagging these companies’ official accounts. They might share your posts!
- Links that take your supporters to your matching gift page where they can read about these programs and use matching gift search tools to find out if they can participate.
The overarching lesson here is to use social media as just a gateway into the larger conversation about matching gifts. You can pique your followers’ interests on social media, but you can never hold it for very long. Use visuals and quick snippets of information alongside links to more in-depth information.
Don’t forget to keep your social media matching gift-friendly during and after the event! Share milestones as they’re reached and information when it’s actionable.
3. Encourage Participation in Corporate Philanthropy at the Event
That brings us to the event itself, which is the only time you’re guaranteed to have everyone’s attention.
This means it’s the perfect time to say something you know they all need to hear: every donor in attendance could double or triple their impact on your mission by spending just a few minutes filling out an online form!
Some of the best ways to incorporate matching gifts into your in-person event are:
- A live demo: What better way to explain how easy it is to take advantage of corporate philanthropy programs than to actually show an example on the big screen?
- A company representative: If your sponsors are in attendance, ask a representative to speak about their matching gift program if they offer one -- which they should!
- An informational flyer: Your donors might want to take the information home with them to donate on their own time. Make sure they have a handy resource to use!
It’s important to remember that lack of awareness is the main obstacle to overcome. If you don’t have the resources to print instructional flyers or your corporate sponsors won’t be in attendance, that’s fine! Just mention matching in your opening speech and on your giving kiosks, and your donors won’t be able to miss this vital information.
For your next fundraising event, take advantage of the best 2-for-1 deal in philanthropy by encouraging your attendees to check their employers' corporate philanthropy program guidelines. They’ll feel like they got a good deal, and so will you!