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Tips for Securing Matching Funds

Nonprofits maximize GiveBIG's potential when they secure matching funds to leverage online donations.


March 27, 2017

A review of GiveBIG data, as well as fundraising research, shows that nonprofits are more successful when using matching funds from a donor(s) to fuel online giving. According to The Big-Give Research Initiative, 84% of survey participants revealed they're more likely to donate if a match was offered. 


Supporting Data on the Power of Matching Funds

-Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in the response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount (and that's prior to receiving matching gift funds) (Source: Tech Soup: Which Fundraising Strategies Work?)

-When a match is offered, one in three donors indicates they gave a larger gift because matching was applied to their donation (Source: The Big-Give Research Initiative)

-Match-funding is the most likely factor to make donors give more. Match-funding even scored higher than emergency appeals. (Source: The Big-Give Research Initiative)

Matching funds of any size can incentivize donors to make a gift, or increase their gift, in order to help the organization maximize their fundraising efforts. Seattle Foundation is strongly encouraging each nonprofit to secure matching funds to power their participation in GiveBIG. Below are a few tips to help you get started!


Start with your inner circle. Look to those who are already deeply invested in your mission and your success.

-Your board of directors. If no single board member can provide a match on their own, consider a matching donor pool of your entire board.

-Donors who have provided matching funds in the past.

-Donors you have a strong relationship with.


Use data. We live in a data driven town; give potential matching gift donors numbers that tell a powerful story. 


Example:

Dear Board Member,

We will be participating in GiveBIG on May 10, 2017.  

Matching funds are powerful. A review of GiveBIG data, as well as fundraising research, shows that nonprofits are more successful when using matching funds from a donor to fuel online giving. According to The Big-Give Research Initiative, 84% of survey participants revealed they’re more likely to donate if a match was offered.

Will you provide matching funds to support us on May 10? Please email or call me if you can help us maximize GiveBIG’s potential.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,

Babs


Make it a competition. Mention a fellow board member or someone else who has already provided matching funds to encourage response.


Example:

Dear Board Member,

We will be participating in GiveBIG on May 20, 2017.

Matching funds are powerful. A review of GiveBIG data, as well as fundraising research, shows that nonprofits are more successful when using matching funds from a donor to fuel online giving.  According to The Big-Give Research Initiative, 84% of survey participants revealed they’re more likely to donate if a match was offered.

Your fellow board member, Jane Doe, has already donated $1,000 to our GiveBIG matching pool. Will you provide matching funds to support us on May 10?

Please email me or call me if you can help us maximize GiveBIG’s potential. As always, thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,

Babs


You can even provide a specific dollar amount to encourage matching fund donors to give. Look at the donor’s giving history and ask for a reasonable amount.


Example:

Dear Board Member,

We will be participating in GiveBIG on May 10, 2017.

Matching funds are powerful. A review of GiveBIG data, as well as fundraising research, shows that nonprofits are more successful when using matching funds from a donor to fuel online giving.  According to The Big-Give Research Initiative, 84% of survey participants revealed they’re more likely to donate if a match was offered.

Will you provide matching funds to support us on May 10? Even $500 would provide incentive to donor’s looking to give. Please email me or call me at 123-456-789 if you can help us maximize GiveBIG’s potential.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,

Babs


Another way to encourage matching funds is to narrow the focus: create a match for a specific item, capital need, program or other initiative.  Be specific about the outcome, “Your gift will allow us to accomplish ABC- and the matching gift means we can also do XYZ.” In addition to a narrow focus, create a sense of urgency. Pick a funding need that must be funded within a 2-6 month window- no longer!

It is not only important to securing matching funds, it is also important to thank matching gift donors. First, ask your matching donor how they would like to be recognized (and.or how they would not liked to be recognized) when you secure the gift. Keep the matching donor informed of progress towards fulfilling their match on May 10. Follow up with a phone call from your CEO or Executive Director the next day. It is also a good idea to feature matching gift donors in your next email newsletter, or in your annual report.

To learn more about our training opportunities, visit the GiveBIG website FAQ page. Thank you for your support of GiveBIG!





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