Your medical nonprofit ensures the health and vitality of the community it serves. But it can get costly to provide those services, especially if patients are unable to pay. Luckily, there’s a great way to make your donors’ gifts double (and sometimes triple) in value. By instituting a matching gifts program at your medical nonprofit, your donors can provide additional funds so you can continue to do your crucial work.
What is a matching gift program?
To put it simply, a matching gift program is a fundraising method that encourages donors to seek out and apply for matching gifts from their employer. Employers with matching gifts programs can range in size from international corporations to smaller, regional businesses. Their goal for these programs is to make a difference using corporate philanthropy.
Your medical nonprofit can be the recipient of matching gifts if you meet the criteria outlined by the matching gift company. These criteria can vary, so not all gifts will qualify.
Chances are you’ll receive a matching gift at some point. That’s where your matching gift program comes in. It should instruct staff on how to encourage, respond to, track, and confirm matching gifts from donors. You can also outline how to ask donors to apply for matching gifts.
How to encourage matching gifts at your medical nonprofit
Now that you’re in the know about matching gifts programs, let’s go over how to encourage matching gifts at your medical nonprofit. There are some key steps you can take to make applying for matching gifts attractive to your supporters.
Use a matching gifts integration on your donation form
There are a few services out there that make applying for matching gifts easy. They work with nonprofits and companies with matching gift programs to make the match process more efficient for everyone involved.
Nonprofits can take that a step further with matching gifts integrations. Often, these integrations come in the form of a search bar that can be added to your donation form or donation thank-you page. Donors search for their employer in the search bar and determine if their gift is eligible for a match. Then, they’re presented with next steps for applying for the match.
Qgiv has integrations with three different matching gift services. If your nonprofit has an account with Double the Donation, HEPdata, or CyberGrants, you can embed the matching gift integration on your Qgiv donation form to earn more matched donations from your supporters.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri includes a matching gift search on their Qgiv donation form to ensure supporters’ gifts go further.
Partner with companies offering matching gift programs
Another option available to medical nonprofits is partnering with companies in your area that offer matching gifts programs. The goal of the partnership is to provide publicity to the company via the matching gift partnership. Your medical nonprofit benefits by accepting matching donations from company employees.
You’ll need to set up a donation form specific to the company you partner with. Work with the Human Resources department of the partner company to share the link to your company-specific donation form with employees. Then, as gifts come in to that form, share donor names and donation amounts with the matching gifts officer at the company. They can then donate to provide the company with a match.
To get the most mileage out of this partnership, the company should offer an incentive for giving, like an extra day of PTO for making a matching gift. A lot of employees would love the chance to be recognized for their philanthropy!
Launch a matching gifts campaign
If you don’t see more matching gifts after including a matching gifts search bar on your donation form, you can boost matching gifts received by launching a matching gifts campaign. A matching gift campaign is a fundraising drive encouraging supporters to apply for matches.
You’ll want to show donors how to use the search bar. Then, be willing to work with them during the application process. If you make it clear you need matching gifts, supporters will give them. That’s especially true if you make the process easy!
Want to get more eyes on your matching gifts campaign? Check out this recorded webinar for helpful tips to marketing your matching gifts program.
Solicit a matching gift pledge from a private funder
Sometimes companies don’t have a matching gifts program. That means that your most passionate supporters may not be able to have their gifts matched on their own. But don’t give up on matching gifts!
Instead, you can solicit a matching gift pledge from a private funder like a major donor or a private foundation that offers matching gifts. Match every gift received up to the pledged amount. Donors come out in droves when they learn their gifts can be matched. After all, who doesn’t want to double their gift’s impact?
When you have secured the pledge, market the match everywhere for best results.
Pro Tip: Keep that matching gift relationship by acknowledging how your matching donor helped! That’s what Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation did with the social post below.
How to respond to matching gifts
Someone’s applied for a matching gift after giving to your organization. Now what?
You’ll need to complete the matching gift paperwork to confirm the matching gift was received. This paperwork may also require answering questions to determine if your medical nonprofit meets the criteria for the match.
Your matching gift program should outline who is in charge of responding with this information. These matching gift requests can often be completed online or by returning a letter to the matching gift department of the employer matching the gift.
Be sure to respond in a timely manner so that your match isn’t forgotten! Your plan should help ensure that matching requests are returned within 24 hours of receiving the request. Qgiv’s matching gift integrations make this easy by automatically emailing donors the next steps for completing the matching gift once they’ve completed their donation!
Tracking matching gifts with your matching gifts program
Once you’ve submitted the request for a matching gift, it can take a while for the matching gift company to make the actual match. If you wait long enough, you may forget about it and fail to recognize the gift for what it is.
That’s why it’s important to track your matching gifts. Using online fundraising software with matching gift functionality can help with this. If your nonprofit’s online fundraising solution doesn’t offer matching gift support, you should designate employees to enter matching gifts into a regularly-updated spreadsheet that shows which matching gifts were received and which are outstanding.
Confirming matching gifts from donors
Once you’ve received the gift match, it’s time to celebrate! Your donor’s gift has now been doubled! But you shouldn’t celebrate the gift match alone. When you’ve confirmed the matching gift, give the donor a call. They’ll want to know the matching gift they applied for worked out. Plus, this is a great chance to thank them over the phone and tell them how you plan to use the funds they donated and their employer matched.
After celebrating the successful matching gift with your donor, update your records. If you’re tracking the matching gift in your fundraising software, mark the pledge as received. If using a spreadsheet, be sure to mark the gift as completed. You may also need to update the record in your CRM if your fundraising software doesn’t support integrations.
A donor who has gone the extra mile to submit a match is a great candidate for becoming a recurring donor if they aren’t already! Consider segmenting communications and including them in an appeal for your recurring giving program. Looking for tips on how to boost your recurring program? Download our Radical Recurring Giving Guide!
If you want to grow fundraising at your medical organization, it’s important to encourage matching gifts and know what to do when one is received. Your matching gift program should indicate what to do and who is responsible for each step in the matching gifts process.
Your roles and steps may vary based on the software solutions you use at your organization. But one thing is certain, everyone must be on the same page to ensure your gifts are matched and donors know that match was received.
Want to automate your matching gift program and increase its performance? Check out this blog post for ideas on taking the manual labor out of your matching gift program.