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How Matching Gifts Increase Donation Amounts: 6 Data Points

Donors are reassessing their philanthropy, and today’s supporters are looking to support causes that have meaningful impact and use the donations they receive strategically. After all, knowing your dollar will go farther at Nonprofit A than at Nonprofit B is a huge incentive to adjust your giving habits.


This is where matching gifts come in. Matching gifts are a giving program that some businesses offer employees, wherein the employer will match employee donations to nonprofits. These gifts have the potential to increase individuals’ contributions at no added cost to them.


To help nonprofits understand the scope of matching gifts and how to communicate their impact to donors, this guide will break down six data points provided by the matching gift experts at Double the Donation.

An infographic with a variety of matching gift statistics depicted, written out below.

1. Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals increases the response rate by 71% and the average donation amount by 51%.

Many donors are unaware of matching gifts, making marketing them essential for tapping into this fundraising source. Data also shows that promoting matching gifts leads to increased engagement and donation sizes.


This is likely due to several reasons. Supporters who qualify for matching gifts will be reminded to check their eligibility, and as we’ll explore later, match-eligible donors tend to give in higher amounts. Additionally, supporters who have questions about matching gifts are likely to engage by reaching out or checking their eligibility.


For your nonprofit, this means promoting matching gifts in fundraising appeals whenever possible. Use resources like Fundraising Letters’ matching gift letter templates to create messages that encourage supporters to check their match eligibility.


For example, here is Fundraising Letters’ general matching gift information letter:

A matching gift email template that explains what matching gifts are and how donors can get started with them.

This letter explains the matching gift process in detail, but matching gift information can be added to other appeals in one or two sentences, such as “Check if you can make an even bigger impact with matching gifts!”

2. Matching gift availability is rated as the leading factor likely to encourage donors to give more.

Donors are often inspired to act by various external factors, such as a major world event or the time of year. However, reports find that matching gift availability ranks as the top leading factor in why donors give more, beating out even emergency appeals and holiday and religious events.


Ultimately, donating requires spending money, and matching gifts are a good deal. If donors know they will be able to donate twice as much without spending more, they are likely to act on the opportunity due to their dollar going further.


With this information, your nonprofit needs to communicate the impact matching gifts have on your cause. For example, you might share:


●      How much revenue your nonprofit has received in matching gifts and what that money has been spent on.

●      Examples of what your nonprofit could accomplish if a specific donation is matched.

●      Reports on how much money in matching gifts goes unclaimed and what that funding could do for your cause.


Additionally, try making arrangements with businesses to have them match donations supporters make in a given period of time. Then, heavily promote this giving period to supporters to encourage them to donate more during this window.

3. Over 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.

Matching gift programs are actually quite common, even if many individuals are unaware of them. Due to a lack of general knowledge about matching gifts, some donors may read your matching gift appeals and assume they are not eligible due to not hearing about such a program from their employer.


Unfortunately, many employers do not publicize their matching gift programs to employees. While they may discuss it during hiring or orientation, few businesses continue to remind employees about their matching gifts policy afterward.


You can encourage your supporters to check their matching gift eligibility by referencing the total number of individuals who qualify in your matching gift promotions. With over 26 million individuals working for companies with matching gift programs, chances are a few of those people support your nonprofit.

4. An estimated $2-3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually.

With billions in matching gift funding awarded every year, consider creating data-driven impact stories that showcase matching gifts’ potential. 


For example, you might walk through a specific donor’s experience with matching gifts using statistics about matching gift availability and funding. Or, you might explain how a specific beneficiary received more support than expected thanks to matching gifts.


These stories provide social proof, increasing donor trust in both your nonprofit and the concept of matching gifts. By emphasizing that thousands of other donors engage with matching gifts every day, your donors will be more inclined to try it out themselves.

5. 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered.

Donors weigh many factors when deciding what causes to give to. The factors that matter the most depend on the donor, but the nonprofit’s impact, trustworthiness, and relationship with the donor are all significant components.


Matching gifts provide an exceedingly positive answer to one question donors often ask: will my donation make a difference? When donors know their gifts will be doubled, they feel their contributions will go further to help individuals, families, and communities thrive.


In your fundraising appeals, be sure to:


●      Share a data-driven impact story

●      Emphasize the ubiquity of matching gifts

●      Share matching gifts’ impact on your cause

●      Discuss the ease of checking matching gift eligibility


The easier you can make the matching gift process for donors, the more likely they are to check their eligibility and make a donation. Consider investing in matching gift software to embed a matching gift search tool into your website and donation page. This allows donors to check their eligibility during the giving process, increasing the chances they will see their donation through to completion.

6. 1 in 3 donors indicate they’d give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation.

Matching gifts can inspire supporters to move up a donation level. Because donors know their dollars will go further when they qualify for matching gifts, they can be encouraged to spend a bit more, knowing that extra contribution will have an increased impact.


Make the most of this tendency by including suggested giving amounts and matching gift information on your donation page. That way, donors can learn about and check their matching gift eligibility while deciding how much to give. Knowing that they qualify for a matching gift, a donor may choose to pick a higher suggested giving amount than they normally would.


Nonprofits that understand the data behind matching gifts can begin making use of this free, accessible revenue stream. Keep track of trends in donor behavior to craft a matching gift strategy that encourages more donors to give and in greater amounts.

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