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As a K12 fundraising leader, no doubt, you’re on the lookout for the best ways to earn extra cash for your school. Scrolling through blog posts and fundraising tips, you have probably come across employer matching gift programs. 

In this blog, you’ll learn more about: 

Employer gift matching is profitable, but it can sometimes feel like the industry’s best kept secret. Despite being one of the most common forms of corporate philanthropy, matching gift programs leave an estimated $4-7 billion in matching gifts going unclaimed each year. That’s a lot of funds that you could be missing out on!

Though employer matching gifts might feel elusive, with the right strategies they can be simple and effective. As you gear up to add employer matching gifts to your fundraising plan, check out these 5 facts that your school needs to know about one of the most common forms of corporate philanthropy. 

K12 Schools Qualify for Most Matching Gift Programs

It is important to note that not all matching gift programs are structured in the same way. There are many different factors that influence your matching gift potential, and considering these aspects can help you plan a successful fundraising campaign.

For example, some employers will not match donations to all organizations. Political or religious organizations qualify for less matching gift programs than universities or cultural organizations. Conversely, companies will sometimes match at a higher ratio to their favorite school or nonprofit organization. 

The great gift matching news is that the majority of company matching programs will match donations to K12 schools! 

Major corporate contributors like The Coca-Cola Company, Apple, and Johnson & Johnson all currently match donations to K12 organizations. These are just a couple of examples of qualifying programs - they barely scratch the surface of matching gift potential for your school! 

During your next outreach strategy, make sure to ask your donors if they qualify for a matching gift program. If they do, chances are their contribution could be doubled!

Matching Gift Programs have Minimum and Maximum Amounts Matched 

The next aspect to consider is the minimum and maximum donation amounts matched. Most companies establish these brackets, and will only match donations that fall within this range. 

Understanding program minimums and maximums can actually help you earn more for your school. For example: 

  • The Home Depot will match employee donations at a minimum of $25.
  • You might have a contribution of $20 from a donor that works for The Home Depot. This would mean that they do not qualify for a matching gift from their employer. 
  • If you had told that donor about their matching gift program, then they could bump their donation up by $5 to qualify for a matching gift. 
  • That donor could then submit a matching gift request and turn their $25 gift into a $50 contribution!

Unfortunately, if donors don’t consider the minimum amount matched, then they could miss out on doubling their donation to your school. Considering 78% of donors don’t know anything about their matching gift program, most are not thinking of their minimum match amounts as they make a contribution. 

Simply educating your donors through current outreach strategies or employer matching gift software can help close this gap in qualified matching gift contributions. As you plan your next communication strategy, make sure to ask donors to check their employer’s matching gift program guidelines - it could result in a lot more cash for your school! 

Many Individuals Qualify for Matching Gift Programs

Our next fundraising fact focuses on donor qualification. Now that you know a bit about matching gift guidelines, you are probably wondering how many of your school supporters are actually eligible for an employer matching gift program.

Well, the answer is probably more than you think. With 65% of Fortune 500 companies offering matching gift programs, there are over 18 million individuals working for companies with matching gift programs. That’s a lot of match-eligible donors!

It’s also important to note that a lot of matching gift programs don’t just match to current employees. Plenty of companies will also match to: 

  • Retired employees 
  • Part-time employees
  • Spouses of current or retired employees 

This means that you probably have current donors who qualify for matching gift programs but are not submitting their matching gift requests. By simply educating your donors to learn more about their program eligibility and guidelines, you could earn a lot more in matching gifts. 

Supporters Respond to Gift Matching Appeals

There is some great news about matching gift outreach: supporters consistently respond positively to matching gift appeals. When you think about it, that makes sense - these are people who are already connected and committed to your school. Why wouldn’t they want to double their donation at no additional cost?

Research has even shown that: 

  • 84% of donors are more likely to donate if a match is offered 
  • 1 in 3 donors said they would give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation
  • Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average donation amount.

Source: Corporate Giving and Matching Gift Statistics [Updated 2020]

These trends demonstrate that it’s not that donors don’t want to submit matching gift requests, but rather they aren’t always aware of their matching gift programs. By educating your donors through your Booster campaign or your own outreach strategies, it can be easy to close the donor awareness gap and drive more profit for your school. 

Booster and Double the Donation Make Matching Gifts Simple 

Ready to get started with employer matching gifts? Luckily Booster fundraisers are already equipped with the matching gift power of 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. That means your fundraising platform provides donors with matching gift resources directly on your campaign confirmation page. That means, no extra set up and work on your end--it’s seamlessly integrated into the donation process already.

Your parents and donors can easily search for their employer name to check eligibility and guidelines of their employer’s specific matching gift program. This search tool provides: 

  • A direct link to your donor’s matching gift submission page
  • The specific program’s  minimum and maximum amounts matched 
  • The donor’s match ratio
  • And much more!

Interested in trying it out? Search for a corporation and check out their matching gift program details.

Using 360MatchPro, you supporters can learn about matching gifts immediately after their donation. Then, they can start the matching gift process with a single click - making it easier than ever to drive matching gift funds for your school. 

Ready to begin fundraising? Get started with your Booster fundraiser today!

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