If you’re a nonprofit or higher education institution, you’ve likely had to get a lot more creative in your fundraising efforts as of late. With everyone looking for new solutions to similar issues, it’s also key to keep abreast of industry trends and see how others are successfully adapting to changing times.
But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. In fact, you may already have what you need waiting for you in your donor database.
According to Nonprofit Source, 9 out of 10 companies offer a matching gift program, which adds up to $2-3 billion in donations annually. While this may seem like a big number, there are over three times as many unclaimed matching gift donations. An estimated $6-10 billion per year, to be precise.
SSB and HEPdata work with hundreds of nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions across the country. Our work with over 90% of the higher education matching gift market share and 90% of the Philanthropy 400 has given us a unique insight into the latest industry trends.
We’d like to share the revenue-boosting trends we are seeing with our clients in the hopes that you can adopt some of these strategies and see gains against your bottom line.
Email fundraising has skyrocketed. Without the option of in-person fundraising events and galas, organizations have shifted their focus to reaching their donors online and specifically, via email. This is the most efficient, cost-effective way to reach donors while trying to keep staffing costs down to accommodate changing budgets.
Organizations are focusing on the entire donor database, not just top donors. Big donors are critical and a large part of a fundraising budget, but organizations are diversifying through fundraising strategy towards medium and small donors as well. These donations will be easier to come by and pad the foundation should big donors fall through. If those donations are matching gift eligible, you can further boost long-term revenue with the donors you already have.
Database info is expanding in order for organizations to get strategic. Modern times present constant change. People frequently change home addresses, employers, email addresses and phone numbers, causing a database to quickly lose value. Organizations are adding more info to contacts in their database, specifically, employer info. This is readily available via LinkedIn, why not your donor database? More donor information allows organizations to research on behalf of donors whether an employer offers a matching gift program. Our eMatch Portal can run through a donor database in minutes and alert you to all matching gift opportunities.
Donor outreach is consistent and follows a plan. With so many donors and so many ways to reach them, it is common for outreach to lapse or lag in consistency. Sending a one-off mailing, doing an occasional phone call, or sending infrequent emails won’t have the impact of a well-planned outreach strategy. Mailing costs add up and phone calls require extensive staff time, so many organizations place their largest focus around email outreach.
Customized automation is saving time and money. The biggest challenge in securing matching gift opportunities is ensuring donors get their paperwork across the finish line. While it doesn’t take long to do, people are busy and once their donation is complete, it may be challenging to reach them again. A customizable automated program can track donors who are eligible, then reach out with a personalized email with a paperwork reminder and corresponding deadlines. On average, it takes roughly 3-5 emails for a donor to complete paperwork. Undertaking this task manually is challenging, whereas automated options can boost matching gift revenue by 10-15% within one year with only minutes of maintenance.
Organizations are educating donors about matching gift opportunities. If you ask the average donor if their employer offers a matching gift program, the odds are that they won’t know. It is usually not covered in a benefits program and unless HR is promoting this as an option, people won’t know and likely won’t take the initiative to find out. Which is why organizations are educating donors on what a matching gift is and how to find out if they are eligible. Even better, some organizations are doing the heavy lifting for donors and checking employers in a database. It’s all about making things easy for your donors!
Large companies are expanding their matching gift programs. The changing times have proven to work in favor of non-profits and higher education institutions. Large companies are expanding their matching gift programs to include larger donations and opportunities for giving. Companies such as Google and Facebook have garnered multiple headlines for their matching gift donation opportunities.
Smaller companies are starting matching gift programs. Every single day, more and more small companies are starting matching gift programs. The pandemic hasn’t caused companies to miss a beat. It’s built into the values of the staff and companies themselves. People want to work for employers who value community and altruism, and this has made CSR much more than just a corporate buzz term.
eMatch®Portal from HEPdata is an easy-to-use platform created for nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions to automatically identify, manage and track all matching gift donations.
The average organization sees a 40% increase in fundraising revenue in the first year with some results as high as 193%. This adds up to millions of dollars in fundraising revenue without expanding your donor database by a single contact.
Would you like to know which donors in your database are matching gift eligible?