You may think matching gifts aren’t worth the time and effort. Think again! Research suggests that approximately $10 billion of corporate matching gift money goes unclaimed annually, which represents about $20 billion left on the table by universities. Approximately one in ten gifts to nonprofits can be matched. That’s a staggering 10% of total donations!

According to ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2017 Giving Report, they donated almost 50 million dollars to colleges and universities through their educational matching gift program that year. Texas A&M received $1,550,515, University of Houston received $660,767, and Oklahoma State University $565,767 in matched gifts. ExxonMobil’s corporate match program matches employee donation 3:1. And that’s just one company – roughly 70% of Fortune 500 companies have a matching gift program. 

While universities are aware of the benefits of corporate matching gifts, most don’t know how to take their matching gift program to the next level. Many organizations will take a reactive approach instead of a proactive approach.  So the team at HEPdata is sharing the strategies to supercharge your matching gift program. 

Create a Culture of Matching Gifts within Your Organization and Track Progress

It is crucial to educate and engage your advancement team on the potential of matching gifts. Equally as important, institutions need to inspire their donors to complete the necessary paperwork to have their gift matched.  Keep your donors and advancement team apprised of the amount raised through matching gifts in previous years. This reinforces the importance of matching gifts and encourages donors to complete their match.

Promote Matching Gifts in Relevant Communications: 

  • Website
  • Annual Fund
  • Capital Campaigns
  • Giving Days including #GivingTuesday
  • Engagement Challenges
  • Giving Forms 
  • Gift Receipts
  • Pledge Reminder Email 
  • Email Campaigns
  • Phonathons
  • Social Media

Accurate Data is Key to Matching Gift Success

There are three data components that are key to a successful matching gift program: accurate mailing addresses, emails, and employment information (employer and title). By keeping accurate constituent data, universities benefit by lowering marketing costs, increasing response rates, and increasing return on your outreach efforts. HEPdata can help with this through their EmployerFind Service.

“We’ve been a HEPdata client for 17 years or more. One of our former associates tried a competitor and, frankly, all we got was double the trouble. HEPdata is the leader in matching gifts… period!”
- P. Lucht, Texas A&M, The Association of Former Students

A Matching Gift can turn into a Major Donor Gift

Matching gifts and major gifts go together and having knowledge of details like preferred matching rates is powerful information to add into a negotiation for the next gift. 

Mike Westfall, former VP of Advancement and Executive Director of Eastern Washington University Foundation and current VP of University Advancement at Oakland University, turned a $5,000 five-year commitment donation ($25K total) into a $125,00 donation through the donor’s 4:1 employer matching gift benefit.

Automate Your Matching Gift Program

HEPdata’s new offering eMatch®Portal makes it even easier for donors to have their gift matched. This solution offers institutions a way to engage donors to complete their matching gift paper work and track the progress of the matching gift, saving time and money by automating the process. 

Give Your Donors Easy Access to Matching Gift Information

Research shows that when potential donors are in the act of making a donation, they are more likely to make a larger contribution knowing their employer will match their donation amount. With iModules HEP Matching Gift integration, you can give your donors access to their company’s matching gift information directly from your Encompass giving form. This blog post was written by Joan Graham of HEPdata. For questions about HEPdata and their Matching Gift programs, email the team at or reach out to your iModules Customer Success Manager.

About HEPdata: For over 20 years, more than 10,000 non-profits have turned to HEPdata for their employer matching gift information. HEPdata’s matching gift database, GiftPlus Online®, is the most comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date repository of corporate matching gift program data in the world, currently listing over 23,000 companies that match the charitable gifts of employees, families, and retirees. Learn more at