Matching Gift Programs: A Complete Guide for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are always on the lookout for innovative ways to increase their funding. Matching gift programs are a goldmine for donations waiting to be tapped into – but not all nonprofits are making the most of them.

Here’s how to navigate and leverage these programs for your cause, boosting your financial support and encouraging long-term donor relationships.

What are Matching Gift Programs?

Matching gift programs are charitable giving programs set up by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. In essence, it doubles the charitable donations of employees, providing a powerful incentive for giving. Corporations can match at varying levels, such as 1:1, 2:1, or even 3:1, effectively multiplying the original donation.

Understanding how these programs work is essential for any nonprofit aiming to optimize their fundraising strategy. It’s not just about receiving more significant donations; it’s about creating a channel of support between the company and the charity that encourages a culture of giving.

Benefits of Matching Gift Programs

Increased Donations

Matching gift programs can significantly boost a nonprofit’s donation income. By simply informing donors that their gifts can go twice as far, nonprofits can see a substantial increase in the value of individual donations.

Donor Engagement and Retention

Engaging with matching gift programs fosters a deeper connection with donors. It shows that the nonprofit values the donor’s contribution and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure it has the most significant impact possible. This level of appreciation often results in higher donor retention rates.

How to Leverage Matching Gift Programs

leverage matching gift programsTo make the most of these programs, nonprofits must take a strategic approach. Here’s how you can effectively integrate matching gift programs into your fundraising efforts:

Step 1: Research Matching Gift Companies

Start by compiling a list of companies that offer matching gift programs. Big tech firms, banks, and pharmaceutical companies are known for their generous matching gift policies. Websites like Double the Donation provide a database of participating companies, making this initial step more accessible.

Step 2: Promote Matching Gifts to Donors

Donors can’t take advantage of matching gift programs if they don’t know about them. Include information about matching gift opportunities in all your fundraising materials, including your website, email campaigns, and social media platforms. Be clear and provide simple instructions on how donors can apply for matches.

Step 3: Streamline the Matching Gift Process

Ensure that the process for donors to claim their matching gifts is straightforward. Provide them with the necessary documentation promptly and maintain a database of matched gifts to track the impact.

Common Challenges and Solutions

common questions when it comes to matching gift programsLack of Awareness

Many donors are unaware they can double their contributions. Utilize communication channels effectively to spread the word about matching gift programs. Leverage the power of storytelling to illustrate the tangible results of matched donations.

Donor Confusion

The process of claiming a matching gift can be daunting. Provide step-by-step guides and a dedicated support system to assist donors throughout the process.

Technology Integration

Integrate matching gift tools into your donation management software. This will simplify the process for both the nonprofit and the donor, increasing the likelihood of match claim submissions.

Success Stories

Learning from other nonprofits is a great way to see what works. Here are a few success stories:

  • Giving Hope Foundation: After partnering with a tech giant, they saw a 20% increase in donations.
  • Paws for a Cause: Their omnichannel approach led to a 15% increase in overall donations.
  • Education for All: Dedication to streamlining with software resulted in a 25% increase in matched donations.

By understanding and applying the strategies that worked for these organizations, your nonprofit can enjoy similar success.


Matching gift programs offer a fantastic opportunity for nonprofits to double their fundraising. With careful planning and clear communication, nonprofits can successfully navigate the landscape of matching gifts and harness their full potential.

Nonprofit leaders need to act now, not just for the immediate financial gains, but to establish robust donor relationships that can sustain the organization’s mission for years to come. Take the steps outlined in this guide, and watch your nonprofit’s donations multiply.

Related Posts