This guest post comes from Double the Donation, the organization behind 360MatchPro, which is the industry-leading matching gifts automation solution for nonprofits and educational institutions. Find out how to integrate Engaging Networks with Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro. And click here to read the organization’s previous guest blog, “Top Donor Engagement Tips for End-of-Year Giving Success.”
The end-of-year giving season is one of the most lucrative fundraising periods for nonprofit organizations — and corporate matching gift programs have the potential to elevate just about any team’s efforts. Your team should be taking clear steps to communicate with supporters about the power of matching gifts.
That’s where email messaging comes in. It’s a key component of communicating with your donors during the end-of-year season.
Matching gift emails hold significant value in the year-end fundraising season — your team can maximize outreach for the best results. It’s not just about clicking send on an email and marking it off your checklist. It’s about crafting meaningful messages that resonate with supporters, inspiring them to take further action on your organization’s behalf.
The Importance of Matching Gifts at Year-End
Employer matching gift programs provide nonprofit fundraisers with an easy way to increase their giving revenue. In a time when most organizations see elevated engagement levels anyway (30% of total giving happens in December, with about 10% of all gifts being made in the last three days of the year), you want to ensure your team has a plan to secure all the matching gifts that you can.
Not to mention, many companies’ program deadlines fall at the end of the calendar year in which the employee had initially given. That means if a donor made a gift earlier in the year — whether that was eleven months ago or last week — their submission window may be closing soon.
That’s why it’s prudent to ramp up your matching gift outreach in these last few weeks!
How Matching Gift Emails Can Help
One of the key issues facing matching gift fulfillment is a lack of awareness on the part of the donor. Without a dedicated strategy in place, Double the Donation reports indicate that an estimated 78% of donors are unaware if their employer matches gifts.
The solution? Use your donor outreach channels to inform your audience about the opportunity.
As an affordable and highly accessible form of digital communication, email marketing is one of the most popular and effective ways for nonprofit fundraisers to promote matching gifts.
Fun fact! Donors typically welcome matching gift emails from the nonprofits they support. In fact, the same studies also show that matching gift emails sent within 24 hours of a donation results in a 53% open rate, while the average match email has a 7% click-through rate. Those are more than 2.6 and 2.4 times the nonprofit industry standards, respectively.
End-of-Year Matching Gift Email Best Practices
Crafting your emails with care will help your team get the most out of its end-of-year fundraising and matching efforts. To do this, bring your matching gift communications to the next level by incorporating the following tips and tricks.
1. Mention matching gifts in email fundraising appeals.
When donors know their gifts have the potential to make twice the impact on a nonprofit mission, they’re more likely to give in the first place. As a result, Double the Donation found that incorporating matching gift information in your fundraising appeals can produce an estimated 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average gift size.
2. Establish urgency in matching gift outreach by highlighting deadlines.
End-of-year fundraising is all about inciting a sense of urgency. Language like “Act Now!” or “Don’t Wait!” goes to inspire donors to take immediate action based on the appeal they receive.
The same is true for matching gift emails at the year’s end, especially when you consider that many match-eligible gifts are likely to expire by the new year. So, make sure donors are aware of the impending deadlines and understand the ease with which they can take the next steps.
And, like a standard charity email, it all starts with a well-crafted subject line to make your email stand out in the recipient’s inbox. We recommend utilizing a combination of urgency and impact-focused phrases, such as, “Last call to double your support for impoverished communities!” to drive the most clicks.
3. Follow up with match opportunities for previous and recent donors.
The end of the year is an excellent time to pursue matching gifts from new and existing donors alike. Let’s consider two of the most common scenarios:
- Donor A: Inspired by the giving season, Donor A made their most recent contribution only days ago and is still at the height of their engagement with your organization. When they determine the gift is match-eligible through their employer, Donor A is excited to make the most of the opportunity to amplify their support for a nonprofit cause they’ve devoted to.
- Donor B: A loyal donor, though their last contribution was made at the beginning of the calendar year. Despite the time that has passed, Donor B discovers that their gift remains eligible for a corporate match and is excited to double their previous support and rekindle their commitment to the mission.
In each case, your organization ends up with a bonus gift that does not require an individual to reach back into their own pockets to give more. Not to mention, supporters feel increasingly connected to the nonprofit and their role in your fundraising efforts.
4. Segment and personalize your matching gift emails as much as possible.
Segmentation and personalization in email marketing are essential for maximizing engagement and strengthening donor relationships.
When it comes to matching gift communications, basic details like the individual’s name, gift size, date of recent donation, and more can certainly come in handy for producing tailored communications. But arguably, the most important variable to consider is your supporters’ employing companies.
Rather than saying, “Your donation may be matchable by your employer,” you can incorporate additional details and simplify the individual’s experience by saying, “Your recent donation of $[Gift Amount] on [Transaction Date] qualifies for a match from your employer, [Company]. Click here to access [Company]’s online request portal and submit your match!”
The latter is significantly more actionable and provides the recipient with defined next steps to further their support. And the message is clearly custom-crafted for them!
5. Leverage technology to draft and send optimal matching gift messages.
Luckily, you don’t have to write and send every matching gift email in a manual fashion. Your fundraising platform likely offers automated email-sending functionality — or, even better, an integrated matching gift tool.
With an automated matching gift platform, like Double the Donation, for example, you can easily collect employment information from donors on your giving pages. Then, the system can pull those details to populate your tailored matching gift emails — all without your team having to lift a finger. It will even record when donors indicate they’ve submitted their gifts, allowing your organization to better track matches through the disbursement process.
Bonus: Free End-of-Year Matching Gift Email Templates
Get a headstart on your nonprofit’s matching gift emails by jumping in with these sample messages. Each template reflects a different scenario and overall objective — from Giving Tuesday promotions to last-minute reminders.
Don’t forget to plug in details about your organization and its mission to best engage with your audience!
Matching Gift Email Template for Increasing Workplace Giving Awareness
Subject: Unlock the Power of Matching Gifts…Make Your Donation Go Further!
Dear [Donor’s Name],
As the year comes to a close, we wanted to share an exciting chance to amplify the impact of your support for our cause. Did you know that many companies offer matching gift programs, effectively doubling or even tripling the value of your donation?
Corporate matching gifts are a simple opportunity to maximize the positive change you can create. It’s an effortless way to increase your giving impact without any additional cost to you.
Visit our Match Page to learn more and see if you qualify here: [Match Page URL]
Your generosity has already made a difference, and with matching gifts, you can magnify that impact even further.
Thanks again for your continued support—and for considering this invaluable opportunity.
Matching Gift Email Template for Giving Tuesday Engagement
Subject: Make Your Giving Tuesday Gift Count Twice!
Dear [Donor’s Name],
Happy Giving Tuesday!
Today, your support may have the power to create double the impact for [Nonprofit Mission or Audience].
Not only do your own generous dollars support our cause directly, but many employers also offer matching gift programs—essentially multiplying the value of your initial gift.
Here’s how you can get involved today:
- Make your Giving Tuesday donation here: [Donation Page URL]. As you complete the form, be sure to provide your employing company when prompted to determine your eligibility.
- Once you submit your gift, you’ll see matching gift information on the confirmation screen. If your donation qualifies for a match, you’ll likely see company-specific program criteria and a link to your employer’s online request portal.
- Navigate to the online portal to provide details about your gift and submit your request to your employer. They’ll take it from there!
Thank you for choosing to make a difference on Giving Tuesday. Your support means the world to us, and we’re excited about the potential to achieve even more together through matching gifts.
With eternal gratitude,
Matching Gift Email Template for Recent Year-End Donations
Subject: Double Your Impact — Claim a Match for Your Recent Donation
Dear [Donor’s Name],
Thank you for your recent donation of $[Gift Amount] on [Transaction Date] through our end-of-year fundraising campaign. Your contribution is making a significant impact on our mission, and we’re excited to share a chance to make it go even further.
We believe your employer, [Company], offers a matching gift program—and your gift appears to be eligible. By taking a few minutes to submit a match request to your employer, you can effectively double your support for our cause.
To complete your matching gift submission, click here: [Employer Portal URL]
Then, let us know that you’ve requested a match!
Thank you for your continued support, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the matching gift opportunity.
Matching Gift Email Template for Retroactive Match Opportunities
Subject: Act Now! It’s not too late to request a match for your previous donation…
Dear [Donor’s Name],
Our records indicate that the donation you made of $[Gift Amount] to [Nonprofit] on [Transaction Date] is likely eligible for a matching gift from your employer, [Company]. However, it appears that this match remains unclaimed.
Many companies that match donations establish end-of-year deadlines by which employees must complete the matching process. That means your submission window may be quickly closing—and now is the time to request a match!
Don’t miss out on this chance to double your support and make an even greater impact for [Nonprofit Mission or Audience].
Click here to access your employer’s online submission portal: [Employer Portal URL]
Thank you again for your dedication to our cause.
Make This EOY Season Unforgettable
The end of the year will be here before you know it. Is your team prepared to incorporate matching gift opportunities throughout your donor messaging?
Implementing the above best practices in your strategy and customizing the provided email templates for your cause can set your team up for amplified results in terms of revenue, engagement, and more. Not to mention, equipping your organization with the right tools for giving and matching goes a long way.
Here’s to a successful end-of-year fundraising campaign, driven to new heights with matching gifts!