March 4, 2022 12:37 pm

With tax time just around the corner, we have all started to think about our end of financial year appeals and how to get the most from our campaigns. 

And no surprises here… the best way to do this continues to be matched giving. 

Matched giving is not a new concept but if you’re unfamiliar with it, it is essentially a promise made by a generous giving partner (or partners) that for every dollar donated by the public, they’ll match it (or triple it if you’re lucky!) to a set limit. There are some conditions around how this works but we’ll get those particulars later in this article.

What is Matched Giving?

Essentially, matched giving is a little bit of marketing magic for a charity. 

Matched giving focuses on creating an incentive for a donor and aligns that with a very specific time limit to take action. The aim is to get them across the line where they may otherwise hesitate and / or donate more than what they originally intended. 

For a matched Giving Partner it creates loyalty and the feeling of being part of something bigger than themselves, whether they are a single Major Donor, a group of donors, or an organisation. For a business or corporate partner who gets involved it can provide additional positive branding and awareness.

You can use matched giving as part of a specific giving day, as an addition to your wider appeal, or as a last big push to a significant campaign.

FACT: Donors in matched giving campaigns donate more and more often. 

The excitement that match giving builds becomes infectious both within your organisation and across your marketing and campaigning. Creating more awareness and inspiring and acquiring new donors along the way. 

Now I’m sure you’re saying well that sounds great and all, but how do I actually get someone to commit to a matched giving donation? 

Hot Tip:

A matching donation is a donation that has been committed but not yet transferred to a charity. The campaign is based on 'if you give $1, I will give $1 as well'. If the donation is already received you could get into hot water for misleading donors.

Who can be a Matched Giving Partner?

The short answer is – anyone. The challenge is that we need the matched amount to be significant enough to get the all-important hype around the campaign. With as little as $10k in matched funds you can still create a powerful campaign. This can be from one donor or a combination of donors. 

The most common matched giving sources are from:

2. One QR Code to One Person

  • A Major Donor
If you have a major donor that frequently gives generously at a particular time of year, ask if they would be willing to use their donation for a matched giving campaign instead. 

Often major donors are thrilled at the idea of encouraging and supporting more people to donate to a cause they already feel passionate about.
  • Several Smaller Benefactors
Pooling donation offers from several smaller benefactors is also another way you can get enough matched funding for a special campaign (albeit slightly more work). You can pool together multiple giving partners to simply hit a matched fund of $10,000 or more. 

An example of this is a campaign by Beyond Blue who teamed up with four corporate partners to triple any donation made up until 30 June or until the target of $300,000 had been reached. 

In this scenario, Beyond Blue pooled together the generous donations of 4 giving partners to make a seriously impactful matched giving campaign.
  • Corporate Sponsors and Donors
Approach corporate partners and new businesses and ask them to get involved. As part of being a Corporate Giving Partner you can highlight their logo through the campaign and related marketing materials where it is relevant. This is often a huge benefit to businesses who can do good while also highlighting their business is proactively supporting the community.
  • Your Charity Board
If your organisation has a board, you should leverage this. These people care about your cause and regularly donate funds to your charity. Ask your board members if you can use their next donation to help gamify your next campaign into matched giving.
  • Philanthropic and Government Grants and Funding
If you are lucky enough to secure grants and funding from philanthropic or government sources use these funds as a part of your next matched giving campaign. However, it’s important to read and ask about the terms and conditions of your funding to ensure the funds can be used for matched giving purposes. 
Sourcing a matched giving partner and creating a matched giving campaign takes time but if you put the work in early, it will pay off. You can also use a matched donation for any of your peak campaigns across Tax and Christmas if the idea of an independent campaign is too daunting at first.
Sourcing A Matched Giving Partner

What To Do Once You Have Secured a Matched Giving Partner

1. Determine the Key Details

Once you have secured a giving partner it’s important you discuss some of the key information around the campaign:
  • What are the minimum and maximum donation amounts?
If you are lucky enough to secure grants and funding from philanthropic or government sources use these funds as a part of your next matched giving campaign. However, it’s important to read and ask about the terms and conditions of your funding to ensure the funds can be used for matched giving purposes. 
  • What is the deadline for the campaign?
Matched giving campaigns often also come with an end date. Setting a deadline of “your donations will be matched if you give before 30 June” is an example of a time-based deadline for the matched giving. Time-based deadlines can be used on their own if a matched giver is willing to match all donations made in that period. They can also be used in combination with a maximum amount, for example, “Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar until we raise $200,000 or until 30 June”.
  • What will the match ratio be?
The match ratio is the multiplier. Will the public’s donations be matched dollar for dollar 1:1 or will it be tripled, quadrupled, or even be multiplied by 10?

How much the donation is to be matched by is really up to you and your giving partner. More often than not the bigger the multiplier is, the more donations you receive from the public. However, it’s important not to have too big of a multiplier that your maximum matched funds run out too quickly. For example, if you have a matched fund of $10,000, don’t do a matched ratio of 10:1, as if even just ten people donate $100 then all your matched funding will be gone.

The most common matched multipliers are 1:1 or 2:1. If all you can manage is a dollar-for-dollar ratio that is completely fine and will still be extremely effective. Where matched giving isn’t as effective is when the match ratio falls below 1:1. Try to at least double a donation. 
  • Does the giving partner wish to be anonymous?
The final thing to discuss with your matched giving partner is whether or not they would like to be anonymous. Ideally, you want your giving partner to be known. This creates greater transparency to a donor and makes it easier with promotional materials and messaging. 

You may even be able to leverage your giving partner’s social platforms and connections to garner more donations.  

Ultimately, the decision comes down to the giving partner. If they agree, be sure to create a media kit with social assets and recommended copy to make it easy for them to share polished content. Not only will this make them more likely to promote on their own pages, but it will also make for a positive experience – making it as easy and fun to be involved. 

The better the experience for your matched giving partner, the more likely they will be inclined to do it again. 

2. Set Up Your Matched Giving Campaign

Don’t worry it’s not as scary as you think.

Multiplier Tool

The first thing that you will need is a donation page. But not just any donation page. A donation page that has a multiplier tool. This is for the match ratio we talked about earlier. With a multiplier tool any donations will be instantly matched and visible to the donor.
Matched Multiplier
With the right software behind you, this is a simple process. All you have to do is add in your match ratio and watch the donations automatically be matched as they roll in. 

Without the right software, adding a matched multiplier can be a technical nightmare. So unless you’re good with coding and numbers maybe use one one we’ve prepared for exactly this purpose.
Adding Matched Multiplier in donation form settings

Thermometer Bar

The second key feature your donation page will need is a thermometer bar. A thermometer bar gives donors a visual display of the progress of your campaign. And more importantly how much has been raised and how much is still to go. 

Thermometer bars create excitement and community engagement (we’re all in this together with a common goal). As you edge closer and closer to your matched goal, a donors excitement and motivation will increase. Just like a marathon runner with 1 km to go. You can see the finish line. You can see the end goal is in reach. Suddenly, every single person wants to help get you over the finish line.
Progress Bar
Again with the right software (cough cough GiveEasy), adding thermometer bars can be as easy as selecting your appeal and setting you appeal goal. Without it, that headache will probably turn into a migraine.
Adding Progress Bar to donation page

Countdown Timer

Last but not least, your page needs a countdown timer. A countdown timer is a tool that ensures everyone can see how much time is left on the campaign and creates an urgency to give. 
Countdown Timer
With your matched giving deadline being highlighted in a countdown timer, not only does this help gamify the campaign it also calls attention to the fact that donations will only be matched for a limited time. Think of it like a boxing day sale. For 24 hours only you will get more bang for your buck. 

Just like a boxing sale, adding a countdown timer on your matched giving donation page has proven success. 
Now we’re probably sounding like a broken record at this point. But without the right software, adding this feature is much harder than it needs to be. 

Adding a countdown timer with GiveEasy software is as easy as just adding in your campaign end date. 
How to set a countdown timer

Final Comments

GiveEasy donation pages also have the ability to add:
  • Comments
  • Dollar handles
  • Choose your own form fields
  • Video
  • Social sharing
  • Customisation and personalisation
  • Mobile design
  • Stories
  • Branding
  • Tracking
So it’s really a no-brainer. Whether you’re still in fact finding mode or ready to set up a campaign. Get in touch and find out how our software can help you on your next matched giving campaign.

Want to know more about matched giving?

Chat to us about matched giving or get started right away with our giving day donation page.

Claire Baxter

Claire Baxter

Head of Fundraising

Kidney Health Australia

Matched giving days are the secret weapon to time-based fundraising. They increase revenue, reactivate and acquire donors, raise awareness and importantly, they are fun for everyone involved!

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