How Matching Gifts and Volunteer Grants Amplify Fundraising
Corporate giving is a continuously growing revenue stream in the nonprofit sector, and strategically pursuing these opportunities allows organizations to get the most out of their fundraising efforts. Though corporate philanthropy can take on many forms, matching gifts and volunteer grants have emerged as some of the most powerful donation initiatives.
Let’s explore the ways in which these strategies can empower fundraisers to grow their engagement with individual and corporate supporters alike.
What are matching gifts?
As one of the most popular forms of corporate giving (favored by companies, their employees, and nonprofit recipients alike), matching gifts empower businesses to amplify the impact of their staff’s own generosity.
When this type of program is offered, the process looks like this:
- An employee makes a donation to a nonprofit.
- The employee determines their match eligibility according to company program guidelines and submits a matching gift request to their employer.
- The employer reviews the submitted request, verifies the initial gift, and disburses its own donation to the same nonprofit.
Typically, employers opt to match anywhere from 50 – 200% of an employee donation. Meaning matching gift initiatives essentially double (and sometimes triple!) the value of the employee’s initial contribution.
What are volunteer grants?
Similarly, volunteer grants (which are also known as “Dollars for Doers” programs) are initiatives through which companies recognize and support their employees’ generosity.Through these programs, employers match the time their staff members donate through volunteering with a supplemental financial contribution.
Here’s how this type of corporate giving program works:
- An employee contributes their time and skills to a nonprofit by volunteering.
- The volunteer establishes that their hours qualify for a volunteer grant and completes their employer’s required paperwork to do so.
- The employer reviews the volunteer grant submission, confirms the team member’s volunteer hours, and contributes a corresponding donation based on the number of hours the individual logged.
By translating employee volunteer hours into financial support, volunteer grants extend the impact of nonprofit work and provide organizations with an additional source of funding.
The Value of Workplace Giving Initiatives for Nonprofits
Workplace giving programs—like matching gifts, volunteer grants, and more—provide nonprofits with a much-needed bolster for their fundraising efforts. By tapping into often underutilized corporate philanthropy opportunities, charitable organizations like yours can gain access to essential resources, deepen supporter relationships, and better leverage your networks and communities.
And that includes key benefits like these…
Expanded nonprofit supporter impact
Matching gifts and volunteer grants amplify the impact of individual contributions. This enables nonprofits to reach loftier goals and empowers their supporters to play a larger role in achieving them.
With these programs, donors’ gifts are multiplied, stretching their dollars further to magnify their influence on mission-critical needs. Meanwhile, volunteers are able to enhance their impact by turning their time and efforts into monetary support for the organizations they care about.
The result is that supporters tend to love getting involved in these ways! In fact, matching gifts are often thought of as a “Buy One, Get One Free” sale in nonprofit fundraising. And who doesn’t enjoy a good BOGO?
Increased fundraising response rates
As matching gifts and volunteer grants empower donors and volunteers to make a greater impact on their favorite nonprofit causes, organizations tend to see higher levels of support when these programs are being offered. In fact, Double the Donation research indicates that 84% of donors are more likely to give if a match is offered, while 1 in 3 would give a larger gift if a match is being applied.
Communicating the incentive of workplace giving opportunities ultimately boosts response rates (for fundraising appeals, volunteer requests, and more), encouraging more supporters to get involved. Fundraising appeals that mention matching gifts see a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in gift size!
Elevated donor and volunteer retention
The more donors and volunteers understand and feel appreciated in their role in supporting an organization’s efforts, the more likely they are to stay engaged with the cause over time.
Corporate philanthropy initiatives like matching gifts and volunteer grants foster a growing sense of involvement, accomplishment, and tangible impact among supporters. Thus, these opportunities keep individuals giving, volunteering, and participating in workplace giving programs time and time again.
Diversified revenue sources
The most sustainable nonprofit fundraising strategies collect and leverage revenue from a wide range of funding sources. Two of the most significant sources for charitable organizations include individual contributions and corporate giving. As workplace giving programs integrate these two funding types, promoting the opportunity to their supporters can keep nonprofits from relying too much on any single revenue stream.
Investing in this fundraising avenue can go a long way!
Introduction to corporate partners
Matching gifts and volunteer grants are two key examples of corporate giving—but they’re certainly not the only philanthropic programs available. And while a well-built strategy for pursuing these programs can significantly increase funding and engagement, it can also allow your nonprofit team to identify broader corporate sponsorship opportunities as well.
For example, as you collect data regarding your donors’ employment and determine which individuals already work for philanthropic-minded companies, you can uncover prospective partners with whom to grow your relationships. You may even use the connection to get your foot in the door and demonstrate commonalities. Plus, you empower donors to advocate for a partnership to their employers on your behalf.
Corporate partnerships beyond matching gifts and volunteer grants can be particularly lucrative funding sources—including cause marketing campaigns, event sponsorships, and more.
In a world where corporate and nonprofit partnerships have become essential, matching gift and volunteer grant strategies stand to bring fundraising endeavors to new heights.
With corporate philanthropy programs at their fingertips, organizations are able to leverage additional resources to fund their missions, foster a culture of generous giving, and strengthen their relationships with the companies in their networks. And best of all, these initiatives put the power of corporate giving directly into your supporters’ hands.
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