[GUEST POST] Using Matching Gifts with Peer-to-Peer Events
Peer-to-peer events are a great fundraising strategy. Your supporters raise crucial funds for your organization while having fun at an event. It’s a win-win! With matching gifts, peer-to-peer funds can go even further. Use the following strategies to get your peer-to-peer participants and donors to seek matching gifts for their event donations.
Ask them to seek matching gifts
The first step to convincing your peer-to-peer participants and donors to seek a matching gift is pretty simple: Ask them! Part of your event communications strategy could be to send an email explaining to donors what matching gifts are and how they can go about asking their employers to match their event donations.
This communication with your peer-to-peer event participants can be as simple as sending an email when a registrant signs up for your event. If your event registration platform offers custom automatic email receipts, you can include a brief piece on matching gifts there, or link to a dedicated matching gift information page on your site.
Embed a matching gift service on your event donation form
This tip is also relatively simple but requires creating an account with a matching gift service. Companies like Double the Donation and HEPdata make it simple to embed their matching gift search bar on web pages and donation forms. In fact, Qgiv users on the peer-to-peer package can set up a matching gift integration with either of these services. This empowers peer-to-peer participants to search for their employer when donating to determine if their gift is eligible for a match. From there, it’s only a matter of filling out paperwork they receive via email after making their donation to get the ball rolling on the match!
Working with a matching gift service makes it much easier for donors to seek matching gifts and nonprofits to track expected gift matches from creation to completion.
Encourage teamwork to maximize donations
Fundraising teams work together to solicit donations for your organization. If even one team member is eligible for matching gifts, their potential for fundraising success increases dramatically. If your event is team-based rather than all individual participants, try having a team orientation meeting and encourage each team to determine if any members have an employer that matches gifts.
During the meeting, you could pull up one of the matching gift service tools mentioned previously and encourage team members to search for their employer. Teams should make note of which members work for employers offering matching gifts.
As teams fundraise and receive cash and check donations, they should make a point of funneling donations through their match-eligible team members. This means giving everyone’s individual gifts to one team member to enter as a donation they make to the team. Then, those team members should then apply for gift matches with their employer as gifts come in.
It’s important to note, however, that employers often have a maximum dollar amount that they’ll match. Be sure teams donate only up to the maximum matching gift amount each time they apply. This way, the team gets the maximum return on investment.
Different employers offer different matching gift ratios. The most common match is a 1:1, dollar for dollar match. However, there are companies that offer 2:1 or even 3:1 matches, where they’ll give more than the gift they’re matching. When team members are searching for their employers, it’s important to look for this matching gift information and prioritize the team members with the highest matching gift ratios first to ensure more funds are generated for your organization.
Each team member should also find out whether their employer has a per-employee match limit, and then track their matching gift requests to ensure they don’t apply for matching gifts that exceed that limit. Once they’ve hit the limit, start funneling gifts to the next match-eligible team member. This means giving cash donations and checks over to the next team member to start matching gifts. This strategy doesn’t apply to online donations to your team as those online donors must apply for matches on their own. Encourage coworkers at matching gift companies to support your team and apply for an employer match!
As a former fundraiser, I’ve seen this strategy work well for peer-to-peer fundraising events. During a poker run, a bike club funneled all cash and check donations through their leader, who applied for matching gifts through her employer. By doing this, she was able to double the impact of her team. This boosted the nonprofit’s fundraising results and earned their team the top fundraising award multiple years in a row.
Matching gifts have been an asset to nonprofit organizations for years. However, matching gifts are underutilized for peer-to-peer event fundraisers. Encourage participants to seek matching gifts from their employers. This strategy will help your event raise more money to fund your programs and reach your organization’s fundraising goals. Need ideas for how to make your virtual peer-to-peer events more successful? Check out this blog post for 6 Ways to Engage Peer-to-Peer Participants and Increase Donations for Your Virtual Events.
Shay Lessman is a writer and editor with a passion for helping nonprofit organizations succeed. He has experience in fundraising communications and has written several successful grants. He is also a proud pet parent of two very naughty dogs. When he’s not working at Qgiv, he can usually be found writing poetry, playing games, or listening to podcasts.