Increase your Donations & Impact with #GivingTuesday Matches

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By Ritu Sharma, CEO & Co-Founder, Social Media for Nonprofits

With #GivingTuesday coming up fast, nonprofits are looking for every strategy they can leverage through the final – and most generous – months of the year. This third installment in our #GivingTuesday series offers up tips on one of the most important: fund matching.GivingTuesdayMatch (1)

It’s a simple quid pro quo: in exchange for publicity for the business matching you, donors are incentivized because they know their donations will go further.

There are a few different types of matching you can solicit. Use any or all of them to let your boat be lifted by #GivingTuesday’s rising tide. 

Corporate Sponsors 

Every nonprofit dreams of having a huge corporation champion them with a promise to match the total of their fund drive, but most nonprofits aren’t large enough to garner that kind of support. Instead, they should focus on:

  • Businesses who’ve sponsored them in the past
  • Companies most aligned with their cause
  • Prominent businesses in their community

The Knight Foundation’s Giving Day Playbook details this further as “civic-minded individual donors with whom your community foundation already has a relationship, banks and other businesses in your community who want marketing exposure, local private foundations and local United Way chapters.”

It’s possible you could have a connection to a local business (or even a major corporation) that you’re unaware of. If not, Relationship Science is a service that helps identify potential corporate sponsors for nonprofits; but start by asking board members and super donors who they know.

Use everything at your disposal to find businesses willing to help. And then ask.

Knowing what motivates corporations helps. Gretchen Barry at NonProfitEasy says:

“Companies love to see their logos at work. Encourage larger donations by listing only the names of businesses that give under a certain amount. For companies giving over a certain threshold, add their logos to your site and posts.”

Also remind them that 91% of customers switch to brands that support good causes.

Nonprofit Quarterly suggests letting companies know they are on an elite and short list of businesses you’re approaching, since they may otherwise assume you have plenty of options to fall back on, rendering their help unimportant or unnecessary.

If you are turned down for a monetary match, an in-kind gift may be an option.

And remember that a bad match can actually hurt your cause.

Corporate Matching Gifts

Many companies – in fact, 65% of Fortune 500 companies (and others) – offer matching gifts to employees making charitable donations. Yet despite its potential, this is an avenue of donor matching that is underused.

Logistics is probably the culprit here, but a little planning ahead can make things easy to manage, and it’s well worth it.

Be sure that everyone on your team knows about this opportunity and makes donors aware in their outreach. Many donors don’t realize their employer will match their own (and sometimes their spouse’s) charitable contributions. All they need is a form from their employer.

Raise awareness about matching gifts by:

  • Tweeting corporations to remind their employees of their matching policy, if they have one
  • Tweeting your super donors and reminding them to find out if their employers offer matching
  • Including reminders in your thank-you cards and emails for anyone who forgot to check with their employer in the moment

Double the Donation and HEPdata are platforms that allow donors to search for their employer for matching eligibility. And both are offering their services for free from 11/11 – 12/19. Both sites provide free tips as well. Double the Donation has a five-day email course on matching, and HEPdata offers a sample script for phone-a-thons.


In addition to monetary gifts, local businesses may be willing to provide prizes for nonprofits working together under the umbrella of a larger organization. These prizes will incentivize the efforts of these smaller organizations, and reward those who hit predetermined milestones.

Each nonprofit should try to get their own match sponsors as well to incentivize their individual donors. 

A Few Last Tips 

Promote your match sponsors through your donation platform as well as on your website, social networks, etc. Be sure your Social Media Advisory Committee has all the appropriate info and messaging to share as well. 

Encourage your super donors to make asks of their friends – daring them to match their own donations.

Read the ethics of matching gifts to be sure you’re not doing anything you shouldn’t be doing.

Lastly, please see specials below from various platforms and organizations to give an extra boost to your fundraising for #GivingTuesday this year:

  • N4Gives is the Network for Good’s national campaign to launch the giving season on #GivingTuesday! Network for Good clients using their DonateNow or GiveCorps fundraising platforms, $125,000 matching fund pool to make a percent of your donations go further.
  • United Methodist Church provides a $1M match from their board of directors for Methodists that raise funds through the Advance at:
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art provides a match of $600k towards #GivingTuesday operations.
  • Discover Card will add 2% of the donation amount to any donations made for #GivingTuesday using Discover card. The company will add 2 percent to all Cashback Bonus donations and donations made with Discover to its Cashback Bonus charitable partners. Discover will also provide an extra giving program match to its employees’ donations to any charity on December 2.
  • Paypal will add 1% to the donations received via Paypal for #GivingTuesday via its Giving Fund.
  • Microsoft will again match #GivingTuesday donations via its YouthSpark program to its grantees up to $350K.
  • Crowdrise is doing a holiday challenge for #GivingTuesday that’s very hush-hush right now. Be sure to keep tabs on their site so you can benefit from whatever it is, and be sure to check back here for our next #GivingTuesday installment.

Does your organization or someone you know offer any other matches or incentives? Please leave them in the comments section to help nonprofits take advantage of these and increase their #GivingTuesday donations.

This post is cross-posted at LinkedIn Pulse network. 

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