Why Can’t I Find My Match?

It’s true – matching gifts are truly a bit like online dating.  Sort of fickle…even elusive, yet desired, nonetheless.  And much like the crazy world of online dating (and life in general), in the world of matching gifts, fundraisers have to stand out from the noise and be creative to get noticed.

But here’s a little secret – most organizations don’t just have matching gifts pouring in.  Instead, they are intrigued by the revenue opportunity and therefore start brainstorming how to fund this valuable tool.  In other words, they work backwards … from desired match to potential funding source.

The first source that generally comes to mind when we start talking about “who” the match will be is corporate donors/sponsors who have a dedicated gift already in the pipeline and/or secured.  In order to “sweeten the pie,” organizations can inform these commercial sponsors of the number of donors who will be reached with the matching gift offer, and the corporation’s brand.  The philanthropic spirit then associated with the corporation is a valuable offer in today’s competitive marketplace.  NOTE: it is important to carefully research specific corporations to ensure their values and relevant media exposure is congruent with the mission and values of your organization.

Another solid matching gift funding option is recent or soon to be acquired high dollar gifts. These can be framed as a challenge match or lead gift offer (Miss out on the first post of our matching gift series? Check out more on those offers here!).  What kind of gifts could you consider?

  • Annual gift from a major donor
  • Pool of annual gifts from a few major (or even larger mid-level) donors
  • Gift of stock
  • Bequest gifts can also be considered as matching or challenge gifts depending on the wishes of the donor, or the donor’s family

This gives committed donors the opportunity for their gift to do even more and to have their generosity widely recognized.  Many of these committed donors may prefer to remain anonymous, but they are still typically honored and excited that their gift is being leveraged to generate even more for a cause they care so deeply about.

If these options don’t seem like a fit for your organization, another option is to position employee giving as a match to donors, which is a great fit for hospitals/clinics and other health charities to show the commitment and dedication of staff to motivate donors to show their appreciation for those that give back to us every day.

Still striking out?  Don’t stress.  Chances are another organization has been where you are and has found a creative way to “fund” their match and effectively communicate with donors.  The key is having ample time in your production and planning schedule to create options and one – or two – back-up plans.  When your annual budget is developed, map out how much money you’ll need for matching gift offers throughout the year so that you have time to find the right opportunities for the right time of year.

Now that we have talked about leveraging and funding your match – join us in our next blog entry “How to Talk About Your Match.”

MINDset direct is a full-service direct marketing firm specializing in non-profit fundraising. Our work is fueled by collaboration, innovation and the strong relationships we have with our clients. Together, we are working to make the world a better place. Learn more at mindsetdirect.com.


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Candice Briddell

Candice Briddell, Managing Partner and Co-Owner, has worked within the fundraising and marketing industry for nearly twenty years and has been a part of the MINDset team for over a decade. Prior to that, she was integral in the retention marketing program at AOL.