Implementing challenge campaigns and matching gift strategies is an excellent way to stretch fundraising further.
But what is a challenge campaign and matching gifts?
A ‘challenge’ is given to donors to raise a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time. If the challenge is complete, a matching donor(s) will match the gifts raised – either dollar for dollar or at a certain percentage point.
A matching gift is similar in the match component but doesn’t necessarily have a timeframe or deadline dedicated to the match.
Either way, matching gift and challenge campaigns are great opportunities to take fundraising to the next level.
One Should Start with What’s There and Make It Theirs
Matching challenge campaign strategies are great to set up before giving days, such as GivingTuesday and SpringForward/Give to the Max. For newbies, an excellent place to start is by checking for local giving days in the area and syncing up their matching challenge campaigns to those days for the best bang for their donors’ bucks.
Why giving day and matching challenge campaigns work
Of course, donors can present at any time throughout the year, but when one plans a specific giving day or challenge campaign, it brings more exclusivity to the event and creates a sense of urgency to give. This can be huge for a bump in donation success. Giving days and matching challenges are also great because;
- The donors know exactly what to do and when to do it.
- They know that if the gift isn’t received by a specific date, there could be negative consequences for the project, person, or program one is trying to fund.
- They feel the “now or never” mindset which can urge them to give.
- The donors feel like they are part of an exclusive opportunity (or that the opportunity will expire quickly)—they don’t want FOMO (fear of missing out).
Finding the suitable matching donor(s)
Messaging matters as one reach out to large donors in hopes they will participate as a matching gift partner. While donors with the ability to make smaller gifts see matching gift programs as a way to make their donations go further, so are the mindset of one’s large donors.
As individuals start to identify those who may be open to being the matchmaker during their campaign, they should think about how they will talk about what their money will do. Showcase how their match will allow them to do more and be more for the community. Your matching donors are interested in long-term benefits—how will this significant gift impact their organization in the long run?
At a minimum, start to educate donors about options for matching gifts—whether as individuals who can make personal matches or by asking them to talk to their employers about matching gift opportunities. Updating the communication, starting to speak to significant donors – ones so generous that it justifies having their their names on a wall about the possibility of matching gifts, and entertaining the idea of hosting one’s own giving day are all great ways to work toward solidifying more significant donations for the nonprofit.