I’ve spoken about matching gifts before, but I recently saw the power of matching and thought I’d share. I’ve often been skeptical about matching gifts because many nonprofits often have the funding already wrapped up by the time the match starts. I often wonder how much of my gift is really going to make a difference with matching, so it has not been a motivator for me personally.
We recently ran an employee campaign with a match from a community member and I was shocked at how well it worked. Everyone loved the idea that their gift would be matched dollar for dollar and that they could double their impact. One of our contributing factors to success was that we set a deadline with the match. We ran an event and told everyone that if they made a pledge that day it would be matched. As a result we were flooded with gifts. Everyone wanted to get their gift in before the timeline was up, and everyone wanted to double their support.
We asked employees who were not a part of the development team to make announcements about the match and the status of everyone’s giving. The response was overwhelming. In fact we had staff coming up to us just so they could make announcements of how much money we had raised without us even asking.
Have you used a matching gifts challenge? How successful was it? The challenge above went out to the employee community where I work but I have also run challenges with other stakeholder groups with less success. Have you found some groups to be more motivated by a match than others?