By Moshe Hecht
Create community, interdependency, and greater financial value in fundraising.
Matching campaigns are key to creating unity and financial sustainability for your nonprofit. At their essence, these campaigns nurture a community of interdependent givers, whose gifts act as leverage for other larger and smaller donations, reaching an excitement that exceeds merely giving.
Sounds great, right? But how do you make this matching-magic work for you in 2017?
1. Cultivate Matcher Transparency
We want to know everything. Especially about the people we admire. We want to know where they go for breakfast. How they organize their closets. The ingredients in their toothpaste. You get the idea. When it comes to matching campaigns, we want to know why your matchers have chosen to be personally invested in your cause. Why do they believe in you? What is it about your organization that inspires and moves them on such a deep level? Or at the very least, aren’t we entitled to know who you are?!
This transparency can be difficult to acquire, as many philanthropists choose to remain anonymous. You’ve got to give it your all to get that interview and create that page about your matching benefactors. Discuss why they chose your organization and why they are leading your matching campaign. This will make all the difference to your donor community. As givers, we are inspired by real stories and real people. By identifying your philanthropists and communicating their personal inspiration for supporting your cause, you, in turn, make them relatable and foster trust within your donor community.
2. Show, Don’t Tell
As people who love to support the causes we believe in, we’ve all opened our inboxes to some iteration of, “This amazing donor has agreed to double your donation…” And while we may believe your email, we don’t necessarily feel the conviction or urgency to scroll down and click DONATE. We put it off. And before we know it, we’re in the middle of watching the promo for “Stranger Things” season 2.
Luckily for you, there are excellent online and offline opportunities to create this dopamine rush. Don’t just send a letter or email to your supporters – design your site to show the impact, not just talk about the impact. List their donation and their friends’ donations at their fullest matched potential. So that when they finally sit down to give that $100, they actually see their gift on your site as $200, or $300, or more. Consider displaying a giant screen at your next event, showing how the community got involved, from the numbers of volunteers to the donations that were matched.
3. Build Exposure through CSR
More and more industries are choosing to endorse various philanthropic efforts through Corporate Social Responsibility programs. And while this might not be the most altruistic endeavor, it’s an opportunity to gain exposure and engagement from the community through kindness and goodness.
The nonprofit who can provide the greatest exposure, impact, and build the most compelling story is going to win at CSR. Examine the narrative your organization is telling. How will that narrative be attractive to corporations? Are you and your people conveying your narrative successfully through the channels of email and in your online and physical presence?
The more authentic and real you are in your story, the greater the impact you will have. Demonstrate how that story will better position corporations as socially responsible companies. And once they do give you that check, don’t just spend it to cover immediate expenses. Use it to drive your next matching campaign, so the gift will continue to generate exposure, excitement, and greater financial value for your organization, and for the corporations who believe in you.
4. Get Technical
In addition to leveraging grants, don’t forget about corporate matching programs. While many corporations offer to match donations, millions of dollars are still not getting matched because of that one major widowmaker: paperwork.
Good news is, there are new platforms, which will help you get technical with corporate matching programs by automating the process for your donors. Investigate all your options. Check out doublethedonation.com and similar matching sites to find your perfect fit.
It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a world to raise the world.
As humans, we crave community. We want to be part of something larger than ourselves, to rally behind a united force for good. And it is no different when it comes to the causes we champion.
It feels good knowing that my $50 helped unlock a $50,000 grant. And someone, for whom the most value he ever placed on his $5 was his vanilla soy latte at Starbucks, now realizes that maybe he really can start changing people’s lives with a few dollars.
Give us a reason to unite.
Moshe Hecht is chief innovation officer at Charidy. An entrepreneur whose passion lies at the intersection of technology and charitable giving, Moshe personifies the company’s “why” and is a driving force in its vision and success. @moshehecht @wearecharidy