Back in January, we shared a look at our recent work implementing DonateDouble’s matching gift solution for Muscular Dystrophy Association’s custom donation form. To follow up on that, here are some further thoughts on some of the main options available to nonprofits for matching gift services. But first…a word on why matching gifts are cool in the first place.

The first and obvious point to make is that matching gifts help you raise more donations. It’s estimated that 2-3 billion dollars go to organizations via matching gift programs annually. In some cases, nonprofits have tapped into that to boost their revenue by over 25%. But that’s not all…when you make matching gifts available to your donors, it sends a message to them that you are working to make the most impact possible with their dollars. It’s a great way to honor their contribution and provide a little extra incentive to donate.

Over half of fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, so there’s A LOT of money available out there. Moreover, a great deal of it apparently goes untouched. Something like 6-10 billion dollars gets left on the table every year. That’s a big chunk of change. Why not go after that?

Administrative burden, that’s why…or at least it used to be.

When we discussed DonateDouble, we mentioned that their end-to-end service model is a great option because it relieves your staff from the classic workload challenges that come with administering a matching gift program. Well, here are a few other services that are worth considering as you put your matching gift program together:

  • HEPdata – arguably the center of the online matching gift universe, these folks not only provide data and software integration that make it possible to easily search and locate matching gift programs, they also have their own suite of matching gift products that can integrate with your donation flow. Many of the matching gift services out there actually rely on these core HEPdata products.
  • DonorPerfect – This company is one of HEPdata’s most established partners. Within their larger portfolio of donation processing services, they offer access to HEPdata’s GiftPlus® matching gift database as well as their E-Match search tool.
  • Blackbaud – offers access to HEPdata, as well as Blackbaud’s own service, MatchFinder.
  • Double the Donation – Not to be confused with DonateDouble, this company operates what appears to be an openly crowd-sourced matching gift database that is independent from HEPdata. They also offer a range of integration and gift management services suited for nonprofits of different sizes.

Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the flipside of all this, which is that incorporating matching gift services on your donation form can present some user experience challenges. After all, adding fields to the donation form (a common feature across these services) and giving donors additional tasks to do complete within the donation flow is nearly universally accepted as a bad idea. That’s why so many groups are striving for fewer clicks and less donor-friction.

Our recommendation is to move forward cautiously with an A/B split test that serves donation forms both with and without the matching gift ask. This should show how and whether additional fields impact conversion rate, and should give some indication of how likely users are to take advantage of the matching gift option when it is available.