Nonprofit Email Marketing: 4 Steps to Increase Gift Matching

Even with the rise of Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, email marketing is still the top digital communication channel for nonprofits and fundraisers. There are many benefits of email marketing it’s easy to use, keeps your audience engaged, and you can even automate emails to keep subscribers updated.

When planning a fundraiser, finding donors that are eligible for corporate giving programs is extremely beneficial. 

Corporate giving programs are one of the many ways companies are leading the charge for social good. These programs are usually driven by employee donations to nonprofits. In turn, the company will match their donation in a 1:1 (or higher) ratio. That is what gift matching is! 

If you want to learn more, read this guide on corporate matching gift programs here!

Many companies have gift matching programs but not every employee is aware of it. Using the savvy tools of email marketing, you can boost the amount of gift matching and make your donors more aware. Here are some of the things you’ll read about below: 

  1. Use analytics tools to confirm gift matching eligibility
  2. Pick a good email marketing software
  3. Formulate the right email campaign
  4. Merge email marketing with social media marketing

Follow these 4 steps to increase your gift matching using email marketing


1. Use analytics tools to confirm gift matching eligibility

As someone planning a fundraiser, you have to juggle a lot. Planning, organizing, and executing a campaign is a lot of work. But there are tools out there that can help you out. 

One type of essential fundraising software are fundraising analytics tools. These tools help your nonprofit review donor data to gain key insights and make informed decisions about how to engage with your constituents. 

Fundraising analytics provide insight into:

  • Ideal gift size. Knowing how much your donor has contributed in the past can help you know how much to ask for in the future. 
  • Donation frequency. This can help target donors that will continue to support your organization.
  • Location. This will let you know where your donors are coming from. Donor location can affect everything from how you plan fundraising events to your marketing strategies.
  • Age. Older donors respond differently than younger ones, and vice versa. You’ll want to plan campaigns that are appropriate for different age groups in your donor population.
  • Past giving. When (and how much) has your donor given to your cause in the past? Who else has your donor given to? Knowing this will help you figure out what is important to your donors.

And most importantly… 

  • Business affiliation. This is where you will find out whether your donor is eligible for gift matching. Once you are aware that gift matching is possible you can let your donors know about this opportunity through email. To learn more about specific businesses,  Charity’s list of the top matching gift companies is a great resource.


2. Pick a good email marketing software

Now that you know which donors to target with your matching gifts email campaign, you need to pick the perfect email marketing platform! When picking the right software, you should think about a couple of things that might be important to you.

Quality, not quantity!

Make sure to find a software that doesn’t bombard your subscribers with emails that they’ll ultimately ignore. Also, there is the risk that potential donors will view your emails as spam. Even worse, your emails could start going to the spam folders automatically.

A lot of email marketing software has features like email automation which can help with managing your email stream. Using email marketing automation can increase donor interaction by sending certain emails based on donors actions. For example, if they do donate, it can automatically send an email thanking them and asking for feedback using a survey

Email marketing automation tools can help your team determine how many emails to send and when depending on what the donor prefers. It can even provide personalized messages based on information stored using your fundraising analytics tools! Your nonprofit can send a “Happy Birthday” email to reinforce that positive donor relationship while reminding them of your organization.

Usability and Ease

The last thing we want is software that can confuse your donors. When picking an email marketing software you should keep in mind how accessible it is and if the platform offers a support team for when you or your subscribers have problems. If your donor doesn’t want constant emails every week, you should be able to offer subscribers the ability to customize their subscription frequency.

People of all ages and from all places use email, so the easier your system is to use, the more effective your email marketing will be. Make sure to let your donors know that if they have any questions that help will be provided, whether it’s by email or phone. 

In the end, it is clear that choosing the right email marketing software can make or break the message you want to send. No one is going to gift match from your email blast if they don’t read it!


3. Formulate the right email campaign

The thing about gift matching programs is that not enough people know about it or forget about it once they donate. Once you find your target audience, donors whose employers participate in gift matching programs, and choose the right email marketing software, you have to think about the type of emails to send and how often.

It’s always hard to tell when people are even going to read your emails, so here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the right email campaign:

  • Educate! A lot of the time donors don’t even know that their employer offers gift matching. Only about 7% of donors at companies with matching gift programs actually take advantage of them. Donors will be delighted to know that they can double, triple, or even quadruple their contribution!
  • Remind! Sometimes donors do know about the program but forget to implement it. After they donate they move on with their lives instead of following the necessary steps for gift matching. Your emails can gently remind your donors by regularly communicating basic information and statistics!
  • Timing is key. Make sure to know how often your donor would like to receive emails. Every day is probably too many but once a year isn’t enough. Try to time it in a way that makes sense, for example, more emails during the holidays because people tend to be more charitable then. To be 100% sure about the correct timing, allow your email marketing software to collect data and that activate the ‘just in time’ feature. This way, even after sending a campaign, your subscribers will recieve the email in the perfect time for them. 
  • Don’t bore them with the subject line. The subject line is the first thing that your donor is going to see. Make sure that it is something short and to the point you don’t want their eyes to just glaze over it. 
  • Simple and organized. When your emails are organized well, donors won’t have any trouble with taking the information. Having a busy layout may distract the donors and they won’t care to read it.

For more on how to keep your fundraising email campaign simple yet effective.


4. Merge email marketing with social media marketing

Once you have email marketing down, you should also start thinking about social media marketing. Merging your email marketing with your social media can help you reach new audiences.

For one thing, you can create pages for your nonprofit on various sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more. Once you have these social media platforms, you can gain a whole new following of possible donors. Similar to email, you can choose to send announcements to this audience as frequently as you wish and with multiple forms of media. 

The great thing about social media is that the users you are interacting with can, in turn, help you spread your message. If you make a status update on Facebook about gift matching statistics, there are various “building blocks” of social media that can “build” on your status:

  • Sharing. There is usually a share, retweet, or re-blog button under social media posts where users could share that post on their own profile or send it individually to who they please.
  • Liking. The ability to like or heart a post is that user advocating what you say and publicly showing support. The more likes your post has the more others will see it as well. 
  • Commenting. The comment feature on social media posts is important because it allows others to add their own opinion or even ask questions. This can really encourage educational conversations. 

It is clear that social media marketing can be very far-reaching and impacting, so it makes sense to merge your email and social media marketing campaign. Try to time your email blasts and status updates to be around the same time and the same topic. 

Also, don’t forget to advertise your social media in your emails, and vice versa! Having the option straight from the email or post is the easiest way. 

Email marketing can be a great way to raise awareness on gift-matching if you know how to utilize it. Hopefully, after this guide, you feel a little more confident!


Guest Author:

Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.


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