I’m honored to share this space today with Stephen Hafner of HEP Development Services. Stephen shares some insight and ideas – and an offer – around matching gifts.
“Every year as we approach the end of the year and holiday giving season, millions of Americans give to charities hoping to have a positive impact on the communities where they live and work. While they give billions of dollars during the season, they often forget or neglect to take advantage of matching gift programs.
In my experience, too many organizations don’t take advantage of this “free money.”
Here’s a little background for you to consider: Since the General Electric Foundation launched the first matching gift program in 1954, the popularity of matching gifts — in which corporations match all or part of individual charitable contributions of money or time by employees, retirees, and other eligible donors — has grown steadily. According to the Council for Aid to Education’s 2008 Voluntary Support of Education Survey, matching gifts as a percentage of corporate giving totaled $175 million in 2008, up $6 million from the previous year.
It’s not hard to see why matching gifts are so popular. By multiplying the size of an individual gift, they inspire donors to donate more, or more often, to their favored causes. They demonstrate good corporate citizenship. And, they can be tailored for almost any budget.
Matching gifts may represent “free money” for nonprofits, but nonprofits fail to seek out potential matching gift opportunities from individual donors. They leave it up to the donor to tell them if they are match eligible. It makes a huge difference if the nonprofit, with minimal effort, can tell the donor of their match status and then provide the appropriate information to help the donor match their pledge.
For example, the American Cancer Society (ACS), the country’s fourth largest charity, was able to quadruple its matching gift receipts from $2 million in 2005 to $10 million in 2009 thanks in part to GiftPlus®, the matching gift database from HEP Development Services. ACS doesn’t leave it to chance, throughout their website they provide opportunities to help donors ensure they are matching the gift.
Matching gifts build the bottom line for ACS’s revenue sources — ACS spoke about this in a recent HEP Development webinar. The key to their success is to integrate matching gifts into the gift processing routine. Today, ACS is among the country’s largest nonprofit recipients of matching gifts.
HEP Development Services will be an exhibitor at the Fourth Annual Convio Summit, November 16-18, 2009, in Austin, TX. We’re offering a 10% discount on for all HEP product orders from Convio clients received through December 31, 2009. We’re also offering a free copy of the new fourth edition of Matching Gift Administration, the HEP/CASE Matching Gift Network’s guide to successful matching gift programs, to everyone who visits our booth. Be sure to stop by (booth #24) and learn how we can help you get the most out of corporate matching gift programs!”
Thanks for the reminder Stephen!