Matching funds are the closest things that fundraisers have to magic. Match offers cut through the clutter and encourage donors to give and can turn a weak campaign into a winner — or a strong campaign into a champion!
However, it is possible to make your match offer ineffective.
Here are three common ways that organizations wreck their matching gift offer:
- Fail to make it 100% clear that the donor’s gift is multiplied. This sometimes happens when a fundraiser overthinks the match and ends up describing it from their own point of view rather than the donor’s. In your mind, you aren’t getting twice the revenue, so you may feel there’s something bogus about the “doubling” language. But to the donor, the partnership with the matcher means twice as much good happens than without the match offer. Smart fundraisers always speak to their donor's reality. Not their own.
- Offer a multiplier that’s less than two. If you have a match that offers a ratio of less than one — such as 1:0.5, or “Every dollar you give will become $1.50.” — you will not get the full power of a match. (You can, however, make the match greater than 1:1.)
- Make it seem that you’re asking donors to give twice as much, rather than having someone else double their gift. Avoid using “Double your gift.” Make it “Matching funds will double your gift.”
Did you know a well-built match offer can bring in 10–50% more revenue than a similar message without a match?
To learn more about the magic of a match offer, download the popular e-book, How to Put Matching Funds to Work for Your Fundraising.
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