With the right technology in your toolkit, your team can raise more money and engage more donors through corporate giving programs like matching gifts, volunteer grants, event sponsorship, and more.
In this post, we’ll talk through how you can use software specifically designed to boost corporate fundraising as well as offer tips for maximizing the platforms you already use. We’ll cover all of the following strategies:
- Optimize your online donation form with a matching gift tool.
- Integrate corporate giving into your email marketing strategy.
- Store employer information in your nonprofit database.
- Track the right corporate giving metrics within your CRM.
- Consider automation software to streamline corporate giving outreach.
An effective corporate giving strategy can provide exponential impact for your fundraising campaigns with very little extra effort on your end.
If you’re ready to perfect your tech strategy for corporate giving, read on!
1. Optimize your online donation form with a matching gift tool.
In today’s world, it’s virtually impossible for a nonprofit to get by without accepting online payments.
More than likely, your team has already gone above and beyond to create the perfect online donation form, from finding the right online giving software to customizing your fields to capture exactly the data you need and much more.
However, be careful that you don’t miss one of the most profitable additions to your online donation form: matching gift information!
Because your donors are already demonstrating their support for your nonprofit during the donation process, it’s the perfect time to remind them (or teach them) how to make their gift go even further through corporate giving.
Luckily, thanks to innovative matching gift technology, you don’t have to clutter your donation form in order to include this kind of information. By embedding a matching gift database search tool directly on your donation page, you can direct donors to search for their employer’s corporate giving information without ever leaving the screen.
Take a look at how the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta implemented a Double the Donation search widget on their donation page for example:
But don’t stop at your donation page! You can get more out of matching gift search tools by including them all across your nonprofit website as well as in other communications, such as:
- Donation confirmation screens.
- Your website’s dedicated corporate giving page.
- Your website’s ways to give page.
- Email newsletters.
- Donation acknowledgement or thank-you emails.
The more you make use of matching gift technology, the more likely you are to see a return on your investment. Keep your donors educated about how they can get their contributions doubled or even tripled by their employers, and they’re sure to follow through on submitting their requests.
2. Integrate corporate giving into your email marketing strategy.
We’ve already mentioned how easy it is to include a matching gift search widget within your email communications, but you can take that strategy a step further by fully integrating your corporate giving strategy with your approach to email marketing.
As any email marketer knows, segmentation is key to successful emails. Because there are so many different types of corporate giving, you can develop a variety of email campaigns geared toward specific subsets of your supporter base and the corporate philanthropy programs they’d most likely be interested in.
Here’s what that might look like in practice:
- Send an email series on the impact of matching gifts to all donors that you know work for a company who participates in matching gift programs. (More on where you’ll find this data in Section 3!)
- Include information about volunteer grants in all of your volunteer thank-you emails as well as within newsletters promoting upcoming volunteer opportunities and any emails you send prior to their volunteer shift.
- Send an email about fundraising matches to your peer-to-peer fundraisers. Many companies match funds raised for walkathons or other peer-to-peer events, so get the word out about this corporate giving program in the early stages of your campaign.
- Let major donors know when a fundraising event is on the horizon to see if they’d be interested in sponsorship. Since they’ve already played a key role in other campaigns (or your annual fund), they may be interested in taking on a larger role in your event.
As you’re putting together your corporate giving communications plan, make sure all of your staff is on the same page. Map out a comprehensive email calendar for all departments and campaigns so that you don’t inadvertently spam supporters with too many messages.
3. Store employer information in your donor database.
One of the most basic tips for optimizing your corporate giving strategy is to make sure you’re keeping a strong record of employer data within your CRM. After all, how can you capitalize on these programs if you don’t which of your supporters can participate in them?
If your database doesn’t already include employment data fields on donor profiles, add custom fields that reflect employer name as well as other related information, like the individual’s job title or department.
Of course, depending on your database capabilities, adjusting fields may be a simple change or a more complicated undertaking.
When in doubt, check with a nonprofit technology consultant anytime you consider customizing or implementing a new piece of technology, as they can work with your team to make sure no data is compromised in the process.
Not sure where to find employer data in the first place? There are a few ways you can collect it, including:
- Scanning your supporters’ email addresses for domains that correspond to their companies.
- Sending out a survey to your entire list asking for this information, and then quickly importing that data into their profiles.
- Asking donors to update their profiles with accurate employer data themselves, if your CRM allows for it.
And don’t forget that employer data can change more than you might think!
Make a practice of revisiting and refreshing your donor profiles at least once a year or anytime you plan for a major fundraising campaign to ensure your database is tidy and up-to-date.
4. Track the right corporate giving metrics within your CRM.
Speaking of nonprofit databases, these key pieces of technology can do a lot more than store donor data!
Most CRMs come equipped with highly useful reporting tools to help you measure success across all of the most important areas—including raising money through corporate philanthropy.
Use your nonprofit CRM to gain a holistic view of your supporters’ participation in different corporate giving initiatives to find ways to engage them more strategically and raise more money through these programs.
Here are a few examples of the metrics you might track:
- Number of donors eligible for matching gifts (or volunteers eligible for volunteer grants).
- Percentage of eligible donations matched.
- Companies with the highest number of donors or volunteers.
- Total corporate giving revenue.
- Potential total of corporate giving revenue (if all eligible gifts/volunteer hours were matched).
The more you know about the effectiveness of your corporate giving strategy, the more you can adjust it to see better results.
For example, if you can identify a large number of donors who are eligible for matching gifts but are still seeing low corporate giving revenue, you might decide to devote more time to marketing matching gift programs, potentially investing in a matching gift tool to help out.
Or, you might see that you’re getting a huge percentage of your corporate giving revenue from one or two companies with heavy involvement in your nonprofit. If that’s the case, you might spend more time specifically nurturing that business relationship and may invite them to host a team volunteer day or even sponsor a fundraiser.
Without this data in front of you, you’d have to guess at which strategies would fill in your corporate giving gaps more effectively—which is never an ideal strategy for nonprofits who need to implement the most trustworthy solutions!
Bonus! Want to learn more about what nonprofit CRMs can help you accomplish? Check out Double the Donation’s guide to these must-have technology solutions!
5. Consider automation software to streamline corporate giving outreach.
If your organization relies on corporate giving programs as a major source of its total fundraising revenue, you may need a more heavy-duty software solution to match your efforts.
With matching gift automation software, your team can significantly cut down on the manual work of compiling employer data, tracking the matching gift (or volunteer grant) submission process, and communicating with donors about the status of their requests.
As a result, your nonprofit will be able to optimize the entire corporate giving outreach process! You’ll spend less time marketing and following up on matching gift or volunteer grant requests and more time actually cultivating those donor and business relationships (and using their gifts to further your cause, of course).
Some of the features you’ll find in this comprehensive corporate giving software include:
- Email domain screening to identify match-eligible donors.
- Automated follow-up for donations, match submissions, and received matches.
- Tracking tools to easily view where a donation is in the submission process.
- Built-in reporting features to quickly analyze important corporate giving metrics (including all of the ones mentioned above!).
Here’s an example of these features in action in 360MatchPro’s matching gift software:
With these easy-to-customize automated email templates, you can get the word out about corporate giving to all (or a segmented group) of your supporters at once.
Because this type of technology is so comprehensive, it’s best used by larger nonprofits who already have a strong corporate giving strategy in place. If that sounds like your organization, this software can help you knock down any barriers that are keeping you from reaching your full corporate giving potential.
Oftentimes, it’s all about not what technology you have on hand—it’s how you use it that can affect your strategy the most.
When it comes to corporate giving, we hope these tips can help you kick your fundraising into overdrive with a little help from the right software solutions.
About the Author
Adam Weinger is one of the leading experts on corporate giving programs.
He’s the President of Double the Donation, a company which helps organizations raise more money from employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs. The company partners with nonprofits ranging from arts and cultural organizations, hospitals, educational institutions, and community-based organizations to help them increase fundraising from corporate giving programs.
Adam is a frequent contributor to many leading nonprofit magazines and blogs, including NonprofitPro, GuideStar, Nonprofit Marketing Guide, Top Nonprofits, Nonprofit.About.com and of course, Double the Donation’s blog.
Organizations looking to learn more about employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs should check out the resources the company provides which include lists of the top matching gift and volunteer grant companies.