This strategy is my favourite mid-level giving strategy for a reason. I’ve used it with many charities and found that it not only SIGNIFICANTLY boosts your appeal income, but it also nurtures your mid-level donors.
And the best news is that while it does mean planning ahead… it’s simple enough for most organisations to put into action!
Here’s how your Matched Giving Appeal works…
Step 1: It starts with your Annual Supporter Survey
If you’re not in the habit of sending a great Annual Supporter Survey to your donors, you’re missing out on your chance to understand your database and your supporters better. But more than that, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities like this one!
When you ask the right questions, a Supporter Survey can help you uncover mid-level prospects, as well as preparing them to give a special gift in the year ahead. But remember… in order to be ready to use this strategy come tax time, your Annual Supporter Survey needs to lodge before the end of February!
Step 2: Grow your Matching Fund
Once you’ve identified your mid-level givers, it’s time to approach them with a bigger than usual giving opportunity. These donations are pooled together to make a Matching Fund that you can use to encourage the rest of your donor base to give.
But raising more is not the only benefit… it also serves to engage your mid-level donors more deeply in your organisation’s cause as they become leaders in generosity.
If you want to be ready to leverage your fund for tax, then you need to mail your mid-level donors a pack with this special offer before mid-late April. To do that, you’ll also have to iron out a few key parts of your Tax Appeal, including offer basics and your campaign story.
Step 3: Run your Matched Giving Tax Appeal
You should run your Tax Appeal as usual, with wave one lodging in May and wave two lodging in early June. The key difference is the limited-time chance for donors to have their gift matched!
By having a match, not only do you increase the urgency of your offer, but I’ve also found that you can increase gift size. Because the simple equation of DONOR GIFT + MATCH = more bang for buck.
I’ve also found that when engaged in the right way, some of your mid-level donors might even choose to give again!
Here’s when your Matched Giving Appeal works best…
For most organisations, tax and Christmas are the most popular moments of the year for charitable giving. So I’d usually advise that your Tax or Christmas Appeals are best to leverage this strategy. That’s what we did to achieve these results when we wrote the survey and packs for this particular client.
Of course, there is always the odd exception. I have had clients whose biggest and most successful campaigns run at a different time of year. I’ve also had clients who have chosen to leverage this strategy to reinvigorate failing campaigns, rather than boost already successful ones.
If you’d like to talk about when it might be best to run my favourite mid-level donor strategy at your organisation, shoot me an email and I’ll be in touch.