Matching Gift Databases: What to Look for (Plus Our Top Picks!)

Whether you’re accepting donations with text-to-give software or are using standard donation pages to receive funds, you can promote matching gifts to donors right alongside your donation solicitations.

However, you’ll need to enlist the help of matching gift software and a matching gift database if you want to truly make the most of the “two-for-one deal” of the fundraising world.

To help you get started with matching gift databases, we’ll be going over the following three topics:

  1. What are matching gift databases and why are they important?
  2. What should you look for in a matching gift database?
  3. Our top picks for matching gift databases

By incorporating matching gifts into your digital fundraising strategy, there’s no telling by how much your nonprofit can double (or triple!) online donations.

What are matching gift databases and why are they important?

1. What are matching gift databases and why are they important?

Matching gift databases are collections of information related to corporate matching gift programs.

Matching gift databases house all of the specific information about thousands of companies’ matching gift programs.

This data could include:

  • Links to forms
  • The name and contact information of the person in charge of the company’s program
  • The minimum and maximum amounts that will be matched
  • The match ratio
  • Employee/retiree eligibility
  • The types of nonprofits that the company will donate to
  • Deadlines
  • And more!

Matching gift databases are important because they enable nonprofits to help donors search for the most comprehensive information about their employer’s matching gift program.

Now that you know why these tools are important, let’s move on with how matching gift databases work for nonprofits with this step-by-step example from Mercy Corps.

1. Donors looking to make an online donation can search for their employer using a matching gift database tool, like this one from Double the Donation.

Search for your employer to find matching gift opportunities.2. With Double the Donation’s tool, donors can then review their employer’s matching gift policies to determine eligibility, matching gift ratios, volunteer grant programs, and other relevant information.

Follow your employer's matching gift program protocol.

3. Finally, donors can access Double the Donation links to their employer’s matching gift request forms as well as their submission process and deadlines.

Access your employer's online matching gift form.

Without an awesome matching gift database, your donors might have to sift through webpages or internal company files to find the information they need to submit a matching gift request.

Luckily, Double the Donation makes the matching gift process easier for your donors and your organization. Databases like these take the hassle out of searching for the specific data a donor needs. They can make it easier for donors to submit matching gift requests, which means that your nonprofit receives extra donations even more quickly!

Takeaway: Matching gift databases provide your nonprofit and your donors with a plethora of information. They’re important because they make it easier for donors to find the information they need to submit matching gift requests. 

What should you look for in a matching gift database?

2. What should you look for in a matching gift database?

Not all matching gift databases are created equal! To find the one that will help you get the best bang for your buck, look at the four following qualities:

A. How often does the matching gift database get updated?

Some matching gift databases were put together years ago and haven’t been touched since. The information is now outdated and irrelevant.

Look for a matching gift database that regularly updates its records and keeps up with matching gift changes big and small.

It’s important to note when companies update their matching gift programs. According to Double the Donation, many companies make changes in September or October in order to prepare for the new year of giving:

According to Double the Donation, “Some companies modify their matching gift programs on a whim, or tie their benefit plan changes to a fiscal year rather than calendar year. The majority of companies finalize their benefit plans in early September/October of each year. It’s during this time that changes to the core structure of each company’s matching gift program is typically outlined.”

Make sure you ask when the matching gift database you’re considering gets updated.

B. Does the matching gift database prioritize electronic forms?

When donors are looking up information about their company’s matching gift program, they want to be able to access the electronic form or PDF that they need to submit a request.

If a matching gift database simply tells them to retrieve the form from their HR department, the donor might get frustrated (or forget!).

Instead, make sure that you look for a matching gift database that provides the electronic forms that your donors will need to make requests.

For instance, the Audubon Society features accessible links to employer matching gift request forms right in their matching gift database.

Audubon's matching gift database provides links to accessible matching gift request forms.

Of course, not every company has its matching gift paperwork online, but your matching gift database should have the online forms of those companies that have electronic submission processes.

C. Is the matching gift database easy for donors to understand?

Donors should be able to find and understand all of the information that your matching gift database provides.

If donors don’t know what to do with the data in your matching gift database, your nonprofit will miss out on matching gift opportunities.

Additionally, it’s important that your matching gift database includes all the information a donor needs. For instance, it should have information on the corporation’s:

  • Matching gift ratio
  • Maximum and minimum eligible amounts
  • Types of nonprofits the corporation accepts matches donations from
  • Guidelines on how to submit a request

This information helps donors determine if their gifts are eligible to be matched and what steps they need to take to submit a request.

For more about what your matching gift database should include, check out this helpful article on Fundly.

Look for user reviews and testimonials when choosing the right database for you.

D. Can donors submit new companies and request updates within the matching gift database?

Your donors might work for companies that have matching gift programs that aren’t listed in a matching gift database yet!

If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure that you select a matching gift database that allows donors to submit a new company and directly request updates.

One effective way donors can receive matching gift updates is through concise and branded emails from your nonprofit. Let’s take a look at this example email from Double the Donation:

Ensure your matching gift prospects receive regular matching gift updates via email.

This is an excellent example of how your organization can draw in donors with a simple message and easy follow-up steps to get started with matching gifts. Keep in mind that you can also promote matching gift opportunities on your website, social media channels, mobile giving messages, and more online and offline avenues.

Takeaway: Your matching gift database should have a variety of features. Make sure that you learn more about the service you’re signing up for before you buy!

Learn about our top picks for matching gift databases.

3. Our top picks for matching gift databases

Now that you know all about matching gift databases, we’ve got two recommendations for you!

A. Double the Donation: Top Matching Gift Database for Small and Midsized Organizations

Double the Donation is the best matching gift database for small and medium sized organizations.

Double the Donation is the perfect matching gift database for small to mid-sized nonprofits that bring in less than $10 million a year in revenue.

Double the Donation’s database is updated regularly, and donors are able to look up nearly every single detail about their employer’s matching gift program.

Beyond its extensive database, Double the Donation also features customizable donation pages and a handy plugin you can install on your own donation page or online form. Your donors will appreciate how seamless the integration looks as well as the wealth of information Double the Donation can provide.

Click here to learn more about Double the Donation’s matching gift database.

B. 360MatchPro: Top Matching Gift Database for Large Organizations

360MatchPro is the best matching gift database for large organizations.

360MatchPro is Double the Donation’s end-to-end matching gift solution for large nonprofits and universities that bring in more than $10 million a year in revenue.

360MatchPro uses a comprehensive matching gift database to track your donors’ matching gift submission process when they donate to your nonprofit. 

The best part? 360MatchPro automates the entire process, so you don’t have to do anything to get the doubled donations rolling in.

Click here to learn more about 360MatchPro.

Hopefully you know more about matching gift databases than you did before. Don’t forget to do your research before you start shopping for a matching gift database!

For more information regarding nonprofit matching gifts and software, check out our top additional resources:

Check out matching gifts with Double the Donation.

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