All too often, nonprofits overlook a source of revenue that comes at no cost to them, corporate giving programs! Corporate giving programs are very valuable to growing nonprofits, because they provide organizations with extra funds to make their mission achievable. Instead of receiving one donation from a supporter, you can double their contribution through their employer.
Corporate giving programs are very valuable to growing nonprofits, because they provide organizations with extra funds to make their mission achievable. Instead of receiving one donation from a supporter, you can double their contribution through their employer.
You’re already spending time carefully planning your fundraising events, so increase the return on your efforts through these giving programs.
There are a few simple ways to include corporate philanthropy in your fundraising plan. While some can be easily incorporated into your existing strategies, others make take a bit more effort to implement. To get started with corporate giving for your nonprofit, do the following:
Implement a matching gifts tool on your online donation page.
Reach out to event volunteers for fundraising matches.
Look into volunteer grants.
Seek corporate sponsorships.
Make use of CRM technology to analyze corporate philanthropy data.
Inquire about in-kind donations.
Don’t miss out on the chance to potentially double your revenue from eligible donations! Learn how to take advantage of corporate philanthropy, so that your nonprofit can fulfill its mission and increase your supporters’ impact with little to no extra effort. Let’s get started!
1) Incorporate a matching gifts tool on your online donation page
This is a great way to include corporate giving in your existing strategies! Any technologically-aware nonprofit knows that it needs an informative, engaging website with a well-designed donation page. However, fewer recognize the importance of including tools for their volunteers and donors, like Double the Donation’s matching gifts search tool.
Think about it, you have the opportunity to double (maybe even triple!) your donors’ contributions with virtually no extra effort on either party’s end. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this opportunity?
The matching gifts process is fairly straightforward:
An individual donates to your nonprofit.
Through a matching gifts search tool, they search their employer and determine their eligibility.
If eligible, they submit a matching gift request to their employer.
The employer reviews the request and verifies the gift with your nonprofit.
The employer sends a check to your organization!
That’s all it takes! Other than those simple steps, all you need to do is educate your donors about matching gifts and provide them with a search tool to research their eligibility. Donors will feel like their contributions are making more of an impact with minimal extra effort on their end!
To learn more about matching gifts and their potential impact on organizations like yours, visit ReCharity’s guide to matching gifts for nonprofits.
2) Reach out to event volunteers for fundraising matches.
Fundraising matches are very similar to matching gifts, but they go a bit farther than a standard donation match.
When a company implements a fundraising match program, they’ll match donations made by an employee and any money that employee raises for one of your events, like a walkathon, a marathon, or a bikeathon.
In other words, any donations that your event participants raise in your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns might be matched by that individual’s employer, doubling their contribution!
This is just one of the many times where your CRM technology can come in handy. When you’re coordinating your campaign’s outreach, use your database to determine your volunteer fundraisers’ eligibility for fundraising matches with their employers.
That way, you can make your participants aware of their available opportunities before launching the event, so that they can document the required information as they raise donations throughout the campaign!
Not only does this double a participant’s contributions, but it also might motivate them to work harder and raise more! When they know a donation will make twice the impact, they can advertise it to their friends and family when asking for contributions, encouraging them to donate more than they would have otherwise.
3) Look into volunteer grants
You can actually benefit financially from volunteers, who primarily only donate their time. This is through a form of corporate philanthropy called volunteer grants.
Volunteer grants supplement the time volunteered by a company’s employee at eligible nonprofits. Typically, a business will establish a threshold of minimum volunteer hours needed for eligibility. When a volunteer meets this minimum threshold, there is a fairly straightforward process for acquiring the grant.
The process is remarkably similar to other corporate giving opportunities. In order to complete the volunteer grant process, the following will need to happen:
You remind the volunteer to research their eligibility and their employer’s guidelines, or if you have a volunteer management system, it will automatically remind them.
The volunteer checks their eligibility with their employer or through a search tool.
If eligible, they submit a grant request to their employer.
The company reaches out to you to verify the number of volunteered hours.
You receive a check from the business!
With somewhat foreign concepts like volunteer grants, you may want to provide supporters with step-by-step instructions for determining their eligibility and for the application process. That way, they won’t be overwhelmed and ultimately deterred from completing the process.
Team Volunteer Grants
Whereas the traditional volunteer grant model offers grants to nonprofits based on an individual employee’s hourly contribution, team volunteer grants are acquired when a group of employees from a specific company volunteer together.
The main idea behind this is that companies want to emphasize team building and community service to their employees. Team volunteer grants show their employees the big impact that’s possible when they work together and give them a taste of fundraising and volunteerism all at once.
Typically, these programs offer a higher hourly donation rate, so keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities.
4) Seek corporate sponsorships.
When most people hear the term “sponsorship”, they think of a company sponsoring an event like a 5K. In reality, corporate sponsorships are much more creative and encompass a lot more than supporting a fundraising event.
The two main types of corporate sponsorships are:
Organization sponsors. These support a nonprofit year-round, not just during one event or fundraising campaign. They might provide in-kind gifts, pro-bono support, and program sponsorships.
Fundraising sponsors. These fund a specific event or campaign. Fundraising sponsors might donate money, volunteers, or tangible items. When you’ve spent time creating an effective fundraiser, sponsors are much more likely to jump on board.
As your sponsorship base grows, you may want to implement a tiered sponsorship system, where gold is the highest giving tier, silver is the second-highest giving tier, and so forth. In other words, companies who contribute more receive a higher tier and have first priority in advertising.
If you incorporate a tier system, companies that are straddling the line between their current tier may be motivated to give slightly more in order to make the next level of giving!
With sponsored events, include your fundraising sponsors’ logos in flyers, social media announcements, programs, and other promotional material. You can even make a specific sign for them at your event! Include organization sponsors’ logos in places like your online giving page, or you can even make them a special thank-you page on your website.
If you don’t recognize your sponsors, they probably won’t stick around. Yes, they want to contribute to a worthy cause, but if you don’t even say thank you, they’ll feel unappreciated and take their support to another organization.
If you want a unique way to entice more businesses to get involved with your future fundraisers, check out this creative approach!
5) Make use of CRM technology to analyze corporate philanthropy data
Donor management software is great for identifying larger gift donors and for pinpointing donors with employers with giving programs.
Granted, not every single donor will work for a company that offers some sort of giving program, but every extra bit helps!
When you incorporate CRM technology into your organization, you can constantly update your donor data so that you won’t have to search for returning donors’ eligibility every single time they make a contribution.
When searching for CRM technology, consider the following data-tracking features:
Donor info like name, date of birth, etc.
Employer to determine those eligible for grants or matching gifts.
Contact management including contact information and preferred means of contact.
Giving history to your nonprofit and other nonprofits.
Donor segmentation to better appeal to your audience in your outreach.
Additionally, if you’re keeping up with information about your donors, you can coordinate your outreach. For instance, if you know if a specific donor has an employer that offers a matching gifts program, you can mention matching gifts in your emails and phone calls with them. That way, available opportunities will stay fresh on their mind, and they’ll more than likely follow through.
Click here for a list of top nonprofit CRMs that can help to streamline your donor data.
6) Inquire about in-kind donations
Nonprofits tend to focus on monetary solutions like donations and corporate grants and often forget about an extremely beneficial non-monetary option called in-kind support.
In-kind support typically comes from corporations. Not every business has the financial capacity to contribute loads of cash to their community’s nonprofits, but more often than not, they do want to give back to their community by contributing to a worthy cause.
In-kind donations include things like:
Goods. Businesses can donate tangible goods like books, clothing, and supplies to help you fulfill your mission.
Services. If you need an extra hand for one of your larger events or fundraisers, a local business may offer free help.
Expertise. When you have limited knowledge in an area like tax filing for donations or website building, corporations might offer their knowledge so that you won’t have to hire a third-party.
Volunteers. A business might encourage their paid employees to support your nonprofit free of charge in one of your upcoming events
In-kind donations are just as valuable as monetary support. Instead of reaching out to local businesses and constantly requesting cash donations, try asking for in-kind support. They’ll feel as if there’s more they can do for your organization than just hand over money, allowing you to form a healthier, lasting partnership with them.
Corporate philanthropy comes in many shapes and sizes, including matching gifts, volunteer grants, fundraising matches, sponsorships, and even in-kind donations! CRM technology can help streamline your donor data and determine all your opportunities for corporate giving.
Remember, businesses want to give back to their communities. It provides them with positive PR, and, if they’re in it for the right reasons, they’ll appreciate the impact their giving programs make on worthy causes.
Guest blog by Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation
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