Matching Gift Initiatives at 5 Higher Ed Institutions

Here are some prime examples of matching gift initiatives at higher ed institutions.

Higher ed institutions everywhere are making a difference in their students’ lives and education. But a lot of student success depends on those colleges and universities having the resources they need to continue their programming. 

For that reason, fundraising is a huge priority at higher ed institutions. Without funding, institutions can’t continue to provide the quality education that they promise their students, or even research opportunities for faculty.

That’s why identifying opportunities to maximize funding is so important. As such, we’ve compiled a list of some prime examples of higher ed institutions that have taken their fundraising efforts very seriously.

More specifically, these institutions have tapped into corporate matching gifts.

By actively promoting and encouraging donors to check their eligibility for a match through their employers, these five institutions have doubled the impact of their donations on more than one occasion. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how they’ve done this so you can start raising more for your institution.

Here are the examples we’ve pulled together:

  1. University of Georgia
  2. Carnegie Mellon University
  3. Utah Valley University
  4. Syracuse University
  5. University of Michigan

Hopefully by seeing the matching gift initiatives these schools have taken, you’ll be inspired to start tapping into this form of corporate philanthropy on your own. Let’s begin. 

Example 1: University of Georgia & Matching Gifts

The University of Georgia made our list because their dedicated matching gifts page offers both educational and actionable information to encourage donors to submit a match request. This page is easily accessible from the navigation bar (How to Give → Matching Gifts) and immediately catches our eye with a graphic that illustrates how matching gifts can maximize impact.

Here’s a look at the first part of the page:

Here's a closer look at UGA's matching gift initiatives.

UGA’s matching gift page outlines simple instructions for submitting a matching gift, as well as a contact form for any additional questions.

Now let’s look at the rest of the page:

UGA uses a company name search tool as part of its matching gift initiatives.

This is where it gets interesting! UGA has embedded a company name search tool from Double the Donation, which makes it easy for donors to find the information they need about their employer’s matching gift program. 

Below that, they’ve listed some top employers who match donations with information about their respective guidelines. Here’s an example:

As part of their matching gift initiatives, UGA lists some of the top matching gift companies for donors to see.

There’s also more matching gift contact information for anyone with questions, as well as an EIN number and accreditation info.

UGA’s matching gift efforts aren’t just limited to this page. They have also embedded the same matching gift search tool into their donation form, and the tool is branded to match the rest of their page.

UGA is also promoting matching gifts on social media. Check out this Facebook post:

Here's an example of UGA's matching gift initiatives on social media.

Asking followers, “Do You Match?” with a corresponding image is a creative approach to encouraging donors to determine their matching gift eligibility. The post also offers basic information about how matching gifts work.

Lastly, UGA sends out automated emails once a match-eligible donor has submitted their donation. The email features a banner at the top that illustrates how matching gifts work:

As part of its matching gift initiative, the University of Georgia uses this educational banner at the top of its emails.

The email then includes the below copy:

Dear Jane,

Thank you for your gift to the University of Georgia. Every day, donors like you are changing lives. What if you could change even more by applying for a matching gift?

Your donation of $50 is eligible for a matching gift from The Home Depot!

Please see the below instructions and documentation to submit a matching gift request:

Step 1: Start the matching gift submission process! [Click here]

Once you’ve submitted your matching gift request, please help us keep our records up to date by clicking the following link:

Step 2: I’ve submitted my matching gift request! [Click here]

If your or your spouse’s company doesn’t offer a matching gift program or won’t match your donation, please let us know by clicking the link below:

I’m not eligible for a matching gift.

Below is the information that we have about your company’s employee giving program. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by email at matching@uga.edu. I am happy to help you manage the matching gift process and provide support for any other needs you may have.

Best regards and Go Dawgs!

This email identifies the donor’s employer and offers direct links to start the matching gift submission process and indicate their status. Additional information about their employer’s matching gift program is listed underneath this text, as well.

UGA is an excellent example of providing educational information that encourages donors to look up their matching gift eligibility. The university covers all their bases on social media, their website, and in email outreach.

Example 2: Carnegie Mellon University & Matching Gifts

Our next example comes straight from Carnegie Mellon University. Carnegie Mellon also offers actionable verbiage and options to encourage donors to match their gifts through their employer. Their matching gifts page is easily accessible from their “Give” page (Ways to Make Your Gift → Matching Gifts).

Let’s take a closer look:

Here's a closer look at Carnegie Mellon University's matching gift initiatives.

The top of the page offers brief but useful information about matching gifts, along with instructions on how to submit a matching gift directly to the university or process it online.

Following this part of the page is an embedded search tool (also from Double the Donation), which automatically pulls up company names and information once the donor starts typing in it. 

This page is easy to find and a great example of promoting matching gifts because it offers the information needed, as well as a phone number, email address, and mailing address for their Gift Administration office.

But again, the matching gift information isn’t limited to this page. On CMU’s donation form, there’s a checkbox where donors can indicate “My company will match my gift.” If selected, an option to search for the donor’s employer pops up along with the company name search tool:

Carnegie Mellon University promotes its matching gift initiative right on the donation form.

Carnegie Mellon does an exemplary job of educating their donors and web visitors about matching gifts and guiding them through the process.

Example 3: Utah Valley University & Matching Gifts

Utah Valley University is another great example of a higher ed institution that puts matching gifts front and center during their cultivation and donation process. Their matching gifts page is easily accessible from the menu of their main Institutional Advancement page (Ways to Give → Matching Gifts).

This page starts with a brief but precise description of what matching gifts are and how donors can search for their company to determine their own eligibility. Below this description is a company name search tool donors can use to look up their company’s program:

Here's a closer look at Utah Valley University's matching gift initiatives.

This page also includes the name and contact information for the Director of Annual Giving.

For supporters who are ready to make a donation, UVU offers the same search tool on their donation page. The tool matches the rest of the form and helps donors find their company guidelines on a subsequent page:

As part of their matching gift initiatives, UVU offers a company name search tool right on their donation form.

Finally, UVU sends out automated emails to donors who have been identified as match eligible. Here’s an example of an email they send to those donors:

Dear Jane,

We appreciate your generous donation of $50 on Jan 11, 2021, and are pleased to inform you that your donation is eligible for a matching gift from your employer, The Home Depot. Your impact on UVU students will significantly increase merely by following the instructions below and submitting your request to The Home Depot!

Good news! Many employers also extend their matching gift program to retirees and spouses, too. We invite you to search for any other companies you may have a connection to.

Step 1: See if I’m eligible! [Click here]

Please see the below instructions and documentation to submit a matching gift request. Please make note of your company’s established deadline to ensure enough time is allowed for processing. Thank you for your prompt attention.    

Step 2: Start the matching gift submission process! [Click here]

Once you’ve submitted your matching gift request, please click the following link to let us know!

Step 3: I’ve submitted my matching gift request! [Click here]

If your company doesn’t offer a matching gift program or won’t match your donation, please let us know by clicking the following link:

I’m not eligible for a matching gift.

Thank you again for partnering with us in providing exceptional care to our students. If you have any questions regarding this process, please reach out to us at matchinggifts@uvu.edu or 801-863-5426.  

Regards,

UVU Annual Giving

This email identifies the donor’s employer, outlines how they can go about submitting a match request, and offers additional contact information. More information about the specific company’s guidelines are listed below this text, as well.

UVU does a great job offering numerous ways for donors to learn about matching gifts through multiple channels, as well as providing actionable tools donors can use to submit their match requests.

Example 4: Syracuse University & Matching Gifts

As soon as donors land on Syracuse University’s matching gifts page, they’re greeted with helpful information about corporate matching gifts and a company name search tool. From there, donors can follow the brief and easy instructions on the page to search for their company and click on the appropriate button to submit a match, if they’re eligible:

Here's a closer look at Syracuse University's matching gift initiatives.

This matching gifts page is easy to access from the navigation bar (Ways to Give → Matching Gifts). To get visitors started on the donation process, the page also includes a prominent “Give now!” button that leads them straight to the donation form.

What’s notable about this page is that every element is branded to match the university’s colors, creating a consistent experience for donors and a visually appealing page and form.

Syracuse also sends out automated emails to match-eligible individuals who have completed a donation. Here’s what that email looks like:

Dear Jane,

Your donation of $50 made on Jan 11, 2021 is eligible for a matching gift from The Home Depot!

Please see the below instructions and documentation to submit a matching gift request. 

Match your donation and DOUBLE your impact!

Once you’ve submitted your matching gift request, please click the following link to let us know!

I’ve submitted my matching gift request!

If your company doesn’t offer a matching gift program or won’t match your donation, please let us know by clicking the following link:

I’m not eligible for a matching gift.

Below this text, Syracuse’s email also includes specific information about the employer’s matching gift guidelines, including their match ratio, minimum and maximum match amounts, employee eligibility, and deadlines.

Syracuse does an excellent job maintaining a consistent brand, communicating with donors, and guiding them through the matching gift process.

Example 5: University of Michigan & Matching Gifts

The University of Michigan is our final example of effective higher education fundraising through matching gifts. Donors can access their matching gift page from the navigation bar of the university’s philanthropy website (How to Support → Matching Gifts). From there, the page offers information about different ways to submit a matching gift request.

One way is—you guessed it!—by using their embedded company name search tool. Donors can read the step-by-step instructions on the page before using the search tool and beginning the gift process:

Here's a closer look at the University of Michigan's matching gift initiatives.

Contact information is also included on this page, and donors can direct their matching gift questions to the university via email, phone number, or snail mail.

The University of Michigan offers substantial information to its supporters to ensure they understand what matching gifts are, how to determine their eligibility, and what steps they can take to submit a match request. 

Additional Resources

If you’re part of a higher education institution and you’re looking for ways to incorporate matching gifts into your fundraising efforts, we hope these five matching gift examples have gotten the ball rolling!

Looking for even more resources about matching gifts? We’ve handpicked some of our top articles below:

As part of your own matching gift initiatives, consider using Double the Donation!

Nancy Schwartz in Matching Gifts | 0 comments

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