A Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and Matching Gifts

A Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and Matching Gifts

According to giving statistics from Double the Donation, an estimated 10% of total U.S.-based donors participate in peer-to-peer fundraising to benefit a nonprofit cause. As a result, peer-to-peer fundraising provides a fantastic opportunity to raise money and amplify support for just about any nonprofit or school.

You have people on the ground gathering support from their individual networks, introducing your mission and needs to new audiences. And the decentralized, outsourced fundraising approach is a cost-effective one, too.

But how can you push those efforts further to maximize any resources at your disposal? Corporate matching gifts can go a long way. In this guide, we’ll demonstrate exactly how you can use donation-matching opportunities to bring your social fundraising to new heights.

Ready to dive in? Uncover the following insightful truths as you craft an integrated peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts strategy for your team:

Innovative revenue generation strategies like peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts can scale up engagement and provide access to new funding sources. And the two ideas fit together seamlessly to make an invaluable impact on missions like yours.

Find out how here. Let’s get started!

Peer-to-peer fundraising basics section header

What is peer-to-peer fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising serves as a dynamic and community-driven approach to nonprofit revenue generation that allows supporters to raise funds by seeking donations from their own networks and communities. Transforming dedicated supporters into enthusiastic ambassadors for your cause, peer-to-peer efforts empower individuals to solicit funds on your organization’s behalf.

In doing so, it allows you to engage a widespread audience that extends far beyond your immediate reach.

This type of fundraising experience typically kicks off by identifying dedicated supporters who resonate with your mission. By providing a dedicated peer-to-peer fundraising solution (more on that later!), you can empower these individuals to create and customize campaign pages that highlight your organization’s impact. From there, you’ll encourage fundraisers to share their personal giving pages with their peers to request support for your organization.

Corporate Matching Gifts and P2P Fundraising process

Top tip: A key element of successful peer-to-peer fundraising involves providing your supporters with the right tools and resources. Thus, consider equipping them with pre-made graphics, direct and mass outreach templates, and more that align with your campaign’s overall message.

This not only simplifies the volunteer fundraiser’s role but also ensures a consistent and cohesive presentation of your cause across various platforms.

Corporate matching gifts basics section header

What are corporate matching gifts?

$4-7 billion in matching gift revenue is left on the table every year. Why? It’s because so many people are walking around with the same question. And that question is, what are corporate matching gifts?

Here’s the answer:

Corporate matching gifts are additional donations made by a company to a charitable organization in response to an employee’s initial contribution to the cause.

Definition of matching gifts

In other words, if a corporate employee contributes their own dollars—or, in some cases, time—to an organization, the employing company will contribute funds to the organization as well.

Matching gift guidelines & criteria to know

Matching gift programs can vary drastically from one company to the next. In order to stay organized and communicate essential criteria to their employees, most matching gift companies craft dedicated policies outlining program specifics.

These guidelines typically include:

  • Match ratios
  • Minimums and maximum gift amounts
  • Qualifying nonprofit mission types
  • Forms of matchable gifts
  • Submission deadlines
  • And more

All in all, matching gifts are most often fulfilled at a dollar-for-dollar rate, meaning participating companies double their employees’ charitable giving. However, some employers match at a lower ratio (i.e., 0.5:1) while others match as high as 2:1, 3:1, or even 4:1 times the initial gift amount. Not to mention, a team member’s match ratio can also vary based on their level of employment. For example, a part-time worker might qualify for 1:1 matching. At the same time, a VP can be offered a 2:1 match, whereas a retired employee remains eligible for a 0.5:1 match.

Another element of matching gifts to be aware of is your donors’ minimum and maximum gift amounts. This predetermined threshold defines the range of gifts (on average between $34 and $3,828) that qualify for a corporate match.

Meanwhile, the type of gift can also make a difference. In addition to standard donations, some companies will match employees’ time (volunteerism), gifts of stock, or even peer-to-peer fundraising collections (e.g., fulfilled run/walk/ride pledges).

And you don’t want to forget about the expiration dates (or submission deadlines) on matchable gifts, either. Most companies require employees to complete the match request process by the end of the year in which the gift was made or within a certain number of days or months post-donation.

Note: These parameters can seem like a lot to keep up with. But don’t worry⁠—keep reading to find out how you can manage this process with ease!

Matching gift process overview

The better your team understands the matching gift process, the more easily you’ll integrate donation-matching into your peer-to-peer fundraising experience.

At a high-level overview, corporate matching gifts are generally facilitated through the following five steps:

  1. Initial donation: In most cases, the initial gift can be made in a number of ways, including online, mobile giving, event donations, peer-to-peer campaigns, and more.
  2. Match request: After giving, the donor determines that their employer matches donations. The individual locates additional information about the company’s matching gift program on its website, by contacting the HR department, or by utilizing a matching gift search tool like Double the Donation. Then, they complete the provided request form to secure their match.
  3. Eligibility check: The company’s CSR or philanthropy team reviews the initial donation against the provided eligibility criteria to ensure it qualifies for a match. Company leadership considers the amount of the initial donation as well as the nonprofit recipient, transaction date, and more.
  4. Gift confirmation: The company also checks with the nonprofit recipient to confirm the existence and validity of the employee’s initial donation.
  5. Matching gift fulfillment: The final step, of course, is when the nonprofit receives the matched gift from the donor’s employer. Keep in mind that matches may be fulfilled through the matching gift company’s CSR platform!

Matching gift process overview

Participating in a matching gift program does involve an extra step on the part of your donors. However, by this point, they’ve already demonstrated an interest in furthering your mission. Thus, many supporters will be eager to take the additional action required to see their contributions make an even greater impact.

And your team can do its part by simplifying the donor-facing matching gift experience as much as possible!

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How can peer-to-peer giving and matching gifts benefit fundraising?

Peer-to-peer fundraising already works by turning a single person’s support into numerous donations. By their very nature, social giving initiatives empower organizations to expand their reach and multiply their engagement potential. Incorporating matching gifts into the peer-to-peer fundraising framework adds another layer of impact by introducing possible matches for many of those “bonus” gifts.

In addition to ultimately producing a corporate gift, matching gifts have been proven to increase the average donation amount by 51%And larger initial donations lead to larger corporate matches you receive.

Not to mention, an estimated 84% of donors reported an increased likelihood of giving if a match is being offered. That makes it an excellent way to boost campaign conversion rates andd inspire more prospective supporters to get involved!

Increasing peer-to-peer fundraising performance with matching gifts - statistics

Matching gifts also provide your fundraising team with additional post-donation outreach opportunities. By following up with donors after they give to inform or remind them about the potential to double their impact, you can incorporate strategic touch points that lead to increasingly engaged supporters.

This way, they’ll be more likely to stay involved with your organization over time⁠—even if their first interaction with your organization was their loved one’s fundraiser.

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How should we promote peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts?

When launching a peer-to-peer fundraiser, the addition of matching gifts can significantly amplify the results of your efforts. But how exactly can you set your team up to begin reaping the benefits?

It all starts with some carefully crafted promotions implemented in each aspect of your campaign.

1. In the Donation Process:

Collecting employment information enables you to identify match-eligible gifts, thus maximizing overall contributions. To do so, we recommend embedding a matching gift search tool⁠—like Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro⁠—into your customizable fundraising pages. This way, all peer-to-peer donors are exposed to the opportunity during the donation process itself⁠. Your team is able to drive awareness⁠ of the opportunity and prompt supporters to check their eligibility and pursue the next steps.

It can be as simple as instructing users to interact with the matching gift search tool on your giving form like this: “Will your employer double your gift? Enter your company name here to check!”

2. Using Email:

Show appreciation to supporters by sending a thank-you email when they set up their campaign pages. Take this opportunity to educate them about matching gifts and the potential impact on their fundraising efforts.

You’ll want to send post-donation emails to those who give to your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, too. Within 24 hours of an individual donating on a campaign page, send a follow-up email that reminds them about the opportunity to double their impact at no cost!

If you know what company a donor works for, be sure to include employer-specific program guidelines and direct links to their request forms.

3. On Social Media:

The social media landscape is where many peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns gain momentum, with volunteer fundraisers sharing their donation pages with their family, friends, and loved ones online. Use the digital realm to your advantage!

Double the Donation-You Can Make a Difference

Encourage fundraisers to share their donation pages with captions that inspire donors to explore their employer’s matching gift programs. And your organization can share matching gift materials from your pages, too. In fact, Double the Donation provides customizable graphic design templates for 360MatchPro users to simplify the process!

Sample matching gift and p2p fundraising template

Sample matching gift and p2p fundraising template Sample matching gift and p2p fundraising template

4. Using Your P2P Advocates:

Don’t forget that your initial supporter, now a peer-to-peer fundraiser, is a powerful resource. Their dedication to setting up a campaign page reflects their passion for your cause. They’ll be happy to make their efforts⁠—and their peers’ giving⁠—stretch even further by advocating for matching gifts!

Your team can even provide helpful templates and other materials that equip volunteer fundraisers to spread the word about the opportunity. Matching gifts essentially provide free money for a good cause. Encourage your fundraisers to highlight this point to their unique audiences!

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Which top peer-to-peer organizations incorporate matching gifts effectively?

There are plenty of organizations out there already incorporating matching gifts in their major peer-to-peer fundraising events. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered a few of those top-notch examples!

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (also known as LLS) is one of the largest healthcare organizations working to raise money for blood cancer research and treatment. This team has seen the impact matching gifts can have on their annual revenue, and they’ve fully committed to spreading the word about matching gifts accordingly.

LLS’ flagship event, the Light the Night walk, even graces the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Top 30 as one of the most profitable campaigns each year. Check out the ways the organization spotlights matching gifts throughout its peer fundraising campaigns:

Matching gifts are called out within the organization’s primary and event-specific giving pages, complete with an embedded company search tool that gathers employment data as donors fill out the forms.

Double the Donation-LLS-Donation Form

Matching gifts and other workplace giving programs are listed as leading opportunities on the organization’s “Ways to Give” page…

Peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts example - LLS

…Which leads to the organization’s dedicated matching gifts page. This online hub provides additional background and insights regarding program opportunities and how donors can get involved!

Peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts example - LLS

LLS also provides a company search tool or relevant program information on the gift confirmation page after a donation is made⁠—and again in a follow-up email post-donation.

Bottom line: This organization knows how to aid its peer-to-peer donors in maximizing matching gifts.

LLS' matching gifts and p2p fundraising case study

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

But that’s not all! The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition also ensures that their donors are prepped and ready to take advantage of any matching gift opportunities available. Consider the following ways that this nonprofit has done so effectively:

Matching gifts are not only included on the organization’s “Ways to Give” page (with a brief description of the opportunity outlining how an individual can get involved)…

Double the Donation-NOCC-ways to give

…But they’ve also established a separate matching gifts hub, which is linked directly from the Ways to Give page (along with numerous other matching gift materials).

Double the Donation-NOCC-matching gifts page

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition has also incorporated matching gifts directly into the peer giving experience!

As a donor completes the online donation form, they’re prompted to provide the name of their employer as a way to determine matching gift eligibility and provide tailored submission information⁠—which is then provided to the individual after they complete their gift.

Peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts example - NOCC

Want to see how other organizations paired their matching gift strategies with peer-to-peer fundraising initiatives? Check out our analysis of the P2P Top 30 organizations’ matching gift promotional efforts⁠—or get the full research study here to learn more.

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Bonus: Peer-to-peer and matching gift fundraising software

To truly harness the combined power of peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts, organizations must invest in the right technology. As a largely online engagement method nowadays, the success of any peer-to-peer campaign hinges on the efficiency and capabilities of the platform you choose. If you’re looking to incorporate a matching gift element that brings your overall fundraising to new heights, it’s important to equip your team with a powerful matching gift solution, too.

And when your peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts solutions offer a ready-built integration, your job will have never been easier.

Integrating peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts software

One exemplary provider in this realm is Double the Donation. The leading supplier of matching gift automation software, this platform integrates with 90+ of the industry’s top peer-to-peer and online donation tools. That means your organization can choose the peer-to-peer fundraising technology that best aligns with your needs and goals while still reaping the benefits of a seamless matching gift ecosystem.

And it typically encompasses a few key components of the peer-to-peer fundraising and matching gifts experience:

  • A company search tool embedded within your campaign giving forms to collect accurate and up-to-date employment information.
  • A database widget that screens donor information to identify match-eligible donations and triage donors accordingly.
  • An automated email cadence that triggers tailored post-donation outreach based on a donor’s established employment and eligibility information to encourage recipients to submit their match requests.
  • A reporting system that tracks incoming matches from start to finish, allowing your team to forecast revenue and uncover stuck gifts.

Keep in mind that this type of online tool not only reduces the administrative workload for your team but enhances the overall donor experience, too.

The end result? More successful campaigns and increased contributions to your organization’s mission.

Main Takeaway:

So what can you do to drive matching gifts as a nonprofit planning or running a social fundraising campaign? Communicate with your participants! Share about the fun, easy, and impactful ways your supporters can do even more for your cause with matching gifts. Be sure to involve your volunteer fundraisers, those giving within their networks, and beyond.

Remember: matching gift revenue is an often untapped funding source that can go a long way in supporting your organization’s mission and vision. Now, all you have to do is demonstrate to your supporters how to partake in the opportunity. And your upcoming peer-to-peer fundraiser is an excellent place to start!

Further Reading:

Learn more about incorporating matching gifts into your peer-to-peer fundraising with Double the Donation.