How to Capture Matching Gift Revenue from Events


Matching gift revenue is essentially any funding collected through corporate matching gift programs. These programs are offered by tons of businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries as a way to engage with their employees, build a positive brand image, and make an impact on society. When companies establish matching programs, they agree to match charitable donations made by qualifying employees to eligible nonprofit causes, typically up to a certain dollar amount per employee, per year.


When eligible employees make donations to their favorite charities (e.g., yours), they are able to request funding from the company to match their own donations. In the end, the organization receives two gifts for the cost of soliciting one⁠—which is a great deal!


Do event donations typically qualify for matching gifts?

Every company that offers a matching gift program has the ability to set its own unique matching gift guidelines. These criteria communicate the specific kinds of donations eligible for matching (i.e., event donations), as well as minimum and maximum gift amounts, match ratios, qualifying employee and nonprofit mission types, submission deadlines, and more.


So, while the actual answer can vary from business to business, it’s safe to assume that many event donations will qualify for matching through event attendees’ employing companies.


Are peer-to-peer events typically eligible for matching?

Most often, yes⁠—though again, each company has the opportunity set its own guidelines regarding the gifts it will and will not match.


In order to drive match revenue at peer-to-peer fundraising events (such as run/walk/ride/swim-a-thons and more), consider highlighting matching gift program information on your individual donation pages and confirmation screens. Not to mention, you’ll want to provide your volunteer fundraisers with a crash course on matching gift fundraising to best position your organization for matching success.


What contributions are typically not eligible for matching?

Generally speaking, donors will not be eligible to request a match for nonprofit contributions that provide them with goods or services in return. For example, auction item bids will not typically qualify for matching because the auction participant receives the item as a direct result of their payment.


Similarly, the price of an event ticket may not qualify for matching (or may not qualify for matching in whole) due to the fact that the ticket purchase offers the donor access to an exclusive event experience. Some companies, however, will match the “tax-deductible” portion of a ticket price⁠—in which case, you may want to clarify that language in your event materials.


Regardless, remember that it’s usually the safest bet to encourage donors to look into their employers’ matching gift guidelines directly to determine which types of contributions will be matched.


How should we promote matching gifts to event attendees?

We recommend promoting matching gifts in any and every way you can! The more your event attendees and other supporters are exposed to matching gifts, the more likely they will be to participate if and when they determine that they’re eligible.


So what exactly should you do to market the opportunity? Consider including information on your organization’s website (and event micro-site, if applicable), event registration and confirmation pages, and more. Then, be sure to send matching gift follow-up emails in the days after the conclusion of the event.


What technology is available to drive matching gifts at events?

Like any great fundraising initiative, there’s matching gift-specific software designed to elevate nonprofits’ efforts, raise more through the funding source, and scale up results with little to no effort required. Even better, the industry-leading matching gift technology provider integrates seamlessly with the event management tools you already use!


Thanks to the partnership between Double the Donation and BetterUnite, it’s easier than ever to identify match-eligible donors, embed matching gift information in your giving experiences, and automatically follow up with targeted program details and next steps⁠—all without worrying about potential matches slipping through the cracks.


Do you have an event coming up on your nonprofit’s calendar? Perhaps it’s an annual walk-a-thon, themed gala, charity auction, or even an end-of-the-year bash. Regardless, there’s likely an opportunity for matching gift revenue to drive your success higher than you can even imagine.


Now is the time to get your team up to speed on the value and potential of matching gifts, empower your donors and fundraisers with the right tools, and begin promoting the matching gift programs offered by thousands of companies across the globe. Good luck!