I like to think that I can shut off work at 5pm on Friday afternoon and my weekend is free but, as well all know, that rarely happens. Last weekend I went through a stack of mail that had piled up on my desk. I am quick to open holiday cards from friends near and far but the other mail can wait until the weekend. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received a solicitation from my college and my husband’s college for a year end gift. I also received three solicitations from other non-profits. I must be the only person who loves to read fundraising letters.
I am always most curious to see how non-profits promote matching gifts in solicitations. Well, the two Universities that sent me a year end ask got an A+ in promoting matching gifts. Not only did they promote the benefits of matching gifts but they did it in the first paragraph. Unfortunately, the other non-profits didn’t fare as well. One mentioned matching gifts in a very small font on the return envelope and the other two didn’t say a word about matching gifts. I went to the web sites of these non-profits and there they did a great job of promoting matching gifts but this didn’t carry that over to direct mail. Why wouldn’t they mention matching gifts? I don’t know the answer to that question but if they went to the trouble to mention the tax benefit of a year-end gift it seems logical that they could add a quick blurb on matching gifts.
I know it is too late to correct any direct mail solicitations that have been prepared for the year-end ask but it isn’t too late to get it right in email solicitations. When sending a year-end email to your donors who haven’t donated asking them for a gift, remember to include information on employer matching gifts in your call to action.
Here are some sample phrases you can use in your email marketing campaign:
Double your donation to our end-of-year fundraising campaign to support (insert Organization name). Give back this holiday season by making a tax-deductible donation to (Organization name). Please check here and see if your gift can be matched by your employer (insert HEP E-Match Donor Link). Can we count one you to make twice the impact this holiday season? Please donate today and double your impact.
As the end of the year approaches, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to (Organization name). Regardless of the type of gift you make, you may be able to double (or even triple) the impact of your contribution by taking advantage of a matching gift program. To find out if your employer matches gifts to (Organization), please check here (insert E-Match Donor Link).
Here are a few subject lines to use for your year-end email:
- There’s Still Time to Give in 2016
- Why You Should Support _____ this Holiday Season!
- Match your donation: Help us meet our 2016 Goal
- Give Now, Get a Tax Deduction
- It’s the Last-Minute Gift that Can Make a Difference
- There’s still time to give a Gift of Hope
- It’s not too late to give a gift that lasts a lifetime
When you contact your donors in these last few weeks of the year, take advantage of this time of goodwill to ask once again for that matching gift. Use this quick and free opportunity to reach potential donors when they may be thinking about year-end tax deductions and feeling particularly charitable. Make the most of this last appeal of the year.
If your non-profit is interested in learning more about our matching gift services, please visit www.hepdata.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.681.4438. We would be happy to help you analyze your current matching gift strategies. We also have an extensive collection of matching gift marketing strategies to review online in our Learning Center.