You are here:

3 Tips to Leveraging Corporate Giving in Your Fundraisers

Posted Jun 14, 2021 01:50 PM
As a fundraising professional, you know that nonprofits rely on individual donors and businesses to help push their mission forward. Conversely, companies look for more opportunities to contribute to causes that resonate with them. With experience serving more than 7,000 nonprofits, John Killoran, Founder of Snowball Fundraising, shares his expertise for working with for-profit companies to further your mission.

Corporate philanthropy is one of the most important sources of fundraising dollars for nonprofits. Whether you're hosting a crowdfunding event or a virtual fundraiser, corporate giving can match gifts in various contexts. However, many overlook this resource. Organizations can miss out on tons of revenue if they’re unsure of the best ways to get started tapping into it and building new relationships with businesses. This article will explore:

  • What is corporate giving?
  • How to use a matching gift tool
  • Reaching out to your network
  • Developing partnerships with companies

What is corporate giving?

Corporate giving is a mutually beneficial partnership between nonprofit organizations and corporations. With this, businesses can help boost fundraising for causes that resonate with them while simultaneously improving their public image. For example, corporate giving can look like:

  • Monetary donations and grants
  • In-kind donations of goods and services
  • Volunteerism
  • Event sponsorships
  • Structured corporate sponsor relationships

There are a variety of routes your team can take to leverage corporate philanthropy in these different forms. One of the easiest ways to get started is through matching gifts. These corporate giving programs involve businesses financially matching donations made by their employees to eligible nonprofits, effectively doubling the donor’s initial donation. Here’s how the straightforward matching gift process works:

  1. An employee donates to your cause.
  2. This supporter checks their eligibility for corporate matching.
  3. If eligible, a request is submitted by the donor to the employer.
  4. The employer confirms the match request.
  5. The employer donates the predetermined amount to your organization.

In five easy steps, your nonprofit can receive larger donations, and donors can increase their impact on your organization. All they have to do to participate is to check their eligibility and alert their employer. Now, let's unpack the ways your team can make donors and corporations more aware of this beneficial option.

Use a matching gift tool

Corporate giving software should be a crucial part of your nonprofit’s overall toolkit. Specifically, look for a matching gift database that allows your donors to easily search for their own eligibility.

Your database will include a matching gift tool and is one of the easiest ways to take advantage of contributions. If you’re looking for a robust tool, be sure to check out Snowball’s guide to matching gift databases for inspiration.

When searching for the best tool, look for one that allows you to access:

  • A frequently updated and accurate database
  • Quick and helpful support
  • Data on your donors and those who are taking advantage of corporate philanthropy

Such solutions can also lead to volunteer opportunities, donation management, and more. Embedding such a tool on your donation page improves your donor’s journey by making it easier for them to see if their employer participates in philanthropic giving.

Furthermore, with some tools, you can even embed a matching gift database into your donation form. This can help your donors quickly determine their eligibility. With this, you’re able to provide a streamlined way for them to give even more. For example, promoting matching gift programs on your donation page can motivate your donors to submit matching gift requests immediately after completing their donation.

Reach out to your network

It’s so important to make sure your supporters are aware of corporate giving opportunities in the first place. Your donors may be in control if their company participates in philanthropic giving, or they may be an eligible employee themselves. It’s your responsibility to mobilize them to determine their eligibility and learn how to make the most of this opportunity. Consider these best practices to raise awareness about corporate giving options:

Optimizing your website

Your website is a hub for pertinent information about your organization and how the community can contribute to your mission. Make it a point to explain your role in corporate giving and how your donors can help. For example, you can:

  • Make a page on your site that explains why corporate giving is mutually beneficial.
  • Shout out corporate partners that participate in your program.
  • An informational how-to about submitting matching gift requests or starting a corporate giving program at your own workplace.

Reaching out personally to companies

It pays to contact corporations that are likely to engage with matching gift programs if they don't already. Sometimes, companies are unaware of this option to begin with, so you have to reach out to raise awareness.

Be sure to explain the benefits they’ll receive from the partnership, recent stats about matching gifts, and how their support helps your mission. You can connect with companies through:

Taking advantage of your social media presence

Your social media presence is a powerful tool. It’s where your content reaches your supporters in their daily lives. Consider posting about your corporate giving options on such platforms to help spread awareness among your donors.

  • Post content native to the platform you’re using. Many organizations have presences on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, to name a few. Regardless of what site you use to promote corporate giving, make sure your content is native to the platform. For example, you’d use Facebook to post a long-form informational article about corporate philanthropy; however, you would not put the same text in an Instagram caption.
  • Provide ways to immediately engage with corporate giving. Whichever site you use to post about your giving opportunities, be sure to include links for immediate action. After all, these posts will be calls-to-action, making it a streamlined process once they see your content. Try linking straight to your matching gift database search tool for readers to check their eligibility.
  • Attract new supporters along the way. Your social media is perfect for engaging current supporters and attracting new ones - especially their match-eligible coworkers! Your followers will likely share your posts on their feeds, which attracts new engagements with your content. Create eye-catching and easily shareable posts to achieve new followings.

With multiple routes for informing the public about matching gifts, you’re sure to expand your corporate giving partnerships and raise awareness. When you take steps to educate your supporters, you’ll achieve optimal results.

Develop partnerships with companies

In addition to raising awareness of corporate giving among your donors, your partnerships with corporations are of utmost importance. When reaching out to such companies, be sure to outline the benefits of their participation in corporate giving. Here are some talking points that will help you secure mutually beneficial partnerships:

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Consumers and employees alike are looking to corporate involvement in bettering their community. Engaging in corporate social responsibility practices reflects well on a company’s commitment to:

  • Philanthropy
  • Maintaining beneficial partnerships
  • Ethical practices

When a business actively promotes volunteerism and financially supports worthy causes, it’ll reflect well on their reputation to their employees and consumers.

Marketing boost for both parties

Partnerships often lead to publicity for both your organization and the company. For instance, if a company is helping match donations for a building project or sponsors a fundraiser such as a fun run, the company’s name is attached to such endeavors. Conversely, because being a company that matches gifts is enticing, your organization will be getting its name out at that institution, potentially attracting more of its employees to support you.

Employees benefit from participation

When companies compensate for volunteer time given to an organization or show they care about a nonprofit cause, it deepens their relationship and engagement with their employer. It demonstrates that their time outside of work is heavily supported when using it to do good for the community.

Hopefully, the talking points mentioned above will support your push to establish these connections. Once you’ve secured your partnerships, you’re on your way to building a solid relationship with corporations going forward, resulting in more fundraising dollars and exposure for your cause. This outreach can essentially provide a more robust fundraising stream that's sustainable in the long term.