Tons of nonprofits host peer-to-peer fundraising initiatives, and many organizations collect a substantial percentage of their annual revenue through these events. In order to see the types of results that they do, P2P fundraising groups typically put a lot of time and effort into developing their marketing presence beforehand. And today, an increasing number of nonprofits are integrating well-thought-out matching gift web strategies alongside their overall fundraising practices.
Each year, the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum conducts a survey of the most successful peer-based fundraising events, producing a list colloquially known as the P2P Top 30. This year, Top Nonprofits took this collection a step further with a detailed analysis of each fundraiser’s matching gift efforts.
We wanted to take a look at the insights collected from the Matching Gift Research Report—and we chose to do so by exploring the matching gift web strategies employed by the top 10 highest-scoring organizations in the study.
In this guide, we’ve divided these leading fundraisers into a few overarching categories, which include:
We’ll explore the key matching gift web strategies employed by each organization and see how the type of fundraising event plays a role in their standout success. As we do, be sure to note which digital strategies your team can emulate to drive corporate matches for your own mission.
Fun fact: All 10 of these highest-scoring peer-to-peer fundraisers employ Double the Donation’s matching gift fundraising software, 360MatchPro. Find out how equipping your team with the best technology can significantly aid in your organization’s corporate matching web strategies and more.
Walk-a-thons are one of the most popular forms of peer-to-peer fundraiser—and for good reason! They’re fairly simple to organize, supporters love to take part, and they offer unique and impactful opportunities for deepening engagement and raising funds for an organization’s cause.
Several walk-a-thon events grace the P2P Top 30 each year, and we’ve selected a few whose matching gift efforts really stood out to dive deeper into the strategies they’ve employed. Let’s discuss the matching gift practices of LLS’ Light the Night Walk, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ NAMIWalks Your Way.
Light the Night
Our first event, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk, is one of only two fundraisers given full marks by the Top Nonprofits report. This annual peer-to-peer fundraising initiative encompasses a number of events across the nation with a common goal of raising funds in order to eradicate blood cancers.
In addition to a wide range of social and other fundraising strategies, Light the Night Walks also incorporate matching gifts well throughout the overall donation process.
Take a look at the matching gift strategy breakdown here:
The LLS team works to prioritize matching gift opportunities in all of the key locations identified by Top Nonprofits researchers in their study. This includes a detailed matching gift page, shown below, as well as a string of matching gift communications, from which we’ve pulled a few key examples.
Confirmation screen: “One Gift. Double Your Donation. You may be able to make your donation go twice as far with a matching gift. Please click here to fill out the form!”
Confirmation email: “Your donation may be eligible for a matching gift. If you’ve completed your matching gift form—thank you! If not, please look out for an email reminder that will be sent out shortly.”
Matching gift email: “Thank you for supporting our organization in the fight against blood cancer! Your donation is likely eligible for a matching gift from your employer. Taking the step to get your gift matched has the potential to double or even triple your crucial impact!”
Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Every year, the Alzheimer’s Association hosts more than six hundred Walks to End Alzheimer’s—comprising one of the world’s largest fundraising events dedicated to Alzheimer’s treatment, care, and research. Thousands of volunteer fundraisers collect pledges on behalf of the organization, with friends and families of walkers contributing generously to the cause.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s also incorporates matching gifts particularly well throughout the event strategy, as noted here:
The Alzheimer’s Association successfully incorporates matching gifts across their entire peer-to-peer fundraising efforts—from a detailed workplace giving page (shown below) containing information about how donors can get involved to mentions directly within the online giving form and automated follow-ups after the fact.
Take a look at these snippets that showcase their matching gift efforts.
Donation page: “Matching Gifts (Optional): See if your employer will match your donation! Search for your company’s name below, select the company, and complete the donation process. A thank-you page will confirm your donation and explain how to submit your matching gift application.”
Confirmation email: “P.S. Want to take your support further? Double your donation by requesting a matching gift. Many donations can be doubled or even tripled if your employer has a matching gift program. Visit our matching gifts page to learn more about applying for a match through your employer.”
Hosted by the American Heart Association each year, Heart Walk is one of the largest health-related fundraising events. With a specific focus on saving lives from the United States’ #1 and #5 most prominent killers, AHA’s Heart Walk raises funds to fight heart disease and stroke with groundbreaking medical research and treatment options.
In addition to a number of other types of fundraising revenue, the American Heart Association also makes a strategic effort to pursue corporate matching gifts.
Let’s see how the Heart Walk scored in terms of matching gift web strategies:
By highlighting corporate matching initiatives across several of the organization’s key fundraising efforts (i.e., website, donation form, confirmation screen, follow-up messaging, etc.), the American Heart Association makes it a priority to ensure donors are aware of the opportunities to further their impact. And in doing so, more donors are likely to complete their part of the process.
Here are a few examples:
Confirmation screen: “Filling out the information for matching gifts does not automatically submit a match for payment. Please follow your company’s internal matching gifts process and reach out to your Human Resource Department with questions.
Enter your employer’s name to see if they have a matching gifts program. If yes, be on the lookout for an email with next steps!”
Matching gift email: “Dear [donor], We really appreciate your support of the American Heart Association.
Did you know that thousands of companies match donations made by their employees to organizations like ours? Please visit our matching gift page to see if your company will match your gift of [donation amount] made on [transaction date]. You can also access the forms, guidelines, and instructions that you need to submit your match. If applicable, check to see if your spouse’s company has match potential as well.”
NAMIWalks Your Way
With a goal of providing education, advocacy, and support for those impacted by mental illness, NAMI hosts a number of peer-to-peer fundraising events across the nation each year. Known as NAMIWalks Your Way, the National Alliance on Mental Illness encourages participants to get involved in a variety of methods—including walking, dancing, biking, or just about any other physical activity of their choosing.
Volunteer fundraisers raise money for the mission beforehand, and donors are provided with the opportunity to get their employers involved via matching gifts as well.
Check out the NAMIWalks Your Way matching gift analysis here:
Then, see a few of their most impactful matching gift promotional examples in action below:
Donation page: “See if your employer will match your donation. Employer donation matching is provided by our partner Double the Donation. You may receive an email from Double the Donation with instructions on how to request a donation match from your employer.”
Confirmation email: “Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made y their employees. Learn more via this flyer and contact your Human Resources Department to find out if your gift can be matched.”
Matching gift email: “Thank you so much for supporting NAMI and the individuals and families affected by mental illness! I have good news: your donation is eligible for a matching gift from your employer. A match would double your impact, making your gift go twice as far in support of the millions of people affected by mental health conditions.
Below you will find your company’s instructions and documentation on how to submit a matching gift request.”
Next up we have cycling events—which are an opportunity for avid and amateur bicyclists alike to get involved, fundraising and cycling on behalf of a cause they care about. This year, the Pan-Mass Challenge and Great Cycle Challenge USA were some of the leading peer-to-peer bicycle fundraisers—and they each saw standout matching gift success, as well!
The Pan-Mass Challenge is an annual peer-to-peer bike-a-thon event designed to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund. Founded in 1980, this fundraiser is one of the highest-earning athletic fundraising events in the U.S. each year.
Along with empowering bikers to raise funds on behalf of the cause, the Pan-Mass Challenge also takes a proactive approach to corporate matching gift opportunities.
Here’s how this organization’s matching gift strategy played out, according to the Top Nonprofits report:
See it in action! Check out these examples of matching gift promotions enabled by the Pan-Mass Challenge fundraisers.
Matching gift email: “Your donation of [gift amount] is eligible for a matching gift from [your employer]! 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 click the following link to let us know.
Step 2: I’ve submitted my matching gift request! Click here.”
Not to mention, the Pan-Mass Challenge team also highlighted matching gift opportunities within the donation page itself, as well as the gift thank-you screen, confirmation email, and more.
Great Cycle Challenge USA
The Great Cycle Challenge USA is a top athletic fundraising event that uses peer-to-peer participants to raise funding on behalf of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Those participating in the challenge are able to set their own cycling goals with an aim to reach their personal objectives in the month. When they do, they raise funds from friends and family supporting their efforts on behalf of the cause.
Here’s how the Great Cycle Challenge USA incorporated matching gifts into their digital initiatives:
With a comprehensive matching gift web page on the event website (in addition to a separate match page hosted on the parent organization’s site), a donation form that collects much-needed employment data from fundraising supporters, and a number of targeted and personalized follow-up communications, the Great Cycle Challenge USA makes it easy for donors to amplify their giving impact.
Donation page: “Double your impact. [Your company] will match your donation! With the match, we could receive [double the amount of the initial gift size] in total. We’ll email you instructions for completing the match after you donate.”
Matching gift email: “Did you know that your donation to Children’s Cancer Research Fund could be matched by [your employer]? We’ve made it easy for you to ask your company to double your gift — just submit a matching gift request using our form below.”
Other Unique Challenges
Although walks and cycling challenges are two of the most prominent types of peer-to-peer ideas, not all events fall into these categories. For the rest of these fundraisers, the possibilities are endless!
Events may take on a more competitive nature—such as Susan G. Komen’s Race For The Cure—or incorporate a number of different athletic challenges, including runs, dances, triathlons, and more—such as the Kids Heart Challenge and St. Jude Heroes. Others still, like Covenant House’s Sleep Out, choose particularly distinctive experiences that coincide with the organization’s overarching mission and vision.
Let’s explore a few leading nonprofits’ unique challenges—and how they incorporated matching gifts alongside the fundraising events.
Komen Race For The Cure
The Susan G. Komen organization hosts one of the most prominent fundraising events dedicated to breast cancer research, screening, and treatment. This series of races, now coined the “MORE THAN PINK Breast Cancer Walks,” encourages individuals to solicit donations for the nonprofit’s mission while partaking in an inclusive and community-focused event.
Each year, the event also incorporates matching gift opportunities that empower donors to double or even triple their support for the cause.
Let’s see how Susan G. Komen incorporated matching gifts in their Race For The Cure event strategy below:
Earning an A+ score on the Top Nonprofits’ grading scale, the Susan G. Komen organization encapsulates matching gifts across just about every element of its overall initiative. As donors contribute to the Race For The Cure/More Than Pink Series events, they’re prompted to seek matching gift opportunities from start to finish.
Here are a few standout examples!
Confirmation screen: “Make your donation go even further! To double your impact, use our matching gifts program search tool to find your employer and find out if your employer will match your gift!”
Matching gift email: “Double your impact with Double the Donation! Dear [donor], your donation is eligible for a matching gift from your employer. Please see the below instructions and documentation to submit a matching gift request.”
Kids Heart Challenge
Similar to the organization’s primary Heart Walk, the AHA’s youth-focused Kids Heart Challenge raises funding to fight heart disease through medical research, consumer education, and more. Also like the Heart Walk, the Kids Heart Challenge uses its overall peer-to-peer fundraising experience to promote matching gift opportunities to its audience.
Check out the Kids Heart Challenge matching gift scorecard below:
Plus, see a few examples of the organization’s matching gift promotions here.
Matching gift email: “Dear [donor], Your donation of [gift amount] on [transaction date] is eligible for a matching gift from [employing company]! Refer to the instructions below for you to complete and submit your matching gift request. Please note that multiple gifts to the American Heart Association can be combined to meet minimum requirements.
If you’ve already completed your portion of the matching gift process and submitted to your employer, thank you! If not, it’s not too late. Please follow the directions in the link above. If you are eligible and you complete your portion, come back and let us know by clicking the link below. Please forward any paper form or Cybergrants confirmation to MatchingGifts@heart.org for completion.”
Sleep Out is a unique peer-to-peer-style fundraising event hosted by the Covenant House in order to raise awareness and funding to end homelessness. Those participating choose to give up their beds for a night in solidarity with the ever-growing population of youth facing homelessness—and fundraise on behalf of the cause leading up to the event.
Those who give to Sleep Out fundraisers are encouraged to make their gifts go even further—with corporate matching gifts—bringing the organization’s overall fundraising success to new heights.
Review the Sleep Out matching gift strategy analysis here:
With an overall aim to promote corporate donation matches to eligible donors, Covenant House ensures supporters are aware of available opportunities and guided in the right direction for participation. Let’s look at just a few of this team’s overall initiatives for driving matching.
Donation page: “Today, your donation has 2x the impact for youth facing homelessness.
Donation FAQs — Does Covenant House accept matching gifts? Covenant House welcomes matching gifts from your employer. You can check to see if your employer matches employee gifts and download matching gift forms by visiting covenanthouse.org/employee-giving-landing.”
Confirmation screen: “Many companies have matching gift programs that allow employee donations to nonprofits to be matched. To determine if your company has a matching gift policy, simply click below.
See if your employer will match your donation! Click here to double your donation.
If your company has a matching gift program, you can use the form above or request a matching gift form from Human Resources. Submit the completed form to Human Resources or fill it out, sign it, and send it to us and we’ll follow up to make sure your donation is matched. You can mail, email, or fax your completed form to:
Covenant House International
ATTN: Matching Gifts
5 Penn Plaza, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Fax number: (212) 727-6515”
Confirmation email: “P.S. Did you know that many companies will match a donation made by their employees? Ask your HR department or email your matching gift confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could double your donation!”
St. Jude Heroes
As a key component of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s overall fundraising, St. Jude Heroes is a multi-faceted athletic fundraising program. This series of events is dedicated to raising funds for children’s cancer research and treatment of other life-threatening diseases.
Those choosing to get involved can do so by participating in a number of races, including a marathon, half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and more, and do so either virtually or in person. Prior to racing, participants are encouraged to solicit donations and pledges, and donors contributing are encouraged to amplify their impact with corporate matching gifts.
Let’s see the breakdown of the St. Jude Heroes event matching gift strategy:
See how St. Jude encourages donors to become matching gift heroes with the following promotional instances.
Donation page: “Employer Matching: Does your employer have a matching gift program? Please use the field below to find out.
Confirmation screen: “Thank you, [donor]! Your donation of [gift amount] helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food. See if your employer will double your donation! Now take the next step.
Confirmation email: “Did you know that many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees? Learn how you can double your impact.”
Matching gifts can be a powerful tool for nonprofits to maximize their fundraising efforts, especially in conjunction with peer-to-peer events. By leveraging smart matching gift web strategies, nonprofits can unlock the full potential of these programs and engage supporters in new and exciting ways.
Leverage these insights and learn from the successes of others! In doing so, organizations like yours can take their fundraising efforts to new heights—and make an even greater impact on the causes they serve.