FYI Blog

Dispelling Myths: “Matching Gifts Do Not Boost Performance”

Matching Gifts slide - Dispelling Myths Conference Presentation - NY NPC Aug 2016


When it comes to classic fundraising strategy, there’s a huge difference between “tired” and “tried-and-true.” Matching gift campaigns are definitely in the latter camp—yet they often come under fire as an old-fashioned strategy.

This is a myth. And, as with most direct marketing myths, it can largely be dispelled through analytics. Because while all organizations are different and have varying results, matching gift campaigns can be tremendously effective at boosting performance.

It’s true that matching gifts require advance planning, and can be challenging to secure. But they are well worth the effort. Nonprofits that see the benefit of matching gifts are using them around year end and throughout the year for special campaigns, because they can generate far more revenue than not having a matching gift.

We recommend testing matching gift/no matching gift and analyzing your gross and net per thousand. Testing for many Avalon clients has demonstrated the value of a matching gift time and time again. In fact, for one organization, we tested the match/no match head to head twice, resulting in 76% and 94% higher revenue/per thousand than the non-match versions.Run your own tests to see how your donors react. I have a hunch they will appreciate how much further their gifts will go with the match—and will respond accordingly.