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  Matching Gift Efforts Within Your Direct Mail Program Potpourri
The three tenets of a good annual giving program are to increase dollars and donors, educate internal and external constituents, and identify special and major gift prospects.

Increasing matching gift participation is firmly rooted within the tenet of education.

As annual giving professionals, we all understand that matching gifts come down to donor awareness and a little additional effort on their end.

There are a number of inexpensive (if done strategically) initiatives that will enhance matching gift comprehension and donor effort to fulfill gift potential.

Educational Postcards:

This strategy can work well to jumpstart matching gift awareness. The direct mail piece is a simple postcard, not seeking a gift, but rather utilized as a Did You Know primer.

Mail this postcard utilizing 3rd class postage rates at the beginning of the fiscal year every other year, prior to your annual giving cycle.

Utilize a unique marketing design for the front of the postcard to catch the prospects attention.

Samples.

The back-side of the postcards has a message similar to:

Do You Know?

Many employers will match gifts to higher education given by employees and spouses, even if they are retired.

When contacted by (Institution Name Here) Annual Giving program in the coming year, simply check with your personnel office to obtain the necessary form, complete it, and send in along with your gift or pledge payment to double or triple your gift to (Institution Name Here).

For more information and to see if your company matches, visit (Institution Website Here). Thank you for supporting (Institution Name Here)!

The good news for this approach is that it is fun, inexpensive, and creates awareness.

The bad news is that there really is no quantifiable means to determine a direct correlation to impact.

Matching Gift Brochures:

An old standard, I know, but still very useful and an inexpensive method if utilized strategically. The key is to whom the brochure is mailed to and then to focus on production options to lower the cost per piece as much as possible.

As a general rule, only include the full-length brochure listing majority of major matching gift companies in direct mail appeals to recent donors of the last five years.

Direct mail return rates on longer lapsed donors and non-donors are so low that the cost of including a brochure to these audiences is not a wise investment.

Matching Gift Post-Its:

An inexpensive reminder that can be placed on all telefund acknowledgments and pledge reminders.

PS Mention:

A P.S. should be used in most letters as it provides an opportunity to stress an important point and studies show that the P.S. is often the one part of the letter read and remembered the most.

A statement such as:

Double or triple the impact of your gift at no additional cost.

Please check with your employer to see if your gift can be matched through a company matching gift program can serve as a nice matching gift reminder.

Importance of MG Blurbs:

Again focusing on education, draft sample language that your internal constituents can place on their websites and within their newsletters. This is particularly important for business, engineering, and science constituent groups.

Sample advertising language:

Free Money! Yours for the Asking! (Institution Name) receives over $1 million each year in free money due to company matching gifts, thanks to donors who request the form from their participating employer and send it to (Institution Name) with their gift.

(Institution Name) takes it and follows up with the company to receive the match.

Matching Gifts are an easy way to double or even triple your gift to (Institution Name)!

Check with your employer today to see if your employer will match your gift to  (Institution Name) or visit our online lookup site: www.matchinggifts.com/schoolname

Reminder Mailings:

This should be a monthly occurrence.

Work with your Information Technology staff to develop a standard program that identifies those donors that have recently made a gift, are coded as working for a matching gift company, and did NOT submit a matching gift form with their gift.

The data elements you will want pulled include: name, address, gift date, gift amount, gift designation, matching gift company, and ratio.

Draft a letter template that acknowledges/notes appreciation of gift, notes indication of company employer, and potential match ratio. The donor will either: 1) send in matching gift form; 2) disregard notice; or 3) note that company doesn't match
any longer, or no longer employed by company. Lets hope for #1.

 
Contributed by ...
 
Mike Westfall, Vice President for University Advancement, Eastern Washington University
Email AddressMike is currently the Vice President for University Advancement at Eastern Washington University, having previously worked as Associate Vice President for Advancement at Radford University. Mike previously worked for the University of Toronto as Director, Alumni Advancement, overseeing a staff of 20+ in alumni relations and annual giving programming targeting 360,000+ alumni. Mike has also worked in development at Virginia Tech, Michigan State University and Georgetown University.

Supportingadvancement.com Alumni Engagement Matrix.
Supportingadvancement.com Alumni Objectives Matrix
.
Supportingadvancement.com Annual fund Within a Campaign: Leadership Principles and Annual Fund Strategy
.
Supportingadvancement.com Annual Giving Ad.
Supportingadvancement.com Annual Giving Operating Plan
.
Supportingadvancement.com Building Internal and External Relations
.
Supportingadvancement.com Campaign Planning.
Comprehensive campaign planning timeline.
Supportingadvancement.com Campaign Staffing
. Presentation on Getting (& Keeping) the Right People on the Bus.
Supportingadvancement.com Case for Enhanced Marketing
.
Supportingadvancement.com Credibility Gap
. Strategies for evaluating program stature.
Supportingadvancement.com Development Officer Performance Management
. Fiscal year performance measurements and metrics.
Supportingadvancement.com E-Communications
. E-communications and relationships.
Supportingadvancement.com E-Solicitations
. An integrated approach to giving. College of Arts and Sciences E-solicitation.
Supportingadvancement.com EWU Needs You
.
Good video showing the emotion behind and the reality of what funding cuts will do to the success of students.
Supportingadvancement.com Favorite reports
. Contributor of some of the favorite reports.
Supportingadvancement.com Fiscal Policies and Procedures
. Good fiscal policies and procedures manual with sample forms.
Supportingadvancement.com Fiscal Year vs. Calendar Year
. Which one should you use?
Supportingadvancement.com Fostering Communication
. Improving communications between Annual Fund and Advancement Services.
Supportingadvancement.com Generic Gift Card
Supportingadvancement.com Lessons Learned. Presentation on lessons learned in annual fund.
Supportingadvancement.com Leveraging Penetration. Leveraging penetration in the call center.
Supportingadvancement.com Major Gift Staff Evaluation.
Supportingadvancement.com Matching Gift Efforts. Improving your direct mail matching gift performance.
Supportingadvancement.com Maximizing On-Line Vision
Supportingadvancement.com Maximize Your Matching Gifts. Video of Presentation.
Supportingadvancement.com Millennials. Short information piece on some attributes and behaviors of Millennials.
Supportingadvancement.com Nurturing Alumni Relationships. Improve the management of your alumni touch points.
Supportingadvancement.com On-Line Giving - Outsourcing Strategies
Supportingadvancement.com On-Line Strategies. Presentation on on-line strategies for Alumni and Development.
Supportingadvancement.com Online Strategies. Synergies through service.
Supportingadvancement.com Philanthropic Best Practices
.
Supportingadvancement.com Pillars of Advancement
. Matrix of the pillars of University Advancement at Eastern Washington University.
Supportingadvancement.com Planning Calendar
.
Supportingadvancement.com Principles of Stewardship.
Supportingadvancement.com Reboot of Philanthropy in Higher Education.
Supportingadvancement.com Reporting Essentials.
Supportingadvancement.com Role of Advancement. Conceptual diagram on what is the role of the University Advancement.
Supportingadvancement.com Sample Annual Giving Ads.
Supportingadvancement.com Silos to Synergy. Cooperation and coordination on campus.
Supportingadvancement.com Solicitation Code Matrix, Solicitation Policy Sample.
Supportingadvancement.com Strategic Planning, 2.
Supportingadvancement.com Stewardship: A Global View. Stewardship as a cultivation strategy.
Supportingadvancement.com Targeting International Alumni.
Supportingadvancement.com 10 Reasons to Give. 10 reasons to support the annual fund.
Supportingadvancement.com Top 10 Ways to Give. Radford University.
Supportingadvancement.com The Role of the Annual Fund in a Capital Campaign.
Supportingadvancement.com Value Portal. Presentation on web strategies from the CASE Online Strategies Conference.
Supportingadvancement.com WWW.Annualfund.edu. Perceptions, myth and reality of annual fund on the Internet.
 
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