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The use of matching gift lookups on your giving sites are a best practice for raising matching gifts. The lookups allow donors and prospects to quickly determine if they work for a company that matches their gifts so that they can include the company information when making their gifts. The lookup forms should return the company name when searched along with the matching eligibility information.

You should have a compelling call to action on these pages. Double the impact of your gifts! Show what matching gifts have been used for. List some of the companies that have recently provided matching gifts.

How do you track if these pages and lookups actually work? It’s tough to infer whether you’re getting a direct increase in matching when using the lookups, however, it’s equally difficult to tell if you missed any matching gifts because the lookup was not there. You should investigate some of the web analytics tools that show how visitors interact and view elements on the page to determine if they are both finding the form and if they end up using it. This will help determine where the best place on your giving page might be for the form.

Most matching gift lookups tend to be on a separate page of a giving site, usually on the ways to give page or on a page dedicated to the subject of matching gifts.

Some of these pages may have a matching gifts domain or sub-domain which may not provide value as it can take focus away from the primary domain. Visitors may not be clear that they’re still on your site so make sure the matching gifts lookup has identical branding and look and feel as your primary site if your matching gifts page has a different domain.

Make sure that the search on your site returns the link to the matching gifts page when a visitor searches for matching gifts.

Don’t forget to provide contact information for a real person on the page so a donor can get in touch with the area in your organization that is responsible for matching gifts.

Ideally, the lookups should be embedded in online giving forms and allow donors to lookup a company, select the company they work for and have the giving form automatically populated with the company name. If your form doesn’t do this, it’s worth changing the form to make it easy for donors to add company information seamlessly within the giving process. The automatic population will make it easier for gift processing since a company ID number can be passed in the background and this will facilitate the automation of setting up matching gift claims.

When is the last time you tested your lookup form? It’s probably unlikely that visitors to your site will let you know if the lookup is broken or a link is not working. Add an item in your calendar to periodically check your lookup form and make sure it’s working correctly.

Here’s some samples of matching gift lookups.

Universities

  • College of William and Mary. Separate page in the annual giving section. Contact email and phone number is on the page. Online giving form has a notation to contact your employer, but no box to enter employer information on the form.
  • Duke University.  Could be a little higher on the page – currently below the fold. The link to the matching gifts lookup is also on the annual giving page. Giving form has a box to add employers, matching partners and other affiliations. The description here could be a little more “directive” towards matching gifts specifically.
  • North Carolina State University.  Under the annual giving section, in a matching gifts page. Good information including a matching gifts contact email. The online giving form includes an embedded lookup and when you choose the company the form is automatically populated with the company name.
  • Purdue University. Separate page with matching gift lookup. Link on the giving form back to the lookup page, but you have left the giving form and need to return and start the process over.
  • University of Texas at Austin. Separate page with matching gift lookup in the how to give section of the site. Lookup integrated into giving form, but when you do the lookup you have to go back into the giving form and type in the company name.
  • Washington State University. Separate page with matching gift lookup in the ways to give section. No obvious place to enter matching gift company information on the online giving form.

Other Non-Profits

  • American Cancer Society. Good information page with contact information in ways to give section. No box on online giving form to enter employer information.
  • Defenders of Wildlife. Separate information page. No box on online giving form to enter employer information.
  • Habitat for Humanity. Good information page with link to workplace giving and matching gifts. Matching gifts video and links on the page to companies that recently provided matching gifts. No box on the online giving form to enter company information.
  • Smithsonian. Simple lookup page with good call to action. No matching gifts box on online giving form.
  • USA Cycling Development Foundation. Simple matching gifts lookup page.

PREP/Independent Schools

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HEPdata is the industry leader in providing nonprofits with the tools they need to take advantage of corporate matching gift opportunities.

With more than 6,000 customers and over 15 years’ experience, HEPdata offers a suite of tools that have become the industry standard for:

Identifying and promoting corporate matching gift opportunities
Obtaining high-quality, up-to-date information about major gift prospects
Improving the quality of donor and prospect data

Since 1997, when HEPdata launched the GiftPlus® database of corporate matching gift programs, we have specialized in helping nonprofits find corporate matching gift opportunities to double and even triple their donors’ charitable gifts. We also provide data enrichment services built on cutting-edge search and screening technologies.

HEPdata is eager to put its world-class tools, peerless expertise, and dedicated staff to work for you and your nonprofit clients.
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