Using Matching Funds to Raise More

HIPGive runs contests throughout the year to boost excitement and support for crowdfunding campaigns around key areas of social impact. Thanks to our partnerships with businesses and foundations, we are often able to provide matching funds for participating nonprofits.    

What are matching funds?

Matching funds enable organizations to receive additional money on top of the direct donations they receive in their campaign. The most straightforward execution of a matching funds initiative is to offer a match on a 1:1 ratio while funds last—that is, for every $1 that an organization crowdfunds, it will receive an extra $1 from the matching funds pot, until all the funds in the pot have been distributed. 
However, there are many variations on this model. In order to broaden the incentives and ultimate impact created by matching funds, many philanthropic organizations, including HIPGive, create specific guidelines for the distribution of the funds, limiting the amount matched per donor, per organization, or releasing the funds at different times of day to enable a more level playing field for donors and organizations across the U.S. and Latin America.

Benefits of participating in a matching funds contest

Given the large number of organizations that participate in HIPGive contests and the finite nature of the matching funds resources themselves, there is no guarantee that your donations will be matched. But we do know that the opportunity to avail of matching funds is a great incentive which results in the following benefits:
  • Campaign teams work harder to spread the word and attract donations on contest days
  • Donors are more likely to give and give more generously
  • First time donors, new to crowdfunding, are more likely to overcome their doubts and make their first donation online

Tips for using matching funds to boost your campaign

Including information about matching funds in your communications is a surefire way to attract more donors. Who doesn't love the prospect of seeing their money grow?

1. Understand the rules

When there’s money at stake, this saying applies: “cuentas claras, amistades largas.”* In other words, you need to have a clear knowledge of how many funds are available, who is eligible to receive them, and other rules and regulations before you start your campaign. We will share these in contest webinars, via the website, and on email, so read these communications carefully and share them with your team. By having clear expectations, you may avoid disappointment later on.

2. Keep your messaging simple

There are lots of complicated ways to explain matching funds, but try to keep it simple for donors. For most contests we’ll produce shareable graphics for social media but in your own campaign materials make sure you include key information such as:
  • The times in your time zone
  • The fact that this is an opportunity, but not a guarantee that all donations will be matched.
Need some help with the language? Check out these 48 ways to ask for a matching gift.

3. A picture is worth a thousand words

Use simple images of "2 x 1" or "Double your donation" in your emails and social media to raise awareness of the opportunity to have donations doubled.

4. Don't be shy

In the race to get matching funds, the brave will win. Don't be afraid to reach out to trusted donors to ask them to make their donation at a certain time; they most likely will be flattered that you thought of them. Emails and messages are useful, but the best way to seal the deal is with a personal phone call the day before and a message reminder five to 10 minutes before matching funds are released.

5. Double the money = double the impact

Convert even the most stubborn donor to a matching funds fan by spelling out just how the doubling of their donation will help you achieve more positive change. Instead of focusing on the money, explain in numbers how $100 instead of $50 will help you reach more people, buy more equipment, change more lives, etc.
(*Roughly translated as clear accounts, long friendships, or good fences make good neighbors.)  
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