Recurring Donations

Recurring Donations and Matching Gifts: A Perfect Pair

Supplying your organization with sufficient revenue to power your efforts⁠ (behind the scenes and mission-facing alike⁠) is a critical component of successful nonprofit management. When the sustaining impact of recurring donations meets the multiplying potential of matching gifts, the results are astounding.

And we’re here to assist your team in making the most of each opportunity⁠—recurring donations and matching gifts⁠—available to your cause. To do so, we’ll cover the following in this guide:

  • What Are Recurring Donations?
  • Why Do Recurring Donations Matter in Nonprofit Fundraising?
  • What Are Matching Gifts?
  • Why Do Matching Gifts Matter in Nonprofit Fundraising?
  • How Do Recurring Donations + Matching Gifts Work Together to Grow Impact?
  • How Can You Ramp Up Recurring and Matching Gifts with ACD and 360MatchPro?

Let’s jump in with the basics!

What Are Recurring Donations?

Most often occurring on a monthly basis (though sometimes following weekly, quarterly, or yearly patterns), recurring donations are a type of nonprofit support that involves supporters instituting repeating, regularly scheduled donations. Unlike one-time donations, recurring gifts occur at fixed intervals, and givers authorize the organization to deduct a pre-set donation amount via their selected payment method at each occurrence.

These initiatives provide organizations with a reliable and consistent source of income, allowing them to plan, forecast, and budget for the future more effectively. And, since they help even out the ebbs and flows of a typical fundraising calendar, they’re often called sustaining gifts, too! 

Why Recurring Donations Matter in Nonprofit Fundraising

As a revenue stream, recurring donations continue to grow in popularity and usage. According to recent fundraiser studies, total monthly giving increased by 11% in 2022 and accounted for more than 28% of all online giving. Not to mention, an estimated 57% of worldwide donors are currently enrolled in a recurring program. Ultimately, that means more (and increasingly cost-effective) dollars flowing into organizations like yours.

The giving model also benefits donors who are able to contribute more over time than they’d be able to do in a single sum, empowering them to continuously engage with your organization in a big way. And they’re able to do it efficiently and automatically!

What Are Matching Gifts?

Matching gifts refer to a specific type of corporate philanthropy program in which companies match donations their employees make to eligible nonprofit causes. This means the organization receives two gifts for the cost of soliciting one, effectively doubling the impact of the initial contribution.

And it’s a strategy that can be hosted alongside additional fundraising efforts, too⁠—such as an event, text-to-give campaign, phonathon, and more.

Why Matching Gifts Matter in Nonprofit Fundraising

Employee matching gifts do more than provide your organization with a new source of corporate giving revenue (which they do: approximately $2 to $3 billion is donated through company matching each year). They aid fundraisers in raising more through individual gifts, too!

In fact, studies show that 84% of donors are more likely to give if a matching gift is offered, while 1 in 3 would contribute a larger amount in the case of a match opportunity. Combined, this leads to a 71% increase in appeal response rate and a 51% increase in average gift size when matching gifts are mentioned.

That’s because nonprofit supporters love getting involved in programs that multiply the impact of their gifts. Matching gift donors often participate more actively in charitable giving, leading to strengthened connections and deepened, multi-faceted relationships.

How Recurring Donations + Matching Gifts Work Together to Grow Impact

When positioned well, recurring gifts and employee donation-matching initiatives can go hand in hand to produce an effective and efficient fundraising strategy.

Already, the commitment to making a recurring gift fosters a deeper connection between a donor and the nonprofits to which they give. Realizing their repeating contributions can also be matched by their employers, the multiplier effect adds an extra layer of incentive for supporters to give and complete the required steps. And it ultimately leads to steady and diversified revenue streams for the organizations in terms of increased corporate and individual support.

How does it work? The difference between getting a one-time gift matched and getting a recurring gift matched generally lies in the structure of the submission process. And there are a few possible ways it can occur. These include:

  • Option #1 ⁠— Requesting a match for the expected annual donation total at the time of initial commitment.
  • Option #2 ⁠— Requesting a match after each recurring donation (i.e., monthly submissions).
  • Option #3 ⁠— Requesting an aggregate match once per quarter or year, depending on the employer’s guidelines.

The third choice—aggregating match requests⁠—is typically preferred by nonprofits, donors, and employers alike.

Option #1, on the other hand, is the least common, as employers typically require matched gifts to be paid out in full by the employee before the request is submitted. Meanwhile, Option #2, while less efficient for all parties compared to batching matches, is still generally accepted by most companies and organizations.

Regardless of the methods you choose to promote, though, it’s essential that you take the time to remind your donors to complete the request process. And one of the best opportunities to do so is at the end of the year⁠.

Not only do many programs close their submission windows in line with the calendar’s year-end, but supporters tend to be increasingly willing to take steps to support their favorite causes in the holiday giving season!

Ramp Up Recurring and Matching Gifts with ACD and 360MatchPro

If you’re ready to bring your organization’s recurring and matching gift fundraising strategies to new heights, equipping your team with the tools to do so effectively is a must. And to produce the greatest impact from the time and resources available, we recommend instituting matching gift automation⁠—specifically by integrating Double the Donation’s matching gift automation solution, 360MatchPro, into your ACD Direct donation forms and call scripts with ease.

This empowers your team to gather employment information and screen for match-eligible gifts (recurring and otherwise), implement tailored follow-up cadences to drive matches to completion, and track corporate gifts to the finish line. Interested? Schedule a demo with the Double the Donation team, and don’t forget to mention you use ACD in the request form!

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