CauseMatch’s Strategy for Acquiring Matching Donors for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

By Ajay Rajan

CauseMatch’s Strategy for Acquiring Matching Donors for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

By Joseph Bornstein | CEO |

The core premise of Cause Match is to create giving opportunities that are ultimately more meaningful and thus more inspiring. We accomplish this by creating frameworks for giving in which donors play a unique and high-impact role through their contribution.

For big donors, it is the opportunity to mobilize the wider community and inspire other big donors to help build the matching grant. For small donors, it is the chance to have their contribution matched and help their favorite nonprofit unlock tens of thousands of dollars in matching funds.

Each aspect of this document outlines different angles and reasons for why a big donor can join you and play an important part in helping achieve a bigger strategy and goal. People WANT to be part of something BIGGER than themselves. And the matching campaign framework provides that connection and sense of purpose.

Amplify your impact:
Below are the key points that inspire big donors to jump on board to support a matching funds crowdfunding campaign.

You can amplify the impact of your gift by helping us to:

  1. Inspire hundreds of lower level givers to step-up and support our work
  2. And you can help us mobilize activists for our cause since once a person donates, they are more likely to become involved in our efforts.
  3. Use your gift as added leverage to build our matching grant by inspiring additional large donors to complete the pool of matching funds necessary to launch the crowdfunding campaign.
  4. Between inspiring the crowd to reach the goal and helping create the leverage for us to solicit our matching funds, your contribution of $XXXX can actually help us generate [2–4] times that amount.

**Note: They don’t need to come-up with the matching all at once. It can be paid-out over a given time period.

One more element: Divide and Inspire
If you find it helpful, you can also break-up the matching grant. This can add another layer of strategy in which the big donor is playing a special role in a wider game plan. It can provide more purpose and excitement to the donor.

For example —

To make the math easy, let’s say you want to do a 3:1 matching crowdfunding campaign and that you want to raise $30,000 in matching funds and $10,000 from the crowd. The basic approach would be:

  • To the first big donor: We are looking for three partners who can come together with $10,000 each in order to build a matching grant of $30,000. This will help us inspire hundreds of more supporters and raise an additional $10,000 from the wider community. If you come on board for the first piece of our matching fund, then we can use that as leverage for the other two since we’ll already have momentum for the match. In effect, your gift of $10,000 can be used strategically to help us raise an additional $30,000. That means your gift can make 4 times the impact it would normally.
  • Second big donor: <insert above introduction about inspiring the crowd and looking for three partners>. We already have one chunk of $XXXX in matching funds. With your gift we will need just one more matching partner. If you come on board, I can use that to get a third and then we’ll use the matching funds to inspire the crowd
  • Third big donor: <insert above introduction about inspiring the crowd and looking for three partners>. You are the missing piece. We need just one more big donor. If you come on board, we’ll be there and then can use the matching funds to inspire the crowd.

Key Data on Matching/Challenge Grants

Challenge grants increase the number of individual donors by 19% and the amount they give by 22%

We find that simply announcing that match money is available considerably increases the revenue per solicitation — by 19 percent. In addition, the match offer significantly increases the probability that an individual donates — by 22 percent.

Source: Karlan, Dean, and John A List. “Does Price Matter In Charitable Giving? Evidence From A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment.” American Economic Review: 1774–793. Print.

Dean Karlan: Yale University, Department of Economics, Institute for Social and Policy Studies, and Innovations for Poverty Action; John A. List: University of Chicago, Department of Economics and NBER.

Challenge grants increase the amount raised by up-to 71%

The total amount raised [using a challenge grant] also increases 71 percent, from $945 [control group] to $1,620, due not only to higher average gifts, but also to a slightly greater number of contributors.

Source: Rondeau, Daniel, and John A. List. “Matching and Challenge Gifts to Charity: Evidence From laboratory and Natural Field Experiments.” Experimental Economics (2008): 253–67. Print.

Challenge grants bring a diverse set of benefits:

Challenge grants are indeed challenging to fulfill, and once secured, they are unusually rewarding opportunities for non-profit organizations to greatly energize and enhance their fund-raising campaigns. They can significantly increase the chance to raise more money than would be possible otherwise. Challenge Grants may be utilized to jump-start a campaign, or as a mid-course correction to energize a flagging campaign.

Source: Challenge/Matching Gift Programs for Your Fund-Raising Campaigns : — David Patterson:

Challenge grants can unify big and small donors and create an inspired community and donor base.

The campaign not only met its goal for parent support, raising $1.2 million, including the challenge grant, she says, but it “has created a community that better understands the annual fund and what it’s for, and a sense of teamwork — that we’re all doing this together.”

Source: MacLaughlin, Steve. “Charitable Giving Report How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2012.” Blackbaud 1 Jan. 2012. Print.

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