Guest Blog | How to Use Matching Gift Campaigns to Boost your Fundraising

A match made in heaven! At least that’s what our friend, Siobhan Aspinall, who is the Director of Philanthropy at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice calls our collaboration on the Conconi Canuck Place Challenge!

For several years, Robert L Conconi Foundation focused on supporting B.C. organizations in the health-care sector. During that time we were introduced to the CPCH and in getting to know them came to appreciate the great support Canuck Place gives to BC families, which made the partnership a natural fit. Over the years, the relationship grew to share mutual trust, interests and passion to work towards the same mission of supporting BC’s children and families. From there, the Conconi Foundation chose the Canuck Place to collaborate with on the “Canuck Place Conconi Challenge”.

To continue with our blog series on The Power of Collaboration, we caught up with Siobhan who shares her insight on how a matching gift campaign was an effective fundraising strategy for the Canuck Place and her tips on how you can integrate this successful strategy into your next campaign.

Every charity is challenged to fundraise more and more each year and due to the limited resources in the non profit sector, there’s a tricky balance between landing the big fish and working with grassroots supporters.

With a matching gift campaign such as the Conconi Canuck Place Challenge, this can bridge these two important strategies. When you engage a big donor, it can harness the power of many smaller donors to double their gifts and create greater impact.

The first step to finding your ‘match made in heaven’ is to follow this key piece of advice: Look among your strongest friends and current supporters. This is not a “cold call” situation. You will find a donor who is thrilled to leverage their gift and tell people why. At Canuck Place, we are beginning to see a small series of matching gifts and even have some donors returning with a match year after year.

Once you have a matching gift campaign in place, this is where the power of collaboration can make an impact. Here are my top 3 tips to a successful matching gift campaign:

  • Sit down with your donor and look at how you can both promote the match. Again, don’t hesitate to use their connections and their expertise to make the campaign as successful as possible. It goes without saying that you should strive to over-deliver, so watch what you promise.
  • Figure out some tight timing. A sense of urgency can be a powerful persuader for most people. Do something special around a launch date and be ready with similar marketing messaging for the end date. In our case, we took some great advice from the donor’s experience with previous gifts and decided to launch in a quiet summer month. There are a number of reasons why this makes sense: it’s unexpected, it’s easy to track success since you’re not mixing it up with a busier campaign season, and (of course!) it gives you a revenue boost.
  • Keep your donor in the loop throughout. Make them a part of the successes and challenges of the campaign. Make sure you’re sending regular updates and consider a summary report at the end. And whatever you do, don’t drop the relationship once it’s all over. Whether there is future funding in the cards or not, you’ll want to make sure your donor sees how you put the money to use later on.

We’re so happy to have collaborated with the Robert L. Conconi Foundation for a successful matching gift campaign this past summer that raised over $200,000 in support of the children and families at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

If you’d like to collaboration with us or support the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, click here for more information. 

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  • Chad Leaman

    Great tips and congratulations on the success!