Silent Auction Fundraiser: Leveraging Matching Gifts

Silent auctions are an excellent way to raise funds for your organization, but if you want to maximize your impact, consider leveraging matching gifts. Matching gifts programs are an often overlooked source of revenue that can significantly boost the results of your fundraiser. In this article, we’ll explore how to effectively incorporate matching gifts into your silent auction fundraiser strategy.

1. Understand Matching Gifts

Before diving into your silent auction fundraiser, it’s crucial to understand what matching gifts are. Matching gifts are contributions made by a company or employer that matches the charitable donations of its employees, usually on a dollar-for-dollar or ratio basis. Many corporations offer these programs as part of their commitment to corporate social responsibility. These matching gifts can double, triple, or even quadruple the amount of money raised through individual donations, including those made at your silent auction.

2. Identify Corporations with Matching Gift Programs

The first step is to identify corporations or employers with matching gift programs. Many large companies, including Fortune 500 companies, offer matching gift programs, but smaller businesses may also participate. Research and compile a list of potential corporate donors that have matching gift programs. You can often find this information on the company’s website or by contacting their HR or corporate giving department.

3. Promote Matching Gifts to Your Donors

Once you’ve identified potential corporate donors, it’s essential to educate your silent auction attendees about matching gifts. Include information about matching gift programs in your event materials, including invitations, programs, and signage. During the auction, have a dedicated portion where you explain the concept of matching gifts and encourage attendees to inquire with their employers about the possibility of doubling their contributions. Provide easy-to-follow instructions for donors to submit matching gift requests to their employers.

4. Collect Matching Gift Forms

To streamline the matching gift process, provide donors with matching gift forms or direct them to online portals where they can submit their requests. Ensure that these forms are readily available at your event, both in physical and digital formats. You can set up a booth or information table dedicated to matching gifts, where volunteers can assist attendees in filling out the necessary paperwork. Make it as convenient as possible for donors to take advantage of matching gift programs.

5. Follow Up and Remind Donors

Don’t let potential matching gifts go to waste due to lack of follow-up. After your silent auction fundraiser, follow up with attendees who expressed interest in matching gifts. Send them reminders and gentle nudges to complete the process with their employers. Timely and persistent reminders can make a significant difference in the number of matching gift requests submitted.

6. Acknowledge Corporate Partners

Show appreciation for the corporations that participate in matching gift programs. Recognize their contributions and support during your silent auction event, in your post-event communications, and on your organization’s website and social media platforms. Building a positive relationship with these corporate partners can lead to continued support in the future.

7. Share Success Stories

To inspire others to take advantage of matching gift programs, share success stories with your donors. Highlight cases where matching gifts significantly increased the impact of individual donations. Personalize these stories and demonstrate how matching gifts have benefited your organization and the causes it supports.

Conclusion

Incorporating matching gifts into your silent auction fundraiser can be a game-changer for your organization’s fundraising efforts. By identifying potential corporate donors, educating your attendees, and providing support throughout the matching gift process, you can maximize the impact of every donation made at your event. Don’t overlook this valuable resource; instead, leverage matching gifts to take your silent auction fundraiser to new heights and make a more significant difference in your community or cause.

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