The Life Cycle of a Matching Gift

There are hundreds of fundraising tools, tips and ideas available to Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants who are working toward their fundraising goals, but I am consistently surprised at how underused matching gifts are. Matching gifts are a way for a donor to double his/her donation, but for some reason, many people don’t pursue the option. Perhaps it’s from a lack of understanding about how the process works, or a misconception that it’s too complicated or time-consuming. I’m hoping to clear some of that up here.

In general, a Komen 3-Day matching gift works like this:

  • Meet Petunia.
  • Petunia has just made a $100 donation to her sister Daisy, who is raising money for the 3-Day®. She’s very proud of what Daisy is doing, and wants to support her as much as she can.
  • Petunia works for Awesome, Inc., which has a company matching gift program. Many companies (especially larger corporations) offer matching gifts as a way to inspire their employees to give charitably.
  • So, Petunia goes to the Matching Gifts info page on the 3-Day website (The3Day.org/Matching) to look up Awesome, Inc., and confirms that they do match with the 3-Day. Hooray! The Matching Gifts page has info about how Awesome, Inc.’s matching process works, so she submits a request for Awesome, Inc. to match her $100 donation with $100 of their own.
  • Every company’s matching gift process is unique, but in most cases, the company will use an online matching gift portal (such as EasyMatch or CyberGrants) to process requests. Some companies use paper forms that must be mailed in. Petunia confirms that Awesome, Inc. uses an online process, so she logs in and enters the correct information about her gift. She makes sure to specifically designate the Susan G. Komen 3-Day as the recipient of the matching gift (as opposed to her local Susan G. Komen® affiliate or Komen headquarters), and includes Daisy’s full name and the city where she’s walking, to make sure Daisy gets credit for the match.
  • The 3-Day matching gifts team receives notification of the match request from Petunia/Awesome, Inc., and once they have verified Petunia’s original donation, they will approve the match and send approval notification back to Awesome, Inc. This process can take up to 4-6 weeks, but is usually much faster.
  • Even though Awesome, Inc. may not send the matching funds to the 3-Day right away (many companies only pay out matches once a quarter, or twice yearly), credit for the matching gift will be added to Daisy’s fundraising total as soon as the match is approved.
  • And just like that, Petunia’s $100 donation has doubled, and twice as much money goes back to Susan G. Komen® and the fight to end breast cancer – the cause that the sisters care so much about.

The number one piece of advice we give to participants who are raising money for the 3-Day is to ASK, and that advice carries over into asking about matching gifts too. When you send out your fundraising emails or post on Facebook, be sure to remind your donors about 3-Day matching gifts and ask them to inquire with their employers about getting a match.

You can find more detailed information about the matching gift process, and a searchable list of companies that currently match with the 3-Day, at www.The3Day.org/matching. And as always, the 3-Day coaches are available at 800-996-3DAY to answer any questions you might have about the matching gift process or the status of a request that has already been made.

Congratulations to the Twin Cities 3-Day Top Fundraisers!

Today marked Day 1 of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® in Twin Cities , and walkers and crew enjoyed Minnesota’s lush green landscape at scenic spots like the Lake Harriet band shell, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and B.H. Nelson Park.  Upon arrival at the Komen 3-Day camp, participants enjoyed new camp elements that premiered last weekend in Michigan, like a make-your-own trail mix bar, and cozy bean bags and foot rests. The 3-Day® camp show wrapped up a beautiful day, and our friends from Bank of America helped us recognize the top fundraisers for the Twin Cities 3-Day. Please join us in saying congratulations to these inspiring people!

Top Fundraising Team: Northern Nippys, $62,445 raised

This is the Northern Nippys’ sixth year at the 3-Day, and in that time they’ve raised an incredible $184,195 total. The 2014 Northern Nippys team has 33 members.

Northern Nippys Team Captain Laura

Northern Nippys Team Captain Laura

Top Crew fundraiser: Sharon Gruenhagen, $4,650 raised 

Hats off to Sharon Gruenhagen who raised $4,650; and has raised $21,963 lifetime total. This is Sharon’s  7th event as a crew member in Twin Cities; she is part of the Sweep team this year.

Top Crew Fundraiser Sharon G.

Top Crew Fundraiser Sharon G.

Top Individual Fundraiser:  Patricia Miller, $14,000 raised 

Patricia Miller raised $14,000 this year; and has raised an astonishing $70,739 in the six years and six events she has completed. Patricia lost her mother to breast cancer 60 years ago when she was just 5 years old. She walks today because she wants to help others who fight this disease.

Top Individual Fundraiser Patricia M.

Top Individual Fundraiser Patricia M.

We’re so grateful to these amazing participants and for all of you who take steps every day to help us end breast cancer forever. To learn more about the top individual, Crew and team fundraisers in Twin Cities, as well as our eight series walkers, check out the framed table-top displays in the dining tent in camp.

Congratulations to Michigan’s Milestone Award Winner, Bert S.!

Congratulations to Bert S., the Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day Milestone Award Winner, who has raised approximately $175,000 over the 10 events he’s participated in (nine in Michigan, and one in Chicago.)

Bert’s inspiration to walk his first Komen 3-Day came after a very dear friend of his was diagnosed with breast cancer. “Her husband and I felt helpless and just felt we needed to do something. We formed our “Mavens” team and that first year was literally life changing for both of us, and we’ve been walking every year, ever since. I am happy to report that my friend has beaten breast cancer – she’s a survivor!” said Bert. (Bert, 81, laughs as he describes the meaning behind his team name — “The wise guys!”, and Bert’s wife, whom he calls “his maven”, defines as a knowledgeable person.)

Milestone Award Winner Bert on his way to 60 miles on Day 2 of the Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day

Milestone Award Winner Bert on his way to 60 miles on Day 2 of the Susan G. Komen Michigan 3-Day

Bert says that fundraising letters have been the key to his success. Bert’s assistant of 34 years, Pam, helps Bert write his fundraising letter. “It wouldn’t happen without Pam,” he said. Bert also notes how details are important when it comes to sending out fundraising letters, as they can help guarantee your success and help your donors realize what they will accomplish by supporting you. “We probably sent out 145 letters this year and we got about 142 responses. You have to tell people how far we’ve come in conquering the disease. And, what a wonderful percentage of recovery we have today.”

As a veteran 3-Day walker, Bert said that his best advice to anyone walking the 3-Day is to train, train, train. “I cannot put enough emphasis on training — start with short distances and work your way up.  Stay focused on “finishing” the event,” he said. Bert also adds that in his personal experience, after about fourteen miles, completing the walk is “all mental”.

Like many 3-Day walkers, Bert is aware of the risk of breast cancer and how it can change a family. Bert has been married for 60 years, to his wife Marion, and he has four daughters, three granddaughters, and a grandson. “I have a lot of good friends who have been touched one way or another by this disease. It’s their mother, their grandmother, their wife…This disease can hit anyone at any time and I literally walk today so that someday, there will be no reason to walk.  I have met some amazing people over the years and they continue to inspire me with every step of every walk.” You inspire us too, Bert.