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.