In addition to corporate sponsorship’s, many for-profit companies will match some or all of their employees’ donations. Beyond the benefit of tax exemptions, matching gift programs help businesses brand themselves, noted Double The Donation. Philanthropy provides good press and builds loyalty among employees, who are then likely to feel good about their workplace. Though a corporation’s primary goal is to help its bottom line, doing so through a matching gift program means helping your organization achieve its mission.

Start with what you know

When looking for matching gifts, begin with your existing donors. Take a look at your donation management software to see where your current benefactors work. If you don’t have this information, consider reaching out to your supporters to encourage them to check whether their employers will match their gifts. Remember that your supporters want to help in every way they can, but not everyone will know how until you empower them with information.

In addition to doing some research about your current donor base, don’t forget to inform new donors about the possibility of company matching programs. Communicate with everyone in your community – volunteers, employees and social media followers – to help spread the word about the prospect of doubling funds with the help of businesses. In addition to educating your advocates about corporate matching, clearly lay out the steps necessary for individuals to inquire about such programs with their employers.

Ask companies for their help

Not all of your donors will work for companies with an established platform for matching gifts. Don’t be shy about approaching businesses that have yet to set up a program, said Nonprofit Hub. This isn’t much different than soliciting new donors or asking for a corporate sponsorship. All it takes is preparation and a little patience.

The first rule of thumb is to look for businesses that can connect to your mission. Seek industries whose corporate missions align with your charitable work. For example, a textbook company has a lot in common with organizations geared toward education. You can use business management software to take note of your likely candidates.

Once you have a list, you’re ready to make some preliminary calls. Instead of asking for matching donations over the phone, schedule a meeting. If you’ve done your homework and narrowed down your prospects, you’ll have a much easier time securing a chance to talk. Face-to-face interaction will help you build trust, so you’ll be more likely to receive a positive response. Companies don’t want to take risks when giving money, so you need to establish credibility.

Have a conversation

When it comes time for in-person conversation, remember that you’ve already achieved the most difficult part: getting the company interested. Now your job is to keep the business fired up about your cause. Make sure to bring a few copies of your mission statement, in addition to any other marketing materials you have. You can leave this literature with the company representative to allow him or her time to make an informed decision. In addition, your marketing materials can drum up enthusiasm among a corporation’s staff. Even if a business opts not to implement a matching program, individual employees might be inclined to donate to your cause.

If the meeting’s successful and the company agrees to match donations, be prepared to give it the administrative tools necessary to implement a program. First, ask them to define the minimum and maximum donations they’re willing to match. Businesses usually set these boundaries based on their size and resources. If they’re unsure, you can offer a list of what similarly sized corporations donate. Take care not to apply any pressure, though. No matter the amount a company decides to give, you’re coming out ahead.