This article explains that we take an overly broad approach to including companies in our database to ensure all of our clients can maximize their matching gift potential.
It's a little complicated to address this as our clients are nonprofits and cover a broad spectrum of sizes and areas of focus. Our matching gift tools must be functional for all of these organizations which is why we categorize organizations broadly and include all companies we have matching gift information for.
We aim to be overly broad because this maximizes the matching gift potential for our clients. This broad generalization allows you to maximize your matching gift potential but can lead to donors who are ineligible for matching gifts submitting matching gift requests. At the end of the day, donors who aren't eligible will not have their gifts matched by their companies, and our clients are still able to maximize their matching gift potential. If we are overly restrictive, donors who are eligible for matching gifts may not realize they are which results in missed opportunities for matches and means our clients raise less. Because the matching gift process is started by your donors, we want to give them as much of an opportunity to double their donation and make a larger impact on our clients as possible.
Companies determine what their eligibility guidelines are for their matching gift programs which leads to as many variations in programs as organizations are looking for support. If a donor knows their company has a matching gift program and searches but doesn't find it you get questions like "Why isn't my company listed?" This creates a poor donor experience and may prevent donors from making their original gift as they reach out to you for clarification. With a broader system in place, you will have some donors who submit their matching gift request but aren't eligible. The benefit of this approach is that this allows you to know which companies don't support you where you have a large donor base. Some of our larger nonprofit clients have processes in place to follow up with these companies to say "20 of your employees work with us and want you to support our cause...Have you considered expanding your program guidelines?" This can further maximize your matching gift potential depending on how organizations choose to approach it.
Ultimately we must balance the needs of donors and all of our clients who use our services. We feel we have come up with a way that works for all.