Today we are going to share with you 5 tips to grow employee participation in your matching program. These tips may sound obvious, but when they are executed well they can make a big difference in your CSR engagement.
Key themes across these 5 tips? Communication & Accessibility
WeSpire Head of Program Strategy & Content, Anne Tremblay, uses these to help high-growth startups, Fortune 100 companies and everyone in-between ensure their matching budget doesn’t go unused.
- Tell your employees (Duh?)
- Enable matching at the time of donation with matching gift software
- Offer multiple matching options
- Make it easy
- Appeal to the FOMO!
Let’s jump into some more details!
- Tell Your Employees
This sounds basic, but the majority of employees who have access to a matching program don’t know it.
Employee matching programs can be effectively communicated in many ways but Anne Tremblay recommends the following approach:
“Make sure it’s part of your New Employee Orientation, easily accessible on your intranet, and on all of your benefits information – and partner with your internal communications team to keep telling employees about their benefits frequently throughout the year.”
Frequency and accessibility are key in communicating your matching program out to employees. After all, the rule of 7 states your audience needs to hear a message at least 7 times before they’ll take action.
- Enable Matching at the Time of Donation
Removing the friction between donation and matching is a fundamental step to growing your employee giving program.
“If you’re asking your employees to fill out and submit a paper form with a printed receipt, you’re asking too much of them,” says Anne, “don’t make your employees work hard to get their donation matched.”
Make it easy for them by choosing matching gift software like WeSpire that lets you designate match-eligible charities and automatically match funds at the time of the employee donation.
- Offer Multiple Matching Options
The classic match structure is a 1:1, but many companies are upping the ante and offering 2:1 matches which make it even more appealing to employees to make a donation and use their match.
At WeSpire we encourage all employee matching programs to consider personal grant accounts, putting money directly into accounts that employees can use to make charitable donations.
Anne says there’s another upside. “This also democratizes workplace giving by making it more accessible.”
Accessibility is starting to look like a key theme when growing matching participation.
- Make It Easy During Key Observances
Start by communicating your major campaigns and aligning them with wider accessibility to charities.
Around major observances like Veteran’s Day, Pride, Hunger Action Month, etc., create giving templates for your employee matching program.
What does this mean? Offer 3-5 charities of choice for employees to donate to and make it easy for them to compare and pick.
And while major observances are a great place to start, Anne suggests going above and beyond.
“Offer many touch points throughout the year – don’t just remind people in December that you offer employee donation matching, create opportunities and reminders for them to give all year round.”
- Appeal to the FOMO!
This one is pretty straightforward.
Capture people’s attention and urge them to use their matching benefit.
Anne suggests “don’t be afraid to use language like ‘don’t miss out!’ It will drive a sense of urgency and action.”
And let people know their peers are making donations and taking advantage of their matching benefit. If employees see progress towards the company goal and the participation of others they will be more likely to participate in your matching program.
This can be accomplished with many tools depending upon the size of your organization but at WeSpire we recommend an employee matching gift software that aligns action, purpose, and goals with employee passions.