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Match funding encourages higher & more frequent giving, says report

Match funding encourages higher & more frequent giving, says report

Match funding stimulates higher and more frequent giving, according to a report from Localgiving into how financial incentives encourage donations.

Striking a Match: Incentivised Giving Report 2016 reveals the key results and learnings from a number of match fund campaigns run by Localgiving throughout 2015 as part of its Incentivised Giving Programme, which in 2015 raised £834,224 for 1,288 groups from 16,561 donors.

Localgiving ran six match fund campaigns featuring a range of different incentives to encourage donations. These included 1:1 match funding, ‘randomised’ match funding (in which donations had a chance of being matched) and fundraiser competitions.

The findings show that different incentives – ranging from match funding to competition prizes – can be used to engage supporters in charitable causes, as well as stimulate higher, more frequent donations.

Using donation data and donor feedback, Striking a Match: Incentivised Giving Report 2016 looks at the impact of each campaign on the overall amount raised; charity and donor participation rates; donation size and frequency; donor sentiment and retention.

Key findings:

  • The vast majority of donor survey respondents see campaign incentives as a crucial factor in their decision to donate. In the February 2015 #GiveMe5 survey 83.4% of respondents said that match funding had influenced their decision “a lot” or was the “only reason” that they had donated.
  • Donor surveys show a clear, positive correlation between the likelihood of a donation being matched and the amount donors are willing to donate.
  • Deterministic match funds (in which donations are guaranteed to be matched) see the highest participation levels, but require substantial initial investment in terms of match funding.
  • Competitions increase the average donation size and provide the best leverage for campaign funders, but show lower participation rates amongst charities.

Stephen Mallinson, chief executive of Localgiving said:

“In recent years Localgiving has been exploring incentivisation as a way to engage people with their local charities and community groups. This report compares and contrasts the six Incentivised Giving Campaigns we ran in 2015 – not only proving conclusively that match funding works as a concept, but also showing how different incentives can be used to achieve different outcomes.”

The findings will be used to inform Localgiving’s future initiatives.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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