The Urgency of Resiliency
When the Santa Fe Community Foundation engaged my services last year to help design their 40th anniversary campaign, we thought hard about what New Mexico needs most. SFCF generously spreads their giving statewide rather than just regionally -- something that became almost essential during the terrible, sweeping fallout of COVID.
We hoped to strike a tricky balance -- focused enough to inspire donors to give, yet flexible enough to accommodate health care, food insecurity, climate and environmental crises, racist policies, and even unknown threats. We landed on the idea of the emergency. It's what all of these areas shared in common -- a moment in time when one big problem sweeps the state and cascades out several more. Resiliency is the antidote, SFCF's interim president Sue Coliton wisely pointed out. The Resiliency Fund was born.
While I'm not surprised that the emergency we're seeing in our home state today -- fires in northern and southern NM simultaneously due to stunning wind -- is climate related, I'm proud that we created a fund that can indeed help our communities respond to the moment. You can support the Resiliency Fund directly here.
Did you know that 20% of individual donations could be matched by employer companies? That adds up to a LOT of money left on the table every year.
Why? Most donors aren’t even aware their (or their spouse’s!) employer matches gifts, or they forget about it when they donate, or they aren’t sure how to request it. Few companies push the benefit, meaning it often goes untapped. The frequent users tend to be top executives.
That’s why it’s so important for your donation forms to ask for the names of your donors’ employers. Not just a box to check.
We love our local businesses in NM, but only a handful have these programs. This is where big companies from out of town are an asset – many have them and they’re surprisingly generous.
Here’s the process:
My husband works for a company that matches 100% up to $2,000. I make a gift to a local shelter for $2,000. I fill out a company form detailing that gift, and my husband emails it to his internal contact. Then they cut a check for an additional $2,000, including our names, and send it right to the shelter. The shelter credits us for the full $4,000.
A few matching gift companies operating in the Albuquerque area:
Intel – will double a gift by matching it 100% up to $10,000 for all employees, full-time, part-time, or retired. Not bad!
Bank of America – matches 100% up to $5,000 for full-time, part-time, or retired.
Quest Diagnostics – 100% up to $5,000 for full-time employees.
Progressive – 100% up to $3,000 for all current employees.
HP – 100% up to $2,500 for all current employees.
Wells Fargo – 100% up to $2,000 for all current employees
PNM – matches 100% up to $1,000 for all current and retired employees.
CBRE – 50% match with no limit for all current and retired employees.
There are hundreds more in NM.
Update your donor forms to ask for company names and follow-up with the ones who could be matching! At a minimum, take a look at the list of companies where your board members work. Are they all matching where they can?
For my New Mexico clients and past trainees, I provide a free look-up service on matching gift companies. If you’re curious about a company that you know a donor works for, reach out, and I can tell you if they have a program, plus the contact info for that employee to request the match.
AFP Major Gifts Session Documents
Here are the documents from the Making the Major Gift Ask training session. Thanks again for participating. Feel free to reach out with questions.
I'll be presenting a training session on Making the Major Gift Ask for AFP's New Mexico chapter next month. April 13th! Solicitation coaching! Networking! Lunch + cake! Details here: AFP Link.
I'm so proud to be supporting FUSION Theatre Company as it helps to lead the Arts and Culture district work happening in Downtown Albuquerque right now. This is how you use the arts to make change happen in a city -- change that builds the economy, leverages the unique cultural assets of a region, and raises the quality of life for everyone in the community. Forward!
Emilie, Principal and Owner