Challenge gifts are a mainstay of most nonprofit fundraising programs for one very good reason . . . they are effective! For decades nonprofits in all sectors have utilized challenge gifts to incentivize giving to achieve a variety of goals. Their effectiveness has not waned. They work in any number of situations. They work with all generations. Leveraging giving has universal appeal!
Although fundraisers can provide numerous anecdotes of how challenge gifts have stimulated giving, formal research also has shown that challenge gifts attract donors and increase contributions. One study conducted by Daniel Rondeau and John List in 2008, “Matching and Challenge Gifts to Charity: Evidence from Laboratory and Natural Field Experiments,” revealed that challenge gifts attracted 23% more donors and increased total dollar contributions 18%.