Many people aren’t aware of the power that comes from corporate giving through matching gift programs. In fact, many donors aren’t even aware that they qualify for a gift matching program through their employers. As an organization looking for funding, it’s important to understand how corporate donation matching can be a huge benefit to you. Not knowing who your match-eligible donors are could mean missing out on twice as many potential contributions. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can start leveraging this opportunity.
What is donation matching?
Donation matching, also known as matching gifts, is a way for corporations to make a charitable donation to a nonprofit by matching an employee’s contribution. Most often, a company will offer to match an employee’s donation to an organization dollar for dollar. For example, if someone who is eligible for a matching gift through their employer contributes $100 to your fundraiser, then their company will double that donation for a total of $200. Generally speaking, all the donor needs to do is fill out the required matching gift forms through their employer.
The employer will then confirm that the donation was submitted to an eligible nonprofit, and will contribute their own donation to your organization. There may also be some restrictions or rules in place for employees who wish to participate in corporate philanthropy programs, depending on the company that they work for. Here are a few common practices:
- The program will have maximum and minimum amounts. Usually, the minimum is $25 and the maximum amount is between $1000-$15,000 annually.
- The maximum amounts can vary for part-time employees versus full-time employees, or for those with higher positions at the company.
- Sometimes, employees who are full-time, part-time, or even retirees can be eligible to participate.
Corporate matching gift programs
According to Nonprofit Hub, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer a matching program, and some companies even double, triple, or quadruple donations. Here are some of the top matching gift companies out there today.
Microsoft employees have donated more than $1 billion since 1983. Microsoft’s submission form guides you through the process and explains which organizations are eligible for the gift matching program.
Who is eligible?
- Full-time and part-time employees who have been with the company for at least 6 months are eligible to participate in Microsoft’s program.
- Interns, co-ops, temporaries, vendors, and contractors are not eligible.
- Minimum: $1
- Maximum: $15,000
- Ratio: 1:1
The Coca-Cola Company matches up to $10,000 per year for their employees. They provide a 2:1 match for your donation, so if you donate $100, the company will write a check to the organization for $200. According to Coca-Cola, the company has given back more than $1 billion They also claim to be committed to giving back 1 percent of its prior year’s operating income annually.
Who is eligible?
Full-time and retired employees are eligible to participate in the gift program.
- Minimum: $25
- Maximum: $20,000
- Ratio: 2:1
General Electric’s gift matching program is one of the best out there. Established in 1892, the company focuses on aviation, power, renewable energy, healthcare, and more.
Who is eligible?
GE matches donations from full-time, part-time, and retired employees.
- Minimum: $25
- Maximum: $5,000
- Ratio: 1:1
According to General Electric, they match to most US and UK based nonprofits, including nonprofits dedicated to education, developing health, disaster relief, and many other 501 (c)(3) organizations.
Use gift programs to maximize giving
Did you know that according to Next After as many as 78% of match-eligible donors don’t know if their company offers a gift matching opportunity? It’s up to you and your organization to get the word out and make sure donors are taking advantage of this opportunity to make the biggest impact. Don’t let a lack of awareness be the reason your nonprofit doesn’t reach its goals. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can close that knowledge gap and inform your donors of the perks of corporate gift matching.
Reaching out on social media may seem obvious, but never underestimate the power of a little communication and community. Does your nonprofit have a Facebook page to communicate with supporters and potential donors? Use that as a way to tell your donors that they may be eligible to participate in a corporate gift program.
Offer resources for your supporters by linking helpful information on gift matching so it’s easy for them to research on their own and find out more from their employers. Emphasizing the impact that corporate matching programs could have on your organization or fundraiser could make all the difference.
The fundraising experience shouldn’t end after the donation is made. In fact, staying in touch with your supporters via email and keeping the communication open is a key factor in a nonprofit’s success.
To keep the communication going, consider sending follow-up emails to your supporters after they’ve contributed. Explain what corporate gift programs are and stress the importance and impact it could have on your nonprofit.
Additionally, be sure to check out the domains on your donor’s email address. If you see an email ending in @microsoft.com or @geappliances.com, you can bet that the employee is part of a company that offers corporate matching gifts. Leverage those opportunities by reaching out to those donors personally and educating them on the wonders of gift matching.
Word of Mouth
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, we have seen that folks are actively sharing advice on organizations to donate to. On top of that, we’ve regularly seen folks on social media using their employers matching donation program to double their donations.
Most frequently, people have been asking friends to Venmo or Cash app them funds to add to their donation. By simply sharing a screenshot for their donation receipt as proof of donation, folks have been successfully using their corporate donation matching programs to raise more money for organizations in need. Make sure to communicate to your donor base that they may be eligible for donation matching through their employer. You’ll quickly have donors doubling their donations to your organization.
How crowdfunding can bring in donation matches
Hosting an online fundraiser provides an opportunity for you to educate donors on gift matching. Now that you have a general understanding of how the matching process works, you can provide your donors with the tools they need in order to take advantage of this opportunity. Telling a persuasive story and grant proposal is a key component to inspiring trust with your donors as well. You can inspire donors to give and provide the trust they need to see by including an organization’s promise to match personal donations made to your fundraiser. Gift matching can offer a form of validation and gives donors an incentive to give back.
Start leveraging gift matching today
You can leverage employee gift matching programs by getting the word out there, keeping in touch with your supporters, and incorporating matching gift tools into your nonprofit’s fundraiser. Don’t let this major opportunity for extra funding slip away simply because the knowledge isn’t there. Make sure your organization is asking the right fundraising questions—sign up to find out how GoFundMe Charity can take your corporate gift matching program to the next level.