Unique Fundraising Ideas

The Cookbook Fundraiser: A Recipe for Success

At Double the Donation we specialize in providing matching gift tools to help nonprofits raise more money from corporate philanthropy programs. Our friends at Causera published this great post on Bake Sale Fundraisers [June 2015 update – Link to original article no longer working] that we wanted to share.

The Cookbook Fundraiser: A Recipe for Success

A creative, fun, and potentially high grossing fundraiser is the cookbook fundraiser. Popular among schools, churches, and nonprofits, this fundraiser is both challenging and rewarding. With the cookbook fundraiser it is important to begin the process with a vision of the finished product. Establish a dedicated team of volunteers and a detailed timeline of due dates, and your cookbook will come along more quickly and efficiently, and ultimately leads to greater returns for your cause. It is duly important to set clear and firm goals for your organization. Hold frequent meetings with your team and ask questions about your objectives.

Question Time

How long of a cookbook do you want to create? How many recipes will you include?

  • Longer cookbooks will cost more to print, but they allow for more recipes. The greater number of recipes that your book contains allows for a more premium product, a larger number of built-in buyers, and a bigger network to sell to.

How will you go about sourcing these recipes?

  • Do you have enough contributors for the cookbook? Who will provide the recipes? For schools and churches, parents and parishioners are a great resource for recipes. If your book is short on recipes, take to the internet or branch out to the greater community for more input.

How many cookbooks can you sell?

  • If you and your team are doubtful about the number of cookbooks that can be sold, then this fundraiser may not be as effective for your cause. Try asking parents, and around your school or church, to gauge interest in purchasing the cookbook.

How much money do you need to raise and is this congruent with how many cookbooks that you can sell?

  • Setting the fundraising goal is crucial. The money you make is directly dependent on how many willing buyers you have.

What resources will you use to create the cookbook?

  • Is this going to be an at home project with one person collecting recipes, creating the book, and printing and binding the pages alone?
  • Will you use an online software to create a professional book? With professional books, you often have to pay in advance to have the books printed. This means that your organization will have to pay upfront costs and the leftover books are a loss.

Who will be the editor?

  • Will one person run the entire project or are multiple people spearheading the work? Figure out what works best for your group and delegate jobs! Having multiple volunteers proofread is a great way to catch errors and typos before going to print.

These are all important questions that you should ask yourself and your team before beginning the groundwork on the cookbook. Detailed answers can save your group time, valuable resources, and may help you determine if the cookbook fundraiser is the most effective way to raise money for your cause.

Tips for Success

After working out the logistics of the project, its time to begin. A great way to spark interest and get recipes is through marketing. Personally asking for volunteers to contribute recipes, taking to social media and advertising that the cookbook is in need of contributions, setting up a website, making phone calls, and sending text messages and emails are all great ways to drum up interest in the fundraiser and receive recipes.

Set up a simple recipe card, both in print and online, with clear instructions – spaces for a unique title, ingredients needed, cooking instructions and times, pictures etc. –  for contributors to fill out. A recipe card takes the guesswork out of the project and creates a standard for the recipes. Every recipe will have the same format, which makes proofreading and organizing easier for the editor(s).

If your cookbook receives too many submissions, that’s no problem! An easy fundraiser can be created out of a seemingly difficult problem. By setting up a “Recipe Cook Off,” where contributors cook their dishes and votes are taken on which recipes get featured in the book. At the cook off you will be able to market the cookbook, raise funds, and finalize the submissions.

Once all of the pieces are collected for the cookbook, it is time to assemble the final version of the book. Having different of types of foods and a solid distribution of appetizers, main dishes, desserts, etc. are important. As well, a central theme, cover, binding, dividers, colored ink, title page, appreciation page, pictures, table of context and index are all important things to include in your book.

After organizing the final copy, find an effective way to print the cookbook that keeps costs low. Will your editors print the books at a local copy shop, or will they use an online service to create a more professional looking book?

The pricing and terms for each online service varies. It is important to note that you may have to pay upfront costs to print the books. Although costly, these interactive cookbook services will help you make a quality finished product with the aide and ease of technology.


Just as there are numerous ways to create your book, there are an equal amount of ways to sell it. Pre-selling the book is a great way to get a more accurate count on how many books you will actually sell and it can help pay away the upfront costs associated with some of the professional services. You can hold pre sales throughout the process of creating your cookbook and even at the “Recipe Cook Off.” Moreover, reaching out to local businesses to buy advertisements in the book is an excellent way to drive down the upfront cost of the book so that all sales that follow are purely profit.

Using your initial team of volunteers as a sales force is an effective way of utilizing your existing help to turn all of your hard work into dollars. Friends, family members, and the greater community will love buying a book that holds the recipes of their friends and loved ones.

Using social media, technology, and the community to your advantage is an important tool when selling the book. Websites that allow you to sell the book online, getting local newspapers and radio stations to promote it, and announcing over social media that “The cookbooks have arrived!” can make the difference between a few and hundreds of books sold.

Your Finished Cookbook and a Successful Fundraiser

Creating a fundraising cookbook is a process that may take a significant amount of time, effort, patience, and resources from those involved. Although the initial work is tedious, the finished project is one that can be enjoyed far past the sale of the book and the spent proceeds.

If you surround yourself with a loyal and hardworking team, arm yourself with a detailed timeline, and source the best means to print and sell your book you will have finished your cookbook and a successful fundraiser.

Unique Fundraising Ideas

Bake Sale Fundraisers: A New Take on an Old Classic

At Double the Donation we specialize in providing matching gift tools to help nonprofits raise more money from corporate philanthropy programs. Our friends at Causera published this great post on Bake Sale Fundraisers [June 2015 update – Link to original article no longer working] that we wanted to share.

Bake Sale Fundraisers: A New Take on an Old Classic

Almost every man, woman, and child has had some sort of experience with a bake sale. There are a lot of things about modern bake sales that are perennial, while new takes on this old favorite can make your goods appealing to even more people.

New Takes On Old Favorites

Traditional chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies and crisp-rice-and-marshmallow treats are always good sellers. But you can make even more customers happy if you get creative. Sugar-free and gluten-free selections are more popular than ever, and you can substitute apple sauce for the butter in many recipes to save on fat. You can even use egg substitute to lower cholesterol. More people are eating healthier these days, so healthy selections will widen your customer base. It’s also a good idea to specifically label all recipes and items that contain, or that may contain, nuts or other ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in some people.

What To Sell, How Much To Charge

There are a lot of websites out there offering bake sale recipe ideas. A good rule of thumb is to figure out how much all the ingredients cost to make the baked goods, and then charge double. You will find this is still a bargain. It’s a good idea to keep things in increments of 25 cents to make making change easier. Make sure to make a sign-up list to keep track of what everyone is bringing to the bake sale, so you can avoid lop-sided offerings like all cookies and no cake. You can also ask area stores to donate raw ingredients for the event, and make sure you thank them by posting their names at your sales table and sending thank-you letters. Take sample goodies to area newspapers and radio stations with a news release and flyer about your event to help get the word out.

8 Tips For Great Bake Sales

1. Identify Yourself – Post a large sign or banner identifying your organization and what you will use the funds for. This kind of fundraiser is a great way to fund new supporters, so make sure you have take-away information on your organization – at least a card with your name, mission, phone and email – so you can send your info home with anyone who seems interested in volunteering or supporting your cause.

2. Make A Menu Poster – Create a poster or use a remarkable board to list your menu items and prices. This helps promote the goodies to passers-by and saves on time individually pricing each item.

3. Include Recipes With The Goodies – Make a cute recipe card and attach it to each item, so people can re-create your bakes masterpiece at home. This reinforces your charity’s name and contact information and also adds value for your customers.

4. Offer Samples – Set out a plate of small samples of your goods. Sometimes all it takes is a taste of one of your delicious treats and you’ve turned a lookie-loo into a customer.

5. Sell Sides – Offer drinks like milk and coffee, hot chocolate or cider or consider selling salty snacks like peanuts or chips along with traditional baked goods to add to the income.

6. Put Out A Donation Jar – Add a loose-change donation jar to your table. You might be surprised how many people will donate their change, or just make a donation without buying anything, when they see that ubiquitous donation jar. Make sure it’s clear so people can see their donations in action.

7. Sell Raffle Tickets – Sell raffle tickets and give away prizes of your fanciest baked goods, or other items donated by supporters and area businesses. Make sure to post simple drawing rules and drawing times (if winner must be present) or get contact information so you can get the prizes to your winners.

8. Sell A Recipe Book – Make up a simple recipe book, or a collection of all the recipe cards from your items tied together with ribbon, and sell these as an added fundraiser. Remember to shamelessly promote your organization in this publication, and to thank the buyers for their donation to your cause.

Unique Fundraising Ideas

Penny Wars & Change Wars: The Short-and-Sweet Guide

At Double the Donation we specialize in providing matching gift tools to help nonprofits raise more money from corporate philanthropy programs. Our friends at Causera published this great post on Change Wars [June 2015 update – Link to original article no longer working] that we wanted to share.

Fun Fundraising: Change Wars

Fundraising can be stressful, and let’s face it who wants to put effort into a fundraiser that returns little revenue and requires exorbitant amounts of time. A proven fundraiser that schools and organizations alike have used successfully is the Change Drive.

There are countless variations for this type of fundraisers, but here is the perfect Change Drive Fundraiser to bring your school, church group, sports team, or nonprofit extra dollars without the time burden. Moreover, a change war is fun! This fundraiser draws upon the competitive nature of its participants driving up the revenue for your cause!

Change Wars Fundraising Ideas

Executing a Change War

As with any fundraiser, you should first brainstorm to see if this is the best fundraiser for your cause. If you cannot execute the fundraiser properly to extract the maximum amount of donations, the fundraiser may not be worth your valuable time. Fortunately, the change war is an easy fundraiser that both beginner fundraisers and seasoned veterans can accomplish with relatively little effort. After brainstorming, you should meet with your team of volunteers and plan out the full details of the fundraiser!

  1. Set a time frame: Your change war can run as long or a short as you want it to! Make it a quick competition of 5 days or a month. You can even set your change war to run the course of a season. For schools, try running the change war for the fall until Holiday Break or from the beginning of school until Halloween. For church groups, try matching the fundraiser with your liturgical calendar like the lenten season.
  2. Set a goal: For your Change War you must set a goal. The goal will encourage competition and it will promote donations as you inch closer to the set amount. Moreover, everyone “wins” when the goal is broken!
  3. Create clear and concise rules: Make sure that everyone understands your rules and that they are easy to follow.

Here are sample rules we have set up here for a sample school Change War:

  1. The time frame of this Change War will be one calendar month and the winning class will get a party or special privilege for winning.
  2. Each class will have decorate a water jug for the fundraiser with their class name on it, this jug will be located in the library and will hold the donations.
  3. For the first two weeks of the Change War, classes should donate as much money as they can into their class jug. These donations can be any type of coins – pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, etc. – and dollars.
    1. Every day, or every few days, an adult will collect the jugs and count the money inside. The money should be placed in an envelope or larger collection bin with designations for each class so the money does not get misplaced.
    2. At the end of each week, announce the total amounts and which class is in the lead.
    3. Below the jugs in the library, a poster will be created to show students the running totals of which class is in the lead – it should be updated weekly following the announcement.
  4. Donating: For the last two weeks of the Change War, the competition will switch to a reverse generosity competition. Classes want as little money in their jugs as possible and should put all donations into other the jugs of other classes.
    1. The amounts totalled in each classes jug will be “deducted” from their total amount raised. Note that the money is still going towards the overall cause!
    2. The reverse generosity encourages more friendly competition and classes will fully immerse themselves in the fundraiser.
    3. The same procedure that follows step C applies to step D.
  5. Count the total amount of change and dollars collected for the entire month and wrap the coins, or have a bank count it for you, and send or deposit the check for cause!

Raise Money with a Change War

Tips for Greater Success

As noted in a previous post, storytelling is an important tool to solicit donations. Tell a story and make it the central theme for this Change War.

  • Why are you raising the money?
  • What will the money be used for?
  • Why should students and parents donate?

If you can answer these questions and create a compelling argument, the donations will follow and you will have a successful fundraiser.

This is a fun fundraiser so keep it that way! Encourage the friendly competition between classes and remind them that they are donating to a great cause. Be sure to keep the price of the prize low so the great majority of the proceeds go towards the initial intent of the fundraiser.

Ask parents if their companies have corporate matching programs as these could double the proceeds raised by your organization!

Add a Twist to your Change Wars

Add a Twist

Here is a great way to get parents involved and take your Change War to the next level. However, this will take extra effort and technology. If your organization is able to accept online donations, this fundraiser has the potential to raise far more money.

Online donations allow parents to participate beyond giving their children change and dollars. Parents will be able to join in on the fun and the competition that their children experience while partaking in the fundraiser. With the ability to process credit and debit cards the potential for donations is endless.

Penny Wars Recap


The Change War is a simple and effective fundraiser to engage your organization and get the donation dollars flowing in. Brainstorm your fundraiser in full detail before beginning. Additionally, you should meet frequently with your core team of volunteers to make sure that everything is progressing as detailed in the brainstorming plans. Do not forget to set clear rules for the competition. If you are following our plan, the reverse generosity may confuse some participants so explain that thoroughly.

For greater success, implement the tools of storytelling and corporate matching and for a fundraising surprise integrate online services to greater engage parents. At the end of your Change War, you will have made fond memories, completed a fun fundraiser, and hopefully reached your goal in donations!

Microsoft Matching Gift Figures

Greater Giving Matching Gifts Integration with Double the Donation

Greater Giving and Double the Donation Matching Gift IntegrationAre you a Greater Giving customer looking to integrate Double the Donation’s matching gift search tool into your Greater Giving fundraising page?

Then this article is for you. If you prefer to download and share slides you can do so at https://doublethedonation.com/forms/documents/greater-giving-matching-gifts.pdf.

Double the Donation’s Relationship with Greater Giving:

Greater Giving is a leading provider of technology and credit card processing services to nonprofits and schools to make all their fundraising efforts more successful.

Double the Donation is a leading provider of employee matching gift data and tools to nonprofits.

This guide was put together to help organizations who use Greater Giving’s fundraising platform incorporate Double the Donation’s employee matching gift widget into their fundraising pages. Greater Giving and Double the Donation are two separate and unrelated companies.

Six Steps to Integrate Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Lookup Tool with Greater Giving:

At risk of stating the obvious, the below steps and screenshots are applicable to organizations which already have an account with Double the Donation and Greater Giving. If you don’t have an account with Double the Donation you can:

In terms of integrating Double the Donation’s search tools with Greater Giving’s donation pages, it’s a six step process:

Step #1: Log in to your organization’s Greater Giving account

Log in to Greater Giving's Service to Start the Matching Gift Integration Process


Step #2: Choose your organization’s pages where you want to incorporate matching gift information

Greater Giving Matching Gift Page Selections



Step #3: Within Greater Giving’s Online Payment’s navigation bar select “Edit Page”.

Greater Giving Select Edit Page to Add Matching Gifts




Step #4: Scroll down to the donation content section and click the pencil. Then click “Edit Donation Options”.

Greater Giving Edit Donation Option Section to Include Matching Gifts




Step #5: Select “Advanced Features”

Greater Giving Select Advanced Features to Add Matching Donation Tool


Step #6: Add a new section to your form. Then add your Double the Donation iframe URL to your Greater Giving donation page and configure the fields.

Greater Giving Matching Gift Iframe

Sample Wording:

Question Text:

  • Type in what you want to appear on your Greater Giving donation page.
    • Example #1: Name of Employer: (Click box below to see if your company matches donations):
    • Example #2: Will your company match your gift? Click the check box to find out and access forms)

Report Column Name:

  • Type in what you want to name the column in your database.
    • Example #1: Matching Gifts

View Order:

  • Reduce or increase this number to change the position of this question on your form.

Question Type:

  • Select the iFrame (Matching Gifts) option.

Https iFrame URL: 

  • Paste in your Double the Donation iFrame code. This can be found within your Double the Donation account management pages


Step #6: Verify your Double the Donation matching gift widget is working (three screenshots)

(Screenshot #1 – Initial Greater Giving Donation Page)

View Your Nonprofit's Actual Greater Giving Donation Page

(Screenshot #2: Check the matching gift box)

Check Greater Giving's Matching Gift Box


(Screenshot #3: Test Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Search Functionality by Typing in a Matching Gift Company)

Use the matching gift search functionality


Have additional questions or need extra help setting up your matching gift integration with Greater Giving? View all of the ways you can get in contact with our team >

Want to get started with your Double the Donation / Greater Giving integration? Sign up and get started today >

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Matching Gifts for Gala Tickets and Special Fundraising Events

Does your organization host a fundraising gala or special event? If so have you ever wondered whether the tickets and donations made during that event are eligible for matching gift programs?

We recently received an email from a woman named Sheila wondering whether individuals can apply for matching gifts from their employers for money donated through special fundraising events. Her question was as follows:

One of my organization’s fundraising events involves selling tiles and allowing parents and their children to decorate the tiles. We then affix the tiles to a wall as a way to display the artwork and recognize our donors. Is the purchase price of the tile eligible for corporate matching gift programs?

While this specific question may appear unique, many organizations raise funds in similar ways.

Donations at Annual Fundraising Galas and Special Events:

  • The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association gives individuals an opportunity to name a Zoo resident. For donations of between $1,000-$50,000, you can name an animal, receive recognition in the zoo publication, receive a photo of you with the animal, and get a VIP tour.
  • The Atlanta Botanical Garden has its Garden of Eden Gala, the Garden’s largest annual fund-raiser. Tickets range in price from a few hundred dollars to $25,000 to be the presenting sponsor. Benefits include tickets to the Ball, a Patron Party, and much more.
  • New York Collaborates for Autism hosts its annual “Night of Too Many Stars”. Celebrities such as Jon Stewart, Katie Perry, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Seth Rogan, and many others auction off once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to hang out with a celebrity. For instance, becoming “best friends with Amy Poehler & Tina Fey” for an evening was auctioned for thousands of dollars.

Looking to host your own charity auction? Check out these great platforms.

Are these Donations Match Eligible?

It may surprise you, but many companies with matching gift programs will match these donations!

Why there’s confusion: If you or your donors look at many matching gift forms you may notice a sentence along the lines of “the Corporation will not match tickets or subscriptions.” So if your organization is a symphony selling a concert ticket or a science museum selling an IMAX ticket, companies won’t match the ticket price.

The reason for this is that donors are receiving a tangible benefit that would be charged by other for-profit organizations. For instance, an IMAX movie could be compared to a regular movie ticket and the symphony could be compared to a sporting ticket.

But why are gala tickets and special event tickets often eligible?

If you look at the fine print on many nonprofits’ special event tickets you’ll notice that it mentions a tax deductible amount for each ticket. For example a ticket to the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden of Eden Gala was $475 but amounts exceeding $200.00 per Ball ticket and $50 per Patron Party were eligible for a charitable income tax deduction.

We wrote an entire article on calculating the tax deductible matching gift value but in general at galas you must subtract the cost of a similar meal and any gifts that guests may receive.

Bottom Line on Getting Gala Tickets Matched: A significant percentage of a gala ticket’s purchase price is tax deductible and is often eligible to be matched by an employee’s company but corporate guidelines do vary by company.

Promoting Matching Gift Programs at Galas:

Unfortunately for organizations it’s less common to receive employee matching gifts for galas and special events than regular donations or annual fund contributions. As with all donations, you have to raise awareness and make it easy for donors to submit matching gift requests, but there’s an extra component when it comes to galas and special events.

Even if an individual knows about his or her company’s matching gift program, they rarely realize a portion of the ticket is tax deductible and often match eligible. Thus you need to promote this fact.

Matching Gifts for Fundraising Events:

One big fundraising opportunity is to take advantage of corporate match programs where companies match the fundraising efforts of its employees. Yes you heard that right — some companies have programs in place where if their employees go out and fundraise for your cause then the company will match the entire amount up to a certain limit.

These companies include:

  1. Intuit
  2. McAfee
  3. British Petroleum
  4. State Street

Learn more about fundraising match programs.

Five Easy Ways a Nonprofit can Promote Matching Gifts to Special Event Attendees:

  1. Include the tax deductible amount on the ticket with a line such as “Did you know $XXXX of your ticket is tax deductible? If your employer offers a matching gift program it may be eligible to be matched.”
  2. If you subscribe to Double the Donation’s matching gift service, consider setting up a computer with your organization’s matching gift webpage up and easily accessible by donors.
  3. Does your organization manage a payment station at the Gala where donors go and pay for auction items? Make sure your staff ask if the individual or his or her spouse works for a company with a matching gift program.
  4. Do you provide donors with an acknowledgement letter after they buy a ticket or make an additional donation? If so, this is a great time to encourage donors to see if their employer or their spouse’s employer offers a matching gift program.

And of course make sure to review our list of top ways to promote employee matching gifts year-round.

Nonprofit and Corporate Relationships Matching Gifts

Leverage Matching Gifts to Strengthen Nonprofit-Corporate Relationships

We recently had a reader ask Double the Donation about how to strengthen relationships with corporations that offer generous matching gift contributions to their organization. She said she wished she had more ways to reach out to these companies post-matching gift donation to show them how a strong relationship could provide some great public relations benefits.

This is a great point! When corporations offer matching gift donations to a nonprofit organization, they may not realize how positive of an impact the contributions are having on the work of the nonprofit. It’s important for nonprofits to leverage matching gifts into positive PR for both you and the corporation to ensure future collaboration, and therefore, a stronger nonprofit-corporate relationship.

Suggestions of “Extra Thanks” for Generous Matching Gift Donations

Does your organization have one corporation in particular (or even a few!) that really stands out in the field of matching gift donations? It’s important that this company knows how big of an impact they are having on the work you do, and sometimes a simple, albeit wonderful, acknowledgement letter (that acts as a tax-deductible receipt, too) is not going to emphasize your thanks enough. So, what else can you do?

Press Releases

A simple and highly visible form of extra thanks is a press release to local publications. This could include information about the circumstances of the donation, how big of a matching gift partner they are (if, for example, you have many donors who work for one company that offers matching gifts on a recurring basis), and the kind of programs and nonprofit work the donations help progress.

And don’t forget to highlight the company on your own website. It’s not only positive publicity for the company but also encourages your other donors to see if their employers will match their donations.

The important thing here is that the company or companies providing matching gifts to your nonprofit organization are getting a public, positive recognition for the donations they make. They are more likely to donate in other capacities in the future, as well, when they see the kind of public acknowledgement they can get by donating to your organization.

Social Media

This one is seemingly a no-brainer, but it’s always amazing what kind of far-reaching impacts a Facebook or Twitter post can have on relationships. By thanking a corporation for their generosity with matching gifts and including the positive impact they are having on the community, your nonprofit is taking an extra (and again, simple) step to show the company and the public how thankful you are for their commitment to the cause.

Here’s a sample thank you post from the Children’s Craniofacial Association:

Thanks for the Matching Gifts

In case you can’t read the text on the image it says

It’s #ThankfulThursday & CCA thanks @Corning Inc. for the Foundation Matching Gifts Program, doubling employee donations to CCA!

It was retweeted four times and favorited six times, including from the main Corning account.

Donation Page Acknowledgements

On your website’s donation pages, you could include information about some of the benefits of matching gifts (for your donors), and also mention some of the top-giving companies in the area. This shows many donors the commitment of their employers to the community, which in turn increases the chances an individual will donate to your cause and also ask their company for a matching gift. Increasing the number of eyes that see a corporation’s name in a positive light also increases the likelihood of forming a stronger relationship with a company. Positive PR for a company (by a nonprofit organization) is a huge key for ensuring future collaboration.

Event Recognition

This is another easy way to recognize some of the major community players in the matching gift arena. Even if these companies are not sponsoring your charitable event, just mentioning the impact they are having on the work you do (without outshining the actual corporate sponsors, of course) is going to make a difference. Every company wants a positive image in the community because this increases their like-ability, and therefore their success. When your nonprofit organization is a key factor in increasing their success, the bond between the two will be stronger than ever.

Creating a Stronger Relationship

The above suggestions are just a few extra ways to say thanks to the corporations who have a strong commitment to matching gift donations. When a company sees the effort your nonprofit organization is putting forth to thank them for their generosity, it increases the chances of future giving, whether it’s with more matching gifts, grants, or even some form of sponsorship.

Make sure you’re saying thank you – it really can make all the difference!

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Volunteer Grants and Matching Gifts from Board Members of Nonprofits

Many nonprofit organizations have a Board of Directors that make annual monetary contributions. Did you know that certain companies offer bonus matches or higher ratios and limits on matching gifts if their employees serve on nonprofit boards?

Here are some of these companies that offer higher limits on matching gifts from board members:

U.S. Companies Corporate Giving Policies

usbanklogoUS Bancorp/US Bank

US Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association (based in Minneapolis, Minnesota), ranked the fifth largest bank in the U.S. based on assets ($364 billion), and fourth largest based on total branches. The company employs over 64,000 people.

US Bancorp/US Bank Matching Gift Policy

US Bank offers a 1:1 matching ratio of gifts up to $1,000 by all employees. When a board member makes a donation, this limit is raised to $3,000 (still a 1:1 match ratio). US Bank matches donations to most nonprofit organizations.


Learn more about US Bank’s matching gift program.

MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV)

MWV is an American packaging company based in Richmond, Virginia. It has approximately 23,000 employees.

MWV Matching Gift Policy

MWV matches all employee donations up to $2,500 to education institutions (K-12 included). It also matches donations from employees who serve on the board of directors (or other governing body) of the organization to which the contribution is being made.

Learn more about MWV’s matching gift program.

DominionDominion Resources, Inc.

Dominion Resources, Inc. (aka Dominion), is a power and energy company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia that supplies electricity in parts of Virginia and North Carolina, and supplies natural gas to parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and eastern North Carolina. As of 2012, Dominion employed 15,500 people.

Dominion Matching Gift Policy

When Dominion employees or retirees serve on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization, Dominion will make a 2:1 match up to $2,500. So, if the employee donated $2,500, Dominion will make a $5,000 donation, totaling $7,500!

Learn more about Dominion’s matching gift program.


PNM Resources

PNM Resources, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, serves electricity to 498,000 homes and business in northern New Mexico and parts of west Texas. PNM employs about 2,000 people.

PNM’s Volunteer Grant Program

PNM provides 3 different levels of monetary grants for volunteer service provided by an employee:

  1. For every 12 volunteer hours donated, PNM will provide a $100 donation to an eligible nonprofit organization.
  2. For every 25 volunteer hours, PNM will provide a $300 donation.
  3. If an employee volunteers at least 25 hours AND serves on the nonprofit’s board of directors, PNM will provide a $500 donation.

Learn more about PNM’s volunteer grant program.

BSOCBlue Shield of California

With 4,500 employees, Blue Shield of California is based in San Francisco. It is a nonprofit health plan provider that serves more than 3.4 million health plan members and almost 65,000 physicians across California.

BSOC Volunteer Grant Program

Healthcare Organizations:

When a BSOC employee volunteers at a healthcare organization and makes a monetary donation up to $3,000, BSOC will match the donation at a 2:1 ratio, effectively making the total donation $9,000! When a BSOC employee serves on the nonprofit’s organization governing board and makes a monetary donation up to $5,000, BSOC will also match the donation at a 2:1 ratio, totaling $15,000!

Civic and Community Organizations:

BSOC employee volunteers at civic and community organizations can have donations of $1,500 matched at a 1:1 ratio. BSOC employee volunteers who are on the governing body of these organizations can have donations up to $2,500 matched at a 1:1 ratio.

Learn more about BSOC’s volunteer grant program.

Global Companies Corporate Giving Policies

SchneiderSchneider Electric, Square D NOAD & Subsidiaries

Schneider Electric is a France-based multinational corporation with nearly 10 U.S. business acquisitions that specializes in electricity distribution and automation management. It employs more than 152,000 people as of 2012.

Schneider Electric Matching Gift Policy

Schneider Electric, Square D NOAD & its subsidiaries provide a 1:1 match on all donations up to $10,000! If an employee is also an active member of a nonprofit organization’s board of directors, the match ratio is increased to a 1.5:1 ratio (that would total a $25,000 donation for a board member!)

Learn more about Schneider Electric’s matching gift program.

TakedaTakeda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Takeda is the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and Asia, boasting 30,000 employees worldwide. It is focused on metabolic disorders, gastroenterology, neurology, and inflammation. Despite being headquartered in Osaka, Japan, Fortune Magazine ranked the Takeda Oncology Company as one the 100 best companies to work for in the United States in January 2012.

Takeda Volunteer Grant Program

When an employee of Takeda Pharmaceuticals serves on the board of directors for eligible nonprofit organizations, said employee can request a $2,500 volunteer grant for the organization.

Learn more about Takeda’s volunteer grant program.

novartisNovartis International AG

Novartis is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. In 2010 it ranked number two among the worldwide pharmaceutical industry in sales ($46.8 billion). Novartis employs nearly 120,000 people.

Novartis Volunteer Grant Program

Novartis offers three types of volunteer grants:

  1. Individual Volunteer Grants: employees who volunteer at least 40 hours with an eligible nonprofit organization can request a $250 volunteer grant.
  2. Board Service Grants: employees who serve on the board of directors of an eligible organization can request a $750 volunteer grant after one year of board service. These grants are renewable every year for up to three years.
  3. Team Volunteer Grants: when five or more employees volunteer as a team on a special project for an eligible nonprofit, Novartis will donate $500 to the organization. (This is exclusive of Community Partnership Day.)

Learn more about Novartis’ volunteer grant program.

Matching Gift Acknowledgement

Sample Job Description for a Matching Gift Coordinator

Is your nonprofit organization missing out on potential funds from matching gift donations?
Does your development department have someone who is knowledgeable about matching gifts and the intricacies of the process?
Would you be interested in having someone on your staff who can bring added value to your annual fund?

If the answers to these questions are yes, no, and yes, then you might want to look into the possibility of extra personnel, specifically a matching gift coordinator.

We’ve put together a sample job description for a matching gift coordinator that you can post on a multitude of great nonprofit job and career sites. Of course, you’ll need to add in the more specific elements that make your organization unique to help you stand out from the crowd. Sell your nonprofit to those job hunters!

Matching Gift Coordinator


The Matching Gift Coordinator is responsible for the oversight of the matching gift program, a component of fund development. This position entails communicating with individual donors to ensure knowledge about the possibility of matching gifts, as well as maintaining and updating appropriate information on the website and within relevant marketing materials.

The Matching Gift Coordinator reports to and works in collaboration with the Director of Development.

Key Responsibilities

  • Checking all individual donations against the donor’s employer to see if they are eligible for a corporate match.
  • Reaching out to individual donors to inform them of the possibility of a corporate matching gift.
  • Providing donors with appropriate information and guidelines to make the match process as effortless as possible.
  • Maintaining and updating the matching gift information on software such as Double the Donation as necessary.
  • Sending timely acknowledgements to individual donors and matching gift companies.
  • Maintaining the matching gift section on the fundraising pages of the website.
  • Marketing matching gift opportunities via various outlets including social media, email campaigns, and annual fund letters.

Characteristics of a Qualified Candidate

The Matching Gift Coordinator position requires an organized, proactive, and energetic individual who will work effectively with donors and corporations.

A successful candidate will have the following qualities:

  • At least 2 years of experience in fund development in nonprofit organizations.
  • An ability to think independently and communicate effectively.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • An ability to learn quickly, especially with regard to software management.
Marketing Corporate Philanthropy Programs

Marketing Corporate Philanthropy Programs

Corporate PhilanthropyWhile Double the Donation provides fundraising tools to nonprofits looking to raise more money from employee matching gift programs, we also talk in detail about corporate philanthropy and the importance of companies having solid programs that embrace it.

This article is geared towards the corporate sector and discusses marketing corporate philanthropy programs to maximize not only the benefits to your company by publicizing these programs, but also to maximize the impact your company is having on your local community.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Develop a well-rounded corporate philanthropy program
  3. Encourage consumers to become brand advocates

Let’s get started!

1. Know Your Audience

One of the first rules of marketing and advertising is to know your audience. A one-pronged marketing campaign will not resonate with everyone. Think of who your organization is trying to reach by marketing philanthropy programs and how best to engage them.


When you market your company’s corporate philanthropy programs to your customers and consumers, you want to ensure they are seeing a broad picture of how your company is helping the local community.

If you are a corporation, show them how many hours your employees have volunteered in the community; show them what causes your company stands behind and how it will help THEM.

For example, are you environmentally conscious? Are you donating equipment or goods to local shelters and nonprofit organizations? Are you contributing to disaster response?

Paint a philanthropic picture.


Just as your corporation wants consumers to know how great the philanthropic attitude is around the office, an equal amount of emphasis must be placed on ensuring your employees’ enthusiastic participation!

It’s important for your employees to buy in to the programs – why would your consumers participate and advocate on your behalf if your employees don’t?

Plus every individual prefers to work for a philanthropic company so there are many business benefits to corporate philanthropy.

Executives and Board Members

While it’s important for upper management to see the big picture on how these programs are impacting the community, it’s also important to ensure this audience understands how these programs are impacting the company.

In other words, are these programs increasing revenue in any way? You need all groups to engage in and support your philanthropic programs for them to be successful.

2. Develop a Well-Rounded Corporate Philanthropy Program

This is a crucial step for having a successful marketing campaign. Having multiple philanthropic platforms will prove to your consumers that your company is truly dedicated to bettering the community.

Matching Gift Programs and Employee Giving

When your employees donate money to charities and nonprofit organizations, does your company have a matching gift program  that will help them essentially “double their donation?”

Many companies offer matching gifts in various forms to encourage employee giving.

For example, if an individual donates $100 to a local nonprofit organization, they would then apply for a matching gift of $100 from their employer, which may provide a 1:1 match, thereby giving the nonprofit organization a $200 donation. This is one example of a corporate philanthropic program that many corporations pride themselves on.

Check out a few top matching gift companies.

Volunteering and Volunteer Grant Programs

Another great program corporations are embracing is volunteer-based. When employees volunteer at an eligible nonprofit organization, employers offer grants based on the number of hours volunteered.

A common grant program will offer, for example, a grant of $10 per hour volunteered (minimum of 10 hours) to the nonprofit organization at which the employee spends their time. Many corporations often include in marketing materials how many hours its employees have volunteered. It presents a powerful picture of how the company is positively impacting the local community.

Check out our volunteer grant guide for complete details and examples.

Environmental and Disaster Response Initiatives

Does your corporation have a “go green” initiative? Or do your product materials only come from biodegradable substances? Things like this resonate with consumers, and make them more likely to purchase your product over a competitor.

When natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy occur, many corporations get involved immediately by offering up not only cash and product donations to those impacted, but also by encouraging consumers to purchase a product of which some percentage goes directly to local disaster response programs.

Having a program like this and marketing it to the public puts your corporation in the philanthropic spotlight, making consumers more likely to remember you positively.

3. Encourage Consumers to Become Brand Advocates

It’s time to embrace and utilize social media and digital channels the way they were meant to be used. Chances are your organization already has a Facebook or Twitter page, but if it doesn’t, that needs to change.

According to this article, “Digital marketing is a catch-all term for the act of promoting services or products through media across varied digital channels. ”

But guess what? Digital marketing can also be used to market your corporate philanthropy programs!

Fifty-nine percent of social media users say companies appear “accessible and responsive” when they have active social media plans.Matching-Gift-Social-Media

Your consumers are on social media, and that’s where your marketing can have the biggest impact for the lowest cost.

Publicize some of the philanthropic programs your corporation is involved in, with stories and pictures for maximum impact. When followers share and like your content, it enables your material to be spread throughout the social media world with literally just the click of a button.

Social media is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your followers aware of all the great things your company is doing! Put it to good use!

Your company can’t just sit back and expect consumers and employees to know about your corporate philanthropy programs and efforts. Start marketing your corporate philanthropy programs to the right people through the right channels.

UPS Philanthropy

Does UPS Offer a Matching Gift Program?

At Double the Donation, our core service is to track which companies offer employee matching gift programs and make it easy for nonprofits to share company specific forms, guidelines, and instructions with their donors.

One of the most common questions we receive is whether or not United Parcel Services (UPS) matches employee donations to nonprofits.

Does United Parcel Service (UPS) have a Matching Gift Program?UPS Matching Gift Program

Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion around UPS’s employee giving programs. In short, UPS no longer matches employee donations.

For many years the UPS Foundation matched donations from all active employees who had been with the company for at least 12 months. Each employee (including members of UPS’s Management Committee) was eligible to request up to $3,000 in matching funds per year.

Since many nonprofits received matches in the past it’s no surprise we get more questions from our nonprofit customers about UPS’s matching gift program than nearly any other company. This confusion arises from the fact that UPS is still listed on many of the random lists of matching gift companies circulating the internet.

We can assure you that as of 12/01/13, UPS does NOT offer an employee matching gift program. Any lists of matching gift companies which are found online that list UPS as having a matching gift programs are inaccurate.

Our team previously reached out to the UPS Foundation (and re-confirmed prior to this post) and received the following response by email:

The UPS Foundation formerly offered a gift matching program for educational and cultural organizations.  However, on February 20, 2009, UPS’s Board of Trustees approved the action to suspend the Gift Matching Program due to the economic climate.   At this time, there are no current plans to restart the program.

That being said, we encourage you to check out this list of top companies which offer matching gift programs.