Every once in a while, we get a question from one of our clients or visitors which we feel is worthy of sharing. Let us take a look at two similar questions we’ve received:
If a donation is made from a husband / wife who work at two different companies that offer matching gift programs, is there a general rule that says that donation can only be matched by one company?
We have a married couple who have each submitted a request to their respective employers for their gift to be matched. The gift in question was made online by the husband so he got hard credit for it, but it could have just as easily been a check from a joint account.
Has anyone had this happen – and did you confirm the gift with each (different) company? Feel free to reply offline.
Answer: The general rule of thumb is that both individuals are able to submit a matching gift request to their respective employers. Assuming the standard case where companies match donations dollar for dollar, a single donation would effectively be tripled. We rarely, if ever, see a rule preventing a gift from being matched by multiple companies.
A more common occurrence is for both the husband and wife to work for the same matching gift company. If that’s the case, one of three things typically occurs:
- The company will provide a double match. For example, rather than matching at a 1:1 ratio, the company will match at a 2:1 ratio.
- The company will provide the same matching gift ratio, but double the limit. For instance, instead of matching all donations up to $5,000 annually, the company will match donations up to $10,000 annually.
- The company provides the couple with the same benefit that an individual employee receives.
Why Does This Information About Matching Gift Programs for Spouses Matter?
Your organization may already incorporate many of our top ways to promote employee matching gifts, but don’t forget to also promote matching gifts for spouses.
Do you provide donors with an acknowledgement letter after they submit the matching gift request or upon receiving the actual grant from the company? If so, this is a great time to encourage donors to ask their spouse if his or her company offers a matching gift program. Just reminding them that the donation could go even further increases the likelihood the donation will be matched by a second employer. Once a donor has gone through the process a single time, they realize how straightforward it is for them to submit the matching gift request. Appeal to them to also find out if their spouse’s employer offers a similar program so the donation can be tripled!
If you subscribe to Double the Donation’s service, make sure to direct donors and members to your organization’s matching gift and volunteer grant website so they can instantly determine their eligibility and submit the appropriate form.
Readers: Have questions about corporate employee giving programs? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.