GuideStar Articles Matching Gifts

Reader Question: Submitting match requests for non-personal donations

Although Double the Donation doesn’t administer match programs for any corporations, as experts in the space we’re regularly approached with general matching gift questions. Here’s a question we’ve heard from both individual nonprofits as well as individual donors.

Question Regarding Matches on Non-Personal Donations:

Question from nonprofits:
My organization has donors who work at companies with large matching gift limits. Can we funnel donations through these employees to make sure all of the donations are getting matched?

Question from individuals:
I work for a company which doesn’t have a matching gift program. But my friend Sally’s employer matches donations. Can I give her my money and have her make a donation?

Double the Donation’s Answer:

While we understand the desire to maximize donations from matching gift programs, we strongly recommend that donors only take advantage of their own employers’ match programs. A few reasons include:

Stick with the Spirit of Corporate Match Programs:

At Double the Donation, we track and stay in touch with companies with matching gift programs. In almost all cases, company guidelines specifically state something along the lines of “Gifts must be personal contributions paid either in cash or securities.” Although we don’t administer match programs for any companies, the match benefits are usually designed for personal contributions from individuals working at a specific company.

Thus it’s quite clear that from a corporate standpoint, passing donations through a supporter who works for a matching gift company is definitely frowned upon.

We hope the nonprofit community recognizes that matching grant programs are generous benefits offered by companies to support organizations which employees personally give to. They’re also completely optional programs so we hope everyone utilizes them in the spirit for which they were designed.

Avoid Potential Fraud:

Whenever a matching gift request is submitted, the employee has to sign the form indicating that the donation for which a match is being requested adheres to the company’s guidelines. Additionally whenever a nonprofit verifies a donation, the nonprofit employee confirming the donation is also signing that he or she agrees the donation meets the company’s guidelines.

While we certainly aren’t legal experts, there’s a strong chance that both the employee and the nonprofit would be be committing some sort of fraud by submitting or verifying matches which aren’t eligible to be matched. Doing so could put the employee’s job at risk while also jeopardizing the nonprofit’s eligibility for future matches and grants.

Risk Tax Implications:

Again, we aren’t legal experts, but there are certainly tax implications. For instance, who gets to claim the charitable tax deduction on the original donation? Was it the individual who gave his or her money to a friend to donate or was it the actual donor who submitted the match request?

We hope you won’t get to this point of having to figure out the tax implications, but figured we highlight it as a potential pitfall.

General Thoughts:

We always encourage organizations to stick to the spirit of the match programs. If a specific program is designed for an individual employee’s personal use, we recommend that the employee and benefiting nonprofit not try to game the system. While we’re sure the above isn’t the answer that most individuals and nonprofits want to hear, we hope it’s informative.

That being said, there are a number of companies (ex. Intuit, State Street Capital, McAfee, and others) that match the fundraising efforts of employees. These are some of the most generous employee giving programs so organizations should definitely look into them.

Learn more about companies which match fundraising efforts of employees.

Small Companies Matching Gifts

Companies that Match Gifts to Elementary Schools

At Double the Donation, we frequently receive questions about which companies match gifts to specific nonprofit categories. We previously covered matching gifts at high schools and higher education institutions, but elementary schools and foundations are also major recipients.

It’s well known that almost all companies with matching gifts will match to higher education, but the policies can be confusing in regards to K-12 schools. In this article we highlight a few companies that make a major impact on elementary school education by matching donations from employees.

Corporate Matching Gifts for Elementary Schools

Elementary schools have a lot to gain from corporate matching. HP, for instance, allows employees to support organizations with HP technology. The HP employee contributes 25% of the equipment’s list price and the remaining 75% is matched by the company. Thus a $1,000 donation from a parent would be worth $4,000 in equipment. A single donation like this could update and replace many library or classroom computers.

Companies love being seen as supporters of their local elementary schools and there’s no better way than matching donations from employees. If your school is fortunate enough to have a large donor base, make sure you’re paying attention to companies in your area that match donations (or subscribe to a matching gift service like Double the Donation). The key to increasing your matching gift fundraising is to raise awareness and make it easy for donors to submit match requests.

List of Companies Matching Donations to Elementary Schools

If you’re looking for information about matching gifts or volunteer grants you’ve come to the right place. Check out this list of just a few of the companies that will match gifts to elementary schools.

The Home Depothome-depot-matching

Home Depot will match gifts to almost all 501(c)(3) organizations and educational institutions (elementary schools included). The company matches employee donations that are between $25 and $3,000.

Like many companies, Home Depot matches on a dollar for dollar ratio.

Read more about Home Depot’s matching gift program.

McDonald’s Corporationmcdonalds-gift-matching

In addition to its work with the Ronald McDonald House, McDonald’s will match employee donations up to $5,000 a year to elementary schools.

As one of the largest employers in the world, this matching gift benefit has the potential to impact schools across the United States.

Read more about the McDonald’s matching gift program.

Texas Instruments – TImatching-donations-ti

Not only does Texas Instruments make many of the technologies used in classrooms, it also supports elementary schools with its matching gift program. Additionally, TI stands out for doing a great job notifying employees and retirees of its programs.

The company matches donations of between $50 and $10,000 per employee each year. As an added benefit, Texas Instruments also matches donations from retirees as well as offers grants of up to $1,000 when employees or retirees volunteer regularly.

Read more about the Texas Instruments matching gift program.

The Walt Disney Corporation

The Walt Disney Company will match donations to elementary schools made by current full-time employees, part-time employees, and retirees of between $25 and $15,000 annually. The company matches to all K-12 schools.

If a Walt Disney employee also volunteers with a school, the company will provide a grant of up to $1,000 as a way to recognize the volunteerism.

Read more about Walt Disney’s matching gift program.

Additional Resources:

Matching gift programs can be an additional source of fundraising for elementary schools that have a large donor base. If you’re looking to become even more knowledgeable on corporate giving programs, make sure to check out the following articles.

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Donor Advised Funds | Matching Gift Nuances

As a leading provider of matching gift information for nonprofits around the world, we’ve received questions on nearly every topic imaginable. Thankfully our team has done thousands of hours of research into nearly aspect of the corporate matching gift space. Let’s dive into one question we’re regularly asked.

Are Donor Advised Funds Eligible?

One topic which comes up on occasion is whether donations made into or out of donor advised funds are eligible to be matched by employers. Like most questions we receive, the answer is “it depends.” As you’re probably already aware, matching gift guidelines vary by company. Some companies explicitly state their policies on donor advised funds while others ignore the subject completely, even in their complete guidelines.

Let’s take a look at corporate policies for a number of major companies which spell out the matching eligibility of donations into or out of donor advised funds.

Corporate Examples:

American Expressamerican-express-matching-gifts

We regularly use American Express as an example not only because they match employee donations (sometimes at a 2:1 ratio), but they also have very explicit and detailed matching gift guidelines.

What is Eligible?

Eligible organizations and contributions include: “Contributions out of a charitable gift, donor advised, community foundation or family fund to an eligible nonprofit distributed from an established fund set up by the employee in his or her name”

What is not Eligible?

Contributions earmarked to an already established or to establish an employee’s charitable gift, donor advised fund, community foundation or family fund.

Learn more about American Express’ matching gift program >

match-gift-from-carmax

CarMax

Carmax is regularly recognized for having one of the top corporate employee giving programs. The company not only matches employee donations, but also matches donations from dependents until they turn 26. When it comes to Donor Advised Funds, here’s what Carmax guidelines say:

“Are All Gifts Eligible?”

Even if an organization is eligible, some gifts may not be. These include:

Gifts made by or through Community Trusts or similar organizations, including Charitable Remainder Trusts, Donor Advised Funds, or Private Foundations

Learn more about CarMax’s matching gift program >

Bank of Americamatching-donations-bank-of-america

Bank of America matches donations to most 501(c)(3) organizations up to $5,000 annually per employee as well as provides grants when retirees and employees volunteer. The company provides clear guidance around matching gifts for donor advised funds. Here’s what the company has to say:

The following organizations or categories of service are not eligible for matching donations through this program:

  • Gifts made into Donor Advised Funds. The distribution made from those funds in the employee’s name to qualified organizations are eligible for matching
  • And many others (Double the Donation excluded the others since they aren’t relevant for this post)

Learn more about Bank of America’s matching gift program >

Chevronmatch-donations-chevron

Chevron provides matching gifts to multiple types of nonprofit organizations, up to $10,000 per employee each year. With regard to private family foundations and Donor Advised Funds:

Donor Advised Funds must be directly funded by the employee, retiree or director only, and the Fund must maintain a separate account segregating the contributions of the donor.

Contributions made by a qualified family foundation or Donor Advised Fund must be directed by the donor and made on his or her behalf.

Learn more about Chevron’s matching gift program >

YourCause Matching Gifts

Spotlight on YourCause: Manage Matching Gifts

Looking for information on YourCause or companies which use YourCause’s corporate philanthropy platform?

Good news! While Double the Donation is a completely separate and non-related company, we can share much of the information you’re looking for on YourCause.

 

YourCause logo

What Does YourCause Do?

YourCause is the provider of the CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform. CSRconnect is an online platform for corporations to manage one or multiple philanthropic programs (including employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs).

Almost all major companies have philanthropic giving programs in place, but many use a vendor for the corporate philanthropy software and administration. YourCause was founded by Matt Combs in 2008 and has become a leader in the CSR space.

YourCause provides companies with the ability to:

 

Who Uses YourCause’s Corporate Giving Platform?

YourCause provides corporate philanthropy, matching gift, and volunteer grant tools to many of the world’s leading companies.

A few of its clients include:

top-matching-gift-companies

 

What’s the difference between YourCause and CSRconnect?

YourCause L.L.C. is the official company name while CSRconnect is the name of their corporate employee giving and volunteering platform.

The CSRconnect platform provides functionality for corporations including:

  • Grant management
  • Matching gift administration
  • Volunteer grant administration
  • Payroll giving
  • Disaster relief
  • And many other services

CSRconnect is a highly customizable tool for corporations of all sizes. Businesses big and small can easily adopt this tool to help streamline fund management, corporate philanthropy tools, and more.

The CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform is YourCause’s online giving system for corporate employees.

 

How Do Nonprofits Benefit From YourCause?

YourCause provides a Nonprofit Portal which has free tools to help organizations leverage YourCause’s network of corporate clients. By registering on the Nonprofit Portal to become the administrator, you can increase your organization’s exposure to the donations and volunteer hours being transacted on the platform.

The tools include:

  • Unlimited Access to Donation History
  • Ability to Input Volunteer Opportunities for Corporate Employees to Join
  • Signing Up for ACH Payments for the easy Transfer of Funds

 

How Do I Contact YourCause?

YourCause is happy to help you with any question or concern you might have!

If you fall into one of the following three categories, you should contact the company’s matching gift and volunteer grant hotline for assistance:

  1. Nonprofits looking to verify matching donations or those with questions regarding the status of a donation
  2. Employees looking for assistance with their employers’ matching gift programs
  3. Retirees with questions about their former employers’ retiree giving programs

There are three ways to contact YourCause:

  1. By email – Please email support@yourcause.com
  2. By phone – Please call (972) 755-3950
  3. By mail – YourCause, LLC, 2508 Highlander Way – Suite 210, Carrollton, TX 75006

 

Double the Donation’s Relationship with YourCause:

YourCause and Double the Donation are two completely separate businesses.

While YourCause provides tools and manages matching gift programs for companies, Double the Donation helps nonprofits raise more money from the matching gift programs offered by companies across the world.

Double the Donation’s database of matching gift companies includes matching gift programs managed either internally at companies or outsourced to one of the many corporate vendors such as:

Click here for more information on these matching gift vendors.

 

Double the Donation sells an easy-to-use tool to nonprofits to help them promote matching gifts to donors (check out our service to see if it can help your organization increase matching gift fundraising). Our database of matching gift companies includes those administered by YourCause as well as those managed by the many other matching gift vendors.

Tax Benefits of Corporate Matching Gifts

Tax Benefits of Corporate Matching Gifts: The Basics

As companies continue to recognize the importance and benefits of corporate social responsibility, more and more corporations continue to implement employee giving programs. These programs give employees a voice in where their company’s philanthropic dollars end up.

But have you ever wondered about the tax implications of employee giving programs such as matching gift programs where companies donate money on behalf of their employees?

Matching Gift Overview

An Overview of Matching Gifts:

A matching donation is a donation from a corporation that matches the monetary donation of an employee to a charitable, nonprofit organization. These programs are designed to support the organizations which employees are passionate about. An employee submits a matching gift request to their employer after making a donation. The employer will then make a similar donation to the nonprofit organization.

For instance, Gap Corporation will match employee donations dollar for dollar. This means if an employee were to give $1,000 to an eligible nonprofit, Gap would also donate $1,000 to the same nonprofit.

Donations to Nonprofits

Donations:

Some companies simply donate money to charitable organizations chosen by the board of directors or officers in the corporate social responsibility offices. According to Target’s Corporate Social Responsibility report, the company donated $100 million to educational causes on an annual basis in recent years. The organizations receiving these were not chosen by individual employees who had supported the causes with their own contributions but rather a mix of broader corporate support and contributing to organizations their customers suggested.

In contrast, Microsoft has donated over one billion dollars through matching gifts to nonprofits chosen by employees who applied to have their personal contributions matched by the company.

Tax ImplicationsTaxes:

The IRS deems donations to eligible 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations as tax deductible. This rule is for individuals and corporations. A corporation can only take deductions for charitable giving for up to 10 percent of its yearly taxable income.

There are dozens of internet tax tools that can help determine this. Since a matching gift is a donation companies can deduct their matching donations from their reported income. Decreasing reported income means a company will not have to pay taxes on the donated money.

Tax Benefits for Companies

Tax Benefits for Companies:

The tax benefit of an employee matching gift program is a tax deduction on the company’s earned annual income. If a corporation were to simply donate money to a nonprofit organization it would still receive the same tax benefits. The corporation does not receive a greater tax benefit from employee matching gifts versus corporate philanthropy work in general but the company does see the added employee engagement benefits from supporting the organizations which employees are passionate about.

Tax Implications for Donors

Tax Implication for Donors:

There is sometimes confusion among employees regarding their ability to take a tax deduction on a matching gift. But the short answer is that each party (employees & the company) can only take deductions on the actual charitable contributions that they made.

So that means if an employee donated $500 to an organization and it was matched at a 1:1 ratio by his or her employer, then the employee could deduct $500 and the company could deduct $500.

Learn more about whether religious organization are eligible for matching gift programs!

Are Religious Organizations Eligible for Matching Gift Programs?

Double the Donation’s team regularly receives questions from churches, synagogues, ministries, and religious groups regarding whether they’re eligible for matching gift program. We strongly believe in only promoting our matching gift service to nonprofits which could benefit from it as an effective component of their overall church fundraising strategy, so hopefully this article provides the clarification that you’re looking for.

In fact, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you were directed to the article by Double the Donation’s customer service team or from a search engine where you were looking for this exact information.

 

Standard Wording from Companies with Matching Gift Programs

Standard Wording from Companies with Matching Gift Programs:

While every company’s matching gift guidelines is different, each company normally addresses the matching gift eligibility of religious based organizations. For instance:

American Express

American Express matches donations to most 501(c)(3) organizations. In fact, the company will even match select donations at a 2:1 ratio if an employee also serves on the nonprofit’s board or volunteers for over 50 hours in a year.

Here’s what American Express says about houses of worship in their matching gift guidelines:

Question: Are houses of worship eligible organizations?

Answer: No, gifts to houses of worship (churches, synagogues, etc.) will not be matched. However, the program will match a gift to an ongoing and independently-run program affiliated with a religious organization, if the gift is restricted to a nonsectarian project that provides needed social services to the community at large on a nondiscriminatory basis without any religious teaching, directive or requirements to receive services (e.g. a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a food bank, etc.).

Read more about American Express’s employee giving programs >

General Electric

Fun fact, in 1954 GE was the first company to offer an employee matching gift program. At the time GE only matched to higher education but has since expanded their matching to encompass most schools and nonprofits.

Here’s what GE’s guidelines have to say about whether churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship are eligible for matching gift funds.

Religious organizations (churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship), or other organizations primarily promoting religious purposes. Other faith-based community service organizations or schools may be considered eligible if their programs:

  1. are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief;
  2. serve a secular purpose, such as food pantry, homeless shelter or education;
  3. do not require participation in prayer, worship or other religious activities as a condition of receiving service(s) offered; and
  4. do not use the individual donation or resulting match for religious purposes.

Read more about General Electric’s employee giving programs >

DirecTV Group

DirectTV has one of the most generous employee giving programs! The company matches employee donations up to $20,000 annually as well as provides a grant of $250 after an employee volunteers for 25 hours in a year. Like most companies, DirecTV provides a detailed match policy.

Here’s what DirecTV says about matches to religious organizations:

Gifts made to religious organizations (DIRECTV will match gifts to qualified institutions
affiliated with religious organizations, but will not match gifts made directly to religious
organizations).

DirectTV will not contribute matching funds to churches and religious organizations which fulfill tithes, pledges or other church‐related financial commitments.

DirecTV will not contribute matching funds to institutions that restrict admission or aid due to race or religious beliefs.

Read more about DirecTV’s employee giving programs >

The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitiable Trusts program provides a 2:1 match on employee donations up to $10,000 annually (meaning a $20,000 match).

Here’s what The Pew Charitable Trusts says about matches to religious organizations:

Yes. Pew will match contributions made to religious organizations, such as houses of worship, schools, hospitals, shelters, etc., just as it would to any other qualifying organization

Read more about The Pew Charitable Trusts employee giving programs >

Chevron

Chevron matches donations from employees and retirees as well as offers grants to nonprofits when employees and retirees volunteer.

Here’s what Chevron says about matching to faith based organizations:

Parts of churches and private schools. Chevron Humankind will provide matching funds and grants to
programs operated by faith-based organizations if those programs: (a) are open to all individuals in the
community regardless of religious belief; (b) serve a secular purpose, such as a food pantry or a
homeless shelter; and (c) do not require participants to join in religious worship as a condition of receiving
the services that the nonprofit offers.

Read more about Chevron’s employee giving programs >

 

Religious/Faith-Based Organizations Providing Social Services are Matching Gift Eligible

Religious / Faith Based Organizations Providing Social Services are Matching Gift Eligible

In our previous article on standard elements outlined in corporate matching gift guidelines, we addressed some of the basic eligibility criteria for matching gift programs.

In general, companies match to either all 501(c)(3) nonprofits and schools or place certain restrictions on the types of organizations eligible.

When it comes to donations to churches, synagogues, temples, and other religious or faith based organizations, the general rule of thumb is that if an organization provides social services to the greater community or is a K-12 school, those donations are match eligible.

 

Should You Subscribe to Double the Donation's Matching Gift Service?

Should You Subscribe to Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Service?

While we love to grow our business, we only want to accept customers which can benefit from our service. Much of Double the Donation’s team left the for-profit world for an opportunity to better the world by helping nonprofits raise more money. The last thing we want to do is signup and charge nonprofits that won’t benefit from our service.

So how do you know if your organization can benefit from Double the Donation’s service? It’s important to remember many companies exclude religious organizations unless the match goes to support services in the broader community (ex. food banks, homeless shelters, schools, etc.)

The easiest way to determine whether our matching gift service would be beneficial is to look over your donation records. If you’ve received matching gifts from companies in the past, there’s a good chance your organization meets the general eligibility requirements.


Becoming more aware of the what corporations match gifts to religious organization will help you understand if promoting matching gifts would be beneficial to your organization.

Discover more matching gift and fundraising advice with our additional resources:

  • Church Fundraising Ideas. Even if your church isn’t eligible for matching gifts, that’s okay! There are plenty of other fundraising ideas available, and we have a list that covers many events, activities, and strategies you can use to raise money.
  • Corporate Matching Gift Programs. Need to go back to the basics? Our comprehensive guide will give you the rundown on corporate matching gifts.
  • Top Matching Gift Companies. For a list of companies that offer fantastic matching gift programs, check out our list of top matching gift companies.
  • Matching Gift Eligibility. Still have questions about your matching gift eligibility? We break down each type of organization to help you figure out the restrictions surrounding your matching gift eligibility.
Small Companies Matching Gifts

Companies that Match Donations to High Schools

Across the United States, there are more than 26,000 public high schools and 10,000 private high schools all looking to build on their existing fundraising ideas. At Double the Donation, we work with high schools and education foundations across the country to help them increase the amount of money they receive from corporate matching gift programs.

We know it can sometimes be tricky trying to navigate the complex policies surrounding each company’s matching gift program so we’ve created a number of resources to help organizations better understand employee giving programs. These include:

Since Double the Donation is committed to helping all segments of the nonprofit space optimize their fundraising with matching gift programs, we created this post on matching gift companies that match donations to high schools.

Matching Gifts and High Schools

After higher education, the most common matching gift category is K-12 schools.

Included in this grouping is high schools since many companies do not distinguish between elementary, middle, and high schools when it comes to match eligible organizations. Many of these companies will also match to PTA groups, after school organizations, education foundations. Most matching gift companies do not distinguish between public and private high schools, though specific eligibility does vary by company.

For high schools with a large donor base, whether it’s parents, alumni, or community supporters, be sure to market employee matching gifts as an easy way to double existing donations!

List of Companies with Matching Gift Programs for High Schools

To help schools navigate through the matching gift process we created a short list of companies that will match donations made to K-12 schools and educational programs. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you aren’t seeing a company here, don’t rule it out just yet. And feel free to check out Double the Donation’s services to learn how we can make the matching gift process even easier.

IBMibm-matching-gifts

IBM is known to many schools for its generosity in donating software and computers to school systems.

An employee can have their donation matched on a 2:1 ratio with IBM products. Or a donation can be matched on a 1:1 basis for cash.

Read more about the IBM matching gift program.

Toys “R” Us

Toys”R”Us, Inc. partners with its team members to support causes that reflect their own personal interests and passions. The list of match eligible approved nonprofits includes to those that keep children safe and help them in times of need; organizations that support the research, treatment, prevention and cure of diseases or disorders that impact families and children; and educational institutions.

That means Toys “R” Us will match donations made by team members to high schools. Through the matching gift program, the company matches donations on a 1:1 basis and will double donations up to $1,000 per employee each year.

Read more about the Toys R Us matching gift program.

Wells Fargowells-fargo-matching

As one of the leading banks, it’s no surprise that many communities have a Wells Fargo presence. Employees of Wells Fargo can have their donations to high schools matched up to $6,500 each year.

Volunteer grants are also available for those who volunteer with educational organizations.

Read more about the Wells Fargo matching gift program.

Starbucksstarbucks-match-gifts

Starbucks Corporation will match up to $1,500 in donations made by an employee each year to high schools and many other organizations. All educational institutions are eligible for the program.

And if you have a volunteer opportunity coming up, be sure to mention it to your local barista since Starbucks also provides grants to organizations where employees volunteer.

Read more about the Starbucks matching gift program and volunteer grants.

Want to know more about corporate giving programs and how they can contribute to your high school’s fundraising efforts?