In this post, Double the Donation wants to pay homage to the very first corporate gift-matching program to exist – General Electric.
General Electric (often called “GE”) is a multinational corporation that operates in four areas, most notably in energy and technology infrastructure. In 1954, more than 50 years after its founding, General Electric created the Corporate Alumni Program to support its employees in their personal philanthropy and charitable giving.
During it’s first year (1954) General Electric’s matching gift program was widely used by employees with:
- 5,234 gifts registered by 4,928 employees
- Over $200,000 being match to over 359 nonprofits
Since then, it has become a model for countless other employee matching gift programs.
GE & Corporate Philanthropy
Obvious success of the model is proven by the millions of dollars matched annually by General Electric, including nearly $42 million matched in 2014 alone! That’s $84 million donated to more than 10,000 nonprofit organizations – now that’s what we call corporate philanthropy!
Those eligible to participate in GE’s matching gift program range from full-time employees to part-time employees to retirees. GE will match a donation anywhere between $25 and $25,000 at a 1:1 ratio to most registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and educational institutions across the United States (and even some in the United Kingdom). This means a nonprofit organization could potentially receive $50,000 from a GE employee donation.
Enhanced Employee Giving
While GE provides one of the most robust and generous matching gift programs we’ve seen, Double the Donation believes it can enhance employee giving by starting a volunteer grant program.
More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies provide grants to organizations with which their employees volunteer. With GE’s mission to “practice a proactive philanthropy that develops innovative, pace-setting programs that have an unlimited multiplier effect,” a volunteer grant program is inevitably going to succeed!
A huge hurrah and thank you to GE’s outstanding corporate philanthropic attitude, which helps nonprofits nationwide achieve their mission!