You understand the basic concept of matching gifts. You know that in a matching gift program a company will match donations made by employees to a range of nonprofits.
That’s the general definition and a good start. However, in order to succeed in acquiring matched gifts you’ll need to understand the nitty-gritty of the program stipulations.
Well, here is the nitty-gritty!
The amount that a company will match is based on a combination of the matching gift ratios, maximums, and minimums.
Let’s break those three components down based on what we typically see in matching gift programs.
1. Match Ratio:
This is a lot easier to understand than it sounds.
Companies determine how much to match for employee donations based on a preset ratio. The majority of companies match donations at a 1:1 ratio, or dollar for dollar.
In the case of a 1:1 ratio, if an employee gives your nonprofit $100 and her employer agrees to match it, you’ll end up with $100 from the company for a total of $200. You’ve doubled your donation!
Although you can expect to see a lot of 1:1 ratios, they can range from .5:1 all the way up to 4:1. Ratios are typically standardized across all employee types, but sometimes a company will stipulate that, for example, part-time employees or retirees or executives will have different match ratios.
- Puget Sound Energy matches donations at a .5:1 rate.
- Apple matches donations at a 1:1 rate.
- Soros Fund Management matches donations from partners at a 2:1 rate and employees at a 3:1 rate.
2. Maximum Match:
Maximum matches have quite the range. You’ll see upper limits from $1,000-$15,000 on average, but there are plenty of matches that are outside that scope.
- The Avis Budget Group matches donations up to $100 annually per employee.
- Merck matches donations up to $30,000 annually per employee.
- General Electric matches donations up to $25,000 annually per employee.
3. Minimum Match:
Usually, a company will set a donation minimum, meaning that if a donor’s contribution falls below that set amount, the company will not match the gift. Most commonly, that dollar amount is $25, but it can range from $1-$100.
- Harris Corporation matches employee donations as long as they’re greater than $10.
- LyondellBasell Industries matches employee donations of $100 or more.
Combine all three of these factors and you’ll be ready to predict what your nonprofit will rake in from those lucrative matching gifts!