Small Companies Matching Gifts

Companies that Match Gifts to Higher Education Colleges and Universities

Everyone who has attained a bachelor’s degree has received a call from their Alma mater asking for donations, perhaps even before the graduation ceremony has concluded. And the statistics show that alumni do give back to their colleges and universities. Luckily, many of these generous gifts will be matched by alumni’s employers.

Matching Gifts to Education (Colleges and Universities)

Most matching gift programs began by only matching to colleges and universities. Many companies expanded their programs to include other nonprofit organizations, or all nonprofit organizations. However, there still remains a large contingent of companies that only match to higher education ( which excludes K-12 educational organizations or schools).

Almost all the companies you’ve read about in our previous posts (such as Bank of America, GE, Coca-Cola, Home Depot) will match gifts to colleges or universities. In this post we put together a list of some companies with lesser known matching gift programs. Oftentimes when a company only matches to higher education they can fall under the radar.

List of Companies Matching Gifts to Universities

This list is by no means comprehensive but rather a sampling of well known companies with matching gift programs. In fact, over 65% of Fortune 500 companies have an employee matching gift program.

View a list of the top matching gift companies in the US.

Allstate Insuranceallstate-matching-gifts

Allstate will match gifts to higher education on a dollar for dollar basis through their Good Hands Matching Gift program. They will also match 15% on donations made to other 501(c)(3) organizations.

Read more about Allstate’s matching gift program.

ConAgra Foods Inc.conagra-matching-gifts

ConAgra will match gifts to higher education between $25 and $1,000. They also match to programs for nutritional education; these programs need not be associated with a college or university.

Read more about the ConAgra Foods matching gift program.

eBay Inc.ebay-matching-gifts

The popular online auction site will match employee donations made between $25 and $500 per year. In addition to matching gifts to education, Ebay will also match gifts to most other nonprofit organizations.

Read more about eBay’s matching gift program.

Sherwin-Williamssherwin-williams-matching-gifts

Sherwin-Williams offers a matching gift program where the company matches up to $3,000 in donations to a wide variety of nonprofits including colleges and universities.

The company’s matching gift program is open to both current employees as well as retirees.

And in case that’s not impressive enough, Sherwin-Williams also has a great volunteer grant program.

Read more about Sherwin-Williams’ matching gift program.

ExxonMobilExxonMobile Matching Gifts

Although ExxonMobil is actually quite well-known for its corporate philanthropy, it is worth noting in terms of higher education because of how generous the corporation’s program is. ExxonMobil offers two matching gift programs, the Arts and Cultural Matching Gift Program and the Educational Matching Gift Program.

Through the Educational Matching Gift Program, ExxonMobil will match donations to higher education institutions, including U.S. colleges and universities. They match at a 3:1 ratio for the first $7,500 donated.

Read more about ExxonMobil’s matching gift program.

Examples of four colleges and universities promoting matching gifts across their online fundraising:

  1. Adrian College
  2. Eckerd College
  3. The Cooper Union
  4. University of Utah

Adrian College

Adrian College, located in Adrian, Michigan, is a private liberal arts college that was recently ranked as the #1 Midwest College by U.S. News and World Report.

Adrian College promotes matching gifts on their:

  1. Dedicated matching gift page
  2. Donation form with a screen overlay

Main dedicated matching gift page:

If alumni are looking for different ways to support their alma mater, Adrian College’s matching gift page offers helpful information to donors about making their donations go further. They let donors know that it might not just be their own employer that will match their donations; contributors can also solicit their spouses’ companies for matching donations or ask if a company they retired from will match their gift.

Adrian College then offers Double the Donation’s search tool to help donors check if their employers will match their donation.

Adrian College Matching Gift Page

Donation form:

Alumni and others who are ready to give to Adrian College can find more information about matching gift programs on the institution’s online donation form. In addition to the other options on the page, Adrian offers donors the chance to look into matching gift programs their employers provide.

Adrian College Matching Gifts on Donation Form

When the link is clicked, there is a screen overlay with matching gift information. Users simply type in the name of the company they work for to find matching gift information.

College Donation form with Matching Gift Screen Overlay

If their employer provides a matching gift program, the screen overlay displays important information such as:

  • Minimum or maximum donations that will be matched
  • Corporate contact information
  • Links to the electronic matching gift submission process / relevant matching gift forms
  • Easy to understand instructions

Eckerd College

Founded in 1958, Eckerd College is a private, liberal arts college located in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Eckerd College promotes matching gifts on their:

  1. Donation form with a link to a new window
  2. Dedicated matching gift page

Donation Form:

If alumni and other individuals choose to contribute through Eckerd College’s easy-to-use online donation form, they can find information about matching gifts in two separate places. Both the text link and the graphic in the sidebar take users to an informative dedicated matching gift page. The matching gifts section of the donation form itself then allows donors to indicate whether their donation will be matched by their employer or their spouses’ employers’ matching gift programs as well.

Eckerd College Donation Form with Two Matching Gift Options

When either the text link or the graphic is clicked, a new window opens taking donors to the college’s dedicated matching gift page. This page tells donors that their spouses’ employers and even former employers (for retirees) could offer matching gift programs to make their donation go further.

Dedicated Matching Gift Page:

Eckerd College’s dedicated matching gift page highlights the Double the Donation search tool for donors to use to research their employers’ gift matching programs offering helpful information and guidelines.

Eckerd College Matching Gift Page

The Cooper Union

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, commonly shortened to simply The Cooper Union, was established as a privately funded college in 1859 by Peter Cooper on the idea that education should be accessible and free to qualified students regardless of race, gender, wealth, or social status. Until 2014, the college granted each admitted student a full-tuition scholarship valued at approximately $150,000. Students who attended The Cooper Union can donate and help fund scholarships, events, and academic endeavors.

The Cooper Union promotes matching gifts on their:

  1. Dedicated matching gift page
  2. Donation form with Double the Donation’s tool in an expandable matching gift section

Dedicated Matching Gift Page:

The Cooper Union’s matching gift page lets alumni and other donors know about matching gifts and gives them instructions on how to obtain a matching donation from their employer. The page also encourages donors to use Double the Donation’s search tool to look for more in-depth information about their employers’ matching gift programs. Additionally, the page offers vital contact information if donors have other questions.

The Cooper Union Matching Gift Page

Donation form:

For donors who are ready to give, The Cooper Union’s online donation form also offers information about matching gift programs that their employers may provide. At the bottom of the page, donors can open an expandable matching gift section.

Higher Education - The Cooper Union Donation Form with Matching Gifts

 

When a user clicks on the expandable section, the Double the Donation search tool appears to help donors research more about their employers’ matching gift programs. Once a donor finds their company, they can find forms, guidelines, and instructions to help their donation to The Cooper Union go even further.

 

The Cooper Union Higher Education Match Tool

University of Utah

The University of Utah is a space-grant research university based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Established in 1850, the University of Utah offers over 100 majors and is home to Utah’s only medical school. Former students and others who wish to give to the University of Utah help fund libraries, scholarships, academic projects, and athletic programs.

The university promotes matching gifts on their:

  1. Ways-to-Give page
  2. Dedicated matching gift page
  3. In the donation process with a screen overlay

Ways to Give Page:

While the University of Utah offers its donors many ways to donate, they use the space on their Ways-to-Give page to promote corporate matching gift programs. Not only do they provide general information about matching gift programs, but they also provide donors with Double the Donation’s search tool to learn more about their specific employer’s gift matching policies.

University of Utah Ways to Give Page with Matching Gifts

Matching Gift Page:

In addition to including matching gifts on the Ways to Give page, the University of Utah has a designated matching gift page so they can promote matching gifts via email and social media. They give donors the same search tool that can be found on the Ways to Give page so donors can instantly access the matching gift forms, guidelines, and instructions they need.

Along with company specific matching gift information they also offer many of the most common questions that donors may have.

University of Utah Matching Gift Page

Donation process:

For donors who already know how they want to donate to the university, the donation page reminds them of matching gift programs. Donors are given the option to designate their contribution to a specific program or institute at the university and are also encouraged to look into matching gift programs by clicking on the matching gift link that opens to a screen overlay.

University of Utah Matching Gifts on the Donation Form

When a user clicks on the link it leads to a screen overlay:

University of Utah Matching Gift Popup

 

Additional Matching Gift Marketing Resources:

The colleges and universities who have the most matching gift success incorporate matching gifts throughout their broader fundraising efforts.

While the above examples provide a few samples from a handful of colleges and universities, we encourage you to check out the following resources:

  1. Download our Ultimate Guide to Marketing Matching Gifts
  2. View ideas and examples of how to promote matching gifts in the donation process
  3. View ideas and examples of how to promote matching gifts across your communications
  4. View ideas and examples of how to promote matching gifts across your website

Additional Strategies for Higher Education Institutions Seeking Matching Gifts

A generous corporate philanthropy program can only help your institution if your donors are aware of the potential. You’ll need to take an active approach to both promoting matching gifts and seeking out candidates.

Strategies for colleges and universities can have quite the range, including:

Matching gifts are a valuable resource, so ensure that your institution is taking advantage of the potential. It won’t take much, but, as you can see from the corporate guidelines sampled above, a little goes a long way with matching gifts.

Compliance: A Gift Matching Success

Compliance: A Gift Matching Success

Your relationship with your donor is like any other – if you want to keep it healthy and strong, you have to put in some work. You like them and they like you so get to know them! What are their likes and dislikes? Do they have any special interests or past experiences that have shaped them and their values? Where do they live? Where do they work? Wait – where do they work?

Getting to know your donor deepens the relationship and can help you garner vital information that just may contribute to your fundraising success. Matching gift programs are an extension of corporate giving and offer companies a vehicle through which to support employee charitable giving.

Getting to know your donor and where they work may guide you to dollars that you are currently overlooking as it offers the opportunity to tap into their company’s matching gift programs.

What do you know about your board members, volunteers, and donors? Perhaps some of them work for companies that offer some type of workplace giving program, which could be a valuable source of additional funding. As interest in corporate social responsibility grows, more and more companies have explored how to present themselves in a positive light to their consumers.

Corporate social responsibility isn’t just about minimizing the negative impacts of doing business. It’s about giving back and it may include a corporate volunteer grant program! Such programs encourage employees to get involved in their communities. The hours that an individual spends volunteering with you may translate to money from their company in the form of a volunteer grant.

It can be easy to get caught up in the potential of mapping the relationships that spin off from just one donor. These workplace programs are a great source of funding, but they often need to be initiated by an employee.

As they learn more about how their company will support their community service, you may see incredible returns on the time you invest in nurturing these relationships. It all seems so rich with potential, but where does fundraising compliance come in?

This widening circle of relationships makes fundraising compliance that much more essential. There’s an excellent chance that your organization is incorporated in one of the 41 states that require charitable solicitation registration. There’s an even better chance that you are soliciting gifts in one of those 41 states.

You’ve done an incredible job with your programming. Your donors are impressed and uplifted by how you communicate the impact of their gifts. They have found that you and your financial values are compatible with their interests. Now, they are asking their employers to match their gift and elevate the capability of their contribution. That’s solicitation.

There’s an excellent chance that your organization is incorporated in one of the 41 states that require charitable solicitation registration.

It’s not just about where you are; it’s about where you solicit. You’ve asked your donor. That donor’s employer has matched their gift and added the company name to your roster of contributors. The state laws regulating charitable solicitation generally require that an organization register before soliciting the state’s residents. Make sure you register before you ask, that way you don’t trip over technicalities as the money comes rolling in.

When that generous donor sent you a gift and asked their employer to amplify their donation with a matching gift, the giving train left the station. Your board members and volunteers have put in the hours and are now soliciting volunteer grant awards that recognize their contribution to the community.

You don’t want to leave money on the table, especially when you’ve done the research and the work. Determine if you’re soliciting in a state and make sure you’re meeting all of the necessary requirements – before you ask.

The risks of noncompliance are worth mentioning. Many state agencies have expanded their roles from registration offices to enforcement. Such powers bring increased scrutiny of charitable organizations.

It’s not enough to just try not to draw attention to yourself. Be proactive. In fact, organizations that have solicited without registering, even for many years, are rarely penalized for registering proactively and in good faith.

If you’re not registered for charitable solicitation, you run the risk of:

  • Fines and penalties that pull vital dollars away from the work that you are doing in your community.
  • Audits and enforcement actions that take your limited staff and financial resources away from your mission.
  • Bad PR that can damage the reputation of your organization (and its leadership) and follow you for years to come.

Prioritizing compliance makes good sense as you build your fundraising prowess and engage a diverse community of individuals and companies in your program. As you know, noncompliance can lead to harsh penalties like tax exemption repeals, steep fines that accrue day by day, and dissolution of an organization.

But luckily, in today’s world, it’s easy for anyone to research an organization and their registration status. It’s important for you that research about you highlights good news and further incentives for supporters to give their time and money (and to then ask their employer to do the same).

Remember these four key steps and keep your fundraising compliance on track.

  • Research: Know your status in each state and you can easily map your path to compliance, including which applications to complete and what fees may be charged.
  • Apply: Make sure you are preparing the correct forms in the most streamlined and cost-effective manner.
  • Monitor: Follow these applications through to approval, for your, your donor’s, and their employer’s peace of mind.
  • Renew: Track due dates and fees so that your renewals are on time and complete.

Instill confidence in your donors so their focus stays on your mission. Transparency and accountability preserve the trust you’ve built.

As Double the Donation will tell you, while $2 to $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs every year, only about 1 in 10 eligible donors match their donations. Tapping into these financial resources could make real change very possible.

Just make sure you do it the right way by being proactive about preserving your harmonious donor relationships. Getting to know your supporters and their employers will help maximize your opportunities with matching gift programs. Don’t forget to honor your valuable and desperately finite time by building a solid compliance plan. Take a good-faith step toward relationship and fundraising success and invest in compliance.


Special thanks to Ify Aduba for this contribution!

Ify Aduba is a Nonprofit Compliance Specialist for Harbor Compliance.Ify Aduba is a Nonprofit Compliance Specialist for Harbor Compliance, a leading provider of compliance solutions for organizations of all types and sizes. Headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Harbor Compliance partners with organizations in every state and over 25 countries abroad to help solve the most challenging compliance problems, fully managing government licensing compliance in both nonprofit and business sectors. Stay in touch with Ify and Harbor Compliance through Facebook and LinkedIn.