Microsoft Matching Gift Figures

Matching Gift Eligibility: Which Nonprofits Qualify?

Matching gifts are a goldmine for nonprofits, but there are some limitations on organization eligibility.

It is crucial that you know where your organization stands in terms of eligibility before seeking out matching gifts. If your organization doesn’t qualify, all of your effort is futile.

Since program standards vary company to company, there are no universal guidelines — you cannot know your eligibility for all matching gift programs. However, you can equip yourself with an understanding of the big picture eligibility standards and common exemptions.

Fortunately, we’ve outlined those standards for you here and answered the question:

What are the restrictions for the types of organizations eligible to receive employee matching gift funds?

1st) Most corporate giving programs match to educational institutions and various types of 501(c)(3) organizations, which are typically categorized as:

  • Higher Education — schools offering at least a two-year program of college level studies,„ schools or colleges within a university that conduct their own fundraising efforts (such as law or medical schools), seminaries and theological schools, alumni funds, foundations, etc.
  • K-12 Education — public or accredited private kindergarten through high schools, foundations established by the school districts to fund one or more eligible schools, etc.
  • Arts and Cultural Organizations — aquariums, libraries, museums, orchestras, public broadcasting stations, etc.
  • Community Based Social Services — animal shelters, child welfare, homeless shelters, low-income assistance, etc.
  • Environmental Organizations — conservation efforts, wildlife preservation, etc.
  • Healthcare Based Organizations — healthcare services, hospitals, substance abuse programs, etc.

Approximately 2/3 of companies with matching gift programs will match to an organization that fits into any one of those categories.

For the remaining 1/3, those companies will usually match for one or a select few from the above categories.

For example, ExxonMobil focuses its matching gift efforts on two programs: the “Educational Matching Gift Program” and the “Cultural Matching Gift Program.”

2nd) While most 501(c)(3) organizations and educational nonprofits are eligible for matching gifts from a vast array of companies, there are a few common restrictions, which include:

  1. Political Organizations
  2. Sports Teams
  3. Religious Organizations

Houses of worship such as churches and synagogues are often times restricted, but many faith-based organizations with major community outreach components such as food banks, job training, or homeless shelters are matching gift eligible.

Learn more about matching gift eligibility for religious organizations.

With this outline, you should have a good idea of your organization’s place in the matching gift world. Remember, these are just the standard practices, and there are certainly exceptions.

Find out more about matching gifts with these additional resources: 

  • 8 Corporate Matching Gift Questions: Ever wanted know the average matching gift rate or how to create your own matching gift program? If you’re a corporation looking into matching gifts, this guide has all the answers you need.
  • Matching Gift Software Vendors: Organizations looking to boost their matching gift outreach should look into management software specifically made for corporate philanthropy. Our list of tools can help start your search on the right foot.
  • Matching Gifts Ultimate Guide: Want to learn more about matching gifts? Our comprehensive guide will help your nonprofit understand matched giving and how to promote it.
Matching Gift Requests

It’s Never Too Late for Donors to Submit Matching Gift Requests

Are you just jumping on the matching gift bandwagon? Worried about having to build a program from the ground up with all new donations?

Fear not, many of your past donors are still eligible for matched gifts.

Matching gifts don’t have to be submitted immediately after the donation is made. Although, it is to your benefit to encourage your donors to make the request as soon as possible because:

  1. The farther from the donation a supporter gets, the less likely he will be to follow-up with a matched gift
  2. The sooner your nonprofit receives the extra funds, the sooner it can put those funds to good use

Matching gift deadlines vary by company, so there’s still time to promote matching gifts to donors who contributed to your organization this year.

Donors simply have to fill out and submit their employer’s matching gift request forms.

Matching gift deadlines typically fall under one of three types:

  1. Within a set number of months — A company will stipulate that it will match a gift up to, for example, 3, 6, or 12 months following the initial donation.
  2. By the end of the calendar year — This option is fairly straightforward.  Employees must submit for a match within the calendar year of the donation.
  3. By the end of the calendar year with an extended grace period — In this instance, a company will grant matched gifts through the end of the calendar year and then tack on an additional month or two for employees to submit their matching gift requests.  Standard extensions go through end of January, February, or March, but rarely go past the 31st of March.

To get a better understanding what the guidelines look like in practice, let’s look at some examples.


Deadline #1: Within a Set Number of Months

While most companies allow donations to be submitted far after the date a donation was made, deadlines do vary. Some major companies have much more time sensitive deadlines for their matching gift programs.

Here are four companies with matching gift submission deadlines ranging from 30 days to 365 days from the donation date:



Adobe Matching GiftsAdobe offers a matching gift program wherein the company matches donations up to $10,000 per employee per year. Employees are also able to submit grant requests for $250 for every 10 hours they volunteer with a nonprofit.

The company offers an easy to use online portal for employees to submit their matching gift requests and to log their volunteer hours.

Match request deadline: All matching gift requests must be submitted by employees within one year of the donation date.

Click here for additional details on Adobe’s matching gift program.



DirectTV matches donations of up to $20,000 per DIRECTV Matching Giftsemployee per a year and provides grants of $10 per hour (max $250) volunteered by an employee. DirectTV has an easy to use online submission process for both programs.

Match request deadline: All matching gift requests must be submitted by employees within six months of the donation date.

Click here for additional details on DirecTV’s matching gift program.


AltriaAltria Matches Donations from Employees

Altria offers a generous matching gift program (up to 30K annually per Altria employee) as well as large volunteer grants ($500 after 25 hours of volunteering).

Match request deadline: All matching gift requests must be received by Altria’s program administrator within 90 days from the date of the gift.

Click here for additional details on Altria’s matching gift program.


Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae's Matching Gift Program

Fannie Mae matches employee donations up to $5,000 annually and offers grants when employees volunteer. Unfortunately some organizations miss out on this funding since they aren’t ensuring donors submit matching gift requests in a timely manner.

Match request deadline: Fannie Mae donors and volunteers must submit a matching gift request within 30 days of the date of the donation, or by December 31st of each year, whichever is sooner.

Click here for additional details on Fannie Mae’s matching gift program.


Deadline #2: End of Calendar Year

Many companies ask that employees submit their match requests in a timely manner but will still match donations made in a calendar year until December 31st of that year.

Here are a few examples:


Aetna Matching Gift ProgramAetna matches donations from employees and retirees up to $5,000 per individual per year. Aetna also enables employees to allocate a $300 grant to a nonprofit after they volunteer for 20 hours in year.

Match request deadline: Employees are encouraged to submit the matching gift request as soon as possible, but have until December 31st to submit their matching gift requests.

Click here for additional details on Aetna’s matching gift program.



Freeport McMoRan Matching GiftsFreeport-McMoRan matches donations of up to $40,000 per employee per year to a wide range of nonprofits. The first $1,000 donated is matched at a 2:1 rate. Anything above $1,000 is matched at a dollar for dollar rate.

Match request deadline: While Freeport-McMoRan encourages employees to submit matching donation requests at the time of the initial donation, employees can submit matches until Dec. 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

Click here for additional details on Freeport-McMoRan’s matching gift program.


Deadline #3: End of Calendar Year + Grace Period

Matching Gift Deadlines with Grace Periods


Boeing offers a monetary match, a volunteer grant match, and a grant when employees participate in a fundraising event such as a walk or run for a cause. The deadlines for all three of Boeing’s employee giving programs are as follows:

Employee deadline: Boeing employees must submit gift match requests no later than January 31st of the year following the contribution / participation.

Nonprofit deadline: Organizations must verify the employee submission request no later than April 15th of the year following the contribution / participation.

Click here for additional details on Boeing’s matching gift program.


VerizonVerizon Matches Donations from Employees

Verizon matches donations up to $5,000 annually to educational institutions and up to $1,000 annually to all other nonprofits.

The Verizon Foundation also provides grants of $750 to organizations where an employee volunteers for at least 50 hours in a calendar year.

Employee deadline: Matching gift requests must be entered into the electronic matching gift system before March 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

Organization deadline: Organizations must also confirm the donation request by March 31st.

Click here for additional details on Verizon’s matching gift program.


Bank of America / Merrill LynchBank of America Matches Donations

Bank of America (including Merrill Lynch) matches employee donations to nearly all nonprofits. The company also provides grants when employees volunteer on a regular basis.

Employee deadline: Employees must complete an application and have the recipient organization verify the gift. This information must be received by March 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

Organization deadline: Organizations must verify donations by May 15th of the year following the date of the donation.

Click here for additional details on Bank of America’s matching gift program.


MeadWestvacoMeadWestVaco Match Donations

MeadWestvaco offers multiple types of employee giving programs.

MeadWestvaco matches all donations to educational institutions, provides grants when employees volunteer, and matches donations to all organizations when employees are volunteer leaders with the organization.

Employee deadline: MeadWestvaco employees must submit their portion of the matching gift request form by March 31st of the year following when the donation was made.

Organization deadline: Organizations also have until March 31st of the year following when the donation was made to verify the donation and submit the completed match request.

Click here for additional details on MeadWestvaco’s matching gift program.

CyberGrants Matching Gifts

CyberGrants: Employee Giving and Grant Management

Are you a nonprofit or corporation looking for information on CyberGrants?

Good news, while Double the Donation is a completely independent and non-related company which specializes in helping nonprofits raise more money from matching gift programs, we can share much of the information on CyberGrants you’re looking for.

CyberGrants Grant Management

About CyberGrants:

For over 20 years, CyberGrants has been a leader in the online grantmaking space. In 1995, back when AOL was just starting to hand out those infamous free sign-up cds, CyberGrants was already launching online grants management and employee giving software for corporations. Over time, the company has recorded many firsts in the grant making space.

Some of these firsts include:

  • Developing the first online application
  • Providing the first online grants administration tools
  • Creating the first online workplace giving and volunteering systems for corporations

These ongoing innovations have positioned CyberGrants as a leading provider of online grantmaking and employee giving tools.

Quick fact – CyberGrants’ corporate customer base includes over 40 of the Fortune 100, and nearly 70% of the public companies tracked in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

What Does CyberGrants Do?

Cybergrants specializes in two areas;

  1. Employee giving systems
  2. Grants management for corporate, family, and private foundations.

CyberGrants’ Employee Giving System for Corporations:

Whereas Double the Donation provides matching gift tools to nonprofits, CyberGrants provides services to corporations looking to streamline their employee giving systems.

It offers corporations a suite of services based around managing and administering:

  • Personal matching gifts for employees
  • Individual volunteer events
  • Executive matching
  • Rapid response / disaster relief administration
  • Dollars for doers / volunteer recognition programs
  • And much more!

The CyberGrants Employee Giving System is designed to provide companies and foundations with the tools they need to create, manage, and administer every aspect of an employee giving program.

Grants Management for Corporations and Foundations

As one of the original players in the grant management space, CyberGrants provides end-to-end solutions for corporations looking to take grantmaking to the next level.

The company’s web-based software enables nonprofits to submit their grant applications online while providing corporations and foundations with the tools they need to manage the grant cycle.

Features of their software include:

  • Customizable nonprofit application portals so a company’s brand is front and center
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • In-depth business intelligence
  • Automated cross-checking for compliance
  • And much more!

Which Companies use CyberGrants?

Double the Donation’s service enables nonprofits to increase fundraising from matching gift programs. To do so, we stay in contact with companies which offer matching gift and volunteer grant programs to understand their program guidelines and procedures.

Since CyberGrants is one of the largest providers of employee grant software to corporations, it’s no surprise that many of the companies in our matching gift database use their software.

A few of CyberGrants Employee Giving System corporate users include:

How Do I Contact CyberGrants?

If you’re a corporation interested in learning more about CyberGrants’, you can contact the company in one of three ways:

  1. By email:
  2. By phone: (978) 824-0300
  3. By mail: CyberGrants, Inc.- 300 Brickstone Square, Suite 601- Andover, Massachusetts 01810

Double the Donation’s Relationship with CyberGrants:

Double the Donation is a completely different company from CyberGrants.

While CyberGrants manages matching gift programs for corporations, Double the Donation works with nonprofits to help them raise more money from companies with matching gift and volunteer grant programs. We sell an easy-to-use tool to nonprofits which helps an organization’s donors submit match requests.

Check out our service!

Our database of employee giving programs includes those administered by companies such as:

Learn more about these matching gift vendors.

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Matching Gift Participation Rates

Has your organization ever taken a look at which companies are consistently providing matching gift donations to your organization?

If you have, you may notice that a disproportionate number of matching gifts come from a select few companies.

Survey Results | Participation Varies Widely by Company:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy released a report entitled “How America’s Biggest Companies Give” which was compiled from their Corporate Giving Survey.

In this survey, America’s largest companies provided employee participation rates for their matching gift programs. The below table breaks down employee participation rates for many large employers.*

Employee Matching Gift Participation Rates


Key Insights on Matching Gift Participation Rates:

Insight #1: 65% of Microsoft employees request a match from the company compared to less than 15% for Xerox, Dell, and Verizon. This is a direct result of Microsoft being one of the best at communicating matching gift information to employees.

Insight #2: Pfizer leads companies in the pharmaceutical industry with over 30% of employees participating in the company’s matching gift program.

Insight #3: Matching gift programs are widely utilized by employees in the financial services sector. American Express leads the pack with 70% of employees requesting the company match at least one charitable donation.

Insight #4: Based on this sample of companies, the consumer goods sector has the lowest employee participation rates. Of the companies that provided data, Johnson & Johnson leads the sector with 25% of employees having one or more donations matched by the company.


Impact on your Organization’s Matching Gift Revenue: Home Depot vs. Coca-Cola:

For instance, both Home Depot (~13K Atlanta employees) and Coca-Cola (~5K Atlanta employees) are headquartered in Atlanta and offer similar matching gift programs.

One would expect Atlanta based nonprofit organizations to receive a significant number of matching gift donations from each of these companies. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case. The majority of nonprofits we’ve spoken to self-report far more matching donations from Coca-Cola compared to Home Depot each year. **


So what causes this discrepancy?

Organizations typically explain this phenomenon by talking about the number of employees each company has in the area. While it’s true that a company with a major presence in a city is more likely to provide a larger number of matching gifts, there’s an even more important factor.

How well a company internally promotes matching gifts dictates how likely an employee is to know about the program and submit matching gift requests.

We know it doesn’t take a genius to come up with the above statement, but it’s true. So many employees at companies with matching gift programs have no idea their employer offers a program. If an employee / donor lacks knowledge of their company program, there’s no way they’ll submit a matching gift request.


Closing the Gap:

Although your organization can’t change how widely companies promote matching gifts to their entire employee base, you can greatly influence the percentage of your donors who submit matching gift requests.

If you raise awareness and make it easy for your donors / their spouses to submit matching gifts, you can increase matching revenue.

We recommend nonprofits promote matching gifts in three locations:

  1. In the donation process
  2. Across your website
  3. In your communications

If you effectively promote employee matching gifts to your donors, you can overcome low participation rates.

Data Sources:
*Based upon a publicly available survey of companies which was conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
**Based on our conversations with membership and development managers at select Atlanta organizations.

Matching Gift Acknowledgement

Team Volunteer Grants | Volunteers and Grants, the Best of Both Worlds

You’ve probably already heard of employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs, but has your organization looked into the benefits of corporate team volunteer grants?

What are corporate team volunteer grants?

Team volunteer grants are corporate giving programs in which a company provides a monetary donation to nonprofits when a group of employees volunteer together.

Corporations offer these programs to promote team building and community service.

These corporate grant programs have the potential to be a win-win for everyone involved. If your organization can design appealing opportunities for groups of corporate employees to come out and volunteer, everyone wins!

  • Your organization receives volunteer support from a group of individuals
  • The group of employees has an enjoyable and rewarding team-building event
  • The corporation gets to give back to the community
  • Your organization receives a grant from the company

Examples of team volunteer grant programs:

AMD Team Volunteer Grants


Through Advanced Micro Devices’ Grant Incentives for Volunteer Efforts (GIVE), the company provides grants of $15 per hour volunteered when individual employees volunteer with a nonprofit.

To make AMD’s volunteer incentive program even better, the company provides grants when groups of employees volunteer together. Through AMD’s Team Development Grants, when teams of five or more employees volunteer together for at least 10 total hours (2 hours each), the school / organization is eligible for a $500 grant.

Learn more about AMD’s volunteer grant programs.



CarMax Cares Team Volunteer GrantThrough The CarMax Foundation, an Associate can make a team-building event more impactful. When groups of employees volunteer together they’re able to earn a grant from The CarMax Foundation for the nonprofit they’re volunteering with.

Volunteer Team Building Grant amounts are:

  • $500 for eligible donation drives (excludes blood drives) or when five-24 Associates volunteer (see below for runs and walks)
  • $1,000 when five or more Associates participate in a run or walk benefiting an eligible non-profit
  • $1,000 when 25 or more Associates volunteer

Even better is that most of the above grants are doubled for activities taking place in June in celebration of CarMax Cares Month.

Learn more about CarMax’s volunteer grant programs.



IBM offers both individual and team volunteer grants.

When IBM employees and retirees volunteer individually they are eligible for up to $3,500 in technology grants or $1,000 in cash awards a year for organizations where they regularly volunteer. Employees must volunteer for a minimum of 8 hours a month for five months.

Groups of IBMers or retirees who volunteer together may request up to $7,500 in IBM equipment grants for eligible schools and not-for-profit organizations.

Learn more about IBM’s volunteer grant programs. 


Xcel Energy Volunteer Grants

Xcel Energy:

Xcel Energy offers multiple types of employee giving programs. Through Xcel Energy’s individual volunteer grant program, the company provides grants worth $10 per hour volunteered when an employee volunteers with a nonprofit. The company also matches up to $2000 of employee donations to a wide range of nonprofits.

Through Xcel Energy’s team volunteer grant program, when teams of six or more employees participate in a community volunteer project, Excel Energy will donate $500 to the associated nonprofit.

Learn more about Xcel Energy’s volunteer grant programs.


Kohl's Volunteer GrantsKohl’s:

When a minimum of five Kohl’s Associates from one location volunteer at least three consecutive hours of their time with a qualifying organization, the nonprofit is given a $500 grant.

Learn more about Kohl’s team grants.


Verizon Volunteer GrantsVerizon:

Verizon provides individual volunteer grants worth $750 when an employee volunteers for 50 hours and matches donations up to $5,000 per employee per year.

But perhaps the greatest award comes through Verizon’s team program, where teams of 10 or more Verizon employees who collectively raise funds for a nonprofit or school can have their funds matched up to $10,000 per team and event.

Learn more about Verizon’s volunteer grant programs.



Walmart Team Volunteer Grants

Walmart provides $250 for each individual in their volunteer grant program who volunteers at least 25 hours and allows up to four individual grant requests per year.

When five or more associates volunteer at least an accumulated 25 hours, Walmart will grant the team $500. Also, Walmart associates from any department or any facility can volunteer together as a team. Walmart will grant up to $5,000 if associates make a team of 50 volunteers, and each department or facility may submit up to four team grant requests per year.

Learn more about Walmart’s volunteer grant programs.

Westar Energy

Westar Energy Employee GivingThrough Westar Energy’s Spirit of Giving Program, the company matches donations, offers grants when individuals volunteer, provides additional matches when an employee serves on a nonprofit board, and provides grants when teams of employees volunteer together.

As part of the Department Team Building Service Match the company will donate $1,000 to an organization where five or more employees conduct an external team building service project for a minimum of one half of a day.

Learn more about Westar Energy’s employee giving programs.

Team volunteer grants can be a great way to raise additional funds for your organization.

For more information on team volunteer grants, check out Double the Donation’s additional resources:

Small Companies Matching Gifts

Companies with Unique Matching Gift Programs

If matching gift programs were second graders on a playground, they might sound something like this:

“My matching gift ratio is higher than yours!”

“Who cares! My company matches bigger gifts than yours.”

“My company had the first matching gift program.”

“First is the worst! It’s all about matching fundraising pledges.”

Those kids could bicker for days and not come to a conclusion about what makes the best matching gift program. Truthfully, all matching gift programs are equally great. Corporate giving supports employees’ passions and gives more to nonprofits, which helps a lot of people. The differences between the programs define them, but do not make any one program better than the others.

However, several matching gift programs offer creative incentives to get more employees involved. Businesses want employees to get involved in their communities, and matching gift programs help to accomplish that. Corporate giving helps companies to help out, too. Companies want to donate, and matching gift programs allow employees to choose where the donations go.

There’s a host of creative ways that businesses get their employees more involved in charitable giving. The ideas differ, but they all do the same great job of helping more nonprofits to raise more money.


Paid time off is a big deal for employees. It’s time they can spend with their families and pursuing other passions while still bringing in consistent pay.Aetna logo

Aetna allows employees to earn up to eight additional hours of paid time off — equal to an extra day off from work — when employees give at the company’s designated ‘Sponsor Level’. The sponsor level is a percentage of an employees total salary that varies according to different salary levels. This enables all employees to earn the additional time off without having to sacrifice too much.

Aetna also matches donations to eligible nonprofits at a 1:1 ratio.

Learn more about Aetna’s matching gift program.

British Petroleum

Each year, BP gives employees $300 to donate to the nonprofits of their choosing. That’s it. No strings attached. BP is committed to helping local communities, and they let employees feel more involved by letting them choose where the money goes.BP logo

The BP Fabric of America Program gives employees two options:

  1. Donate $300 to a single eligible nonprofit.
  2. Give two $150 gifts to separate eligible nonprofits.

BP also runs a matching gift program that matches up to $5,000 worth of donations per employee at a 1:1 ratio.

Learn more about BP’s matching gift program.

CVS Caremark

Some companies, such as CVS, want to prioritize certain forms of giving. CVS incentivizes their employees to raise money for events by offering to match the donations raised by employees up to $1,000.CVS Caremark logo

The minimum donation to receive a matching gift is $250. This allows CVS to ensure that employees truly care about the events they choose to give to and that there are enough funds to match the gifts of all philanthropic employees.

Learn more about CVS’s matching gift program.


Matching gifts aren’t just an American thing. Expedia has employees in over 30 countries, but for a long time they did not match donations to nonprofits in all of those locations.Expedia logo

Never fear! An Expedia policy change is here!

Expedia now matches donations to eligible nonprofits across the globe. Donations are matched at a 1:1 ratio, and employees can request matches on as much as $5,000 worth of charitable gifts per year.

Learn more about Expedia’s matching gift program.

General Electric

In 1954, General Electric started the first matching gift program. Since then, the company has donated over $1 billion in matching gifts. GE is a matching gift leader for being first, and for staying at the top of the pack for all this time.General Electric logo

Through the GE matching gift program:

  • Employees may request matching gifts up to $25,000 per year
  • GE matches at a 1:1 ratio

GE’s 60 years of matching gift history and generous matching gift limits are astonishing and put the company in it’s own category.

But it’s important to remember that all matching gift programs are unique matching gift programs. Not only do match ratios and donation amounts vary by the employer, but not every company offers corporate giving. It’s a true privilege for employees to be able to request matching gifts in order to raise more money for the causes they care about. It may sound more exciting to be able to earn paid time off or to give technology products through a matching gift program, but it’s also unique to be able to request matching gifts at all and help nonprofits more than the employees of other companies.

Learn more about General Electric’s matching gift program.

Great-West Lifeco

Great-West offers employees two matching gift options:Great West logo

  1. Personal financial match — Employees make personal contributions to eligible nonprofits, and Great-West matches those donations up to $5,000.
  2. Fundraising match — Employees can raise money for nonprofits through fundraisers, such as charity walks and runs, and Great-West will match those donations up to $1,500.

By giving employees multiple ways to give, Great-West helps to encourage more community involvement. The matching gifts offer the incentive of employees knowing that their involvement will deliver double the positive impact.

Learn more about Great-West’s matching gift program.


Employing more than 317,000 people, Hewlett-Packard is a leader in the information technology sector. They’re also a leader in the matching gift world, especially through their product donation match program.HP logo

HP offers an Employee Product Giving Program, which allows employees to give HP products instead of money. Employees pay 25% of the product’s list price, and HP pays the remaining 75%. HP will match up to $15,000 worth of products per employee.

For monetary donations, Hewlett-Packard matches at a 1:1 ratio and up to $1,000 annually per employee.

Since 2007, HP has donated over $48 million through monetary and product donations. $25 million worth of that is from product donations alone, which goes to show that employees value being able to give more tangible solutions, and the product giving option likely gets more employees involved in HP’s matching gift program.

Learn more about Hewlett-Packard’s matching gift and volunteer grant programs.


Encouraging employees to give back to their communities starts with companies establishing cultures of giving. Microsoft is a prime example of how to get the ball rolling with a corporate giving program.Microsoft logo

Not only is Microsoft a leader in matching gifts, offering a 1:1 match on donations up to $15,000 per year for every employee, but they get new employees involved in their philanthropy from the start. New Microsoft hires are given $50 grants to give to the nonprofits of their choosing. It’s Microsoft’s way of showing their new hires that it’s important to give back, and that they should take advantage of one of the most generous matching gift programs.

Corporate donations from Microsoft’s employee giving program totaled $113 million in 2013. None of that would have been possible without a plethora of employees who had been giving since their very first days with the company.

Learn more about Microsoft’s matching gift program.


Sometimes creating an awesome matching gift program isn’t about giving more money or finding creative ways to give, such as through product donations. Sometimes the best way to incentivize employee philanthropy is by forming a matching gift program that doesn’t just give back to nonprofits, but gives back to employees, too.Nestle logo

In addition to making awesome chocolate milk, Nestle tries to make employees happy through its Fair Share program, which is a paid time off program. Through Fair Share, employees donate a full day’s pay to a nonprofit, and Nestle rewards this generosity with two additional paid days off of work during the year of the donation. To make the deal as enticing as their world-class chocolate milk, Nestle matches the donations.

Paid time off programs vary by company. Some employers give one day off, some multiple, and the donation amounts necessary to earn time off differ. What all PTO programs have in common is that they do all the good that normal matching gift programs do for nonprofits, but they also do extra good for the employees who donate.

Learn more about Nestle’s matching gift program.


RealNetworks matches employee donations at a 1:1 ratio up to $10,000. That’s a whole lot of good, but RealNetworks doesn’t stop there.RealNetworks logo

The company celebrates its loyal employees. After five years with RealNetworks, employees receive a $500 grant that can be given to any eligible nonprofit. It’s the company’s way of showing employees that their commitment matters, and that all the good they do for RealNetworks can be extended to the larger community.

Learn more about RealNetworks’ matching gift program.

Soros Fund Management

A New York City-based investment management firm, Soros Fund Management has consistently been one of the most profitable hedge funds. By offering a high matching gift ratio to employees, they don’t keep all that money for themselves.Soros logo

Soros employs fewer than 500 people, but they have one of the most generous matching gift programs. They match 3:1 on all donations up to $100,000 annually per employee. They also match partner donations at a 2:1 ratio. Partner companies may request matching gifts on donations up to $300,000 per calendar year.

High match ratios work for Soros because they have relatively few employees in relation to their high profit margins. Many companies simply cannot offer such high match ratios, or maximum amounts to be matched, as they have far more employees and need to be able to match gifts for as many as possible. Still, Soros is an excellent example of how a company can support employees and give more back when it has the means to do so.

Learn more about Soros’ matching gift and volunteer grant programs.

State Street

Many nonprofits host runs, walks, bike rides, and other fundraising events for which participants seek sponsors in order to raise money. The pledges add up into a sizable donation to the nonprofit, and several companies will match these fundraising donation matches.State Street logo

One such company is State Street, the second oldest financial institution in the United States and an employer of over 30,000 people, which operates two matching gift programs. The first is called GiveMore, which is a normal matching gift program that matches employee donations one-to-one. All employees can request matches up to $5,000.

The second program is CollectMore, which is State Street’s matching gift program for fundraising donations. Employees can raise money from sponsors, donate the funds to a nonprofit, and State Street will match the gifts up to $5,000 per year per employee. If an employee requests a matching gift for a fundraising donation, then that matching gift counts against his or her $5,000 that can be matched through the GiveMore program. Between the two programs, employees may only donate up to $5,000.

Certain State Street employees can give more through matching gifts:

  • Senior vice presidents can give $15,000
  • Executive vice presidents can give $25,000
  • Board of Directors, CEO, president, and vice chairs can give $35,000

However, the max for CollectMore donations is $5,000 for all employees, and any amount that is used of that $5,ooo counts towards the greater amounts that the above employees can give.

Learn more about State Street’s matching gift and volunteer grant programs.

Plenty of companies offer matching gift programs, and it’s important for nonprofits to promote corporate giving to donors. One of the biggest reasons that nonprofits fail to raise money from matching gifts is due to a lack of awareness for corporate giving. Billions of dollars worth of potential matching gift funds go unclaimed each year. Don’t let your nonprofit add to that statistic. Learn how to increase fundraising from matching gifts today.

Small Companies Matching Gifts

Companies that Match PAC Fundraising Donations

Companies give to nonprofits in many ways, and one of the most popular methods is through matching gifts. While matching gifts are generally given when an employee donates to a nonprofit, companies are finding new ways to support the causes that employees care about.

Companies and employees have political interests that can be funded by Political Action Committees (PAC). The problem for companies is that the Federal Election Committee (FEC) does not allow businesses to fund their own PACs. Employees can donate to company PACs, but employers cannot force them to give.

In an effort to increase political donations, companies have incentivized employee giving to PACs. Companies will match employee donations to company PACs, and the matching gifts will go to the nonprofit of the employee’s choice.

For example, Bilbo works for Boeing and makes a $500 donation to Boeing’s PAC. Since the company runs a matching gift program for PAC donations that matches 0.5:1, Boeing writes a $250 check of its own and gives it to the nonprofit of Bilbo’s choosing. The Boeing PAC receives $500, and Bilbo’s favorite nonprofit gets a gift, too.

Donations to nonprofits that are the result of matching gifts from PAC donations are not eligible for tax exemptions for the company or the employee. Federal law limits annual PAC donations to $5,000 per employee.

Plenty of companies match Political Action Committee donations from employees:


Coca-ColaCoca Cola logo

In 2011, Coca-Cola’s PAC gave $148,000 to charities. In 2012, that number increased to $217,000 and $263,000 in 2013, the last year data is publicly available. As more employees learn about the PAC program and donate, more nonprofits receive financial benefits. PACs are a way for Coca-Cola to help employees to support both the political initiatives they care about and their favorite nonprofits all at the same time.

Coke matches PAC donations dollar-for-dollar, and their PAC match program aims to help nonprofits that focus on:

  • Environment
  • Well-being
  • Community involvement

Like many companies that operate PACs, Coca-Cola willingly discloses its annual PAC matching program finances, although the FEC does not require this information in reports that companies submit.


Hewlett-PackardHP logo

PAC matching gift programs have been around since the 1980’s, but Hewlett-Packard joined the game in 2010.

Hewlett-Packard’s Political Action Committee (HP PAC) matches donations as follows:

  • Dollar-for-dollar matches
  • Gives matching donations to charities or educational institutions
  • Employees must give at least $2,500 to receive a matching gift

Learn more about Hewlett-Packard’s political contributions policies.


American ExpressAmerican Express logo

American Express believes that active engagement in public policy is an important piece of corporate citizenship. They seek to support policy issues that affect:

  • Consumer financial laws and regulations
  • Merchant pricing
  • Privacy/data security
  • Taxation
  • Other issues

American Express does not contribute to presidential campaigns. Political goals and the types of campaigns that PACs donate to vary by company. Every company has its own criteria for determining what political endeavors to support.

American Express gives political contributions according to:

  • Views of a candidate about topics important to American Express
  • Position of a candidate within a committee with jurisdiction over policies important to American Express
  • How a candidate represents an area where American Express has an employee presence
  • Leadership position of an elected candidate

PACs are designed to support company political ambitions. They’re supported by employees, but companies ultimately decide where the money goes.



Politicians can soar to new heights thanks to donations from the Boeing Political Action Committee (BPAC).

BPAC eligible employees:

  • Receive 0.5:1 matches for PAC donations.
  • Receive matching donations from Boeing up to $5,000 (a maximum $2,500 matching gift).
  • Employees may request funds to the following types of U.S. based 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations:
    • Arts & Culture
    • Civic
    • Educational Institutions
    • Environmental Organizations
    • Health & Human Services
    • Religious organizations that have a 501(c)(3) in their own name

Boeing employees must give at least $100 in order for a PAC gift to be matched. Eligible employees may select up to four nonprofits and designate what percentage of the matching gift that each receives.


PfizerPfizer logo

Many company PACs state that the money that employees donate goes to support political initiatives that support both the business and the employees, and Pfizer is no different. The Pfizer PAC controls what the donated money goes towards, which means that donors relinquish the right to specify what candidates or causes their money benefits. Giving to the PAC is an employee helping Pfizer to forward its own political ambitions, so donors want to make sure that those goals are in line with their own interests.

Pfizer has a policy for how employees may participate in politics, both in terms of money and service, during working hours. Many companies have such outlines, as donations of time and service to political organizations may be viewed as types of political contributions directly from the company, which are not allowed. The specifics of how employees may engage political organizations varies by company.

Learn more about Pfizer’s lobbying and political contributions.


WalmartWalmart logo

There are companies that provide employee benefits in return for PAC contributions, and then there’s Walmart. Not only does Walmart match PAC donations with generous 2:1 matches, but those matching gifts go to the company’s Associates in Critical Need Trust (ACNT). The ACNT helps employees in times of need.

Walmart’s PAC donation program is only for company executives. Low-level Walmart employees are not expected or permitted to donate to the PAC. In this way, higher-level Walmart employees support Walmart’s political ambitions while giving money to ACNT, and thus they help out their Walmart peers.

Most company PACs only accept donations from certain employees, and those employees are generally higher up in the companies. It’s important for many companies to get as much of their upper management to donate as possible, as full support for the PAC demonstrates a belief in what companies such as Walmart do and their integrity as businesses with a better world in mind.

For nonprofits seeking to raise more money from PAC matches during the busier political seasons, Double the Donation’s matching gift marketing guide is a comprehensive outline of how to promote corporate giving that can easily be adapted for PAC programs.

While matching gifts and other giving methods are more well-known, PAC donations are another of the many ways for employees and companies to give to the causes they care about.

If you’d like to learn more about matching gifts and other corporate giving methods then we invite you to sign up for our free five day email course. You’ll learn how to raise more money for your organization thanks to the bevy of corporate giving programs.

Marketing Guide Matching Gifts

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Matching Gifts

Earth has always been spherical, but it took until the Greek philosopher Pythagoras in the 6th century BC to dispel the myth of a flat world. Likewise, matching gifts exist, but a lack of donor awareness could be holding your fundraising back.

The most common reason why people don’t submit matching gift requests is because they don’t know if their employer offers such a program.

Corporate giving is a big deal, with 65% of Fortune 500 companies offering matching gift programs. Furthermore, promoting matching gifts increases donation response rates by 71%, and the average donation increases by 51%. Not only do matching gifts double donations, but they stand to increase the original donations, so the matched gifts become larger, too.

View these and more matching gift statistics.

Nonprofits need every dollar they can grab, and matching gifts are an effective way to increase your fundraising without demanding much out of donors. Submitting matching gifts is an easy 5-minute process, and marketing matching gifts doesn’t have to be difficult, either.

Learn how your organization can boost matching gift outreach via:

  1. Email
  2. Social media
  3. Your nonprofit website
  4. Internal promotion
  5. Direct mail

From email to website updates to direct mail, we’ve got the tips and tricks to make your matching gift marketing a success.

1. Email

How do you spend no money and grab the attention of thousands of people while expending zero breath? Email provides instantaneous outreach to donors, so you can say, “Hi. What’s up? Have you thought about matching gifts today?” and people can reply just as fast. Snail mail cannot keep pace, and, at $0.49 a stamp, why would you pay to slow down?

Acquiring matching gifts through email is a lot like a game of chess. There are multiple pieces that all do different things, and, while one piece could win the game all on it’s own, it’s more likely that a focused strategy and a team effort will produce optimal results. Success hinges on a slow, steady procession of the right moves, and not reckless bombardment with all and any emails.

Email Newsletter from Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA)

CMTA Matching Gift Newsletter

Our focus is on understanding the functionality of the most important pieces of the email process in terms of marketing matching gift programs. Calendars and strategies matter, but no plan can succeed without the proper tools. We’re here to tell you about the best tools.

Acknowledgement Emails

When you receive a gift, you say thank you, and this is a great time to promote matching gifts. The donations are fresh in the donors’ minds, and a little nudge saying that they can double their donations without shelling out another cent can go a long way.

Acknowledgement Email from the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation

Matching Gift Acknowledgement Emails

Acknowledgement emails thrive because you can provide links to dedicated matching gift pages using text or graphics, such as those Double the Donation provides for its clients.

Learn more about matching gift acknowledgement emails.


With enough space to write a little blurb or a full article, newsletters are a great place to educate donors about matching gifts.

Email Newsletter from the National Kidney Foundation

Matching Gift Newsletter Example

A newsletter dedicated to matching gifts is the best strategy, but splitting space with another topic or including a graphic advertising matching gifts in a newsletter about another topic can work, too. Loyal donors read your newsletter, so it’s a good place to provide in-depth information about the benefits of corporate giving.

Learn more about matching gift newsletters.

Email Signatures

Chances are that you send a ton of emails. Every message is an opportunity to promote matching gifts. An email signature typically details contact information, but it’s also a great place to advertise.

A simple blurb or a flashy graphic about corporate giving can increase awareness and be that needed push for donors to take a quick five minutes to submit matching gift requests.

Learn more about matching gift email signatures.

Takeaway: Whether you market matching gifts in your email signatures, newsletters, or acknowledgement letters, emails allow you to showcase matching gifts in a prominent way.

2. Social Media

People flock to social media to discover the internet’s best content. You don’t need to produce viral memes every day, but, if you want to promote matching gifts, you do need to provide compelling and engaging information on a consistent basis.

There are approximately as many social media outlets as there are stars in the universe (give or take a few), so it’s best to focus on the sites most relevant to promoting your matching gift program: Facebook and Twitter. Both platforms require a nuanced approach.

Why should you focus matching gift marketing efforts on social media? How do you maximize your social media efforts? Can this all be done without shelving out a sizable sum for featured advertisements? Social media is a vital, contemporary marketing approach through which you will see results without breaking the bank.

Tweet from the American Lung Association of the Midland States

Tweet without a link to a matching gift service

Whether or not you employ a matching gift service, a simple tweet or Facebook post can spread the word to donors.

Learn more about social media for matching gifts.

Year-End and New Year Appeals

You can’t donate in 2010 and submit a matching gift request for that donation in 2015. Donations have lifespans, so you need to promote matching gifts to eligible donors before the clock runs out.

End of Year Appeal from Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF) on Twitter

AARF Tweet Matching Gift End of Year Appeal

Year end and new year appeals remind donors of impending matching gift deadlines. These appeals can be made via social media, too, but email appeals allow you to chronicle the exact deadlines and provide more depth about the importance of submitting matching gift requests before it’s too late.

Learn more about year end and new year appeals for matching gifts.

Takeaway: Social media is a great way to keep people up-to-date on your nonprofit’s campaigns, but this medium can also be used to promote matching gifts. Just be sure to link to a place where donors can learn more information.

3. Website Strategies

A website is much more than a homepage, and, with lots of donors choosing the convenient route of donating online via credit cards, the opportunities abound to broadcast matching gift programs.

Your website is your home on the internet, and it’s where you’re required to host people everyday. While many visitors are strangers, the goal is to impress everybody and to make sure that all parties leave feeling satisfied and looking forward to their next visit.

Dedicated Matching Gift Page from ASPCA

Matching Gift Page from Adrian College

A functional website is necessary because it’s a great place to market matching gifts. The majority of nonprofits permit online donations, so incorporating matching gift marketing alongside regular donation calls to action on your website is common sense.

Homepage and Across Your Website

For the love of matching gifts, let the people know that corporate giving exists! Or at least make it easy for them to find out on their own.

Navigation Bar on the Homepage of Lafayette Partners in Education

Add Matching Gifts to your Website's Navigation

Banner ads function as proverbial advertisements on any webpage, and a link in your navigation bar allows donors to intuitively discover matching gifts. The links should lead to a dedicated matching gift page, where you can inform donors about all the nitty-gritty matching gift details.

Learn more about implementing matching gift promotion on your homepage and across your website.

Dedicated Matching Gift Page

Donors require a landing page where they can learn about matching gift programs and discover if their employers participate in corporate giving. A dedicated matching gift page can relate relevant facts, such as matching gift statistics or annual donation numbers, or allow donors to search for information via a plugin, such as Double the Donation offers.

Dedicated Matching Gift Page from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Matching Gift Page from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The goal is to give donors a place both to learn about matching gifts and to be spurred into action to submit the necessary forms.

Learn more about building your own dedicated matching gift page.

Ways to Give Page

This is where people learn about all of their donation options to your nonprofit. From regular donations to fundraisers to matching gifts, there are a ton of ways to support your organization, and you want to advertise them all.

Ways to Give Page from Alliance Theatre

Alliance Theatre ways to give page

Don’t forget to include matching gifts on your ways to give page, as a little link can lead to a major increase in fundraising.

Learn more about ways to give pages.

In the Donation Process

The best time to promote matching gifts might be when your donors are actually making their donations. You can incorporate matching gift asks on both donation forms and confirmation screens.

There’s no time like the present, and if people are already in giving moods then why not remind them about how they can give twice as much thanks to corporate giving.

Learn more about how to implement matching gift promotion in the donation process.


Blogs tell your nonprofit’s story, so why not share ways for donors to double their donations so that you can keep telling that story? A dedication to featured content provides in-depth stories about the importance of matching gifts while educating people on how to submit the necessary forms.

Matching Gifts Incorporated into a Blog Post

Matching Gift Blog

Even just including a graphic that advertises matching gifts on the side of a blog that’s about another topic can help to increase awareness.

Access our prewritten matching gift articles that you can use.

Takeaway: Your website is the one place where most donors come to learn about your mission and, ultimately, make a donation. Promoting matching gifts on your website is a great way to encourage donors to give more and make a matching gift request.

4. Internal Promotion

Walt Disney tells us that, “when you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Employees of any company should believe in that company’s mission wholeheartedly, and they should want to discuss their good work.

Seriously, why else would a person dedicate his life to any profession? Okay, some people work for money, but in the nonprofit sector the ultimate goal is not to make a profit, but to deliver a positive effect upon the world.

Matching Gift Fundraising Guideline

Matching Gift Coordinator Planning

Matching Gift Team

Identify a leader and form a matching gift super squad. Pull people from marketing, volunteer coordinating, IT, and all departments in order to streamline your matching gift processes and implement a culture of matching gifts. With someone in charge of the process, you’ll be assured that matching gifts are being promoted to all donors, and there’s someone to answer donors’ questions about how or why matching gifts matter.

Learn more about how to organize a matching gift team with our free downloadable resources.

Team Execution

With your matching gift super squad in place, it’s time to execute. There are the typical marketing mediums, such as email, social media, and print advertising, but don’t forget about word of mouth.

Not only might your employees spread the word about matching gifts, but they may double as donors. Informing your internal staff about matching gifts reminds them to tell both each other and members about matching gifts, and, while your website, emails, or social media accounts might grab someone’s attention, nothing spurs a person to action quite like spoken assurance from a trusted face.

Your internal memberships include staff, donors, volunteers, and other members. Strategies to internally promote matching gifts all start with a dedicated matching gift coordinator or team, but these people need to spread the word and share the responsibility with everyone who is involved with your nonprofit. A dedicated matching gift staff addresses specific roles in the matching gift process and is intended to get all of your matching gift efforts streamlined such that you bring in more corporate-matched donations than ever before.

Important Information to Record to Track Matching Gift Performance

Reporting Matching Gift Year-Over-Year Growth

Internal promotion is far from the ‘sexy’ way to market matching gifts, but it may be the most effective strategy because it’s literally in your face and gets straight to the point.

Learn more about matching gift team execution.

Takeaway: Hiring a matching gift expert (or team) will ensure that you have a point of contact on everything matching gift related. This can lead to better outreach and marketing strategies for matching gifts.

5. Direct Mail

Welcome to the wide world of matching gift marketing materials that require an envelope and a good old fashioned stamp. Direct mail includes letters, postcards, paper inserts, newsletters, and return envelopes, all of which might sound like archaic forms of marketing, but, when you’re marketing matching gifts both online and off, you’re reaching a wider audience, which means more matching gifts, and ain’t that the goal.

You think paper marketing is out of date? Well, does science have news for you.

Matching Gift Postcard from the University of Michigan

Matching Gift Postcard

The debate between paper books and e-readers has raged on for years, and the dispute is analogous to deciding between print versus online marketing. Of course, employing both types of marketing works best, but this article focuses on the benefits of printed materials.

A 2014 study reported that people who use e-readers are worse at story comprehension. Readers of paper texts are better at both placing plot points in order and mentally reconstructing stories. This means that when people read paper mail, as opposed to email, they might be reading the same content, but interaction with physical ink and paper does something to help people to better remember what they’re reading.

Common sense would advise that you don’t just want people to read about matching gift programs, but that you want people to remember them.

Learn more about direct mail for matching gifts.

Takeaway: Your matching gift marketing strategy shouldn’t forget direct mail. Some donors will prefer learning about their corporate philanthropy programs by reading something tangible.

The world is not flat, and your bottom line shouldn’t be, either. Properly market matching gifts through a variety of strategies in order to increase fundraising. Then you can hold a hulking sphere of cash and use it to do some good for the world.

Microsoft Matching Gift Figures

Our Favorite Fundraising Books for Nonprofit Management (Updated July, 2015)

The Double the Donation team loves Netflix as much as everyone else, but we also love books. Our interests range from The Hunger Games to Anna Karenina to Harlequin romance novels. What we all have in common is a fervent interest in reading about the nonprofit industry, and a recent conversation got us thinking about our favorite nonprofit books.

The discussion got heated. Tape dispensers went flying. Water was spilled. One of us had to break out a band-aid because he got a paper cut while trying to do some actual work.

The following list did not come easy, but the Double the Donation team endorses each of these books. They’re informative, fun, and necessary texts for anyone who wants to learn the ins and outs of the nonprofit space.

NonProfit Crowdfunding Explained: Online Fundraising Hacks to Raise More for Your NonProfit

Salvador Briggman at CrowdCrux

Nonprofit Crowdfunding BookWho’s it for?: Nonprofits interested in creating a crowdfunding campaigns that actually raise money and meet their goals.

What’s it about?: The ways nonprofits raise money are changing at a record rate. And Sal is leading much of the discussion around the new methods nonprofits are using to engage with donors.

A few nonprofits have cracked the code to crowdfunding but for those of you who haven’t there isn’t a better book than Nonprofit Crowdfunding Explained.

Preview NonProfit Crowdfunding Explained: Online Fundraising Hacks to Raise More for Your NonProfit.

Fundraising with Businesses

Fundraising with Business

Author: Joe Waters at Selfish Giving

Who’s it for?: Nonprofits who want to take advantage of established relationships with businesses.

What’s it about?: Joe is up front about his book being inspiration. Every strategy he details requires hard work by nonprofits. While hard work may sound, well, hard, Joe provides a wealth of ideas, from collecting change to donations at retail check outs to leveraging social media. They’re money making strategies that work, and he provides real world examples to demonstrate how to get them started for your nonprofit.

Preview Fundraising with Businesses: 40 New (and Improved!) Strategies for Nonprofits.


Ask Without Fear!ask without fear

Author: Marc Pitman from The Fundraising Coach

Who’s it for?: Nonprofits who need to do a better job of connecting with their most important donors.

What’s it about?: Marc teaches normal people how to build relationships and pursue major gifts in a no nonsense fashion. He provides step-by-step guides, details research tools that really work, and exposes things that many nonprofits do wrong with fundraising, so you can do them right. This book is a comprehensive guide to how to get your fundraising campaigns fully funded.

Preview Ask Without Fear!


Prospect Research for Fundraisersprospect research for fundraisers

Author: Jennifer Filla of Aspire Research Group and Helen Brown of the Helen Brown Group

Who’s it for?: Front-line fundraisers who want to learn more about the intricacies of prospect research.

What’s it about?: How to raise more money with prospect research. From overviews to detailing specific skills, Filla and Brown cover the full gamut of research tools and techniques. The book comes with a companion website and a host of online tools to help readers to implement key concepts.

Preview Prospect Research for Fundraisers.


Hank Rosso’s Achieving Excellence in Fund Raisingexcellence in fund raising book

Author: Eugene R. Tempel of the IU Foundation

Who’s it for?: General fundraisers and nonprofits looking to learn the basics of fundraising.

What’s it about?: This book dives into the principles, strategies, and methods of fundraising. It provides concrete examples and reasoning to prove what and why certain actions work. The narration adds a level of philosophical insight that makes the book far more entertaining than a dry textbook.

Preview Hank Rosso’s Achieving Excellence in Fund Raising from Amazon.


Relationship Fundraisingburnett book

Author: Ken Burnett

Who’s it for?: Fundraising professionals who want to learn better donor communication strategies for the 21st century.

What’s it about?: Through illustrative case histories, donor profiles, and more, Burnett demonstrates how to get creative about donor communication. This book wants to teach you how to build relationships and to better understand donors in order to increase fundraising in the 21st century.

Preview Relationship Fundraising.


The Nonprofit Marketing Guidenonprofit marketing guide

Author: Kivi Leroux Miller or The Nonprofit Marketing Guide

Who’s it for?: Nonprofit organizations looking to understand or improve their marketing.

What’s it about?: A book that teaches marketing, the text’s principles could be applied to almost any industry. Leroux provides both a big picture look and details cost-effective, proven tactics specifically geared towards nonprofits. This is an ideal resource for small and medium-sized nonprofits.

Preview The Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

Matching Gift Team Execution

Matching Gift Team Execution

You’ve got a matching gift leader and hopefully a team to back her up.

What should your dedicated team be doing? Marketing matching gifts, of course, which all starts with planning, and might be best executed via word of mouth.

Develop Your Matching Gift Plan

Once you have a matching gift team in place, here’s a visual model of the sort of streamlined process that you’ll want to follow:

Matching Gift Coordinator Planning

Baseline Current Revenue and Determine Information to Provide to Donors

It’s amazing how few organizations know how much they raise from matching gifts on an annual basis, so don’t worry if your organization also struggles to baseline current matching gift revenue.

The data tracking portion of this process goes hand in hand with determining your budget and can feel equally as burdensome, so here’s a sample chart to give you an idea of the types of information that you should record to track your nonprofit’s performance:

Reporting Matching Gift Year-Over-Year Growth

This data can be shared with donors to encourage matching gift donations, but also use this information to determine a budget for marketing matching gifts. Once you know how much artillery will be at your disposal you can determine what information you’d like to share with donors. Do you simply want to inform donors that matching gift programs exist? Do you want to educate them on exactly what matching gift programs are? Would you like donors to know how matching gifts provide necessary additional funds for specific company initiatives?

Evaluate Marketing Opportunities

Once you have your budget and information together it’s time to evaluate the best marketing opportunities. Would an email campaign get the job done without breaking the bank? Do your particular donors respond better to direct mail? Perhaps you have a tech savvy audience who enjoys social media. You want to accord your available budget and information to the marketing channels that will best serve your nonprofit.

Whether you’re sending emails, making phone calls, or mailing letters, don’t forget word of mouth. In this modern world, actually talking to people, whether by phone or face-to-face, can get overlooked, but, as you’ll see, no one trusts a review quite like one from a trusted, personal source.

Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and all forms of product review sites exist, but word of mouth remains the most trusted form of marketing in the business. For example, imagine that a potential donor is debating what nonprofit to donate to. She’s done a ton of online research, and she thinks that she’s found the right cause, but it’s hard to feel 100% confident when there are so many worthwhile nonprofits. Then a friend comes to her and attests to the awesome work of a nonprofit for which he volunteers. Will she donate to the nonprofit she researched or the one that her friend knows about firsthand and can tell her about in great detail? The research says that she’ll trust her friend.

But are we trusting our friends to be good friends or because personal opinions really mean more? Businessweek reports that, “traditional advertising such as TV spots and newspaper ads, as well as digital marketing, such as sponsored links on Google, can build brand awareness, [but] they increasingly do not resonate with target audiences.” Smart people see straight through cheesy advertisements, so traditional ads don’t typically convince people to buy a product. Ads can make people more aware of matching gifts, so matching gifts will be in mind when the person decides to donate, but the ads won’t provoke an increase in doubled donations.

The advertisement conundrum gets solved with word of mouth. The key to word of mouth is to make the people who you talk to, whether they be staff or donors, aware of your service in such a way that they feel like valued pieces of your nonprofit.

Identify Required Support

When staff are aware of matching gifts, they can inform donors of matching gift programs when donors come knocking with inquiries, even if the questions don’t pertain to donating. The idea is that the more people associated with your nonprofit who are aware of matching gifts the greater the chance that donors will be told to seek out matching gifts.

Once donors know about corporate giving, they can tell other donors, so realize the benefits of informing all the layers of your nonprofit community. The more people who know about matching gifts means that more people will talk about matching gifts, which means that you’ll receive more doubled donations.

Another benefit of word of mouth is cost, which, if done right, is zero. You tell your staff about matching gifts, they tell their friends, and soon word has spread that donors should seek out matching gifts. Articulate that submitting a matching gift will allow people to go the extra mile and be more valued parts of your community. A goal of any donation is to give to something bigger than oneself.

Word of mouth can be as simple as informing your staff about matching gifts at your next meeting and imploring your team to be mindful of these programs when speaking to both donors and prospects. Once the word about matching gifts is out, it can spread like wildfire from one trusted voice to another.

Set Timelines

With a plan and proper marketing procedures in place, it’s time to turn your attention to when to execute various functions. Matching gifts are a year round effort, but there are stages for when to execute certain parts of your promotional plan.

Your timeline might look something like:

Matching Gift Timeline

Identify who you’re going to market to and how. Update your marketing materials. Send those materials out to donors, and then measure your results, evaluate the data, and continuously improve how you market matching gifts. There is always room for improvement, and updates can be made on the fly as you learn more from past marketing campaigns.

There’s a real science to maximizing matching gifts, and it takes foundation in proper execution from a dedicated matching gift team. If you don’t already have a matching gift leader then identify one, because, with determination and a proper plan, you can benefit from an increase in doubled donations.

Learn how to develop a dedicated matching gift team.