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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

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.

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Donor Advised Funds | Matching Gift Nuances

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

Are Donor Advised Funds Eligible?

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

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

Corporate Examples:

American Expressamerican-express-matching-gifts

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

What is Eligible?

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

What is not Eligible?

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

Learn more about American Express’ matching gift program >

match-gift-from-carmax

CarMax

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

“Are All Gifts Eligible?”

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

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

Learn more about CarMax’s matching gift program >

Bank of Americamatching-donations-bank-of-america

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

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

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

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

Chevronmatch-donations-chevron

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

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

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

Learn more about Chevron’s matching gift program >

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

Are Religious Organizations Eligible for Matching Gift Programs?

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

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

 

Standard Wording from Companies with Matching Gift Programs

Standard Wording from Companies with Matching Gift Programs:

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

American Express

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

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

Question: Are houses of worship eligible organizations?

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

Read more about American Express’s employee giving programs >

General Electric

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

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

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

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

Read more about General Electric’s employee giving programs >

DirecTV Group

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about DirecTV’s employee giving programs >

The Pew Charitable Trusts

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

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

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

Read more about The Pew Charitable Trusts employee giving programs >

Chevron

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

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

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

Read more about Chevron’s employee giving programs >

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

New York Companies with Matching Gift Programs

Since Double the Donation’s nonprofits clients come from across the country, we thought it would be beneficial to highlight a few select matching gift companies in key markets. New York City is the most populated metropolitan area in the country so we decided to highlight this city first.

Like most major markets, New York is home to many large employers who offer matching gift programs. With 45 Fortune 500 companies calling New York home, many employees in the New York metropolitan area work for companies with matching gift or volunteer grant program. Is your organization tapping into this source of corporate giving?

Statistics on New York Matching Gift Companies

If you dig into your organization’s database of corporate donors from the past few years, you’ll notice you received matching gifts from a variety of companies. Some are probably headquartered in your area while others may have a much smaller presence. Here are a few statistics on the New York market that may interest you:

  • 45 Fortune 500 companies call New York home.
  • 90% of Fortune 500 companies have a presence in New York
  • 65% of Fortune 500 companies match donations made by their employees
  • 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grants for employees

Companies in New York with Matching Gift ProgramsTop 10 Fortune 500 Companies in NY: Matching Gift Companies Highlighted

While it’s impossible to dive into details on all of the companies in New York which offer matching gift programs, let’s take a look at some of the area’s largest employers.

Based on the recently published Fortune 500 list, Verizon (#15), JPMorgan Chase (#16), and IBM (#19)  are the three largest companies headquartered in NY and all three offer employee giving programs.

 

Verizon

Verizon Matching GiftsVerizon offers both a matching gift and volunteer grant program for employees. The company matches up to $5,000 to schools and $1,000 to all other nonprofits per employee each year.

Additionally, through the Verizon Volunteer Incentive Program, employees who volunteer for 50 hours in a calendar year can request a $750 grant for an organization.

Learn more about Verizon’s employee giving programs.

JPMorgan Chasejp-morgan-chase-matching-gifts

JPMorgan Chase offers both a matching gift and volunteer grant program. The company matches up to $1,000 per employee or retiree each year to pretty much any school or nonprofit.

The company also offers a tiered volunteer grant program where grants average $10 per hour volunteered. The grant amount varies based upon the number of hours an employee volunteers.

Learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s employee giving programs.

IBM

ibm-matching-giftsIBM also offers multiple types of employee giving programs. Not only does the company offer matching grants on donations and cash grants for volunteering, but IBM allows nonprofits to receive a significantly larger donation if the organization elects to receive IBM technology instead of cash.

For instance, IBM offers a 2:1 technology grant on employee donations which means if an IBM employee donates $500 to your organization, you can receive $1,000 in IBM equipment or $500 in cash.

Learn more about IBM’s employee giving programs.

American International Group (AIG)aig-matching-gifts

AIG focuses its philanthropic efforts on three main groups of giving:

  • Safety – auto safety, disease prevention, programs that help prevent improper use of prescription drugs
  • Security – financial and educational programs that drive safety
  • Disaster Relief – including support of disaster preparedness and repair of infrastructure in the wake of a catastrophe

AIG has a matching gift program with a minimum match of $25 and a maximum of $5,000 per employee per year.

Learn more about AIG’s employee giving programs.

Philip Morris (Altria Group)

philip-morris-matching-giftsPhilip Morris gives back to its community by donating to organizations with a presence in the areas in which its employees live and work, as well as in the farming communities where it sources its tobacco. The company focuses its charitable giving in five areas in particular:

  1. Hunger and extreme poverty
  2. Education
  3. Rural living conditions
  4. Domestic violence
  5. Disaster relief

Philip Morris has a matching gift program in place where the minimum amount matched is $25 and the maximum amount matched is $30,000. It also has a volunteer grant program that allows a $500 grant to be given to an organization after an employee has volunteered a minimum of 25 hours at that organization.

Learn more about Philip Morris’ employee giving programs.

Other NY based Fortune 500 companies with employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs include:

Additional Resources: Matching Gift Companies in Metropolitan Areas

If you’re like most organizations, you probably aren’t maximizing fundraising from matching gift programs. A great place to start is making sure everyone in your organization is familiar with the largest employers in your area.

If you want to take it a step further, consider providing donors and volunteers with detailed information on their company / their spouse’s employer. By raising awareness and making it more convenient for them to submit the grants, you’ll see an increase in fundraising from these sources.

Bottom line: Many of New York’s leading employers match employee donations to nonprofits. Make sure everyone in your organization’s membership and development offices is familiar major employers in your area that match employee donations.