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GuideStar Articles Matching Gifts

Reader Question: Submitting match requests for non-personal donations

Although Double the Donation doesn’t administer match programs for any corporations, as experts in the space we’re regularly approached with general matching gift questions. Here’s a question we’ve heard from both individual nonprofits as well as individual donors.

Question Regarding Matches on Non-Personal Donations:

Question from nonprofits:
My organization has donors who work at companies with large matching gift limits. Can we funnel donations through these employees to make sure all of the donations are getting matched?

Question from individuals:
I work for a company which doesn’t have a matching gift program. But my friend Sally’s employer matches donations. Can I give her my money and have her make a donation?

Double the Donation’s Answer:

While we understand the desire to maximize donations from matching gift programs, we strongly recommend that donors only take advantage of their own employers’ match programs. A few reasons include:

Stick with the Spirit of Corporate Match Programs:

At Double the Donation, we track and stay in touch with companies with matching gift programs. In almost all cases, company guidelines specifically state something along the lines of “Gifts must be personal contributions paid either in cash or securities.” Although we don’t administer match programs for any companies, the match benefits are usually designed for personal contributions from individuals working at a specific company.

Thus it’s quite clear that from a corporate standpoint, passing donations through a supporter who works for a matching gift company is definitely frowned upon.

We hope the nonprofit community recognizes that matching grant programs are generous benefits offered by companies to support organizations which employees personally give to. They’re also completely optional programs so we hope everyone utilizes them in the spirit for which they were designed.

Avoid Potential Fraud:

Whenever a matching gift request is submitted, the employee has to sign the form indicating that the donation for which a match is being requested adheres to the company’s guidelines. Additionally whenever a nonprofit verifies a donation, the nonprofit employee confirming the donation is also signing that he or she agrees the donation meets the company’s guidelines.

While we certainly aren’t legal experts, there’s a strong chance that both the employee and the nonprofit would be be committing some sort of fraud by submitting or verifying matches which aren’t eligible to be matched. Doing so could put the employee’s job at risk while also jeopardizing the nonprofit’s eligibility for future matches and grants.

Risk Tax Implications:

Again, we aren’t legal experts, but there are certainly tax implications. For instance, who gets to claim the charitable tax deduction on the original donation? Was it the individual who gave his or her money to a friend to donate or was it the actual donor who submitted the match request?

We hope you won’t get to this point of having to figure out the tax implications, but figured we highlight it as a potential pitfall.

General Thoughts:

We always encourage organizations to stick to the spirit of the match programs. If a specific program is designed for an individual employee’s personal use, we recommend that the employee and benefiting nonprofit not try to game the system. While we’re sure the above isn’t the answer that most individuals and nonprofits want to hear, we hope it’s informative.

That being said, there are a number of companies (ex. Intuit, State Street Capital, McAfee, and others) that match the fundraising efforts of employees. These are some of the most generous employee giving programs so organizations should definitely look into them.

Learn more about companies which match fundraising efforts of employees.

Small Companies Matching Gifts

Companies that Match Donations to High Schools

Across the United States, there are more than 26,000 public high schools and 10,000 private high schools all looking to build on their existing fundraising ideas. At Double the Donation, we work with high schools and education foundations across the country to help them increase the amount of money they receive from corporate matching gift programs.

We know it can sometimes be tricky trying to navigate the complex policies surrounding each company’s matching gift program so we’ve created a number of resources to help organizations better understand employee giving programs. These include:

Since Double the Donation is committed to helping all segments of the nonprofit space optimize their fundraising with matching gift programs, we created this post on matching gift companies that match donations to high schools.

Matching Gifts and High Schools

After higher education, the most common matching gift category is K-12 schools.

Included in this grouping is high schools since many companies do not distinguish between elementary, middle, and high schools when it comes to match eligible organizations. Many of these companies will also match to PTA groups, after school organizations, education foundations. Most matching gift companies do not distinguish between public and private high schools, though specific eligibility does vary by company.

For high schools with a large donor base, whether it’s parents, alumni, or community supporters, be sure to market employee matching gifts as an easy way to double existing donations!

List of Companies with Matching Gift Programs for High Schools

To help schools navigate through the matching gift process we created a short list of companies that will match donations made to K-12 schools and educational programs. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you aren’t seeing a company here, don’t rule it out just yet. And feel free to check out Double the Donation’s services to learn how we can make the matching gift process even easier.

IBMibm-matching-gifts

IBM is known to many schools for its generosity in donating software and computers to school systems.

An employee can have their donation matched on a 2:1 ratio with IBM products. Or a donation can be matched on a 1:1 basis for cash.

Read more about the IBM matching gift program.

Toys “R” Us

Toys”R”Us, Inc. partners with its team members to support causes that reflect their own personal interests and passions. The list of match eligible approved nonprofits includes to those that keep children safe and help them in times of need; organizations that support the research, treatment, prevention and cure of diseases or disorders that impact families and children; and educational institutions.

That means Toys “R” Us will match donations made by team members to high schools. Through the matching gift program, the company matches donations on a 1:1 basis and will double donations up to $1,000 per employee each year.

Read more about the Toys R Us matching gift program.

Wells Fargowells-fargo-matching

As one of the leading banks, it’s no surprise that many communities have a Wells Fargo presence. Employees of Wells Fargo can have their donations to high schools matched up to $6,500 each year.

Volunteer grants are also available for those who volunteer with educational organizations.

Read more about the Wells Fargo matching gift program.

Starbucksstarbucks-match-gifts

Starbucks Corporation will match up to $1,500 in donations made by an employee each year to high schools and many other organizations. All educational institutions are eligible for the program.

And if you have a volunteer opportunity coming up, be sure to mention it to your local barista since Starbucks also provides grants to organizations where employees volunteer.

Read more about the Starbucks matching gift program and volunteer grants.

Want to know more about corporate giving programs and how they can contribute to your high school’s fundraising efforts?

Promoting Matching Gift Grants at Companies

Corporate Example: Promoting Grant Programs to Employees and Retirees at Texas Instruments

Are you a corporate executive trying to figure out why your well thought out and generous giving programs aren’t being utilized as much you’d like? If so, this article is for you!

Reasons for Low Participation in Employee Giving Programs

Lack of awareness is the most common reason donors and volunteers aren’t submitting grant requests. One of the things we hear from our nonprofit clients’ donors is that they often have no idea their employer offers a matching gift or volunteer grant program until they searched our online database of matching gift companies. Sure, if you’re the HR rep or president of your company’s foundation you’re well aware of the giving programs, but for the average employee, the programs are often very much a mystery.

If you’re one of the companies that offer grants for retirees as well, imagine how unlikely it is that they’re kept in the loop. The key to increasing utilization can be boiled down to increasing awareness and making the submission process easily accessible.

Wide Distribution of Information

Do you want to get a feel for how good (or bad) of a job your company is doing promoting matching gifts? Don’t ask employees “do you know about our matching gift program” because you’ll get very skewed answers, since no one wants to look uninformed. Instead ask a more open ended question such as “what do you know about the corporate giving benefits available to you?”

Texas Instruments is one of the many companies which both matches donations and offers grants for volunteering. While we don’t have a complete picture on how they promote their matching gift and volunteer grant programs, they definitely take a proactive approach!

Below is copy of their alumni / retiree e-Newsletter from last year’s holiday season. Included in it was a section on how retirees can make their charitable gift giving go farther. We’ve also seen similar examples of the company promoting employee giving programs to current employees so it’s clear they’re one of the companies doing a great job of distributing employee giving information.

Newsletter promoting matching gifts and volunteer grants to retirees

We encourage your company to take a look at how you’re communicating matching gift information to employees and retirees.

Easily Accessible Guidelines and Submission Information

While Double the Donation doesn’t administer matching gift programs for corporations, we often hear from confused donors who are trying to submit match requests, but can’t figure out the process. While there are countless examples of companies doing a good job promoting these employee giving programs, let’s stick with Texas Instruments since they make it easy not only for employees, but also retirees.

Accessible Matching Gift and Volunteer Grant Information | Texas Instruments Alumni Website

Through the Texas Instruments Alumni Association, there’s a clear link in the website’s navigation bar to a section called “matching gifts.” Within the page, there are detailed guidelines, a link to submit a match request electronically, and a phone number which retirees can call in case they need assistance. It’s a perfect example of providing employees with the information they need to take advantage of the giving programs they’re eligible for.

General Takeaways:

  • Lack of awareness is the number one reason employees and retirees don’t utilize matching gift and volunteer grant programs.
  • Evaluate where and how you’re promoting matching gifts to determine if you should expand your marketing to employees.
  • Create a page on your company website with guidelines and links to the appropriate matching gift form.

Additional Resources for Corporations

Are you a corporate employee looking for ways to more effectively design and manage your employee giving programs? The following resources and articles may interest you:

Orlando Matching Gifts

Double Donations Magically: Companies in Orlando, Florida with Matching Gift Programs

Double the Donation and Nonprofits

Double the Donation partners with nonprofits to help them increase their fundraising revenue from employee matching gifts and volunteer grant awards. We’ve created a short list of some of the top nonprofits in major metropolitan areas to further help nonprofits identify these unique fundraising sources.

Orlando, Fl Matching Gifts

Orlando is a city with plenty of large corporations offering matching gifts. Don’t leave money on the table by not reaching out to your donors about these programs. Familiarize yourself with this list of companies and remind your donors to check and see if their company will match their donations.

HCA

The Hospital Corporation of America will match donations between $25 and $2,500. They also have a generous volunteer grant program.

Read more about the HCA matching gift and volunteer grant program.

JPMorgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase will match donations made by employees between $25 and $1,000. JPMorgan will match donations with most nonprofit organizations.

Read more about the JPMorgan Chase matching gift and volunteer grant program.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s matches employee gifts between $50 and $5,000. Both full and part-time employees can take advantage of this program.

Read more about the McDonald’s matching gift program.

The Walt Disney Company

Walt Disney is one of the most visible companies in Orlando. The Disney company will match up to $15,000 per employee each year. The company also offers a generous employee volunteer program.

Read more about the Walt Disney Company’s matching gift program.

Free Trial Matching Gift Donations Service

Boston Matching Gifts

Companies in Boston, Massachusetts with Matching Gift Programs

Maximizing employee matching gifts from a nonprofit’s donors is a critical element of fundraising for any organization.

Double the Donation often receives requests from Boston-based nonprofits asking if there are companies in their city offering employee matching gift or volunteer grant programs.

To clear up some of the confusion, we’ve highlighted a few of the top companies in Boston that offer to match donations from their employees.

Matching Gift Programs from Large Boston Companies

Boston is the largest city in Massachusetts and has a diverse local economy consisting of companies in the financial services, publishing, media, and nearly every other industry.

A big question every nonprofit with a large Boston donor base should be asking is, “Are we taking full advantage of philanthropic giving from corporations in Boston?”

With the 6th largest economy in the country and many companies putting their headquarters in the city, Boston based nonprofits have a lot to gain from researching the companies in their city with matching gift programs.

List of Corporate Matching Gifts

We’ve compiled a short list of some of the companies located in Boston that offer matching donations. For more info on how you and your organization can increase fundraising from employee matching gifts, check out Double the Donation’s service offerings.

FidelityFidelity

Responsible in part for Boston’s status as a top financial center, Fidelity Investments matches employee donations between $50 and $3,000.

While the program company’s program is generous, only donations made to educational institutions (ex. colleges, universities, and educational organizations) are eligible.

Read more about the Fidelity Investment matching gift program.

Houghton MifflinHoughton Matching Gifts

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a major publishing firm headquartered in Boston. It matches gifts up to $2,500 to a wide variety of nonprofits including:

  • Educational institutions (K-12 included)
  • Health and human services
  • Arts and cultural organizations
  • Civic and community organizations
  • Environmental organizations

Both full and part time employees are eligible for this program.

Read more about the Houghton Mifflin matching gift program.

Raytheon Corporation

Raytheon will match any gift greater than $25, up to $5,000 made to an educational institution. This includes both public and private higher education institutions, as well as K-12 programs.

With a large presence in multiple states across the US, Raytheon has enough employees to make a huge impact on your organization if any of your donors happen to work for this company.

Read more about the Raytheon Corporation’s matching gift program.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson_Reuters

Thomson Reuters will match employee donations up to $1,000 each year to nearly all educational institutions and 501(c)(3) organizations. A unique aspect of this company’s program is that it is open to all global employees (ex. Canada, UK, USA, India, etc.)

Thomson Reuters also offers a very generous volunteer grants program! An organization is eligible for a $500 grant from Thomson Reuters after an employee volunteers 20 hours in a year.

Read more about the Thomson Reuters gift matching program and volunteer grants.

State Street Corporationstate street

The State Street Corporation has one of the most generous employee giving programs in the game. It consists of an individual matching gift program, a fundraising match program, and a volunteer grant program.

In terms of the matching gift program, State Street will match any employee’s donation up to $5,000 to nearly all nonprofit organizations. And depending upon the seniority of the employee, he or she could be eligible for a match of as much as $35,000 per year.

Read more about State Street Corporation’s employee giving programs.

Detroit Matching Gifts