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Matching gift letters

What Happens After a Donor Makes a Matching Gift Submission?

HURRAH! You’ve done it.

Your nonprofit has gotten a donor to see the light and submit a matching gift request.

Now what?

The most difficult work is done. Your promotional effort has worked. The responsibility is now in the hands of the donor’s employer — at least momentarily.

Well, you can sit back and twiddle your thumbs … but not for long. Pretty soon the ball will be back in your court, and it’ll be your turn to handle things. The donor’s company is not going to blindly accept their employee’s submission.

The donor’s submission process is going to vary from company to company, but it will roughly follow similar patterns:

  1. Employees log into the company’s matching gift submission website
  2. Employees search for the nonprofit they donated to
  3. Employees select the nonprofit from the search results (if not found, they enter the organization’s information)
  4. Employees register their donation and submit the matching gift request

After a donor makes a matching gift request submission to his or her employer, that company then needs to process the request.

Your nonprofit is going to have to be involved, albeit rather peripherally, in that process.

What should your nonprofit expect to receive from a company that’s just received a matching gift request from one of your organization’s donors?

Well, expect a letter for starters. It may come by mail, email, fax, plane, train, or automobile. Okay, so maybe not those last three, but definitely mail, email, or fax.

The letter will basically be asking for verification that the employee made the donation and that you’re the nonprofit that the employee says you are. It will be a quick and painless process. The letter will usually come through a third party company that handles matching gift requests for the employer at hand and it will ask you take a few verification steps.

It should be quick and painless for your nonprofit.

To help clear up any potential questions you may have, let’s walk through a sample letter from a company to a nonprofit.

In the case of this sample:

  • Corporation X represents your donor’s employer
  • Y Nonprofit represents you, the ones receiving the donation
  • Company Z represents the third party business handling the corporate giving program

Corporation X’s Corporate Giving Program

Dear Y Nonprofit,

Company Z is Corporation X’s vendor that helps process and fulfill requests through the corporate giving program. As Corporation X’s vendor, we at Company Z work to ensure that the donation process goes as smoothly as possible. Part of that process involves guaranteeing that funds requested by employees are allocated to the correct charities.

We have great news! An employee has made a match request on your behalf!

That match request now needs your confirmation.

In order to complete the confirmation, please follow the link below.

“Link to Company Z’s vendor portal with Corporation X”

Once on the site, create a new account or log into your existing account if you already have one.

If creating a new account, you will be prompted to answer a series of questions which are as follows:

  • Organization contact information
  • Contact information for the specific employee handling the request
  • A registration code unique to your case — ABC-DEFG
  • A match ID unique to your case — 12345

You will be able to set up a username and password and then confirm the match request that is currently pending.

Questions? Please call us at 111-222-3333 or email us at support@companyz.corporationx.com, and one of our representatives will be able to assist you.

Thank you for all the great work you do.

Best,

Company Z Support

111-222-3333 / support@companyz.corporationx.com

As you can see from that letter template, it is not going to take much to confirm a matching gift request and see those extra funds come in, but you will need to essentially verify that the employee making the request did in fact make the donation that he or she reported. And the letter will give you all the information needed to do so.

To help track your progress, a matching gift best practice that we recommend, keep records of any confirmations your organization makes.

That way, you know to be expecting funds and can cross them off the list when the employers donate them.

It is quite common that donors will submit a matching gift request without telling the nonprofit that they are doing so. They are certainly not required to tell the nonprofit anything. Therefore, the first chance your organization has to begin tracking these submission requests is when the employer contacts you. Take advantage of that knowledge.

One of the best and most proactive steps a nonprofit can take to keep donors around is thanking quickly and often.

Don’t officially thank the donor until you receive the matching gift donation from that donor’s employer; however, if you are keeping careful records of matching gift submissions in progress you will be able to prepare to send out acknowledgments sooner and you will be less likely to lose track of a donor, and / or that donor’s records, in the shuffle.

The matching gift submission process is by no means brain surgery. In fact, many of the third party vendors that corporations use have handled submissions for so long the whole experience is as streamlined and timely as possible.

It never hurts to know what to expect though, and now you do. Make sure those letters do not get mixed up in the wrong place or filed away before anyone has had a chance to make the confirmation! They are your key to converting matching gift requests into matching gift funds. Don’t let your organization be the bottleneck holding up the process.

If your organization is going to seriously pursue matching gifts, it should assign the processing of requests to one staff member, probably on your development team. That way, when letters like the sample above come in, your whole office knows exactly who to send them to. And, that person will quickly gain familiarity with the process and be able to make and track the confirmations as efficiently as possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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.