Corporate Matching Gift Programs: Understanding the Basics
Understanding Corporate Matching Gift Programs
In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover the basics of kicking off your own corporate matching gift program, including:
- Researching other exemplary corporate gift programs
- Deciding which nonprofits are eligible for matching gifts
- Establishing your matching gift program guidelines, such as maximum/minimum gift amount
- Creating the submission process
- Using a corporate matching gift database
We’ll also explore how 360MatchPro can elevate your matching gift program and allow your fundraising revenue to achieve new heights.
What are matching gifts?
Corporate matching gifts are a type of philanthropy in which companies financially match donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations.
When an employee makes a donation, they’ll request the matching gift from their employer, who then makes their own donation. Companies usually match donations at a 1:1 ratio, but some will match at a 2:1, 3:1, or even a 4:1 ratio.
Why are corporate matching gifts valuable?
Corporate philanthropy and matching gifts are valuable because they are free money for your nonprofit! It gives you more bang for your fundraising buck, so to speak. Your organization will receive two donations for the work of soliciting one, and donors love knowing their gifts went twice as far.
Case Study: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society began using 360MatchPro to automate their matching gift efforts in June of 2017, and have seen tremendous success since. 12 months later, their annual corporate matched donation revenue grew by over $1 million, up from approximately $200,000.
Why do organizations overlook corporate matching gifts?
Nonprofits often struggle with receiving these gifts because so few donors know about their employer’s corporate philanthropy programs. Nonprofits also don’t always know who someone’s employer is or what their specific policy is.
Communicating guidelines and instructions, especially on a wide scale, can be difficult, so nonprofits frequently choose to focus their efforts on traditional fundraising strategies.
Why do companies match donations?
Companies of all sizes match donations their employees make to nonprofits because it’s an easy, structured way for them to support good work in their communities. CSR, or corporate social responsibility, is an important factor in how the public perceives brands and companies these days.
Corporate matching gifts are an efficient and straightforward way for companies to build relationships with charities.
Takeaway: Corporate philanthropy programs allow your donors to maximize the impact of their donation, but without having to reach back into their wallets to do so.
Top Corporate Matching Gift Programs
|COMPANY||MAXIMUM MATCH AMOUNT||LEARN MORE|
|General Electric||$5,000||General Electric’s matching gift program|
|Soros Fund Management||$300,000||Soros’ matching gift program|
|BP||$5,000||BP’s matching gift program|
|Gap Corporation||$10,000||Gap’s matching gift program|
|State Street Corporation||$35,000||State Street Corporation’s matching gift program|
|ExxonMobil||$22,500||ExxonMobil’s matching gift program|
|CarMax||$10,000||CarMax’s matching gift program|
|Johnson & Johnson||$20,000||Johnson & Johnson’s matching gift program|
|Choice Hotels||$1,500||Choice Hotels’ matching gift program|
|Microsoft||$15,000||Microsoft’s matching gift program|
Which Nonprofits Are Eligible for Matching Gifts?
Such as: universities, colleges, seminaries, alumni funds, K-12 schools, or school district foundations
Arts and Cultural Organizations
Such as: museums, zoos, aquariums, theaters, orchestras, operas, or public broadcasting stations
Such as: animal shelters, homeless shelters, low-income assistance, child welfare, or public works programs
Such as: conservation efforts, wildlife preservation programs, or public state or national parks
Health and Human Services
Such as: hospitals, community health centers, substance abuse programs, or health services
Which nonprofits are ineligible for matching gifts?
Restrictions for eligibility ultimately fall to the employer, but the most common restriction is for religious organizations.
Many employers will not match donations make directly to houses of worship, but will match donations made to institutions affiliated with houses of worship that provide a service to community members regardless of religious beliefs, such as food banks or homeless shelters.
Takeaway: Approximately two-thirds of companies match employee donations to nearly any of the above 501(c)(3) organizations or educational institutions, while the other third typically choose the organizations and programs most closely related to their mission.
Corporate Matching Gift Program Guidelines
Matching Gift Ratio
Every company has a different idea of what a ‘match’ is for their employees. The majority of companies match at a 1:1 ratio, but others have drastically different standards.
Some companies will give $.50 for every dollar an employee donates, but others will give as much as $4 for every $1 that an employee donates.
The ratio may also differ based on:
- The type of employee (e.g., standing within the company or retirement status).
- The type of organization to which the donations go (educational, arts and cultural, environmental, etc.).
Minimum & Maximum Amounts
Wouldn’t it be nice if your major gift donors’ employers could double their gifts? Unfortunately, that’s not feasible. Companies apply minimums and maximums to their corporate philanthropy programs.
The most common minimum is $25, although it can range from $1 to $100. The maximum can range from $1,000 to $15,000, and sometimes further in either direction.
The min and max amounts vary by company, employee, and nonprofit type, so every employer will have a different policy.
Different companies have different deadlines. Awareness of these dates ensures that you don’t miss out on easy money.
Standard match request submission deadlines include:
- End of the calendar year.
- A set number of months after the date of the donation, most often 3-12 months.
- End of January, February, or March in the year subsequent to when the donation was made.
Takeaway: Make your follow-up process more efficient by investigating match ratios, maximum and minimum gift amounts, and the submission deadlines of your donors’ employers’ programs.
The Matching Gift Submission Process
Here’s the basic process a donor will need to follow in order to submit a corporate matching gift request and have it fulfilled by their employer:
- The donor completes their online donation and is redirected to an eligibility search page or tool.
- The donor searches for their employer’s corporate matching gift program guidelines.
- They follow the link to the submission form, complete it, and send it to their employer.
- Once processed and approved, the company makes a matching donation to your organization!
Let’s walk through each step in greater detail:
Step 1: Donor submits a donation
The first step in submitting a match request is making the original donation for the company to match.
If you’ve followed our top corporate philanthropy marketing strategies, during or immediately after the donation submission process, your donor will encounter corporate philanthropy information on your website.
They might see a plugin on your donation form or on your donation confirmation screen. This plugin is their portal to the matching donation process.
Step 2: Donor determines eligibility
Once your donor decides they want to submit a match request, they need to determine if their donation is eligible to be matched by their employer.
Using a database search tool, your donor types in the name of their employer. If the company offers a corporate philanthropy program, the company’s name will appear in the drop-down menu. All your donor has to do now is click on the name of their company!
Step 3: Donor submits forms
On the resulting company gift information page, donors can check to see if:
- Their employer matches donations by employees like them (e.g., full-time, part-time, or retired).
- The nonprofit they’re donating to is eligible to receive matched donations from their employer.
- Their gift amount qualifies for a corporate donation.
Once donors know that they and the nonprofit they’re donating to are eligible for a matching donation, they click on the link to the necessary online forms provided by the database tool. They fill out those forms and hit submit!
More than 80% of companies require match requests to be submitted online. Directing your donors straight to the online forms makes the process quicker and easier.
Step 4: Company makes donation
Your donor’s employer has to review the forms they submitted and follow up with your nonprofit to confirm that the original donation was made.
If all the forms and information are in order, the company sends your nonprofit a check!
This step in the process is a great opportunity to send an email or letter to your donor. Thank them again for their donation and inform them that the corporate match has arrived.
Takeaway: The entire matching donation submission process can be completed by a donor in less than five minutes. The key is to ensure donors know if their company will match their gift and provide them with the forms or links needed to submit their match requests, using Double the Donation’s instant matching donation database search tool.
Raise More Money with a Corporate Matching Gift Database
What is a matching gift database?
A matching gift database is a type of corporate giving database that collects information about corporate matching gift programs. It contains specific information about thousands of companies’ matching gift programs that can be accessed all from one place.
Access the matching gift database.
Search for your employer.
View the results.
What are the benefits of using a matching gift database?
The benefits are substantial for both donors and companies:
Donors can feel pride in knowing that their gift will be matched by a corporate matching gift program, and will feel inclined to give more. If they know their donation’s impact can be doubled, this can help them make the decision to donate in the first place.
Regardless of their size, companies can benefit by showing their communities and employees that they care about giving back.
Takeaway: Using a matching gift database can help you raise more money and give donors and companies a greater sense of pride.
Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Software
This comprehensive program is perfect for larger nonprofits who are looking for a completely automated matching gifts software.
360MatchPro automatically identifies opportunities to use corporate matching gift programs through verifying email addresses, and can drive matches to completion through tracking tools and automated messaging options.
You can automate outreach, and analyze and forecast your corporate philanthropy revenue all through one program.
Takeaway: Obtaining matching gifts can be a challenge, but with the right software, you can streamline the process and increase your revenue from corporate matching gift programs.
Matching Gift Analytics:
Generate Revenue by Measuring Matching Gifts with 360MatchPro
Measuring Matching Gifts
When you understand your matching gift metrics, such as the amount of match-eligible donations you receive and the total revenue raised from matching donations, you can leverage this data to generate even more revenue.
But tracking all of these data points can be difficult, especially when your team is already busy. 360MatchPro, the automated matching gifts marketing platform, can help you measure these metrics, which leaves more time for your team to focus on what matters most: your mission.
360MatchPro’s Data Analysis
360MatchPro’s data tracking capabilities can give you up-to-the-minute updates on information such as:
- What percentage of your donations are eligible to be matched.
- What stage in the process your donors are.
- Where the largest revenue opportunities are.
- The match submission rate of donors after you’ve followed up with them.
- How your matching gift marketing emails are performing.
With easy overviews of your data, your nonprofit will quickly be able to see where you’re succeeding and where you have room for improvement.
In order to start generating more revenue, it’s important to identify the following:
- Top matching gift opportunities. Look for donors who are match eligible who haven’t submitted a match request. This is a key area to identify because doubling these donations means more revenue for your organization!
- Corporate champions. Once you’ve secured matching gift donors, you can now convert them into corporate champions by accessing and engaging with all your donors who work for a specific matching gift company.
When you leverage your donor data in a way that allows you to see matching gift opportunities you haven’t pursued, you’ll identify more chances to engage with your donors and encourage them to take part in their company’s matching gift program.
Takeaway: Tracking data can be hard, but you need to know where to stand in order to show that you’ve improved. Use a software like 360MatchPro to automate your matching donation process.
Marketing Matching Gifts to Double More Donations
Automate and Target Your Outreach
It’s important to engage and target each donor who might be eligible to get their donation matched. One way you can do this is by automating your outreach to help donors submit their match requests.
In order to do this, consider the following:
- Who is eligible? Identify who is eligible and hasn’t submitted yet. Then, engage each of these donors with a set of automated email blasts to follow up and activate matching gift opportunities.
- Who are you missing? Highlight matching gifts immediately after a donation is made by capturing key information at the time of the donation. Add 360MatchPro’s matching gift widget to your existing forms, as well as identify matching gift eligibility based on the email address your donor uses during the donation process.
Helping your donors understand their matching gift eligibility via these methods can help you more successfully market matching gifts and double your donations.
Provide the Right Information to the Right Donors
Providing the right matching gift information to the right donors will result in more matching gift submissions. This means sending emails to follow up using relevant information about your donors.
In order to do this, you will need:
- Customization. Customize your message to include your donor’s information, including their name and donation amount.
- Guidelines. Include links in these emails that send donors to the forms, guidelines, and instructions they will need to submit their match request.
- Tracking. Your email should also include buttons donors can press to indicate when they’ve submitted their request, or if they’re unable to.
Advertise Your Matching Gift Page
Your website is already a major part of your marketing strategy. Use it to promote matching gifts, too! Build out a matching gifts page on your site. Then, use paid advertising platforms to promote the page to donors.
The best part? You don’t even have to dip into your marketing budget to do this. Microsoft and Google offer free access to their paid advertising platforms to eligible nonprofits. While Microsoft Social Ads for Impact offers $3,000 in ad credits each month, the Google Ad Grants program supplies nonprofits with up to $10,000 monthly.
To promote corporate matching gifts, you’ll need to find the right keywords and create ads that encourage users to click through to your site to learn more. That’s where an advertising agency comes into play! As our recommended partner, Getting Attention will work with you to build winning campaigns that promote your website’s most important content, including your matching gift page.
Takeaway: Marketing matching gifts means understanding the information your donors need and providing it to the right people. This will result in more revenue for your organization.
Additional Corporate Matching Gift Program Resources
Matching Gift Companies
There are lots of companies that will match their employees’ donations.
However, companies like GE, CarMax, and Johnson & Johnson stand out in the crowd. Find out why!
Matching Gift Statistics
Did you know that 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer a philanthropy program?
Learn more about this statistic and many, many more at Double the Donation’s corporate philanthropy stats page!
Marketing Matching Gifts
There’s a chance that your donors don’t know anything about matching gifts.
If you want to receive more matching gifts, you need to promote them to your donors! Find out how with this article.
Guide for Employers
Matching gift programs can help your company retain and engage employees and showcase your corporate values.
Learn how to successfully implement a matching gift program with this guide from America’s Charities’ team of experts!
Matching Gift Buy-In
Want to secure support for matching gifts across your organization? Start with understanding the importance of buy-in itself.
Secure leadership and staff support, share the right data with your team, and more with this guide from Double the Donation!
Improve the Donor Journey
It’s important to create a positive experience for matching gift donors. Looking for best practices on how to do this?
Learn how to optimize the donor experience and understand the matching gift lifecycle with Double the Donation’s guide!