Corporate matching gifts are one of the best ways for nonprofits to maximize their fundraising with bonus donations and increased donor engagement. And how exactly do nonprofit organizations receive funding through these matching programs? It all starts with a request from the initial donor and typically is processed through a corporate giving or CSR platform.
In terms of CSR platforms, one key platform to keep in mind is CyberGrants.
Corporate giving platforms like CyberGrants are sold to corporations looking to manage their philanthropy. But there’s another side of the platform that is designed specifically for nonprofits—a portal with which fundraisers can manage their incoming matches, verify initial donations, facilitate volunteer grant requests, and more. And best of all? It’s free!
If you’re interested in learning more about CyberGrants for nonprofits and how to best manage your CyberGrants portal for maximal success, you’ve certainly come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the following:
- What to Know About CyberGrants
- Benefits of CyberGrants for Nonprofits
- CyberGrants’ Matching Gift Verification Process Overview
- FAQ | How to Manage Your CyberGrants Portal
- Best Practices for Nonprofits Using CyberGrants
In the end, you should have a solid foundation of knowledge surrounding CyberGrants and its nonprofit-specific tools that can lead your organization in the right direction.
Ready to dive in? Let’s get started with the basics.
What to Know About CyberGrants
With over 400 corporate customers, CyberGrants is one of the largest providers of matching gift and corporate giving software for companies, and it’s known for allowing the most customization of any CSR platform. In summary, each company that organizes a matching gift program through CyberGrants can adjust its donation verification process, types of gifts to match, email notifications, number of subaccounts, and more.
From the perspective of the organizations receiving the matches, this can sometimes lead to an overwhelming process. That’s why we recommend nonprofits setting themselves up for CyberGrants success by documenting and keeping up with the information they need to complete their end of the matching gift process. And we’re here to provide you with tips and tricks on how to do so!
Benefits of CyberGrants for Nonprofits
Some of the largest matching gift companies in the world—including Verizon, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, American Express, and many more—use CyberGrants to manage their corporate giving. The more companies that utilize any particular platform, the more likely your organization is to qualify for matching gifts made available through said platform. Thus, CyberGrants is a particularly beneficial portal to get started with.
From there, registering your organization with the nonprofit portal will allow you to increase the visibility of your cause among charitable givers, elevate your matching gift eligibility, and simplify matching gift requests for your donors—all of which elevate the likelihood of matches being driven to completion.
Not to mention, pre-registering your cause with platforms like CyberGrants will streamline the process for you and your team when matching gifts do become available. You’ll already have the legwork down, meaning you’re ready to verify gifts and accept matches with ease.
CyberGrants’ Matching Gift Verification Process Overview
The exact matching gift process—from initial donation and employer match request to nonprofit verification and corporate match disbursement—can vary greatly from one company to the next. On the nonprofit end, one of the biggest priorities has to do with verifying with the company that an employee donor’s contribution was actually made.
Today, the majority of companies that use CyberGrants require the NPO in question to verify that the organization received the employee’s initial donation. However, other employers do not require manual verification at all, instead opting to authenticate donations through gift receipts or rely on the goodwill of their employees.
For each matching gift request from CyberGrants, the NPO will receive a unique Gift ID to identify that donation via automated email. From there, the Gift ID and donor’s last name will be used to verify the donation in the CyberGrants portal. Depending on the company’s settings, a donation amount, contribution date, and access code may be provided as well.
Take a look at this example of a matching gift request;
Meanwhile, here’s a sample matching gift request with different information, including an access code;
In each sample email, the organization is prompted to follow the instructions provided by CyberGrants on behalf of the donor’s employer. In both cases, the matching gift recipient is asked to navigate to the CyberGrants website, enter the supplied information, and verify the donor’s gift.
FAQ | How to Manage Your CyberGrants Portal
Still have questions? Many organizations do. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most-asked questions (and answers) from nonprofits looking to manage their CyberGrants portals to produce the greatest results.
What is FrontDoor?
FrontDoor is CyberGrants’ consolidated portal with which nonprofits can register to manage and verify gifts across employers and programs with ease.
Currently, companies that utilize CyberGrants for matching gift management have the choice to opt into participating via FrontDoor’s portal. At this time, CyberGrants is actively advocating for more companies to get started with FrontDoor and make the most of innovative features, such as the Donations Tab. This allows nonprofit users to verify donations in a single window, rather than requiring that they manually log into each company or subaccount’s portal through a separate URL.
Here’s what it looks like for nonprofit users;
Overall, FrontDoor makes the verification process faster and easier for users and enables nonprofits like yours to get more out of available matching programs.
What are subaccounts?
Subaccounts are essentially additional accounts nested within an organization’s main account and can be created by the nonprofit itself or by a donor, depending on a company’s subaccount creation and management settings.
Let’s take a look at a company with a few subaccounts nested in their main portal;
And here’s a company that chose to create a central portal with no subaccounts;
Generally, subaccounts can reflect an organization’s multiple chapters, branches, or locations within the organization, or they can be nominated by a donor who didn’t see an account that reflected their desired organization. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the more subaccounts in a portal, the greater the likelihood that there will be matching gift requests that end up “hiding” from them.
Most companies have subaccounts within their company portal. The number of subaccounts able to be created is dictated by the company (for example, there might be an unlimited number of subaccounts that can be created or this ability may not even be available to their employees). Some have over 70, while others have only a central portal or 2-3 subaccounts.
Why do we receive grants from companies for which we have not confirmed any matching gift requests?
Not all companies require verification from the organization for matching gifts and volunteer grant requests. Typically, if a company doesn’t ask the nonprofit to verify a gift or volunteer hours, it is because the employee has already verified the gift by attaching a donation receipt or proof of hours volunteered with their submission request.
Some, but not all, of these companies will send email notices of approved requests that let the nonprofit know when a payment is on the way. Companies may also utilize CyberGrants to allow their employees to make payroll deductions to an organization, which may or may not result in an email notification being triggered through the system.
What happens if we receive a request we don’t qualify for?
Occasionally, your organization may receive a gift verification request from a company even though your cause doesn’t qualify for the company’s matching program. For example, this may occur in cases where a company matches solely to educational institutions or won’t match to religious or politically affiliated organizations, and your organization falls into an excluded category.
However, regardless of the company’s requirements, employees can still submit match requests, which is why your team may see ineligible verification requests flowing in. Even if your organization verifies the initial gift in your portal, it’s likely that the company will reject the match request and no payment will be sent.
Will all pending matching gift and volunteer grant requests show up on the Donations Tab?
Unfortunately, not all requests will show up in FrontDoor’s Donations Tab. Some companies have opted out of using the tab entirely, whereas others have opted in only partially. In these cases, some requests may not populate in your organization’s Donations Tab.
To know if a particular company has opted in, you can submit a support request to the company via CyberGrants. From there, we recommend recording and organizing their response so your organization can develop the proper verification process in the future.
Why is there a gift under the Donations Tab that is from a company not listed under the Company Portals Tab?
If a gift is listed under the Donations Tab and not under the Company Portals Tab, the company might be new to CyberGrants and is still being configured. Or alternatively, this is your organization’s first gift request from the company.
The gift can be confirmed in the Donations Tab, but you will likely want to add the company to your sidebar for easier access to future gifts. To do so, input the donor’s last name and the gift ID into the Add Company section at the bottom of the portal’s sidebar. Submit and confirm access, and the company should be visible immediately after refreshing the page. If not, you can send a support ticket, and CyberGrants should be able to add the company from their end.
Best Practices for Nonprofits Using CyberGrants
Now that you understand the basics of CyberGrants, let’s go over a few tried-and-true tips for making the most of the platform.
To simplify the process as much as possible and minimize the amount of overhead required, we recommend the following;
1. Create a login sheet.
Companies that have yet to fully transition to CyberGrants’ FrontDoor have a different link to their company portal that cannot be accessed through the main FrontDoor link.
As such, it’s a good idea for organizations to identify those that don’t use FrontDoor and establish and maintain detailed documentation for these companies—including the URL and login information for each.
Additionally, it’s ideal that an organization uses the same contact information for each company portal beyond FrontDoor. Most essentially, be sure to utilize a single email address for your CyberGrants logins as the main notification channel for gift verifications. This will establish that all emails requesting confirmation of gifts will be sent to the correct inbox that your staff will have access to and know to check on a regular basis.
2. Establish a process for locating “hidden” gifts.
Each company that uses CyberGrants can configure if and how they want to notify organizations about new matching gift requests—and some companies opt not to enable notifications at all.
As a result, nonprofits should have an established system in place to regularly check for matching gift requests that either —
- Don’t show up in the Donations Tab;
- Haven’t been automatically emailed to the organization.
Fortunately, these “hidden” gift requests should make up a small percentage of the total gift requests that the nonprofit receives, so these checks could be infrequent—such as a few times a year.
Keep in mind that although many companies allow twelve or more months for submitted requests to be approved by the organization, some offer as little as 90 days from the date of submission. Thus, teams should factor each company’s deadlines into their decision-making process regarding exactly how frequently to check that company’s portal for gifts.
3. Make a plan for subaccounts.
Sometimes, an organization will receive an email from CyberGrants informing them that a company’s employee has nominated the nonprofit for inclusion in their Employee Giving Program. When this occurs, the organization has a few options regarding how it can respond.
For example, the nonprofit can choose to follow the instructions provided in the email to review and edit the information in the nomination request. Then, they can later confirm it, which will create a new subaccount in that company’s portal.
Alternatively, the organization can respond to the request and ask that CyberGrants associate the nominated account with one of the existing subaccounts for that company. This option can be helpful when the organization has several existing subaccounts and does not want any more to manage and follow up with. (Hint: Nonprofits should especially monitor and limit the number of subaccounts created in portals that utilize hidden gifts.)
4. Produce a “Portal Information” document.
To simplify gift verification, we recommend that nonprofits have a dedicated document they can reference while confirming initial donations. This document should host basic details about your organization (such as mailing address, contact information, EIN, and more) and ACH information, if applicable.
Each company requires different data for its verification process. Some ask for little to no information, while others may request a list of current board members, race/ethnicity breakdowns of the population served, and even the nonprofit’s annual budget. Having a unified location from which to derive all these particulars will make it significantly easier for the organization to confirm its pending gift requests.
CyberGrants is an invaluable tool for nonprofits looking to make the most of matching gifts. By managing your organization’s portal well and taking steps to streamline and standardize matching gift requests, you can set your team up for ongoing success using all the resources at your disposal.
Interested in learning more about matching gift programs and best practices to maximize your organization’s success? Check out our other educational resources:
- Registering Your Org with CSR Platforms + Key Steps For Each. CyberGrants isn’t the only CSR portal with which you’ll want to register your nonprofit. Explore other top platforms and additional tips for getting started with the right tools for your nonprofit’s matching gift strategy.
- Corporate Matching Gift Guidelines | Ratios, Minimums, Maximums & More. Get a better understanding of matching gift programs and typical criteria to keep an eye out for. Dive in with ratios, minimums and maximums, eligible employees and nonprofits, deadlines, and forms.
- Matching Gift Process: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide. A solid foundation of knowledge surrounding the matching gift process can enable organizations to better prepare for the steps they’ll need to take. Plus, see how CSR platforms like CyberGrants can fit into the process!