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Matching Gifts-in-Kind: Are In-Kind Donations Match-Eligible?

Matching Gifts-In-Kind | Are In-Kind Donations Match-Eligible?

At Double the Donation, we receive a wide range of inquiries from organizations seeking to maximize their matching gift revenue by proactively pursuing matches for all qualifying donations. One question that comes up on occasion has to do with matching gifts-in-kind⁠—and whether in-kind donations are eligible to be matched through corporate matching gift programs.

Unfortunately, the short answer is that no, gifts-in-kind are generally not eligible for company matches. But let’s dive deeper into the subject by exploring some of the most commonly asked questions along with hearing from real companies’ matching gift guidelines.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following:

Interested in learning more about matching gift best practices, leveraging in-kind donations, and how the two fit together? Let’s begin!

FAQ from Nonprofits and Donors on Matching Gifts-in-Kind

Understanding matching gifts and in-kind donations can be tricky. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions from nonprofits like yours (and sometimes even their donors!).

What are in-kind donations?

In-kind donations⁠—or gifts-in-kind⁠—are typically considered any type of non-monetary contribution to a nonprofit cause. While many donors provide cash (or check, credit card, bank transfer, etc.) that allows the organization to purchase goods and services required to keep their mission running, in-kind donations are offerings of the goods and services themselves.

One of the most common examples of gifts-in-kind is that of a canned food drive for a local food bank or pantry. People within a community are asked to provide donations of non-perishable food items which will then be distributed to the organization’s beneficiaries, as opposed to providing funds that the organization uses to make food purchases themselves.

Other types of in-kind donations you might see include vehicle donations, clothing drives, fundraising event prizes (such as auction items), technology and office equipment, free rentals (such as meeting spaces), or volunteer hours of specialized skills (such as graphic design, tax consulting, etc.).

Are gifts-in-kind eligible to be matched through matching gift programs?

This is a frequently asked question regarding gifts-in-kind⁠—by both the donors contributing the in-kind donations and the nonprofits receiving them. Here are a few examples of inquiries you might see:

From a donor ⁠—

“I work for a company with a matching gift program and want to donate food and supplies to a nonprofit to assist with a recent natural disaster. Do most companies match these in-kind donations?”

From a nonprofit ⁠—

“We’re reviewing our list of donors from the past few months and noticed that some individuals who made in-kind donations work for companies with matching gift programs. Are these donations eligible to be matched?”

If you’re looking for a quick explanation, you can assume the answer is, unfortunately, that in-kind donations are not typically eligible for corporate matches.

The longer answer is that because each company develops its own unique set of matching gift program guidelines, it can be difficult to provide a blanket answer for questions like these. However, we’ll explore a few businesses’ eligibility criteria below to get a better sense of the relationship between matching gifts and in-kind donations.

Another thing to keep an eye out for when it comes to in-kind donations of time and services (rather than goods and products) is volunteer grants!

Similar to matching gifts, volunteer grants are workplace giving programs offered by companies where they agree to financially support the nonprofits their employees are involved with. Though not all volunteer work is considered an in-kind donation (it typically must be an individual volunteering their “specialized skills”), supporters who work for companies with volunteer grants may want to look into these offerings as well.

How do you determine whether a gift-in-kind is match-eligible?

The easiest way to find out if any nonprofit donation is matchable is by utilizing a company database such as Double the Donation. This is true for gifts-in-kind as well as your traditional monetary contributions.

With this tool in hand, all you (or your donors) need to do is begin a quick search of the company’s name⁠—the database widget will even autocomplete search inquiries and account for spelling errors, name variations, and subsidiaries⁠—and the specific matching gift guidelines will be available in seconds.

If a donor’s employer is listed in the database, it should include a document or online portal where users can go to find out more information about program eligibility. This is likely where the information about in-kind match qualifications is housed, which will provide you with your answer.

What Popular Matching Gift Companies Say About In-Kind Gifts

Thousands of companies offer corporate matching gift programs where they agree to financially match donations made by their employees. Employees and nonprofits want to know whether gifts-in-kind are matching gift eligible, but it can be difficult to determine as it varies from company to company.

But let’s hear from some real companies! Here are excerpts from a few companies with matching gift programs and what they say about in-kind matching in their program guidelines!

Here's what Google has to say about matching gifts-in-kind.

Google:

Google is well known for offering a variety of employee giving programs. With matching gifts on personal donations, a fundraising match, and a dollars for doers program, Google supports organizations that employees are passionate about in a number of ways.

In terms of matching gifts-in-kind, here’s what Google’s program guidelines have to say:

“Your gift must be in the form of check, credit card, or marketable securities with a quoted market value. Gifts of securities will be matched with cash. The value of the stock will be calculated using the price at the close of the market on the day of the transfer of the security. We don’t match any other forms of personal or real property, including in-kind gifts.

Google does offer a volunteer grant program where they contribute $10 for each hour an employee volunteers with a charitable organization.”

Learn more about Google’s matching gift program >

Here's what John Deere has to say about matching gifts-in-kind.

John Deere:

John Deere offers a matching gift program for employees where each employee is able to request matching funds on up to $1,000 of personal contributions each year. John Deere matches donations to nearly all 501(c)(3) organizations.

In terms of matching gifts-in-kind, here’s what John Deere’s program guidelines have to say:

“To qualify for a program match, employee gifts must:

  1. Be paid before a match is paid – pledges do not qualify.
  2. Be paid in cash, by check or credit card.
  3. Qualify as a deductible charitable contribution by the U. S. Internal Revenue Service.
  4. Be personal contributions by employees only – funds cannot be collected from others and pooled for program match purposes.

John Deere also offers a generous volunteer grant program, where eligible employees may request grants worth $25 for each hour they volunteer with an organization⁠—up to $1,000 per year!”

Learn more about John Deere’s matching gift program >

Here's what General Electric has to say about matching gifts-in-kind.

General Electric:

Did you know that General Electric was the first company to institute a matching gift program? Yes it’s true. Back in 1954, General Electric created the Corporate Alumni Program to support its employees in their personal philanthropy and charitable giving. Since then, it has become a model for countless other employee matching gift programs.

In terms of matching gifts-in-kind, here’s what General Electric’s program guidelines have to say:

“Gifts may be made via cash, check, credit card or stock.  Gifts may also be made by current payment from an entity such as a personal foundation or donor advised fund if that entity has been funded solely by the eligible GE participant (note that gifts made to such an entity cannot be matched). The GE Foundation will not match real estate, in-kind, or non-monetary contributions (e.g. services, materials, supplies, etc.).

Learn more about General Electric’s matching gift program >

Here's what Beam Inc. has to say about matching gifts-in-kind.

Beam Inc:

Beam Inc. matches donations from employees to a wide range of organizations, including educational institutions (K-12 and higher education alike), arts and cultural organizations, and youth-based nonprofit causes.

In terms of matching gifts-in-kind, here’s what Beam Inc.’s program guidelines have to say:

“Examples of donations that are not eligible for a matching gift are those involving:

  1. Dues, payments, subscriptions, and contributions which accrue significant personal benefits to the donor (e.g., gifts, which cover the cost of services, tuition, fees, subscriptions, tickets, or other considerations).
  2. In-kind donations.

Learn more about Beam Inc’s matching gift program >Here's what Alvaria has to say about matching gifts-in-kind.

Alvaria:

Alvaria offers both an employee matching gift program as well as a volunteer grant program. Through its matching gift program, Alvaria matches up to $1,000 annually per employee per year. Additionally, through its Dollars for Doers program, the company provides $10 per every hour an employee volunteers (max $250 annually).

In terms of matching gifts-in-kind, here’s what Alvaria’s program guidelines have to say:

“What gifts are ineligible?

  1. Gifts that result in a benefit to the employee. Examples include dues, subscriptions, fees, loan repayments, bequests, insurance premiums, tuition, tickets, and dinners.
  2. Gifts or payments for primarily political or religious purposes, unless specified for a community outreach program, such as a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  3. In-kind gifts or gifts of real estate.
  4. And a number of other common restrictions.

Alvaria will provide $10 per hour in volunteer grants up to $250 per employee per year”

Learn more about Alvaria’s matching gift program >

Here's what State Farm has to say about matching gifts-in-kind.

State Farm:

State Farm Insurance offers a generous employee matching gift program where they agree to match up to $4,500 in individual donations per year. And all sorts of employees⁠—including current full-time, part-time, and retired team members alike⁠—are eligible to participate.

In terms of matching gifts-in-kind, here’s what State Farm’s program guidelines have to say:

“Ineligible Donations/Contributions and Designations –

  1. Contributions that are directed toward event tickets, dinners, gala, entry fees, and raffles.
  2. Bequests.
  3. Dues to organizations, groups, or clubs.
  4. Magazine or newsletter subscriptions.
  5. Payments for books, loans, or student fees.
  6. Tuition payments or other contributions that reduce or eliminate tuition.
  7. Unpaid, pledged contributions.
  8. In-kind donations and gifts made in lieu of a pledge.
  9. Insurance premiums other than life insurance.

State Farm offers a volunteer grant program (known as State Farm’s Good Neighbor Grant Program) which entitles an employee to request a $500 grant on behalf of a nonprofit organization they volunteered 40 hours of time with”

Learn more about State Farm Insurance’s matching gift program >


Each type of donation offers organizations like yours the opportunity to better pursue their mission and make their mark on the world. Unfortunately, most in-kind donations are not going to be eligible for corporate matches through donors’ employers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have successful matching gift strategies alongside your in-kind fundraising efforts!

Learn more about matching gifts and the opportunities they bring nonprofit fundraisers with other Double the Donation resources:

Fort Lauderdale Matching Gifts

Companies in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida which Double Donations through Employee Matching Gift Programs

At Double the Donation, we’re often asked about companies with matching gift programs in specific areas. We help nonprofits increase fundraising by optimizing potential matching gifts from their donors.

The first place to start when trying to increase your organization’s matching gifts is to familiarize yourself with some of the top companies in your area that offer these programs.

Miami Matching Gift Companies

Miami is a financial and cultural center in the state of Florida. With multiple, philanthropic companies in the area, it pays to know which corporations have matching gift programs. The city is also headquarters for many multinational corporations.

We’ve compiled a short list of some of the top companies in Miami and Fort Lauderdale area that have great employee matching gift programs.

Assurantassurant

Assurant will match donations between $25 and $1,000. They will match to most nonprofits. Part-time and retired employees are eligible to take part in the program.

Read more about Assurant’s matching gift program.

General MotorsGM

General Motors doesn’t offer a matching gift at the moment, but they do have a volunteer grant program. Organizations can receive $200 for employees who spend 50 hours volunteering for their nonprofits.

In the coming years we look forward to GM joining the trend among US automakers in offering their employees the option of a matching gift program.

Read more about the General Motors employee volunteer grants program.

GoogleGoogle

Google has one the more generous employee giving programs out there. They match between $50 and $12,000 made by employees and board members. They also have an employee volunteer program that pays nonprofits $10 for every hour an employee volunteers.

Read more about Google’s employee matching gift program.

Office DepotOD

Office Depot will match between $25 and $10,000 per employee, making it the top matching employer on this list. Part-time employees are eligible for this program.

Read more about the Office Depot matching gift program.

Want to learn more about corporate matching gift programs?

Learn about the basic components of corporate matching gift programs, like ratios, maximums, and minimums.

Why Companies Have Matching Gift Programs: A Complete Guide

Learn more about matching gift programs with Double the Donation.

People are usually told that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. For that reason, when people are told their employers will match their donations to a nonprofit of their choice, it’s hard to believe.

These programs may seem like a dream, but they’re very real! More and more companies are offering corporate matching gift programs in order to prioritize corporate social responsibility (also known as CSR). Through these programs, businesses match an employee’s donation to select nonprofits and double, or sometimes even triple, the impact. 

Matching gifts aren’t the only CSR programs out there. As part of other programs, companies provide monetary grants to eligible nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer their time.

As a nonprofit professional, it’s your job to get the word out about these programs to your donors. On the other hand, as a company, it’s important to understand the impact implementing a CSR program can have on your image, your employees, and your contributions to society. 

In this article, we’ll address all of these topics!

For Companies

There are many reasons for companies to start a matching gift program, and there are countless resources you can use to implement yours today. Check out the topics below and jump to the ones that interest you most:

For Nonprofits

If you work for a nonprofit organization and you’re looking for a way to increase your matching gift revenue, consider investing in matching gift software! Specifically, we’ll cover more about 360MatchPro by Double the Donation below.

Here are the top reasons companies create matching gift programs.

Reason #1: It Creates a Positive Company Brand

Matching gift programs improve a company's brand.What is the biggest misconception people have about branding? Brands are logos, and logos are brands. However, the way people perceive your company and its products goes much deeper than a logo. It’s influenced by previous interactions, advertising, and what people have read and know about the company.

For instance, companies like Toms Shoes are well known for the One for One program they pioneered, which previously donated a pair of shoes to an impoverished child for every pair purchased. When consumers made the decision to buy a pair of Toms Shoes, they weren’t just deciding based on the Toms logo.

Instead, their decision was heavily influenced by the ways the company branded itself as a leader in philanthropy. In other words, people felt good doing business with Toms, which made them want to continue supporting the business.

However, not every company needs to donate tangible items to make a difference. We often mention companies like Google for their robust spirit of philanthropy. Consumers trust Google because it has a reputation for doing good, including its generous matching gift and volunteer grant programs. In the business world, trust means everything.

Companies everywhere are giving millions of dollars to charity for one simple reason: it’s good for developing a trustworthy brand. Therefore, it’s good for business.

Reason #2: It Encourages Employees to Give

Matching gift programs encourage employees to give.Giving back to the community is the heart of corporate giving. Giving programs develop a trustworthy brand, but socially aware businesses know they have the power to do more than that.

Oftentimes, businesses want to support the community that supports them. That way, their local consumer base will take pride in advocating for them.

By creating well-designed programs, companies convey their desire to give back to the community. And when their employees know they can make a substantial difference in their communities, they’ll be much more motivated to do so. Generous employees also look good for overall company branding. Microsoft, for instance, can boast that its employees raised over $1 billion dollars for charity since the inception of its giving program.

Charitable employees are drawn to businesses that offer these programs, creating a well-rounded and generous work environment. Even if employees don’t already donate time and money to nonprofits, they’ll become much more aware of these opportunities. 

In addition, a giving program that increases employees’ potential impact may also be the push an individual needs to donate or volunteer. Doubling, and even sometimes tripling, their employees’ contributions makes it much more appealing to donate and volunteer with local nonprofits. In fact, 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered.

Reason #3: It Reduces Employee Turnover

Having a matching gift program reduces employee turnover.When your company is contributing to the greater social good through CSR, this can greatly reduce your employee turnover rate. Why? Employees are more socially aware this day in age and want to contribute to causes they’re passionate about—especially on a global scale.

If your company offers employees the ability to make an even bigger difference through matching gifts and other forms of corporate philanthropy, they will be more likely to engage with your company and remain loyal.

This means your employee turnover rate will decrease, helping you retain awesome employees who continue to bring value to your company.

Reason #4: It Democratizes the Giving Process

Matching gift programs democratize the giving process.You may be wondering why companies don’t just donate their entire giving budget to a few select charities.

For one, matching employee donations can forgo difficult screening processes for charities. Companies don’t want to donate money to charities that are inefficient, corrupt, or have had major scandals. Matching employee donations puts the research responsibilities on the employee, not the company.

It also avoids debates about which nonprofits should receive funds by democratizing the process. In other words, the employees have a say in how their company spends its giving budget.

In short, matching gifts is just a simpler way of enacting corporate donations. When an employee shows their employer which causes they care about, companies know how to allocate their giving budget.

Reason #5: It Increases Employee Engagement

Matching gift programs boost employee engagement.Employees who are engaged with their company feel a stronger connection to their employer’s values, mission, and vision. This means companies that encourage employee giving and volunteerism are more likely to keep their employees engaged and give back to the community at the same time.

For example, matching gift programs show employees that the company not only encourages charitable giving but is committed to making the donations go further, as well. In addition, companies that offer paid time off for employees to volunteer or participate in fundraising events also boost engagement. Employees get to experience an enjoyable and rewarding team-building event, and the company enhances its reputation in the public eye.

Reason #6: It Attracts Talent

Matching gift programs attract talented employees to the company.Companies that offer CSR programs, especially matching gifts and volunteer grants, are more likely to attract top talent. This is because a large portion of the workforce, namely Millennials, want their companies to offer them a sense of purpose and pride. More and more job seekers are looking into a company’s CSR efforts prior to accepting a position.

Offering CSR programs—especially those with a global reach—gives companies the ability to attract this group of talented employees and keep them as part of their company for the long term.

Bonus: Resources for Creating Matching Gift Programs

If your company is looking to implement a new matching gift or volunteer grant program, check out these resources below to jumpstart your planning!

For Companies Creating New Matching Gift Programs

Looking to create a brand new matching gift program? Start educating your team with the below resources:

  • Matching Gift Basics: While this article is geared toward nonprofits, it includes a good overview of different aspects of matching gift programs.
  • Top Matching Gift Companies: In this article, we highlight some top companies with outstanding employee giving programs. Each company has a unique component to their match programs that causes them to stand out among their peers.
  • 8 Corporate Matching Gift Program Questions (and Answers!): Our team speaks with nonprofits and corporations about matching gift programs on a daily basis. Here are a few of the most common questions we receive.

For Companies Creating New Volunteer Grant Programs

Want to encourage volunteerism within your company? Here are some great resources to start learning about volunteer grants:

  • Volunteer Grant Basics: While this article is geared toward nonprofits, it includes a good overview of different aspects of volunteer grant programs.
  • Top Volunteer Grant Companies: We highlight some of the top companies that provide volunteer grants with generous amounts per hour. Find out what makes them stand out and implement those ideas in your own programs!

Implementing Employee Giving Programs

Looking for some examples of how you can implement, promote, and organize your employee giving programs? Check out these resources:

  • Matching Gift Software Vendors: The Comprehensive List: Looking to implement a new employee giving program? Be sure to check out these leading vendors that have worked with countless companies to design their employee giving systems.
  • Marketing Matching Gifts: While this content is geared toward nonprofits, it highlights several channels through which you can promote your company’s matching gift program, such as on your website or through your company’s social media pages.

Company Spotlights

Want to research some of the best examples of employee giving programs? We’ve spotlighted these top companies and their matching gifts policies:

  • Walt Disney Corporation: Disney matches donations to most nonprofits at a 1:1 ratio with a maximum of $25,000.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft matches up to $15,000 at a 1:1 ratio to most nonprofits.
  • Merck & Co.: Merck & Co. matches up to $30,000 per employee per year at a 1:1 ratio to most nonprofits.

Here's now nonprofits can leverage matching gift programs.

How Matching Gift Databases Help Nonprofits

Both companies and nonprofits should understand the basics of matching gift programs. For companies, corporate matching programs help make an impact in the community, create a positive public image, and keep employees engaged.

For nonprofits, matching gifts are just as important—if not more. Nonprofits benefit from matching gifts because they receive an additional donation for the work of soliciting one. But just as companies should understand the benefits of matching gifts, nonprofits should, too. This is because many organizations underutilize this fundraising opportunity.

Many nonprofits don’t have the time, resources, or staff needed to secure matching gifts. Even more than that, pinpointing corporate giving opportunities can quickly become overwhelming as an organization’s supporter base grows. Researching the employers of each donor (and volunteer) can be an ongoing, arduous process. 

That’s where a comprehensive matching gift database like Double the Donation comes in handy!

Double the Donation offers the world’s leading matching gift database. It holds data on more than 20,000 companies representing 15+ million match-eligible individuals.

Use 360MatchPro by Double the Donation to secure more matching gift revenue.

360MatchPro by Double the Donation

Large nonprofits and universities will benefit even more from 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. Pulling from Double the Donation’s comprehensive database, the system automatically detects match-eligible donors and reminds them to complete the match process through automated emails.

Here’s how it works:

  1. An individual donates to your nonprofit.
  2. 360MatchPro scans the information provided on the donation form (e.g., email domain, employer details, etc.) to determine the individual’s eligibility for a donation match.
  3. Based on the individual’s eligibility, the platform triggers customizable emails to them, outlining relevant next steps they can take to submit a match request.

360MatchPro comes with several benefits. Because the platform automatically identifies matching gift eligibility, your organization will drive more matches through to completion as a result of more successfully submitted match requests. This leaves your team more time to focus on top matching gift opportunities and serving your mission.

Best of all, 360MatchPro by Double the Donation easily integrates with top fundraising platforms, so you won’t have to worry about transferring your existing data! This means any size organization using software that integrates with the platform can benefit from 360MatchPro.

360MatchPro by Double the Donation can help nonprofits secure revenue from matching gift programs.

Making the most of matching gifts and volunteer grants is vital for your fundraising strategy. Make sure you can instantly recognize your opportunities so you can maximize your nonprofit’s much-deserved revenue!


It’s important to understand the matching gift process and its impact, whether you work for a nonprofit or a corporation. As a company, you can boost your corporate image while supporting your communities and the greater good. As a nonprofit, you can bring in the extra funding you need to serve your mission with little to no added effort.

Looking for even more information about matching gifts? Check out the additional resources below: