Oftentimes, companies try to outdo one another with their generous matching gift programs. They may flaunt that they established their program first or that their company offers a higher match ratio.
Companies and nonprofits alike could bicker for days and not come to a conclusion about what makes the best matching gift program. Truthfully, all matching gift programs are equally great. Corporate giving supports employees’ passions and gives more to nonprofits, which also helps entire communities. The differences between each program define them, but do not make any one program better than the others.
However, what several matching gift programs do is offer creative incentives to get more employees involved. Plus, corporate giving helps companies out, too. Remember, companies want to give back to their communities, so don’t exclude corporate philanthropy from your nonprofit fundraising strategy. Let’s look at a few of these generous companies with unique programs, such as:
There’s a number of creative ways that businesses get their employees more involved in charitable giving. The ideas differ, but they all do a great job of helping nonprofits raise their fundraising revenue.
Each year, BP gives employees $300 to donate to nonprofits of their choosing. That’s it—no strings attached. BP is committed to helping local communities, and they let employees feel more involved by letting them choose where the money goes. This program, known as the Fabric of America Program, is open to every current BP employee.
BP also runs a matching gift program that matches up to $5,000 worth of donations per employee at a .63:1 ratio. Additionally, the company offers a volunteer grant program where employees can receive $10 per hour volunteered, starting at 25 hours. Although there is a limit of $5,000 per employee annually, this is still a considerable amount.
Some companies, such as CVS, want to prioritize certain forms of giving. CVS incentivizes its employees to raise money for nonprofit events, also known as peer-to-peer fundraising. To encourage volunteerism, the company matches the donations raised by employees for up to $1,000. The minimum required donation amount to receive a match is $250.
For teams of volunteers, they offer separate grant requirements. When five or more CVS employees fundraise for an eligible organization together, CVS will match up to $5,000 with a minimum of $500.
The minimum amount requirement allows CVS to make sure that employees truly care about the events they choose to support. Also, this ensures that there are enough funds to match the generous contributions of all philanthropic employees.
Matching gifts aren’t just for American companies. Expedia has employees in over 30 countries, but for a long time, they did not match donations to nonprofits in all of those locations.
Now, Expedia matches donations to eligible nonprofits across the globe! Donations are matched at a 1:1 ratio, and employees can request matches on as much as $4,000 worth of charitable gifts per year.
Through the Expedia Cares Program, employees can give back to their communities in a number of ways, such as through matching gifts, volunteer grants, and even a global ambassador program.
In 1954, General Electric started the first matching gift program, leading the way for other businesses to follow. Since then, the company has donated over $1 billion in matching gifts. GE is a matching gift leader for being first, and for staying at the top of the pack for all this time.
Through the GE matching gift program, employees may request matching gifts up to $5,000 per year at a 1:1 ratio. GE’s 60+ years of matching gift history and generous matching gift limits are admirable and put the company in its own category.
However, remember that all matching gift programs are unique. Not only do match ratios and requirements vary by the employer, but not every company offers corporate giving. Because of this, when these programs are offered, employees and nonprofits should use them!
Like the other major companies on this list, Great-West offers a unique giving program. Specifically, they offer two matching gift options:
For personal financial matches, employees can make personal contributions to eligible nonprofits, and Great-West will match those donations up to $5,000 annually.
For fundraising matches, employees can raise money for nonprofits through fundraisers, such as charity walks and runs, and Great-West will match those donations up to $1,500.
By giving employees multiple ways to give, Great-West encourages more community involvement. By matching gifts, employees are incentivized to give knowing their involvement will deliver double the positive impact.
Employing more than 55,000 people, HP is a leader in the information technology sector. It’s also a leader in the matching gift world, specifically through its Good Cards program.
Each quarter, every employee who volunteers for at least 10 hours receives a $50 grant. Employees can donate this $50 to a charity of their choosing. Plus, HP also offers a generous matching gift program where it’ll match philanthropic employees’ donations up to $2,500.
Additional Companies with Unique Matching Gift Programs
While these companies do offer unique philanthropic programs, so do several other companies! Keep your eyes peeled for the following generous employers with unique programs:
- Microsoft – This major company is well-represented in the philanthropic world. Since 1983, it’s hosted an annual Giving Campaign that makes a considerable impact on eligible nonprofits. It also hosts another program called Hack for Good which tackles pressing societal problems.
- RealNetworks – RealNetworks matches employee donations at a 1:1 ratio for up to $10,000. That’s a whole lot of good, but RealNetworks doesn’t stop there. After five years with the company, employees receive a $500 grant that can be given to any eligible nonprofit.
- Soros Fund Management – Because this successful company employs less than 500 people, they can afford to offer higher match ratios. They offer a 3:1 match on eligible donations up to $100,000 annually. They also match partner donations at a 2:1 ratio up to $300,000 per calendar year.
Make sure to stay up-to-date with your donors’ employers. You may come across even more unique programs!
How a Matching Gift Database Can Help
While these programs are certainly unique, not all of them match donations made to every organization. To find out your organization’s eligibility, you’ll need to implement the help of a matching gift database like Double the Donation.
Double the Donation works with organizations across the country. The search tool, which can be embedded across your online fundraising channels, allows nonprofits to maximize corporate giving revenue by doing the following:
- Enables donors to search their employers.
- Provides users with up-to-date information on companies (e.g. forms, requirements, etc.).
- Clearly explains both common and unique program guidelines.
For larger organizations, 360MatchPro by Double the Donation streamlines the process even more. It automatically recognizes match-eligible donors, follows up with them, drives the match to completion, and creates an automated corporate giving plan for you. Both databases are filled with corporate giving info on more than 20,000 companies.
Think your organization can benefit?
Plenty of companies offer matching gift programs, so it’s important for nonprofits to promote corporate giving to donors. One of the biggest reasons that nonprofits fail to raise money from matching gifts is a lack of awareness for corporate giving. In fact, $4 to $7 billion dollars worth of potential matching gift funds goes unclaimed each year.
Don’t let your nonprofit add to that statistic. Now that you know how to pinpoint these opportunities, get started boosting your matching gift potential!