People are usually told that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. And even more people have that very same reaction when they’re told that their employers are willing to give out free money to a nonprofit of their choice.
But it is true, more and more companies are offering corporate matching programs. These programs will double, and sometimes triple or quadruple, an employee’s donation to a select nonprofit. Other times, companies will offer grants to a nonprofit if their employees volunteer their time at that organization.
There are a few reasons corporations give to charity. One of the most well known reasons is for tax purposes, but the benefits go much deeper.
Corporate Giving is Great for Branding
What is the biggest misconception people have about branding? That brands are logos and logos are brands. The way people perceive your company and its products goes much deeper than a logo. It’s influenced by previous interactions, by advertising, and by what people have read and know about the company.
Companies like Toms Shoes are well known for their one-for-one program that donates a pair of shoes to an impoverished child for every pair purchased. When consumers make the decision to buy a pair of Toms Shoes, they’re not just deciding on the shoe, or the Toms logo, their decision is heavily influenced by the ways that Toms has branded themselves as a leader in philanthropy. That means people feel good doing business with Toms, and will want to do business with them as much as possible.
But not every company needs to donate shoes to make a difference. We’ve recently spotlighted companies like Google for their robust spirit of philanthropy and the corporate mantra “Don’t Be Evil”. Consumers trust Google because they have a reputation for doing good. And trust goes a long way in business.
Companies everywhere are giving millions of dollars away to charity for one simple reason, it’s good for business.
Why Corporate Matching?
You may be wondering why companies wouldn’t just donate their entire giving budget to a few select charities.
For one, matching employee donations can forgo difficult vetting 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 burden on the employee. It also avoids debates about which nonprofits should receive funds by democratizing the process.
Matching donations also encourage employee philanthropy. Generous employees look good for overall company branding too. Microsoft, for instance, can boast that its employees raised over $1 billion dollars for charity since the inception of its giving program.
Matching also increases employee morale and retention. It’s easy to feel like a cog in a machine with no attachment to your workplace, but a company that takes interest in charities which its employees support is more likely to gain their respect as well.
Additional Resources on Matching Grant Programs
Want to learn more about matching grant programs and how they benefit your organization? Check out the following articles:
- Common Matching Gift Questions – Six of the most frequently asked questions about matching grant programs.
- Generous Matching Grant Programs – Ten companies which triple or quadruple employee donations.
We also encourage you to explore Double the Donation’s matching gift and volunteer grant service to see if it can help your nonprofit raise more money from employee giving programs.