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Matching Gift Participation Rates

Has your organization ever taken a look at which companies are consistently providing matching gift donations to your organization?

If you have, you may notice that a disproportionate number of matching gifts come from a select few companies.

Survey Results | Participation Varies Widely by Company:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy released a report entitled “How America’s Biggest Companies Give” which was compiled from their Corporate Giving Survey.

Employee Matching Gift Participation Rates

Key Insights on Matching Gift Participation Rates:

Insight #1: 65% of Microsoft employees request a match from the company compared to less than 15% for Xerox, Dell, and Verizon. This is a direct result of Microsoft being one of the best at communicating matching gift information to employees.

Insight #2: Pfizer leads companies in the pharmaceutical industry with over 30% of employees participating in the company’s matching gift program.

Insight #3: Matching gift programs are widely utilized by employees in the financial services sector. American Express leads the pack with 70% of employees requesting the company match at least one charitable donation.

Insight #4: Based on this sample of companies, the consumer goods sector has the lowest employee participation rates. Of the companies that provided data, Johnson & Johnson leads the sector with 25% of employees having one or more donations matched by the company.

 

Impact on your Organization’s Matching Gift Revenue: Home Depot vs. Coca-Cola:

For instance, both Home Depot (~13K Atlanta employees) and Coca-Cola (~5K Atlanta employees) are headquartered in Atlanta and offer similar matching gift programs.

One would expect Atlanta based nonprofit organizations to receive a significant number of matching gift donations from each of these companies. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case. The majority of nonprofits we’ve spoken to self-report far more matching donations from Coca-Cola compared to Home Depot each year. **

 

So what causes this discrepancy?

Organizations typically explain this phenomenon by talking about the number of employees each company has in the area. While it’s true that a company with a major presence in a city is more likely to provide a larger number of matching gifts, there’s an even more important factor.

How well a company internally promotes matching gifts dictates how likely an employee is to know about the program and submit matching gift requests.

We know it doesn’t take a genius to come up with the above statement, but it’s true. So many employees at companies with matching gift programs have no idea their employer offers a program. If an employee / donor lacks knowledge of their company program, there’s no way they’ll submit a matching gift request.

 

Closing the Gap:

Although your organization can’t change how widely companies promote matching gifts to their entire employee base, you can greatly influence the percentage of your donors who submit matching gift requests.

If you raise awareness and make it easy for your donors / their spouses to submit matching gifts, you can increase matching revenue.

We recommend nonprofits promote matching gifts in three locations:

  1. In the donation process
  2. Across your website
  3. In your communications

If you effectively promote employee matching gifts to your donors, you can overcome low participation rates.

Data Sources:
*Based upon a publicly available survey of companies which was conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
**Based on our conversations with membership and development managers at select Atlanta organizations.

Donor-advised funds can make a difference in your nonprofit fundraising strategy. Learn more with this post!

Donor-Advised Funds: Are DAFs Eligible for Matching Gifts?

Donor-advised funds (DAF), which make giving charitable donations simple and easy, are quickly gaining popularity, but because nonprofits don’t know the ins and outs, they might not be fully taking advantage of them.

As a nonprofit professional, you likely know the DAF basics, such as how they allow donors to give today and receive a tax deduction now, rather than waiting for tax season. However, what if you could double these gifts through donors’ employers?

To fully answer this question, there are a few key points you need to review:

  1. Typical Eligibility Requirements.
  2. Corporate Examples.
  3. How a Matching Gift Database Can Help.

If you’re ready to boost your nonprofit’s revenue, let’s get started!
Different companies have different eligibility requirements for donor-advised funds.

1. Typical Eligibility Requirements

All too often, nonprofits assume donor-advised funds are ineligible for corporate matches without even checking, which makes them miss out on vital fundraising opportunities. If your donors’ impact can potentially be doubled, why wouldn’t you look into it?

Nonprofit leaders who are unfamiliar with donor-advised funds often accept the donation for face value and don’t even consider that it might be eligible for a corporate match. While donor-advised funds aren’t always matched by employers, a lot of corporate giving programs do offer them!

As you’re probably already aware, matching gift guidelines vary by company. Some companies explicitly state their policies on donor-advised funds while others ignore the subject completely, even in their complete guidelines.

Companies without explicit guidelines in their corporate giving policy make the match process difficult for nonprofits and donors alike.

Let’s take a look at some major companies’ matching gift guidelines for charitable donations from donor-advised funds.
Take a look at these major companies' matching gift policies for donor-advised funds.

2. Corporate Examples

As your nonprofit starts incorporating donor-advised funds into its corporate giving strategy, it may be difficult to immediately recognize companies’ guidelines and restrictions surrounding these donations.

Take a look at the following examples of companies that directly address charitable gift funds. That way, you’ll know what to look for while researching your own donors’ employers.

American Express

American Express matches donor-advised funds to eligible organizations.American Express not only matches employee donations (sometimes at a 2:1 ratio), but they also have very explicit and detailed matching gift guidelines.

This simplifies the donor-advised match process for nonprofits, for its charitable employees, and for the company itself.

Here’s what the company’s match policy says about donor-advised funds:

What is eligible?
“Contributions out of a charitable-gift, donor-advised, community-foundation, or family fund to an eligible nonprofit distributed from an established fund set up by the employee in his or her name.”

What is not eligible?
“Contributions earmarked to an already established or to establish an employee’s charitable-gift, donor-advised, community-foundation, or family fund.”

Learn more about American Express’ matching gift program.

Dow Chemical

Dow Chemical matches gifts from donor-advised funds to eligible organizations.

Dow Chemical offers a straightforward matching gift program that all employees and retirees can use to double their contributions to eligible nonprofits.

While Dow’s matching gift policy does have a few restrictions placed regarding the eligibility of certain organizations, matches that are eligible can range anywhere from $250 to $10,000, which can be matched at a 1:1 ratio.

Here’s what Dow Chemical’s guidelines say about giving from donor-advised funds and other charitable gift funds to eligible organizations:

“As long as the funds belong to a Dow employee/retiree and the funds are that person’s money alone, donations can be given through a donor-advised fund or other charitable gift fund. Employees/retirees will need to submit the matching gift form online after the donation has been made.”

Learn more about Dow’s matching gift program.

CarMax

CarMax is regularly recognized for having one of the top corporate employee giving programs. The company not only matches employee donations, but it also matches donations from dependents until they turn 26.CarMax has a giving program but will not match charitable donations from donor-advised funds.

The company will match up to $10,000 per associate per year. As with other well-designed giving programs, CarMax’s program encourages its employees to give back and strengthen the community.

When it comes to donor-advised funds, CarMax’s guidelines do have some restrictions regarding which gifts are eligible:

“Deferred gifts (annuities, charitable remainder trusts, etc.), bequests, insurance premiums that name the organization as a beneficiary, and gifts to and from donor-advised funds [are ineligible for a match].”

Learn more about CarMax’s matching gift program.

Bank of America

Bank of America matches donations up to $5,000 but does not match gifts from donor-advised funds.Bank of America matches donations to most 501(c)(3) organizations up to $5,000 annually per employee. The company also provides grants when retirees and employees volunteer.

They’ll match donations anywhere from $25 to $5,000 at a 1:1 ratio, allowing employees to double their contributions to eligible nonprofits.

The company provides clear guidelines for matching gifts from donor-advised funds. Here’s what the company has to say:

“We do not match charitable gifts to private foundations, family or donor-advised funds, or gifts to political or fraternal organizations.”

Learn more about Bank of America’s matching gift program.

Chevron

Chevron offers matches for gifts made from donor-advised funds as long as they're directly funded by the employee.Chevron provides matching gifts to multiple types of nonprofit organizations, up to $10,000 per employee each year.

Both full-time employees and retirees are eligible for matches, but while retirees can request up to $3,000 in matches annually, current employees can request up to $10,000 in matches annually.

Here’s what Chevron’s Humankind Matching Gift Program guidelines say about donor-advised funds:

“Donor-advised funds must be directly funded by the employee, retiree, or director only, and the fund must maintain a separate account segregating the contributions of the donor. Contributions made by a qualified family foundation or donor-advised fund must be directed by the donor and made on his or her behalf.”

Learn more about Chevron’s matching gift program.


A matching gift database can help you quickly determine your donors' employers' matching gift policies for donor-advised funds.

3. How a Matching Gift Database Can Help

For the most part, companies’ matching gift programs tend to be well-thought-out, but you’ll likely run into many companies where this isn’t the case. A lot of businesses offer matching gifts but have a lot of restrictions regarding eligible organizations and contribution types.

It’s up to your organization to research all your donors’ employers’ guidelines. This can be a long, arduous process, but a matching gift database (like Double the Donation) can help!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Your nonprofit embeds the tool directly to your site or online donation page.
  2. To determine eligibility, corporate employees search their employers.
  3. The results (i.e. available forms, guidelines, restrictions, etc.) are shown instantly.

Double the Donation offers the world’s leading matching gift database and volunteer grant database. More than 8,500 organizations use it, because nonprofits can’t afford to miss out on these valuable revenue opportunities.

You can pinpoint donors who are eligible for matching gifts, and by searching their employers, you can determine if their contributions are eligible based on factors like donation size or type (e.g. donor-advised funds). A matching gift database like this ensures that you maximize your donors’ impact!


While not all companies offer matches for gifts from donor-advised funds, there are a considerable amount that do. It just takes a bit of research on your end!

Instead of assuming that these contributions can’t be matched, check into all eligibility requirements for your donors’ employers. Otherwise, your nonprofit will miss out on some major revenue opportunities!

Managing finances and donations can be a difficult step for nonprofits, and it comes along with a lot of questions. To make the process easier, check out our matching gift guide below.

Learn more about whether religious organization are eligible for matching gift programs!

Are Religious Organizations Eligible for Matching Gifts?

Leaders for religious organizations such as churches, synagogues, ministries, and other religious groups often wonder if they’re eligible for matching gift programs. As with any nonprofit, donations are a huge part of any religious organizations’ financial stability, so doubling donors’ contributions can make a significant difference.

To better understand your faith-based organization’s standing with corporate philanthropy, familiarize yourself with:

  1. Typical wording from companies with matching gift programs.
  2. Eligibility for faith-based organizations that provide social services.
  3. Double the Donation’s matching gift database.

When an organization is eligible, matching gifts are an effective component of overall church fundraising strategy, so hopefully, this article provides the clarification that your religious organization needs. In fact, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you were directed to the article by Double the Donation’s customer service team or from a search engine where you were looking for this exact information.

If you’re ready to find out if your religious organization can benefit from matching gifts, let’s get started!

Familiarize yourself with typical matching gift guideline wording regarding religious organizations.

1. Typical Wording from Companies with Matching Gift Programs

While every company’s matching gift guidelines are different, companies typically address the matching gift eligibility of religious-based organizations. Take these large corporations for example:

American Express

American Express matches donations to most 501(c)(3) organizations. In fact, the company will even match select donations at a 2:1 ratio if an employee also serves on the nonprofit’s board or volunteers for over 50 hours in a year. That means your donors who work for American Express can potentially triple their donations.

Here’s what American Express says about houses of worship in their matching gift guidelines:

Question: Are houses of worship eligible organizations?

Answer: No, gifts to houses of worship (churches, synagogues, etc.) will not be matched. However, the program will match a gift to an ongoing and independently-run program affiliated with a religious organization, if the gift is restricted to a nonsectarian project that provides needed social services to the community at large on a nondiscriminatory basis without any religious teaching, directive or requirements to receive services (e.g. a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a food bank, etc.).

Read more about American Express’s employee giving programs.

General Electric

In 1954, GE became the first company to offer an employee matching gift program. At the time, GE only matched to higher education but has since expanded its matching to encompass most schools and nonprofits.

Here’s what GE’s guidelines have to say about whether churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship are eligible for matching gift funds:

Ineligible recipient organizations include religious organizations (churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship), or other organizations primarily promoting religious purposes. Other faith-based community service organizations or schools may be considered eligible if their programs:

  1. Are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief;
  2. Serve a secular purpose, such as food pantry, homeless shelter, or education;
  3. Do not require participation in prayer, worship, or other religious activities as a condition of receiving service(s) offered; and
  4. Do not use the individual donation or resulting match for religious purposes.

Read more about General Electric’s employee giving programs.

DIRECTV

DIRECTV offers a highly-generous employee giving program. The company matches employee donations up to $20,000 annually and provides a grant of $250 after an employee volunteers for 25 hours in a year. Like most companies, DIRECTV provides a detailed match policy.

Here’s what DIRECTV says about matches to religious organizations:

DIRECTV will match gifts to qualified institutions affiliated with religious organizations but will not match gifts made directly to religious organizations.

DIRECTV will not contribute matching funds to churches and religious organizations which fulfill tithes, pledges, or other church‐related financial commitments.

DIRECTV will not contribute matching funds to institutions that restrict admission or aid due to race or religious beliefs.

Read more about DIRECTV’s employee giving programs.

The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts program provides a 2:1 match on employee donations up to $10,000 annually (meaning a $20,000 match). In other words, eligible donors can triple their gifts!

Here’s what The Pew Charitable Trusts says about matches to religious organizations:

Yes, Pew will match contributions made to religious organizations, such as houses of worship, schools, hospitals, shelters, etc., just as it would to any other qualifying organization.

Read more about The Pew Charitable Trusts employee giving programs.

Chevron

Chevron matches donations from full-time employees and retirees, and the company offers volunteer grants. When their employees or retirees volunteer 20 hours or more and request a grant, your organization (if eligible) will receive a check!

Here’s what Chevron says about matching to faith-based organizations:

Chevron Humankind will provide matching funds and grants to programs operated by faith-based organizations if those programs: (a) are open to all individuals in the community regardless of religious belief; (b) serve a secular purpose, such as a food pantry or a homeless shelter; and (c) do not require participants to join in religious worship as a condition of receiving the services that the nonprofit offers.

Read more about Chevron’s employee giving programs.

Religious organizations that provide social services are often eligible for matching gifts.

2. Eligibility for Religious Organizations that Provide Social Services

In general, either companies match donations made to all 501(c)(3) nonprofits and schools, or they place certain restrictions on the types of organizations eligible.

Oftentimes, companies don’t match donations to churches, synagogues, temples, and other religious or faith-based organizations unless the organization provides social services to the greater community or is a K-12 school.

Common examples of social services provided by faith-based organizations that make them match-eligible are:

  • Food banks.
  • Homeless shelters.
  • Disaster relief efforts.

If you come across a donor’s company that doesn’t match contributions to religious or faith-based organizations, chances are, they may make exceptions for those that provide social services. Make sure to read all the requirements instead of glancing over them. Otherwise, you may miss out on important revenue opportunities!

Double the Donation's matching gift database can help your religious organization find matching gift opportunities.

3. Matching Gifts: Double the Donation’s Search Tool

While we love to grow our business, we only want to accept customers who can benefit from our service. When you incorporate a tool like our matching gift database, you’ll be able to instantly determine your organization’s eligibility and maximize your revenue.

Donors might double (or even triple!) their contributions with the help of their employers. The key is to determine your organization’s eligibility with employers in your area and to make donors aware of their opportunities.

So how do you know if your organization can benefit from Double the Donation’s service? It’s important to remember many companies exclude religious organizations unless the match goes to support services in the broader community (ex. food banks, homeless shelters, schools, etc.).

The easiest way to determine whether our matching gift service would be beneficial is to look over your donation records. If you’ve received matching gifts from companies in the past, there’s a good chance your organization meets the general eligibility requirements.

How the Database Works

The number one reason donors don’t submit matches is that they simply don’t know about them, let alone how to check their eligibility and submit a request. In fact, the matching gifts application process is straightforward:

The matching gift process is fairly straightforward for religious organizations and other nonprofits.

With Double the Donation’s tool, this process is simplified even more! Supporters will be able to:

  • Search their employer in the database.
  • See any requirements, restrictions, and important deadlines.
  • Access necessary documents and forms.
  • View up-to-date, accurate information.

If you’ve determined that your religious organization typically qualifies for matching gifts, Double the Donation’s tool might be a useful fundraising tool for you. It’s easy to incorporate into your existing fundraising strategy and can help you pinpoint match-eligible donors instead of waiting for them to come to you. Plus, you won’t miss out on any major revenue opportunities.


Religious and faith-based organizations aren’t excluded from matching gifts programs as often as you might think! Becoming more aware of what corporations match gifts to religious organizations like yours will help you understand if promoting matching gifts would be beneficial to your organization.

Remember, check all eligibility requirements, because if there’s a restriction against religious organizations in a company’s matching gift guidelines, chances are, they might make exceptions for those that provide services to their communities. Now that you know the typical eligibility requirements and restrictions, get out there and maximize your matching gift potential!

Discover more matching gift and fundraising advice with our additional resources:

  • Church Fundraising Ideas. Even if your church isn’t eligible for matching gifts, that’s okay! There are plenty of other fundraising ideas available, and we have a list that covers many events, activities, and strategies you can use to raise money.
  • Corporate Matching Gift Programs. Need a refresher on the basics? Our comprehensive guide will give you the rundown on corporate matching gifts.
  • Top Matching Gift Companies. For a list of companies that offer fantastic matching gift programs, check out our list of top matching gift companies.
  • Matching Gift Eligibility. Still have questions about your match eligibility? Check out this guide that breaks down each type of organization to help you figure out typical restrictions.
New York Matching Gifts

New York Companies with Matching Gift Programs

Since Double the Donation’s nonprofits clients come from across the country, we thought it would be beneficial to highlight a few select matching gift companies in key markets. As New York City is the most populated metropolitan area in the country, we decided to highlight this city first.

Like most major markets, New York is home to many large employers who offer matching gift programs. With 45 Fortune 500 companies calling New York home, many employees in the New York metropolitan area work for companies with matching gift or volunteer grant program. Is your organization tapping into this source of corporate giving?

Statistics on New York Matching Gift Companies

If you dig into your organization’s database of corporate donors from the past few years, you’ll notice you received matching gifts from a variety of companies. Some are probably headquartered in your area while others may have a much smaller presence. Here are a few statistics on the New York market that may interest you:

  • 45 Fortune 500 companies call New York home.
  • 90% of Fortune 500 companies have a presence in New York.
  • 65% of Fortune 500 companies match donations made by their employees.
  • 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grants for employees.

Discovering Matching Gift Opportunities in Metropolitan Areas

The fact that New York has major matching gift opportunities means little if nonprofits don’t capitalize on them. If you’re like most organizations, you probably aren’t reaching your full corporate philanthropy potential.

A great place to start is making sure everyone in your organization is familiar with the largest employers in your area. If you want to take it a step further, however, consider providing donors and volunteers with detailed information on their company / their spouse’s employer. There are two platforms to help you do this:

  • 360MatchPro: A marketing automation platform suited for nonprofits looking to improve their existing matching gift processes. With the software, your organization can automatically identify and contact donors regarding matching gift eligibility.
  • Double the Donation’s Premium Plan: An industry-leading matching gifts database well suited for organizations beginning to solicit matching gifts. With the platform, you’re able to embed the searchable database directly within your organization’s website or donation form. 

If either of these options seems like a good resource to supplement your organization’s processes, sign up for a 14-day free trial with Double the Donation. With that, continue reading for a look at New York City’s top 5 companies with matching gift programs.

Companies in New York with Matching Gift ProgramsTop 10 Fortune 500 Companies in NY: Matching Gift Companies Highlighted

It would be difficult to go into detail regarding every company in New York offering matching gift programs, so we’ve highlighted some of the area’s largest employers for this list. 

Based on the recently published Fortune 500 list, Verizon (#15), JPMorgan Chase (#16), and IBM (#19)  are the three largest companies headquartered in NY. All three offer matching gift programs. Further, we’ve included AIG and Phillip Morris, both of which are large employers offering matching gift programs.

Verizon

Verizon Matching Gifts

Verizon offers both a matching gift and volunteer grant program for employees. The company matches up to $5,000 to schools and $1,000 to all other nonprofits per employee each year.

Additionally, through the Verizon Volunteer Incentive Program, employees who volunteer for 50 hours in a calendar year can request a $750 grant for an organization.

Learn more about Verizon’s employee giving programs.

JPMorgan Chasejp-morgan-chase-matching-gifts

JPMorgan Chase offers both a matching gift and volunteer grant program. The company matches up to $1,000 per employee or retiree each year to pretty much any school or nonprofit.

The company also offers a tiered volunteer grant program where grants average $10 per hour volunteered. The grant amount varies based upon the number of hours an employee volunteers.

Learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s employee giving programs.

IBM

ibm-matching-gifts

IBM also offers multiple types of employee giving programs. Not only does the company offer matching grants on donations and cash grants for volunteering, it also allows nonprofits to receive a significantly larger donation if the organization elects to receive IBM technology instead of cash.

For instance, IBM offers a 2:1 technology grant on employee donations. This means that if an IBM employee donates $500 to your organization, you can receive $1,000 in IBM equipment or $500 in cash.

Learn more about IBM’s employee giving programs.

American International Group (AIG)aig-matching-gifts

AIG focuses its philanthropic efforts on three main groups of giving:

  • Safety – auto safety, disease prevention, programs that help prevent improper use of prescription drugs
  • Security – financial and educational programs that drive safety
  • Disaster Relief – including support of disaster preparedness and repair of infrastructure in the wake of a catastrophe

AIG has a matching gift program with a minimum match of $25 and a maximum of $5,000 per employee per year.

Learn more about AIG’s employee giving programs.

Philip Morris (Altria Group)

philip-morris-matching-gifts

Philip Morris gives back to its community by donating to organizations with a presence in the areas in which its employees live and work, as well as in the farming communities where it sources its tobacco. The company focuses its charitable giving in five areas in particular:

  1. Hunger and extreme poverty
  2. Education
  3. Rural living conditions
  4. Domestic violence
  5. Disaster relief

Philip Morris has a matching gift program in place where the minimum amount matched is $25 and the maximum amount matched is $30,000. It also has a volunteer grant program that allows a $500 grant to be given to an organization after an employee has volunteered a minimum of 25 hours at that organization.

Learn more about Philip Morris’ employee giving programs.

Other NY based Fortune 500 companies with employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs include:

Bottom line: Many of New York’s leading employers match employee donations to nonprofits. Make sure everyone in your organization’s membership and development offices are familiar with major employers in your area that match employee donations.