Posts

Learn why companies have matching gift programs and how your nonprofit can take advantage of corporate philanthropy.

Why Do Companies Have Matching Gift Programs?

People are usually told that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. 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.

These programs may seem like they’re taken from a nonprofit professional’s dream, but they are very real! More and more companies are offering corporate matching gift programs in order to prioritize corporate social responsibility. In one of these programs, businesses will match an employee’s donation to select nonprofits and double, sometimes even triple or quadruple, the impact. Other times, companies will offer grants to eligible nonprofits if their employees even volunteer their time.

As a nonprofit professional, it’s your job to get the word out about these programs to your donors. However, to fully understand these programs, you need to know exactly why businesses create giving programs. Let’s run through a few topics and areas of thought around corporate giving, such as:

  1. How corporate giving is great for branding.
  2. Why employees want to give back to their communities.
  3. Why companies choose specifically to match gifts.
  4. How can a matching gift database help nonprofits?

There are a few reasons why corporations give to charity. One of the most well-known reasons is for tax purposes, but the benefits go much deeper than that. If you’re ready to understand the reasoning behind corporate philanthropy, let’s dive in!
Developing a positive, recognizable brand is one reason why companies have matching gift programs.

1. How Corporate Giving is Great for Branding.

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, by advertising, and by what people have read and know about the company.

For instance, 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 based on the Toms logo.

Instead, their decision is heavily influenced by the ways that the company has branded itself as a leader in philanthropy. In other words, people feel good doing business with Toms, which makes 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. In the business world, trust means everything.

Companies everywhere are giving millions of dollars away to charity for one simple reason, it’s good for developing a trustworthy brand. Therefore, it’s good for business.
Giving back to the community is a big reason why companies match gifts.

2. Why Employees Want to Give Back to Their Communities.

Giving back to the community is the heart of corporate giving. Yes, 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.

Plus, corporate giving develops well-rounded employees. By creating well-designed programs, companies convey their desire to give back to the community. When employees know they can make a substantial difference in their communities, they’ll be much more motivated to do so.

Doubling, and even sometimes tripling, their employees’ contributions makes it much more appealing to donate and volunteer for local nonprofits. In fact, 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered.

Charitable employees will be 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 still become much more aware of these opportunities. A giving program that increases employees’ potential impact may be the push an individual needs to donate or volunteer!
Allowing employees to pick which causes their employer financially supports is a major reason why companies match gifts.

3. Why Companies Choose Specifically to Match Gifts.

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 burden 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.

Remember, matching donations also encourages 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.

In short, matching gifts is just a simpler way of donating. When an employee shows their employer which causes they care about, companies know how to allocate their giving budget.
Now that you know why companies match gifts, use a matching gift database to help you pinpoint these major revenue opportunities.

4. How Can a Matching Gift Database Help Nonprofits?

For nonprofits, pinpointing corporate giving opportunities can quickly become overwhelming as their supporter bases grow. Researching each donor’s and volunteer’s employer is an ongoing, arduous process. That’s where a comprehensive matching gift database (like Double the Donation) comes in handy!

Double the Donation is the world’s leading matching gift database. It has data on more than 20,000 companies representing 15+ million match-eligible individuals. Best of all, it easily integrates with other software, so you won’t have to worry about transferring your existing data! Here’s how it simplifies the matching gift process:

  1. You embed the tool on your nonprofit’s website or online donation page.
  2. Donors/Volunteers can search their employers even before they contribute.
  3. They’ll instantly receive info on their employers’ giving program (e.g. requirements, restrictions, forms, etc.).

Large nonprofits may benefit even more from 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. Through email screening, the system automatically detects match-eligible donors and reminds them to complete the match process through automated emails.

Matching gifts and volunteer grants are vital for your fundraising strategy. Make sure you can instantly recognize your opportunities, so you can maximize your nonprofit’s much-deserved revenue!

Think your nonprofit can benefit from Double the Donation?


Fully understanding matching gifts means knowing why corporate giving exists in the first place.

It’s great for branding and boosting business, but also, companies want to give back to their communities. Plus, these programs increase 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 causes that its employees support is more likely to gain respect.

Want to learn more about matching grant programs and how they can benefit your organization? Check out the following articles:

  1. Matching Gifts: A Q&A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations  Still confused about matching gifts? Take a look at this comprehensive guide by Re:Charity.
  2. Top Matching Gift Companies. Check out this list of top companies that have generous giving programs.
  3. Corporate Social Responsibility: The Definitive Guide. Find out more about why businesses implement giving programs with this guide on CSR.