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Are Gifts In-Kind Eligible to be Matched Through Matching Gift Programs?

Are In-Kind Donations able to be Matched?At Double the Donation we receive a wide range of questions from both nonprofits who subscribe to our matching gift service as well as general readers of our blog. One question that comes up on occasion is whether in-kind donations are eligible to be matched through corporate matching gift programs.

 

Common Question from Nonprofits and Individual Donors

Question from nonprofits:
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?

Question from individual donors:
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?

If you’re looking for the quick explanation then assume the answer is “no, in-kind donations are not match eligible.” Here are excerpts from a few companies’ matching gift program guidelines.

 

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 which employees are passionate about in a number of ways.

In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from Google’s matching gift guidelines.

“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 transfer of the security. We don’t match any other forms of personal or real property, including in-kind gifts.”

Learn more about Google’s matching gift program >

 

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. The John Deere matches donations to nearly all 501(c)(3) organizations.

In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from John Deere’s matching gift guidelines.

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

Learn more about John Deere’s matching gift program >

 

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 in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from General Electric’s matching gift guidelines.

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 >

 

Beam Inc:

Beam Inc. matches donations from employees to a wide range of organizations which fall under the following three general categories:

  1. Education (K-12 and higher education included)
  2. Arts and cultural organizations
  3. Youth based organizations

In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from Beam Inc.’s matching gift guidelines.

Examples of donations which 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 >

 

Aspect Software:

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

In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from Aspect Software’s matching gift guidelines.

What Gifts are Ineligible?

1. Gifts which 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.

Learn more about Aspect Software’s matching gift program >

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 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.