Matching Gift Requests

It’s Never Too Late for Donors to Submit Matching Gift Requests

Are you just jumping on the matching gift bandwagon? Worried about having to build a program from the ground up with all new donations?

Fear not, many of your past donors are still eligible for matched gifts.

Matching gifts don’t have to be submitted immediately after the donation is made. Although, it is to your benefit to encourage your donors to make the request as soon as possible because:

  1. The farther from the donation a supporter gets, the less likely he will be to follow-up with a matched gift
  2. The sooner your nonprofit receives the extra funds, the sooner it can put those funds to good use

Matching gift deadlines vary by company, so there’s still time to promote matching gifts to donors who contributed to your organization this year.

Donors simply have to fill out and submit their employer’s matching gift request forms.

Matching gift deadlines typically fall under one of three types:

  1. Within a set number of months — A company will stipulate that it will match a gift up to, for example, 3, 6, or 12 months following the initial donation.
  2. By the end of the calendar year — This option is fairly straightforward.  Employees must submit for a match within the calendar year of the donation.
  3. By the end of the calendar year with an extended grace period — In this instance, a company will grant matched gifts through the end of the calendar year and then tack on an additional month or two for employees to submit their matching gift requests.  Standard extensions go through end of January, February, or March, but rarely go past the 31st of March.

To get a better understanding what the guidelines look like in practice, let’s look at some examples.


Deadline #1: Within a Set Number of Months

While most companies allow donations to be submitted far after the date a donation was made, deadlines do vary. Some major companies have much more time sensitive deadlines for their matching gift programs.

Here are four companies with matching gift submission deadlines ranging from 30 days to 365 days from the donation date:



Adobe Matching GiftsAdobe offers a matching gift program wherein the company matches donations up to $10,000 per employee per year. Employees are also able to submit grant requests for $250 for every 10 hours they volunteer with a nonprofit.

The company offers an easy to use online portal for employees to submit their matching gift requests and to log their volunteer hours.

Match request deadline: All matching gift requests must be submitted by employees within one year of the donation date.

Click here for additional details on Adobe’s matching gift program.



DirectTV matches donations of up to $20,000 per DIRECTV Matching Giftsemployee per a year and provides grants of $10 per hour (max $250) volunteered by an employee. DirectTV has an easy to use online submission process for both programs.

Match request deadline: All matching gift requests must be submitted by employees within six months of the donation date.

Click here for additional details on DirecTV’s matching gift program.


AltriaAltria Matches Donations from Employees

Altria offers a generous matching gift program (up to 30K annually per Altria employee) as well as large volunteer grants ($500 after 25 hours of volunteering).

Match request deadline: All matching gift requests must be received by Altria’s program administrator within 90 days from the date of the gift.

Click here for additional details on Altria’s matching gift program.


Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae's Matching Gift Program

Fannie Mae matches employee donations up to $5,000 annually and offers grants when employees volunteer. Unfortunately some organizations miss out on this funding since they aren’t ensuring donors submit matching gift requests in a timely manner.

Match request deadline: Fannie Mae donors and volunteers must submit a matching gift request within 30 days of the date of the donation, or by December 31st of each year, whichever is sooner.

Click here for additional details on Fannie Mae’s matching gift program.


Deadline #2: End of Calendar Year

Many companies ask that employees submit their match requests in a timely manner but will still match donations made in a calendar year until December 31st of that year.

Here are a few examples:


Aetna Matching Gift ProgramAetna matches donations from employees and retirees up to $5,000 per individual per year. Aetna also enables employees to allocate a $300 grant to a nonprofit after they volunteer for 20 hours in year.

Match request deadline: Employees are encouraged to submit the matching gift request as soon as possible, but have until December 31st to submit their matching gift requests.

Click here for additional details on Aetna’s matching gift program.



Freeport McMoRan Matching GiftsFreeport-McMoRan matches donations of up to $40,000 per employee per year to a wide range of nonprofits. The first $1,000 donated is matched at a 2:1 rate. Anything above $1,000 is matched at a dollar for dollar rate.

Match request deadline: While Freeport-McMoRan encourages employees to submit matching donation requests at the time of the initial donation, employees can submit matches until Dec. 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

Click here for additional details on Freeport-McMoRan’s matching gift program.


Deadline #3: End of Calendar Year + Grace Period

Matching Gift Deadlines with Grace Periods


Boeing offers a monetary match, a volunteer grant match, and a grant when employees participate in a fundraising event such as a walk or run for a cause. The deadlines for all three of Boeing’s employee giving programs are as follows:

Employee deadline: Boeing employees must submit gift match requests no later than January 31st of the year following the contribution / participation.

Nonprofit deadline: Organizations must verify the employee submission request no later than April 15th of the year following the contribution / participation.

Click here for additional details on Boeing’s matching gift program.


VerizonVerizon Matches Donations from Employees

Verizon matches donations up to $5,000 annually to educational institutions and up to $1,000 annually to all other nonprofits.

The Verizon Foundation also provides grants of $750 to organizations where an employee volunteers for at least 50 hours in a calendar year.

Employee deadline: Matching gift requests must be entered into the electronic matching gift system before March 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

Organization deadline: Organizations must also confirm the donation request by March 31st.

Click here for additional details on Verizon’s matching gift program.


Bank of America / Merrill LynchBank of America Matches Donations

Bank of America (including Merrill Lynch) matches employee donations to nearly all nonprofits. The company also provides grants when employees volunteer on a regular basis.

Employee deadline: Employees must complete an application and have the recipient organization verify the gift. This information must be received by March 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

Organization deadline: Organizations must verify donations by May 15th of the year following the date of the donation.

Click here for additional details on Bank of America’s matching gift program.

Nonprofit Leadership Traits

Feature Matching Gifts in Year End and New Year Appeals

You’ve got a long to-do list that never ends, and promoting matching gifts is an easy task to push aside. However, it’s a necessary job.

The specifics vary by company, but donors have a limited window of when they can apply for matching gifts. If you’re not getting the word out about matching gifts then you’ll lose eligible donors and receive fewer requests. The goal of any great matching gift program is to maximize its dollars donated for the public good.jan

Don’t make people wait. Just like you, your donors live busy lives and likely don’t ruminate on the intricacies of charitable donations. A healthy dose of matching gift motivation in the form of necessary information can go a long way. Many donors simply need to know that matching gift programs exist.

Standard Matching Gift Submission Deadlines

Calendar specifics vary by company, but the following three dates are the general standards for matching gift submission deadlines:

  1. End of the calendar year.
  2. A set number of months after the date of the donation. The standard is one year, but anywhere from one to twelve months is normal.
  3. End of January, February, or March in the year subsequent to when the donation was made. Companies with a January or February deadline include Verizon, Home Depot, and Caterpillar.

These dates mean that you can engage in both start and end of year appeals. Let’s start with end of year appeals.

End of Year Appeals

Here’s an end of year appeal from Adrian College:

Holiday Appeal Promoting Matching Gifts

Email templates vary, but it never hurts to embrace the time of year with festive, emotionally engaging graphics. This matching gift appeal utilizes a basic font against a clean background. Nothing fancy, and, to access matching gift programs, there is both a blue link to click as well as a conspicuous green button. Priority number one is getting the information out there, and any aesthetic enhancements will follow according to what you can manage.

A great appeal will conjure urgent emotion out of its reader. The goal is both to remind donors about matching gift programs and to foster a feeling that a matching gift will provide necessary good for both the donor and the nonprofit. End of year appeals are, at their essence, urgent calls for donations to be matched, but appeals don’t need to come across as desperate. People understand the time of year. Donors can decide for themselves whether or not it’s worthwhile to match their gifts.

Here’s a sample end of year appeal from Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends on Twitter:

AARF Tweet Matching Gift End of Year Appeal

Here’s a sample Facebook appeal from Camp Kudzu:

End of Year Matching Gift Post on Facebook

And here’s an appeal from the DRI Foundation that nicely incorporates a graphic:

Reminder: There's still time to submit a matching gift request


Start of Year Appeals

If you missed the end of year deadlines, don’t worry. Many companies offer grace periods both for donations made at the end of the year and donations that were forgotten. This means that, even once the calendar turns to the new year, you have time to capitalize on matching gifts from donations made during the previous year.

A lot of people make their donations at the end of the year and fail to match gifts either due to missing out on end of year appeals, overlooking them, or due to the general frenetic pace of the holiday season. Start of the year appeals are the solution to this problem.

While these dates are not set in stone, company deadlines for grace periods tend to fall into one of three categories:

  1. Companies will match gifts if applications are submitted by Jan. 31, Feb. 28, or Mar. 31 of the following year.
  2. Companies will match gifts made at any time during the previous three, six, or twelve months.
  3. Companies will match all gifts made during the current calendar year.

For instance, Monsanto has a policy that donors must register matching gift requests by February 15th of the year following the donation date.

Monsanto Fund’s February, 2015 Matching Gift Submission Deadline
Matching Gift Deadline for Monsanto

As with end of year appeals, don’t sound desperate. Thank donors for their donations and put the information in front of them. No flashy colors or bright lights required, although well-implemented graphics can help. You want people to understand your appeal and to participate in your call to action. The above email from Adrian College is a good template to follow for any appeal (although, obviously, adjust the seasonal template for the time of year).