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companies doing corporate philanthropy right

The Top 6 Corporate Philanthropy Infographics

There’s a good news / bad news situation regarding data on corporate philanthropy.

The good news:

The bad(ish) news:

  • Sometimes you’ll come across so much data that you won’t know which way is up and which way is down, which data is accurate, which less so, which is relevant, which less so. You get the idea.

Well, we’re here to solve that corporate philanthropy conundrum.

Below you’ll find the top 6 corporate philanthropy infographics.

We’ve done the work of sifting through the many in order to highlight an elite few. So without further ado, here they are in no particular order.

Infographic #1: Giving in Numbers Brief

CECP giving in numbers brief

Put together by the CECP, in conjunction with The Conference Board, the Giving in Numbers Brief takes a comprehensive look at trends and statistics in corporate giving. The infographic is filled with data culled from the survey responses of 271 multi-billion dollar companies.

Here are a few highlights:

  • 9 out of 10 companies offered a matching gift program
  • an average of 30% of employees volunteer
  • 29% of corporate giving went to education related causes — a combined percentage from K-12 and higher education

Infographic #2: Top 10 Corporations That Gave Cash to Charity

Corporate Giving in Cash to Charities

Here at Double the Donation, we thought we’d throw our hat into the ring with an infographic of our own. As its title suggests, this graphic focuses on the ten corporations that gave the most cash to charity in the year the graphic was produced.

Walmart leads the pack with $311.6 million in cash donations. And not too far off the lead, in tenth, was Target with a still very generous $148.5 million. A breakdown of leaders in the philanthropic giving community is a good way to be introduced to the possibilities of these programs and programs like them.

If you’re interested in matching gift programs specifically, check out the top corporate programs. 

Either way you slice it, if you’re looking into corporate giving, whether you’re an employee, nonprofit, or company, it is useful to get a sense for the power players in the world of corporate giving.

To see analysis of corporations numbered 2 – 9, you can follow this link.

Infographic #3: BP’s Fabric of America

BP Fabric of America Fund

This infographic is a great example of a corporation taking the initiative to outline and highlight its own efforts. Through its Fabric of America Fund, BP will donate $300 to the charity of an employee’s choice.

Learn more about BP’s employee giving programs.

Infographic #4: Meaningful Match-Making by Benevity

Meaningful Match-Making by Benevity

This infographic focuses on how corporations can use matching gift programs to increase employee engagement. It offers tons of valuable and insightful advice.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Five tips for increased employee engagement in matching gift programs
    1. Inclusivity — providing matching gifts for donations to a large range of nonprofits
    2. Letting external matches occur — accounting for and honoring donations made outside of your company’s matching gift program
    3. Expediency — make the matches as quickly as possible in order to demonstrate your commitment and dedication to your employees’ nonprofits of interest
    4. Share-ability — give employees the chance to share the news of their recent gifts and matched gifts
    5. Clarity — let your employees know exactly what the eligibility requirements are for your program
  • Match broadly to appeal to the inclusivity tip, but provide greater incentives for certain causes or nonprofits that your company is specifically interested and invested in helping.

 

Infographic #5: Corporate Citizenship — A Necessary Investment for Success

Current State of Corporate Citizenship

Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship created a helpful infographic regarding the current state of corporate citizenship. The infographic revealed a general upward trend in business investment in corporate citizenship and a rising understanding of the necessity of these programs.

Specifically, the infographic zeroes in on the benefits of corporate citizenship, which it separates into three categories:

  • contributing to company success
  • returning value to shareholders
  • meriting additional investment

Corporate citizenship initiatives, which usually include employee volunteering programs and corporate philanthropic giving as components, are implemented with the idea of businesses serving the communities in which they thrive in, generating a mutually beneficial situation between the company and stakeholders.

Corporate citizenship is a diverse topic to handle. Discover why it’s so important!

Infographic #6: State of Developing Good

International Corporate Giving Infographic

YourCause created this infographic on the state of developing global good as a way of summarizing key international corporate giving statistics.

A couple stats that jump out at us include:

  • 80% of adults around the world agree they can make the world a better place with their actions —
  • 85% of companies in the US have a formal domestic corporate giving program in place vs. only 45% with a formal international program.

Both represent tremendous opportunities for companies to further their global impact.

These six infographics should more than whet your appetite for data, statistics, and analysis regarding corporate philanthropy. These were all put together with a lot of thought, care, and research. We hope you find the information invaluable to your quest for a greater understanding of corporate giving.

Learn about fundraising match programs and the top companies that offer them.

Matching Gifts for Run/Walk/Ride Events: Top 5 Companies

At Double the Donation, we often discuss matching gift programs, or those through which employers match the donations made by their employees to qualifying nonprofits. However, did you know that many national (and even international) companies also offer fundraising match programs?

These opportunities are a bit different than the traditional matching gift programs, and depending on the type of fundraising your nonprofit partakes in, you might be missing out on them!

Fundraising match programs also involve employer matching. However, unlike matching gift programs that solely cover financial donations made from an employee’s own bank account, fundraising match programs involve a company matching all of the funds raised by an employee during a fundraising activity.

This is particularly important to consider in regards to one of the most popular fundraisers in the nonprofit world: The Run/Walk/Ride event. 

These events involve participant donors running/walking/cycling a certain distance and collecting pledged donations from their personal networks corresponding to that distance. Those pledged donations benefit your nonprofit and the farther a participant exercises, the more they raise!

However, for donors that work for a company offering fundraising matching, these pledged donations can be doubled. We’re going to discuss the following five companies with fundraising match programs:

  • Intuit, Inc.
  • McAfee, Inc.
  • BP
  • State Street Corporation
  • Penguin Random House

Before diving into the above companies, however, we’re going to look at the easiest way to discover these opportunities– with dedicated matching gift tools.

Matching gift tools are the best way to discover these programs.

The Best Way to Discover Matching Gifts

To capitalize on these fundraising matching programs, you first need to discover where they exist. The easiest way to do that is by using dedicated matching gift tools.

Matching gift tools allow your organization to discover where these opportunities exist and pursue them if so. There are two solutions that encompass the needs of a wide variety of organizations:

  • Double the Donation’s Premium Plan: This comprehensive, searchable matching gift database can be embedded directly on your website and donation form. With it, donors can search their match eligibility and learn how to submit a match request if so.
  • 360MatchPro: This fully automated matching gift tool automatically searches a donor’s eligibility once a donation is made. If eligible, information regarding how to submit a match request is sent to the donor as well.

If either of these solutions seems like a good fit for your organization, visit Double the Donation to sign up for a free 14-day trial. With that, check out these top 5 companies that offer fundraising match programs.

These are some of the top companies offering fundraising match programs.

Companies that Match Gifts to Run/Walk/Ride Events

Intuit, Inc.Intuit is a top company offering a fundraising match program.

Intuit is a software company that develops financial and tax preparation software. It has 8,500 employees and offers a comprehensive matching gift program to its employees.

Intuit’s matching gift program includes an individual match, in which the company will match an employee’s donation of up to $2,000 to a nonprofit organization or educational institution of their choosing. In addition, Intuit’s corporate giving programs include a fundraising match. Intuit matches all of the money personally raised by an employee for a fundraising event.

There is a combined $2,000 maximum match (for both individual and fundraising matches) per employee every year.

Learn more about Intuit’s matching gift program.

McAfee, Inc.McAfee is a top company that offers a fundraising match program.

McAfee, the world’s largest security technology company, is a computer security software organization located in California that was recently acquired by Intel.

McAfee offers both individual matches (at a 1:1 ratio), and fundraising matches (also at a 1:1 ratio).

There is a combined $1,000 company matching limit per employee.

Learn more about McAfee’s matching gift program.

British Petroleum (BP)BP is a top company that offers a fundraising match program.

BP, the fifth-largest company in the world by revenue, is an international oil and gas company headquartered in London.  BP employs nearly 80,000 people across the world with a large presence in the United States.

BP’s employee grant programs include the traditional personal donation matches, as well as matches for money raised from employees’ friends and family members. BP will match a maximum of $5,000 per employee, per year.

Learn more about British Petroleum’s matching gift program.

State Street CorporationState Street Corporation is a top company that offers a fundraising match program.

State Street is a financial services holding company that was founded back in 1792 in Boston. After many years of successful growth, the company now employs more than 30,000 people internationally.

State Street offers a matching gift program for employee donations called GiveMore, which matches at a 1:1 ratio. Within this program, annual matching limits are extremely generous but also vary by role:

  • Board of Directors, CEO, President and Vice Chairs can receive up to $35,000 in matching funds.
  • Executive Vice Presidents can receive up to $25,000.
  • Senior Vice Presidents can receive up to $15,000.
  • All other employees can receive up to $5,000 in matching funds.

State Street also offers a fundraising match program called CollectMore, where the company will match an employee’s fulfilled fundraising pledges. Limits in the CollectMore program are lower, but nonetheless, being able to have funds matched is an incredible benefit for employees participating in a fundraising walk, bike, or ride type of event.

Learn more about State Street’s matching gift program.

Penguin Random HousePenguin Random House is a top company offering a fundraising match program.

Penguin Random House matches employee donations of up to $2,500 per employee per year to most 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

To sweeten their program even further, Penguin Random House has a Fundraising Match Program where the company will match up to $1,500 per employee (included in the $2,500 per employee annual maximum), per calendar year, for money raised personally by employees for fundraising events to qualifying nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

Types of fundraising events include, but are not limited to, walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, and 5K’s to name a few. Each fundraising request will be considered on a case by case basis.

Learn more about Penguin Random House’s matching gift program.


Fundraising match programs are the perfect addition to any Run/Walk/Ride event.

If you’re planning such an event, check to see if any of your donors work for the above companies. If any of your participants are match-eligible, you can receive twice the fundraised donations for that participant!

Retaining matching gift donors is simple when you acknowledge them correctly with these tips.

Retaining Matching Gift Donors: 4+ Effective Strategies

Thanking donors should be at the top of your priority list for your fundraising strategy. You should put a special emphasis on thanking donors who complete matching gift requests, because those that do took the extra time to fill out the necessary paperwork.

If you don’t show your appreciation for those who generously support your organization, they won’t be as loyal. In fact, they’ll be much more likely to start supporting other nonprofits that do thank them.

Ask yourself this: Is your organization taking the time to thank individuals who submit matching gift requests? Matching gifts are often an overlooked area in fundraising in general, and in donor recognition especially.

There are several strategies used to thank donors for their donations. They’re all designed around showing your donors that you appreciate their matching gifts. When coming up with an acknowledgement strategy, consider the following:

  1. Letters and postcards
  2. Email recognition
  3. Newsletter recognition lists
  4. Social media recognition

Nonprofits thank their supporters with the knowledge that a little recognition goes a long way when it comes to retaining donors. The same applies for matching gifts. If you acknowledge this valuable contribution, you increase the likelihood of that donor submitting a matching gift again in the future.

Ready to learn about some of these recognition strategies? Let’s get started!
Letters and postcards are an effective way to say thank you and to retain your matching gift donors.

1. Acknowledgement Letters and Postcards

Many nonprofits use tangible thank-you letters and postcards to recognize their donors when they make a donation. If the donor submitted the matching gift form at the same time as their donation, simply modify the letter you were originally going to send, and add a section thanking them for their matching gift.

If the matching gift form is submitted by the donor after you’ve sent a thank-you note, you’ll want to send a separate acknowledgement letter about how you appreciate the time they took to complete the match request. Not only do donors want to know that their form is being processed, but you’ll also stay fresh on their minds without asking for another donation.

Similar to acknowledgement letters, postcards are a cost-effective way to say thanks to donors for submitting a matching gift. Here’s a sample matching gift postcard sent out after the organization received the matching gift check. Oftentimes, these are sent once the check is actually received, many months after match forms are initially submitted.

Sample Matching Gift Postcard sent by the University of Michigan (Front Side)

Check out this matching gift acknowledgement postcard from the University of Michigan.

Sample Matching Gift Postcard sent by the University of Michigan (Back Side)

The University of Michigan sends out matching gift acknowledgement letters like this one.

If your nonprofit team doesn’t have experience with writing letters, no worries! There are plenty of free matching gift letter templates floating around the internet to help you get started.

Acknowledgement emails are a great way to boost matching gift donor retention.

2. Email Recognition

If changing your pre-formatted donor letters turns out to be a hassle or you don’t have the funds to send a separate matching gift acknowledgement card, why not automate the whole process with a dedicated email for matching gift donors? With the right automation system, you can use customizable templates and brand these emails to your organization. Plus, your team will save time!

The email doesn’t have to be long or complicated. All it takes is a few sentences thanking them for submitting a matching gift. Check out this example from North Carolina State University:Check out this email that acknowledges matching gift donors.

Be sure to highlight how important matching gifts are for your organization. That way, donors will feel appreciated and will know their impact (and continued support) is vital to the success of your organization.

Otherwise, you’ll face the possibility of losing valuable supporters, or at the very least, you won’t receive matching gifts from them in the future.
Newsletters let your donors know you appreciate them and can boost matching gift donor retention.

3. Newsletter Recognition Lists

If your organization sends out a regular newsletter, consider adding a section where you list the overall financial impact of matching gifts that you’ve recently received. Specify which projects have benefited because of matches and how they’ve benefited. That way, donors who have completed the match process will know exactly where their contributions are going.

It could even be as simple as stating the number of companies that matched gifts and saying how much extra money you raised through matches. Here’s an example of a graphic you can include in your newsletter:

In your newsletter, include a graphic that tells your donors key matching gift statistics to acknowledge your matching gift donors.

If you want to take it a step further, outright name the companies which provided matching gifts as well as the specific donors who took the time to complete the process. While publicly acknowledging your donors, you’ll simultaneously increase awareness of matching gifts among your other donors.

Not only is this a great retention strategy, but it can start the matching gift conversation with other supporters, too!
Making public recognition posts on our nonprofit's social media platforms help you start the conversation about matching gifts and can help retain your matching gift donors.

4. Social Media Recognition

As society’s tech usage and reliance increases, so should your nonprofit’s web presence. You should start with your organization’s website (See examples here!) and branch out to social media.

Utilize your social media accounts to promote matching gifts by recognizing individuals by name who submit matching gift requests. Not only does this immediately acknowledge your matching gift donors, but it also alerts all your other followers about corporate giving programs.

Here’s an example from the Kittens Rescue Club, where they thank their matching gift donors and start the conversation with other supporters:

Social media recognition like this is a great way to retain your matching gift donors.

When you establish social media pages for your nonprofit and regularly post updates, your supporters will feel motivated to share your well-written posts, allowing you to reach the largest possible audience. Save time, raise awareness, and increase donations — all with a single tweet or status update.


A matching gift database helps you pinpoint your revenue opportunities and can increase matching gift donor retention.

5. Matching Gift Database: How Double the Donation Can Help

Matching gifts are a key part of an effective fundraising strategy, and so is recognizing your donors who complete the match process. With the right matching gift database in your tech toolkit, you’ll instantly recognize corporate giving opportunities by seeing which of your donors are match-eligible, and you’ll know when to show appreciation to them. That’s where Double the Donation comes in.

Here’s how Double the Donation’s matching gift and volunteer grant database works:

  1. Your team embeds the tool on your nonprofit’s website or donation page.
  2. Donors search their employers, either before or after they donate.
  3. They instantly receive results (e.g. available guidelines and forms).

When you embed Double the Donation’s matching gift plugin across your website and fundraising channels, you’ll pinpoint eligible donors and maximize your potential revenue.

Larger nonprofits may benefit even more from 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, which recognizes match-eligible donors through email screening. From there, these donors will be encouraged to submit match requests through automated email reminders, pushing their match to completion.

By keeping up with donors’ eligibility and their match-completion status, you’ll know when to reach out to them to ensure they know about their opportunities. Plus, once their match goes through and your organization receives the check, your team can properly thank them. Whether that’s through an acknowledgement letter, a direct email, a newsletter, or a social media post is entirely up to your organization.


Without your generous donors, your nonprofit wouldn’t be able to continue working toward its mission. When your donors take the time to submit match requests to their employers, make sure to acknowledge them. Otherwise, you’ll likely lose their loyalty.

Reinforce their actions and stay fresh on their minds by outwardly thanking them. Plus, public recognition helps promote these valuable revenue opportunities to donors who wouldn’t otherwise know about them.

If your donor can potentially double their impact without reaching back into their own pockets, in most cases, all you have to do is make them aware and guide them through the process. Make sure your supporters receive the recognition they deserve. By using these different strategies, you’ll boost your revenue and retain your vital supporters all at once!

Learn about the basic components of corporate matching gift programs, like ratios, maximums, and minimums.

Matching Gift Programs: Ratios, Maximums, and Minimums

After introductory research, you now understand the basic concept of matching gifts. You know that through a matching gift program, a company will match donations made by employees to a range of nonprofits.

A general understanding of corporate giving is a great foundation for maximizing nonprofit revenue. However, in order to succeed in acquiring matching gifts, you’ll need to understand the nitty-gritty elements of program stipulations.

The amount that a company will match is based on a combination of the matching gift ratios, maximums, and minimums. From there, companies decide their specific guidelines for employee eligibility, nonprofit eligibility, forms, and deadlines.

Let’s break down those components based on what we typically see in matching gift programs:

  1. Match Ratio
  2. Maximum Match Amount
  3. Minimum Match Amount
  4. Employee Eligibility
  5. Nonprofit Eligibility
  6. Forms and Deadlines

If you need a quick refresher before getting into the specific components of matching gift programs, visit this comprehensive guide on matching gifts. Also, stick around to read about how a matching gift database can help donors and nonprofits learn more about specific companies’ match programs.

Otherwise, let’s dive into the different components of matching gift programs!The match ratio is an important component of corporate matching gift programs.

1. Match Ratio

Companies determine how much to match employee donations based on a preset ratio. Each company carefully crafts its own ratio. However, in most cases, the majority of companies match donations at a dollar-for-dollar rate (i.e. a 1:1 ratio).

When a program offers a 1:1 ratio, an employee will donate to an eligible nonprofit, submit their matching gift request to their employer, and then their company will match that gift. For instance, when an employee donates $100 to a nonprofit that’s eligible for the company’s match program, the employer will donate an additional $100. In other words, the nonprofit receives a $200 donation, which is double the original contribution!

Although you can expect to see a lot of 1:1 ratios, ratios can range from .5:1 all the way up to 4:1. If a donation receives a 4:1 match, that’s 5 times the original amount! Consider these companies for example:

  • Puget Sound Energy matches employee donations at a .5:1 rate.
  • Apple matches employee donations at a 1:1 rate.
  • Coca-Cola matches employee donations at a 2:1 rate.

Ratios are typically standardized across all employee types, but sometimes a company will vary depending on employee position. For example, part-time employees and retirees may have a lower match rate than corporate executives who work for the same company. Take the following companies for example:

  • Soros Fund Management matches donations from partners at a 2:1 rate and employees at a 3:1 rate.
  • Johnson & Johnson matches donations from current employees at a 2:1 ratio and retirees at a 1:1 ratio.

Takeaway: Matching gift ratios vary from company to company. Also, the ratio may change based on employee position. These stipulations are entirely up to the company, and nonprofits and employees should stay up-to-date on their match opportunities.Learn about maximum match amounts, which are an important element of matching gift programs.

2. Maximum Match Amount

To ensure there’s enough in the giving budget for each employee to participate, companies put caps on match amounts. In other words, if an employee donates more than the maximum match amount, the company will not contribute the extra money, only the defined maximum.

While this may sound restrictive, maximum matches have quite the range. Often, you’ll come across upper limits of $1,000 to $15,000 on average, but there are plenty of matches that are way above that scope. For instance, take a look at these companies:

Occasionally, you may even see maximum match amounts of $100,000 and higher. Regardless, each philanthropic program—no matter how small its maximum match amount is—is generous and has the power to make a major difference in the nonprofit world.

Takeaway: Each company has a different maximum amount it will match. Typically, these are around $1,000 to $15,000, but it’s not uncommon to see caps that are higher or lower than this.Minimum match amounts are common elements of corporate matching gift programs.

3. Minimum Match Amount

Companies also put restrictions on the minimum donation amount they will match. In other words, if a donor’s contribution falls below that set amount, the company will not match the gift.

This isn’t intended to restrict employees’ philanthropic efforts. Rather, it’s to ensure that employees are requesting matches for causes they truly care about. Plus, for companies with smaller giving budgets, minimum amounts make sure that employees who give multiple small donations don’t take away the chance for larger donations to be matched.

Nonetheless, some companies will match donations that are as little as $1. However, the most common minimum requirement is $25. Minimums often range from $1 to $100, so nonprofits and donors should stay up-to-date on these numbers. Take these companies for instance:

Takeaway: Companies apply minimum matches to ensure that the giving budget goes to nonprofits that employees actually care about. Most often, set minimums are $25, but they range from $1 to $100+.In order to submit a request, employees must be eligible, and the eligibility component is defined by the corporate matching gift program.

4. Employee Eligibility

More often than not, companies create eligibility requirements for employees. This may be dependent on position or some other factor. These requirements are typically out of employees’ control.

With most programs, retired employees are ineligible to participate. Sometimes, part-time employees are excluded, too. However, many programs do match donations made by any employee, regardless of position or retirement status. To get a real-world idea of this concept, take these companies for example:

As previously mentioned, different positions often mean different match ratio amounts, but unfortunately, it can also mean different match maximums, too. For instance, some companies may allow current employees to donate up to a higher amount than retired employees.

Another common case is programs that offer executive employees higher maximums than other employees. On the other hand, sometimes dependents (such as a spouse or child) of employees can even be eligible.

Also, some companies reward employees who go the extra mile. For example, take a look at these companies:

  • American Express offers a 1:1 match ratio for employee donations. However, if the donor serves on a nonprofit board or volunteers more than 50 hours in a year, the first $1,000 of their donations will be matched at a 2:1 ratio.
  • RealNetworks offers a standard matching gift program, but if an employee works at the company for 5 years, they receive a $500 grant for a nonprofit of their choosing.

Takeaway: In most cases, there aren’t too many requirements employees have to meet to be eligible for matching gifts. However, sometimes, companies change eligibility status based on employees’ positions.Nonprofit eligibility is a vital component of corporate matching gift programs.

5. Nonprofit Eligibility

Just like there are standards employees have to meet, there are requirements for nonprofits, too. While companies typically match donations to most 501(c)(3) organizations, other companies place restrictions on the types of organizations that are eligible. In other words, if a company deems a nonprofit ineligible, employee donations made to that organization are not eligible to be matched.

Like all other components of corporate giving programs, the eligibility requirements for nonprofits differ from company-to-company. These restrictions are put in place because companies want to support their views that align with employees’ views.

For instance, churches and other religious organizations are often excluded from match programs. However, there are still several major businesses that will match donations to religious nonprofits.

Schools often fall under the ineligible category, too. However, some companies match donations only to educational institutions, or they offer higher maximums or match ratios just for higher education. Take these companies for example:

  • Air Products and Chemicals matches donations made to colleges and universities at a 1:1 ratio up to $5,000, arts and cultural organizations at a 2:1 ratio up to $2,000, and environmental and conservation organizations at a 1:1 ratio up to $1,000.
  • ExxonMobil has a maximum match amount of $22,500 for donations made to educational institutions, while it has a maximum match amount of $2,000 for donations made to cultural organizations.

Takeaway: Companies sometimes place restrictions on which organizations can receive matching gifts. It’s up to donors and nonprofits to be on the lookout for these eligibility requirements.
The final major components of corporate matching gift programs are forms and deadlines.

6. Forms and Submission Deadlines

Creating forms and designating deadlines are a significant part of a program’s guidelines. As a quick refresher, here’s how the typical process works:

The matching gift process is straightforward once all eligibility requirements have been met.

Once all requirements to receive a matching gift have been met, forms and deadlines come into play. Forms can either be electronic or paper. While companies typically choose one or the other (often e-forms), it’s not uncommon for them to offer both. The point is, there needs to be a way for employees to submit match requests.

Forms include fields about the employee who made the donation and about the nonprofit that received the donation. To learn more and see examples, view this post about all the typical components of forms.

Companies also have to define a specific deadline to submit the match request. For instance, an employee can’t donate to a nonprofit and submit a match request two years later.

In their guidelines, companies might select a specific date, accept requests for a full year after the donation, or specify another time period like 6 months.

For example, here are request deadlines for a few major companies:

  • Boeing accepts matching gift requests from employees until January 31 of the following year after the donation.
  • Microsoft accepts matching gift requests for donations up to 12 months later.
  • CarMax accepts matching gift requests within 180 days from the date of the donation.

Takeaway: Companies must create accessible forms and define deadlines before putting a match program in place. Employees and nonprofits need to be aware of these. Otherwise, they may miss out on matching gifts.


Identifying the key guidelines and elements of corporate matching gift programs is easier with a matching gift database.

Matching Gift Database: Identifying Companies’ Guidelines

Nonprofits need to stay up-to-date on companies’ guidelines, such as donation maximums, minimums, ratios, eligibility, and so on. Unfortunately, gathering companies’ guidelines can be an arduous process. However, with a matching gift database, the research process is simplified!

A matching gift database (like Double the Donation) ensures that your nonprofit is staying updated on each donor’s matching gift opportunities. Once you embed it across your online fundraising channels (i.e. your website, donation page, etc.), here’s what the tool does:

  • Allows donors to search for 20,000+ companies.
  • Shows available information (e.g. forms and requirements) on companies’ programs.
  • Allows nonprofits and donors to determine match eligibility.
  • And more!

With 360MatchPro by Double the Donation, larger nonprofits can automate the entire process. From automatically determining eligibility to emailing those donors to even creating a matching gift plan for your nonprofit, no match opportunities will be overlooked.

Think your nonprofit can benefit from a matching gift database?


Matching gift programs have several guidelines, all defined by the companies that offer them. As you’ve learned, the most common defined elements are match ratio, maximum match, minimum match, employee eligibility, and nonprofit eligibility.

Once these requirements are met, all donors have to do is submit the proper forms by the designated deadlines. Remember, gathering each company’s guidelines is simplified with a matching gift database.

Take all of these factors into account, and you’ll be able to predict what your nonprofit will rake in from those lucrative matching gifts. Now, get out there and boost your matching gift potential!

Additional Resources

Interested in learning more about matching gifts? Check out these additional resources for more corporate giving tips and tricks:

Check out these fundamental best practices for acquiring matching gifts.

The 11 Must-Know Matching Gift Best Practices for Nonprofits

Have you ever been to a movie double feature? You get in the movie-going mood, take the time out of your busy life to make it to the theater, buy your popcorn, splurge on a huge soda, and then settle in for two great films. Oh, and most importantly, you’re only paying for one.

Matching gifts are fundraising double features. For the time and cost of acquiring one donation, you get twice the funding.

Once a donor contributes to your organization, they can submit a request to their company (if they have a program) to have their gift matched. If your nonprofit qualifies, the corporation will send a check for the same amount (or more!) depending on the company’s matching ratio.

However, it will take your team a bit of extra planning to secure that extra revenue.

To ensure that your nonprofit maximizes its efforts, we’ve curated a list of the 11 most valuable matching gift best practices:

  1. Study up on matching gifts. 
  2. Appoint a matching gift coordinator. 
  3. Raise awareness about matched giving. 
  4. Collect donor employer details. 
  5. Strive for easy accessibility. 
  6. Keep records of individuals’ matching gift statuses. 
  7. Thank your donors for submitting a matching gift request. 
  8. Cultivate relationships with donors’ companies. 
  9. Maintain and update your donor records. 
  10. Perform prospect screening. 
  11. Track and review your progress. 

Follow these tips, lean back in your seat, and watch the credits roll!

Before promoting matching gifts to your donor, make sure your entire team knows the fundamentals.

1. Study Up on Matching Gifts

Here’s the good news: if you want to learn about matching gifts, you will have no issue doing so with the countless resources online.

The topic of matching gifts isn’t incredibly intimidating once you take the time to develop a better understanding of the process. Reaching an effective level of working knowledge is certainly possible.

Begin like you would with any subject by reading what you can. Try to build a strong foundation of knowledge, so that when you implement your program you’ll be set to handle obstacles as they arise.

Having a keen sense of matching gifts and what goes into obtaining it is crucial in planning your program and standardizing your processes.

For instance, learning the matching gift guidelines for the three biggest companies in your area can help your team target donors from those companies. Chances are, some of your current donors work at one of those three.

Before you can implement a surefire matching gift strategy, you need to develop a solid understanding of this type of corporate philanthropy. Otherwise, you won’t be able to relay the necessary information to your supporters. Kick-off your research with our comprehensive matching gift guide.

Designate a matching gift specialist to pinpoint all your corporate giving opportunities.

2. Appoint a Matching Gift Specialist

In the ideal situation, everyone on your organization’s team will be well-versed in matching gift programs. However, by appointing an expert to lead your team, you’ll have the time and resources to implement matching gifts into your overall fundraising strategy.

Your nonprofit will be more prepared after hiring a matching gift specialist than it would be having your whole staff know just a few basic facts about matching gifts. The coordinator is the expert, but the rest of your employees should know enough to field the questions that they can and pass along the rest as needed.

The specialist is the designated point-person for all matching gift queries and problems, as well as the staff member in charge of seeing the donations through until the end.

Your coordinator will be able to keep your various departments in the loop about what’s going on and need-to-know information.

All staff members should be promoting matching gifts when relevant, but the matching gift coordinator is the coach leading your team to victory.

If the matching gift specialist position is new territory for your organization, why not consider hiring an executive search firm? Consultants can help you craft the perfect job description and lead you through the entire hiring process, ensuring that everything runs smoothly!

What if you don’t have the funds or employee base to designate a matching gift coordinator?

Set aside some time and have designated team members do the research and put together matching gift materials including:

  • Educational packets
  • Letter templates
  • Newsletters
  • Answers to FAQs
  • Fast facts

With these resources, any member of your team is now armed with working knowledge of matching gifts and is prepared to handle most matching gift occurrences and problems. Otherwise, you won’t truly maximize your matching gift potential.

Promote matching gifts to your donors.

3. Raise Awareness About Matched Giving

Once your team has a solid understanding of matching gifts and an idea of how the process will work internally, it’s time to spread the word! People need to know about matching gifts before they can request them.

No need to be shy at this point; the goal is mass awareness. Lucky for everyone, technology has drastically improved over the years, so nonprofits now have plenty of ways to promote matching gifts.

Put matching gifts on your ‘ways to give’ page, like Girls Scouts of Greater Atlanta did:

Promote matching gifts on your 'Ways to Give' page.

Create a dedicated matching gift page, like the ASPCA did:

Create a dedicated matching gifts page on your website.

These are just two of many, many options. Get creative! To get the word out about matching gifts, try the following:

Matching gift promotion should span all of your communication platforms. Diversify your marketing so that it can reach the largest possible audience of donors.

Note

Become a Matching Gift Expert! Grab our Free Ultimate Guide to Matching Gifts.



Employer info gives you insight into which donors work for companies that have matching gift programs.

4. Collect Donor Employer Details

The educational materials you give your donors will provide them with the tools they need to determine their eligibility. However, the matching gift process is not passive. Your nonprofit shouldn’t sit back and wait for donors to come to you; rather, your team should be actively recognizing and pursuing your eligible donors.

If your staff can immediately see your donors’ employers in your database, they can go the extra mile to obtain donations.

A major gift donor who works for a company with a generous matching gift program can make a huge difference in a nonprofit’s annual budget. Plus, you won’t waste the time of your employees when you double donors’ contributions with minimal extra effort.

Knowing the companies your donors work for will help you segment your matching gift prospects.

For instance, if you’re promoting via email, zeroing in on only the prospects with the most potential wouldn’t make sense. Instead, consider a calling campaign. Team members won’t have time to call all donors and prospects. That’s where segmenting by employer can make a world of difference.

Segmentation by employer allows you to instantly recognize match-eligible donors. Sometimes, these donors might be aware of the opportunities, but they just need an extra push to complete the process!

Make sure your donors understand the matching gift process.

5. Strive for Easy Accessibility

For a donor, securing a matching gift is an easy process that has the misfortune of sounding complicated. To remedy this, brand it better by simplifying the process.

Clear and concise language with straightforward directions will encourage your donors to seek out matching gifts. Donors who have already been generous enough to donate should not have to follow-up with a ton of paperwork.

To better explain matching gifts, you can:

  1. List the typical steps involved in the process on your matching gifts explainer page.
  2. Insert a matching gift widget that can help the donor search for their company’s program.
  3. Mail out informational materials about corporate philanthropy.
  4. Highlight key matching gift statistics in your educational resources.
  5. Point out a few of the companies that commonly match gifts for your nonprofit.

Ensure that your nonprofit is a one-stop-shop for all things matching gifts! That way, donors won’t have to seek out this information themselves. Get ahead of the game and give your supporters all the information they need to fully understand their opportunities.

Keep updated records on your matching-gift-eligible donors.

6. Keep Records of the Individuals’ Matching Gift Statuses

Maintaining ongoing records of donors’ matching gift statuses falls under the matching gift coordinator’s jurisdiction.

Essentially, you’ll want to know what requests have been made, when they are processed, and when they have been fulfilled.

Keeping accurate records will guarantee that no revenue opportunities slip through the cracks. There can be a lot of moving parts in the process among the donor, donor’s employer, and the nonprofit, and there will be some level of back-and-forth.

A clear trail of what has happened and what needs to happen will make interactions a lot easier and a lot more efficient. For instance, a matching gift database like 360MatchPro by Double the Donation can track match progress. It automatically identifies opportunities to use corporate matching gift programs by searching donors’ email domains and can drive matches to completion through tracking tools and automated messaging options.

The more standardized and systematic the process you use is, the better the results will be.

Thank your donors for fulfilling matching gift requests.

7. Thank Your Donors for Submitting a Matching Gift Request

Donors involved with matching gifts have gone the extra mile for your cause, so your appreciation should match that level of energy.

Just like matching gifts have doubled your donations, matching gift thank yous should be double as well. Thank them once for the initial donation and a second time when the matched gift goes through.

In fact, you may even want to put together a special event to honor matching gift donors. The goal is to show genuine gratitude towards what they’ve done to help, and something like a special event will also promote the program to those who are unaware of it.

If you don’t have the resources for an entire event, try publicly thanking those involved on social media. Social media is a great place to promote matching gifts and is also a top outlet for acknowledgment.

For instance, a strategic Facebook post can kill two birds with one stone by thanking a matching gift donor while getting the idea of matching gifts into the heads of your Facebook community.

Nonetheless, you’ll need to find an appropriate way to demonstrate your gratitude and ensure that the donors feel appreciated. Whether it’s through a full-blown appreciation event or through thank-you letters, let your donors know their contributions are vital to your mission.

Develop relationships with businesses that offer matching gifts in your area.

8. Cultivate Relationships with Donors’ Companies

You should also consider thanking your donors’ companies as well. The donor has brought the company to you, so go ahead and cover all your bases.

Matching gifts can provide a much-desired introduction to major corporations with top-notch corporate giving.

When an employee asks their company to match their gift, by nature of the process, the company will be exposed to your nonprofit. If you want to foster a new relationship, your nonprofit is going to have to impress the company. In some cases, you’ll even develop long-term partnerships with them.

By having all of your matching gifts ducks in a row, your staff can focus on building those corporate relationships, instead of troubleshooting submission issues.

Plus, whenever you need an extra helping hand at one of your events, these companies will likely be more than happy to help out through their corporate volunteer program since you’ll already be on their radar.

Keep your donor database organized so you can pinpoint all matching gift opportunities.

9. Maintain Your Donor Records

A disorganized and dysfunctional donor database is really going to hold your fundraisers back when it comes to matching gifts. With out-of-date information, your staff has no chance of making an efficient attempt at acquiring matching gifts.

If your organization fails to collect vital donor information, simply reach out to donors. For example, you could send out mailers with blanks for donors to fill in any changes to their personal details. Something as simple as an email asking them to confirm and update their information can work.

From there, refine your process by encouraging donors to fill out their personal details when they donate for the first time.

Once the information is in your system, your next move is going to be making sure those who need it can find it. Having data stored in such a manner that only one senior team member can find it doesn’t do your organization any good, so make sure all your team members who are involved with the donation process have access to this data.

Prospect research can show you donors who are more likely to be eligible for matching gifts.

10. Perform Prospect Screening

If you’re looking for donors with large capacities to donate and great matching gift programs, prospect screenings can be a big help.

Prospect research can provide major insights into your donors. Search for vital details like business affiliations of potential donors, like where they work and where their spouses work. If a donor’s spouse works for a major matching gift company, your donor will often qualify for those donations as well.

Matching gift participation rates can vary from 3% to 65% based on how much the individual companies promote their programs. Don’t let this vital process fall through the cracks. Instead, screen your donors to find overlooked opportunities.

With the knowledge derived from prospect screening, you’ll be able to take a well-prepared approach to finding matching gift donors and will be well on your way to maximizing your revenue.

Track your organization's fundraising progress to pinpoint areas of improvement in your matching gift strategy.

11. Track and Review Your Progress

Students earn grades and receive progress reports. Professional athletes watch game tape and practice all week long. No one can get better without locating weaknesses and focusing on changing them.

This rule applies to matching gifts as well. An established system designed with achievement assessment in mind is a valuable asset.

In order to properly grade your program, track:

  • The matching gift money raised in previous years.
  • The matching gift money raised after establishing your corporate philanthropy strategy.
  • Your top matching gift employer.
  • The costs and time it takes to acquire matches.
  • The percentage of your total revenue that matching gifts account for.

Simply advocating for matching gifts won’t be enough to run a successful program. Tracking data and looking at results is the best way to pinpoint areas for improvement.


Matching Gift Database: Identify Matching Gifts with Double the Donation

Matching gifts play a major role in your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. As you now know, eligible donors can double (maybe even triple!) their contributions through their employers. The key is to make them aware of their available opportunities and ensure they follow through with the process.

Double the Donation can simplify this process and make it easy for nonprofits and employees to take advantage of corporate philanthropy. When you embed the matching gift plugin across your website and fundraising channels, you’ll maximize your revenue potential.

With more than 8,500 organizations using it, Double the Donation offers the industry-leading matching gifts database. It allows users to search more than 20,000 companies and subsidiaries which represent 15+ million match-eligible individuals.

As the most comprehensive source of matching gift forms and instructions, corporate employees will be able to quickly check their eligibility and submit requests to their employers.

Double the Donation's tools make it easy to maximize your matching gift revenue!

Larger nonprofits may benefit even more from 360MatchPro by Double the Donation. This system goes beyond providing users with necessary instructions and forms. It recognizes match-eligible donors through email domain screening, and through automated reminder emails, donors will be encouraged to complete the matching gift process. Your staff will save time while still providing donors with the necessary guidance for completing their matching gift requests promptly.


Corporate giving programs are out there for the taking. Major corporations like GE and Microsoft have some of the best matching gift programs in the world. Make sure your nonprofit’s team can easily recognize these opportunities.

Institute these matching gifts best practices and get ready for the second movie to start.

For more matching gift advice, check out these additional resources: 

  • Marketing Matching Gifts: Want more ways to promote matching gifts? This guide takes you through several ideas on how your organization can best market matching gifts.
  • Ultimate Guide to Major Gifts: Encouraging major donors to submit matching gifts can add even more money to your annual fund. Learn the ins and outs of major donors with this helpful guide.
  • Matching Gifts Guide: Need to go back to the basics of matching gifts? Check out this comprehensive guide by Recharity.
Find out if your nonprofit is eligible for most matching gift programs.

Matching Gift Eligibility: Which Nonprofits Qualify?

As a nonprofit professional, you likely know that matching gifts are a goldmine for organizations. However, there are some limitations when it comes to organization eligibility.

To maximize your nonprofit’s matching gift revenue, you first need to know where your organization stands in terms of eligibility. Specifically, you should take a close look at the programs run by your donors’ employers. If you create matching gift appeals when your organization doesn’t qualify, all of your efforts are futile.

Since program standards vary from company-to-company, there aren’t universal guidelines. In other words, you cannot know your eligibility for all matching gift programs (unless you enlist the help of a matching gift database). However, to get started, you can equip yourself with an understanding of common criteria.

To gain a better understanding of common nonprofit eligibility standards, let’s take a look at the following:

  1. Common Requirements for Matching Gifts Programs
  2. Common Restrictions for Matching Gift Programs
  3. Help from a Matching Gift Database

Remember, eligibility standards vary from program-to-program, but by understanding typical guidelines, you set your nonprofit up for fundraising success.

Ready to learn about typical nonprofit eligibility standards for matching gift programs? Let’s get started, so you can boost your matching gift potential!

These nonprofits are typically eligible for matching gift programs.

1. Common Requirements

Most often, corporate giving programs match employee donations to various types of 501(c)(3) organizations, including educational institutions. If you’re just getting started in the nonprofit world, you may not be entirely sure what qualifies as a 501(c)(3) organization. In short, this status indicates that a nonprofit is exempt from federal income tax.

When reviewing a company’s guidelines, you may come across a list that outright states the types of nonprofits (e.g. cultural organizations, environmental organizations, etc.) an employer will match donations to. Organizations that are most commonly eligible for matching gifts include:

  • Higher Education Institutions. Unless otherwise defined in a program’s guidelines, this includes college-level schools that offer at least a two-year program, seminaries schools, theological schools, alumni funds, foundations, and schools/colleges within a university that conduct their own fundraising efforts (i.e. law or medical schools).
  • K-12 Education. This includes public K-12 schools, private K-12 schools, foundations established by the school districts, etc.
  • Arts and Cultural Organizations. This category includes aquariums, libraries, museums, orchestras, public broadcasting stations, and similar nonprofits.
  • Civic and Community Organizations. These are typically any nonprofit that’s community-based, such as animal shelters, child welfare, homeless shelters, low-income assistance, and so on.
  • Environmental Organizations. This refers to conservation efforts, wildlife preservation, etc.
  • Health and Human Services. This includes healthcare services, hospitals, substance abuse programs, and so on.

Most companies with matching gift programs will match employee donations to an organization that fits into any one of the above categories. As for the rest, those companies will usually match for one or a select few from the above categories.

For example, ExxonMobil focuses its matching gift efforts on two programs: the “Educational Matching Gift Program” and the “Cultural Matching Gift Program.” While the maximum match amount for educational institutions is $22,500, the maximum match amount for cultural organizations is $2,000.

In other cases, the employer may create a list of eligible nonprofit types that concludes with “many other nonprofits” or “most 501(c)(3) organizations.”

Whatever the case may be, it’s up to nonprofits to determine their eligibility status with various local employers.

These nonprofits are typically ineligible to participate in matching gift programs, but there are exceptions.

2. Common Restrictions

While most 501(c)(3) organizations and educational nonprofits are eligible for matching gifts from a vast array of companies, there are a few common restrictions, which include:

  1. Religious Organizations. This includes houses of worship, such as churches, synagogues, mosques, or temples as well as other religious groups. Generally, an organization that is nondenominational or interdenominational and aims to advance religion is considered a religious organization. Keep reading to learn about an exception to this rule.
  2. Political Organizations. Those that qualify as political organizations include parties, committees, associations, funds, and any other organizations that are influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of an individual to a political office.
  3. Sports Teams. Oftentimes, sports teams and clubs have to rely on crowdfunding to raise the funds they need for traveling, equipment, uniforms, and so on.

If you think your nonprofit may be ineligible at first glance, there may be an exception to the rule. All it takes is a bit of research instead of giving up instantly.

For example, houses of worship are oftentimes restricted regardless of the fact that they’re automatically considered 501(c)(3) organizations. However, many faith-based organizations with major community outreach components such as food banks, job training, or homeless shelters are eligible. Learn more about matching gift eligibility for religious organizations.

The reason companies place restrictions on which organizations are eligible is fairly straightforward. Restrictions ensure that their giving budget is directed to organizations that align with both their views and their employees’ views.

For matching gift programs, a matching gift database can help your nonprofit determine its standing with all your donors' employers.

3. Help from a Matching Gift Database

Matching gifts are not something your organization wants to overlook. They can bring in substantial revenue without forcing donors to reach back into their own pockets. However, determining your nonprofit’s eligibility and staying up-to-date on your donors’ employers’ guidelines is a long, arduous process. That’s where a matching gift database comes in handy!

Any nonprofit can benefit, no matter its size! If you’re looking to invest in a database (which you should), check out Double the Donation’s comprehensive database. With data for more than 20,000 companies, it’s the most comprehensive source of matching gift forms and instructions. Here’s how it works:

  1. Your nonprofit embeds the tool across its online fundraising channels.
  2. Donors search for their employers.
  3. They receive all available forms and guidelines on their company’s giving programs.
  4. Your nonprofit maximizes its matching gift potential!

For larger nonprofits, 360MatchPro by Double the Donation may be the way to go! This tool automates the entire process by determining match eligibility with email domain screening, following up with match-eligible donors, showing you where individuals are in the matching gift process, and even putting an automated corporate giving plan in place.

With either tool, your nonprofit receives the most up-to-date guidelines and eligibility requirements for your donors’ corporate giving programs. This way, you don’t miss out on any corporate philanthropy opportunities. Ready to get started?


By learning about typical requirements and restrictions, you should now have a strong idea of your organization’s place in the matching gift world. Remember, these are just the standard practices, and there are certainly exceptions.

To know where your nonprofit stands in terms of matching gifts, stay up to date on local employers’ criteria. Now start boosting your matching gift revenue!

Additional Resources

Want to keep researching? Find out more about matching gifts with these additional resources:

Learn about matching gift deadlines here.

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. However, you need to inform donors of this opportunity first.

Learn how to promote matching gift programs.

How Do I Promote Matching Gifts?

Matching gift request submission deadlines mean little if your organization isn’t informing donors of the opportunity presented to them through matching gift programs. How will a donor know to submit a request on time, if they aren’t aware they’re supposed to submit one in the first place?

Luckily, marketing matching gifts to your donors is easier than ever with the help of matching gift tools. With proper software, you can both inform donors of their match eligibility and provide them with information regarding starting the matching process. When updating your matching gift processes, there are two tools in particular that you should consider:

 

  • 360MatchPro: This matching gifts automation software automatically discovers which of your contributors are match-eligible. Then, after identifying these opportunities, the software sends match-eligible donors marketing emails detailing how to begin the gift request process! 360MatchPro is a robust solution, best suited for larger nonprofits looking to improve already-existing processes.
  • Double the Donation’s Premium Plan: This industry-leading matching gifts database embeds directly on your organization’s website or online donation form. From there, when donors are researching your organization (or making a donation) they can search their matching gifts eligibility. This is the perfect solution for organizations with less-developed solicitation processes.

 

If either of these solutions sound like a good option for your organization, consider signing up for a 14-day free trial. With that, read on to learn about the three types of matching gift request deadlines.

Learn the 3 types of matching gifts deadlines.

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 of what the guidelines look like in practice, let’s look at some examples.

Learn about the month-based matching gift programs deadline model.

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:

AdobeLearn about Adobe's matching gift program submission deadline.

Adobe 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 per 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.

 

DirectTVLearn about DirecTV's matching gift program submission deadline.

DirectTV matches donations of up to $20,000 per employee per 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.

 

AltriaLearn about Altria's matching gift program submission deadline.

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 MaeLearn about Fannie Mae's matching gift program submission deadline.

Fannie Mae matches employee donations up to $2,500 and offers grants up to $500 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.

 

Learn about the calendar year-based matching gifts deadline type.

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, or by December 31st of that year.

Here are a few examples:

AetnaLearn about Aetna's matching gift program submission deadline.

Aetna matches donations from employees and retirees up to $5,000 to approved organizations. Aetna also enables employees to allocate a $300 grant to a nonprofit after they volunteer for 20 hours in a 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-McMoRanLearn about Freeport-McMoRan's matching gift program submission deadline.

Freeport-McMoRan matches donations of up to $40,000 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.

 

Learn about the grace period-based matching gift deadline type.

Deadline #3: End of Calendar Year + Grace Period

Here are three companies that extend their calendar year deadline with a grace period.

BoeingLearn about Boeing's matching gift program submission deadline.

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.

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

 

VerizonLearn about Verizon's matching gift program submission deadline.

Verizon matches donations up to $5,000 to educational institutions and up to $1,000 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 January 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

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

 

Bank of America / Merrill LynchLearn about Bank of America's matching gift program submission deadline.

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 January 31st of the year following the date of the donation.

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


 

Learn how to use direct mail to solicit matching gifts from donors.

Matching Gifts: Using Direct Mail to Inform Donors

Though digital giving methods are en vogue as of late, some donors don’t respond to internet-based giving. Whether they’re less technologically savvy, or simply prefer a good, old fashioned letter, some donors are best contacted through the (still lively) snail mail processes.

Many organizations still raise a substantial percentage of their overall funds through direct mail, so this outreach method isn’t one to be overlooked in the digital age.

Letters, postcards, paper inserts, newsletters, and return envelopes are all still thriving options for thanking donors and making annual and major gift appeals. Each type of direct mail piece has its place in the matching gift donation cycle, and they’ll all help you to reach that vital segment of donors who either don’t use/don’t frequent email or respond to direct mail at a much higher rate.

Learn about using matching gift tools to discover these programs.

Our Favorite Way to Discover Matching Gifts

While this piece is focusing on using paper methods to market matching gifts, we at Double the Donation still recommend using digital methods to discover these matching gift programs in the first place.

Matching gift discovery tools can be a valuable resource for nonprofits of any size. For example, Double the Donation’s Premium Plan provides a searchable, embeddable database that’s perfect for nonprofits and other organizations just beginning to solicit matching gifts. With it, these nonprofits can search the employers of their donors and gain some direction for their direct mail solicitation.

Larger nonprofits looking to build upon their established matching gifts solicitation processes also benefit from digital tools, such as 360MatchPro’s matching gift automation platform. With this, the discovery process can be automated for nonprofits with a larger donor base (and, if you’re using any digital matching gift outreach, that can be automated as well).

These tools can provide valuable insight to nonprofits looking to increase their donations with the help of matching gift programs. If this type of tool sounds like a good resource for your organization, sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Letters are an effective method for informing donors about matching gifts.

Letters

Direct mail might lack the speed of email, but letters are perfect for reaching those who don’t rely on technology for all of their information.

Paper letters highlighting matching gifts come in two varieties:

  1. Solicitation letters
  2. Thank you notes

Follow along for a look at both letter types.

Solicitation Letters

Use letters to remind donors to check if their employers offer matching gifts. Make sure the wording doesn’t read like a sale (so no “Act now! Match your gift!”) and rather feels like a personal communication between your nonprofit and the donor. You want people to know that, by applying for a matching gift, they’re doing a great service to your nonprofit.

Sample Matching Gift Letter Text

  • “Many employers offer matching gift programs that could double or even triple your contribution. We invite you to seek out matching gifts, so that [name of your organization] can continue to [list the work you do in the community].”
  • “Many corporations offer programs that match employee donations to [insert your organization’s name]. The tax-deductible portion of your membership contribution is often eligible to be matched as well.”
  • “Visit [insert the name of your matching gift page on your website] or visit https://doublethedonation.com/[YourOrg] to find out if your company will match your donation.”

Write to your donors like they’re human beings and share personal stories to get them invested and wanting to go the extra mile to seek out matching gifts. Then include one of the above lines, or a quip of your own, as a call to action.

However, solicitation letters won’t work for everyone. Lapsed donors and non-donors tend not to respond to direct mail specifically highlighting employee matching gifts. Active donors are who you want to solicit, as they’ve either made or will make a recent donation and actually welcome the opportunity to double their gift. Because postage prices can add up, do your research (maybe using a matching gift tool!) before sending these letters.

Thank You Letters

When you receive a matching gift, say thank you. Even if you’re sending emails, a paper thank you is a way to get a bit more intimate in order to show how much you appreciate the additional funds. Also, as previously mentioned, many donors don’t check email, and you want to make sure that they’re thanked. Physical letters might take longer to arrive, but they’ll ensure that your gratefulness is received.

Postcards are an effective method for informing donors about matching gifts.

Postcards

People love handwritten notes, and they especially enjoy postcards. Knowing that a real person cared enough to write a note resonates with the heartstrings, and you want to tug at those heartstrings.

Postcards are a perfect way to promote matching gifts through both:

  1. Solicitation postcards
  2. Thank you postcards

Follow along for a look at both types.

Solicitation Postcards

Postcards can be an especially effective way to encourage donors to submit matching gifts. Here’s an example matching gift postcard that MCR,a leading full-service print and mailing provider, created for Florida Institute of Technology:

Front Side of Florida Institute of Technology’s Matching Gift Postcard

Check out this solicitation postcard example.

 Back Side of Florida Institute of Technology’s Matching Gift Postcard

Check out the backside of the postcard, a popular direct mail solicitation method.

The postcard does a lot of good things:

  1. Explains what matching gifts are
  2. Explains their financial impact
  3. Reminds donors to submit their matching gifts
  4. Provides a link to where donors can access additional matching gift information
  5. Provides a contact at the nonprofit to field donors’ questions

If your organization is interested in sending out postcards to donors, then we recommend evaluating the following approaches:

  1. Send a matching gift postcard to all recent donors.
  2. Send a matching gift postcard to donors who gave above a certain amount.
  3. Send a matching gift postcard to donors who you know work for a matching gift company.
  4. Send a matching gift postcard to donors who submitted a matching gift on past donations but haven’t yet for their most recent donations.

Just as with the solicitation letters,  you want to do your research before sending solicitation postcards.

Thank You Postcards

It’s likely that your nonprofit is receiving matching gift checks several months after the original donations. As with letters, postcards are a way to notify your donors that the matching contributions were received.

Thanking donors is not only the right thing to do, but it also instills a positive impression in donors’ minds, so they’ll be more likely to make future contributions with matching gifts.

Here’s a thank you postcard from the University of Michigan:

Sample Matching Gift Postcard sent by the University of Michigan (Front Side)

Check out this postcard example, which is a great example of direct mail solicitation.

 

Sample Matching Gift Postcard sent by the University of Michigan (Back Side)

Check out the back side of the previous postcard example, which is a great way to use direct mail solicitation. The front is a play on the traditional Michigan slogan of, “Hail to the victors.” The alteration is smart, attention-grabbing, and informs the reader what the opposite side of the card will discuss.

You want a card that’s both easy to read and eye-appealing, so Michigan uses clean, white text. Additionally, stay true to your brand’s color scheme, as Michigan does, and include graphics where they fit.

The backside of this postcard thanks the donor for taking the time to submit a matching gift.

When you’re as large as the University of Michigan, chances are that you’re sending this postcard out to more people than hand cramps that you care to endure. Printed postcards are fine, and Michigan presents a nice example, but if you want that personal touch then pick up a pen and scribble a quick message. Even just signing at the bottom can show an extra level of dedication that donors will respond to.

Paper inserts are an effective method for informing donors about matching gifts.

Paper Inserts

If you don’t want to edit all of your existing marketing materials so that they mention matching gifts, or if you want to call added attention to such programs, then paper inserts may be the offline marketing technique for you. Paper inserts are small slips of paper included in donor mailings that call special attention to matching gifts.

A paper insert from the National Kidney Foundation

Paper inserts are a great type of direct mail solicitation. Check out this example.

That’s all a paper insert needs to be: Limited text that gets straight to the point. The graphics here are nice and the choices of both the font sizes and the bold text emphasize the brief message. You can easily tell what this paper insert is talking about and who it’s from. A nice addition is the invitation to visit their website at the provided link.

A more detailed paper insert from the Atlanta Botanical Garden

This is a great example of using paper inserts as a form of direct mail solicitation.

This insert does a great job of taking advantage of the available space to dig into the nuances of matching gifts. The color scheme is eye-catching and the font is easy to read. The bigger, white font at the top is a great call-to-attention, with a more subtle, bold call-to-attention towards the bottom of the page. This is how you want to incorporate matching gifts into a paper insert, by giving them their own space and grabbing the reader’s attention.

If you have a dedicated matching gift page, either on your own website or hosted on the Double the Donation website, then we encourage you to include a link to that page directly on the insert.

Paper inserts come in a variety of forms. Sometimes they’re as simple as little slips of paper, and sometimes they’re Post-it notes stuck onto other materials in the mailing. You could even get creative and turn your paper insert into a bookmark! Regardless, a great way to save money is to print paper inserts onto the backs of other mailing materials.

Newsletters are an effective method for informing donors about matching gifts.

Newsletters

This marketing medium is an opportunity to write content that goes in-depth about the details of matching gifts, as you have more room to articulate why matching gifts are important and their specific benefits to your nonprofit. Newsletters present additional space, so you can give donors more information. This, in turn, brings them closer to your nonprofit in a way that makes them feel more in touch with and thus more included in your community.

Chances are that you have an online newsletter, but have you noticed that some people still prefer the physical newspaper to the digital edition? Whether it’s due to reading issues or any number of problems, sending out a physical newsletter gives you a better chance of reaching donors who you would otherwise miss.

Your newsletter might be one page or several pages. In either case, you need quality content. To get started, here are two potential articles ideas that can raise awareness for matching gifts:

[Your Organization’s Name] raises [Amount of money raised from matching gifts] from Matching Gifts and [What your organization did with the money]

Use this article topic to detail how matching gifts provide additional resources that can create opportunities that would otherwise not be possible. Make the story personal and relatable, so donors realize the importance of taking a mere five minutes to submit a matching gift request.

Corporate Employee Matching Gift Programs: What Are They and How Do They Benefit [Your Organization’s Name]?

Use this article topic to inform donors about matching gift basics, from what matching gifts are to how they benefit your organization to how easy it is to submit a matching gift request. Sometimes people just need to know that such programs exist.

Newsletters are great to mail out in paper form, but with the cost of postage, it might serve you best to send out a bulk of materials in a single letter. Other tangible materials that you can send along with your newsletter include all of the above direct mail items.

Return envelopes are an effective method for informing donors about matching gifts.

Return Envelopes

If your nonprofit is like other organizations using direct mail to solicit donations, you’re probably including a pre-printed return envelope to make it easy for donors to mail in their donations.

The return envelope is a prime spot to remind donors to check if their employers will match their donations.

Return envelopes are a great method of direct mail fundraising. Check out this example.

In case you can’t read the text on the above graphic, it says:

Thanks for donating!

Don’t forget to see if your company offers a matching gift program.

Visit [insert your Double the Donation matching gift URL or a link to your organization’s matching gift page] to access your company’s matching gift form, guidelines, and instructions.

If a donor is already submitting a gift to your organization via return envelope, there’s no better time to inform them of the power of matching gifts. These already-philanthropic donors can increase the impact of their donation to your organization without spending any more in their initial donation, and this is the perfect time to tell them about that.


A lot of the time, scoring matching gifts is about increasing awareness about these programs. Direct mail offers a bevy of ways to connect to donors, and some donors even respond to paper mail better than digital methods.

From letters to postcards to newsletters, you have all the options you need to raise more donations than ever.

GuideStar Articles Matching Gifts

Matching Gift Online Submission Process – Example Using Home Depot’s Website

Have you ever wondered what the actual online matching gift submission process is like for donors?

If so, this article is designed to shed light on the steps your nonprofit’s donors take when submitting a matching gift online.

Typical Online Matching Gift Submission Process for Donors:

While the online submission process can vary by company, it typically involves the following steps:

  1. Employees log into the company’s matching gift submission website
  2. Employees search for the nonprofit they donated to
  3. Employees select the nonprofit from the search results (if not found, they enter the organization’s information)
  4. Employees register their donation
  5. Employees submit the matching gift request

 

Step-by-Step Overview of Home Depot’s Online Matching Gift Process:

While some employers develop their own matching gift submission process internally, most contract it out to one of the main companies that administers matching gift programs on behalf of companies.

The following screenshots are for Home Depot’s electronic submission process and are representative of the process for employees of most large companies with matching gift programs.

Step #1: Employees log into the company’s online matching gift submission website.

Begin the Electronic Matching Gift Submission Process

 

Step #2: Employees search for the nonprofit they donated to.

Locate the Nonprofit in the Matching Gift Online Submission Process 

Step #3: Employees select the nonprofit from the search results.

Select the Nonprofit which will Receive the Matching Gift 

Step #4: Employees enter information about their donation.

Register the Matching Gift Request Online

 

Step #5: Employees submit the matching gift request.

Submit a Matching Gift Request Online

That’s it! Just those quick five steps and the donors have done their parts. The rest of the process involves your nonprofit verifying to the companies that the donations were made and then the companies issuing the matching funds.  

Microsoft Matching Gift Figures

Incorporate Matching Gifts Into Your Prospect Research

Prospect Research Teams Should Incorporate Matching Gift Information into Prospect Profiles

If prospect research is the eyes that spot the prospects then matching gifts are the hands that grab the donations. Of course, you can receive gifts without doubled donations, but you shouldn’t let easy money slip through your grasp. Prospect research can unveil a world of new prospects, and matching gifts allow you to maximize those generous gifts.

Matching Gift Basics

Matching gift programs are charitable giving programs run by corporations in which the companies match employee donations to eligible nonprofit organizations.

For example, if a donor works for Bank of America and donates $250 to a K-12 school, university, or 501(c)(3) organization, Bank of America will “double the donation” by writing a check for $250 to the same nonprofit.

Learn more about the basics of matching gifts >

Prospect Research Basics

Prospect research educates your organization about donors and potential donors, so you may evaluate an individual’s potential to support a specific nonprofit. Data is the key to allocating your limited resources such that you generate the largest ROI for your nonprofit organization.

Consider this example from Ryan Woroniecki:

“A donor with major giving potential may have given an average-sized gift to a crowdfunding campaign (say, $50). This donor may be willing to give a lot more to your nonprofit but hasn’t so far because crowdfunding campaigns generally ask for smaller donations.

If you base your appeal on their current giving, rather than their potential, you may ask for a gift in the same range ($50 – $70).  A donor isn’t likely to give a gift that’s significantly larger than what you ask for. As such, you’d be leaving hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on the table simply because you didn’t ask for more.”

Missed opportunities like the example above are the exact reason why it is crucial that organizations take the time to examine their donor pool. With the help of prospect research, you’ll be able to sift through your donor database and segment supporters based on giving potential.

A variety of information is examined when conducting proper prospect research. This includes:

  • Previous donations to your nonprofit – Who has donated to your nonprofit? How often do these people donate? How much do they give?
  • Donations to other nonprofits – Where else does the prospect make philanthropic contributions?
  • Political giving – Does the prospect donate to political campaigns?
  • Nonprofit involvement – Is the prospect a board member for other nonprofits?
  • Real estate ownership – If the prospect owns real estate, what is the value of that property?
  • Business affiliations – What does the prospect do for a living? Is he involved in subsidiary ventures or corporate boards?
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) insider stock transactions – In what companies and how heavily does the prospect invest?
  • Personal information – Hit the basics: contact information, marital status, and personal interests.

This prospect research data provides valuable fundraising benefits, such as:

  1. Refines major gift prospect outreach – Your hardworking staff only has so much time. With prospect screening, your organization can quickly prioritize outreach efforts to donors according to their affinities for your nonprofit and their capacities to give. This permits staff to focus more of their efforts on bonding with major donors.
  2. Converts annual fund donors into major gift prospects — With the time you’re not spending on prospect research, your team can focus on donors who can or have made large charitable donations.
  3. Identifies planned or deferred giving prospects – If planned giving is not one of your strong suits, prospect screening reveals solid candidates for bequests.
  4. Generates new prospects – Donation lists from other nonprofits and colleagues of your existing major gift donors are great places to discover new prospects.
  5. Analyzes donor giving patterns – Donors, as well as their families and foundations, support various causes. You can see what organizations they support and unearth donation patterns.
  6. Optimizes ongoing fundraising opportunities – Hospitals, universities, and similar organizations experience constant influxes of potential donors. Prospect screening enables your staff to pinpoint potential donors and individually tailor pitches.

Learn more about Prospect Research with DonorSearch’s ultimate guide to Prospect Research >

Multiply Prospects’ Potential with Matching Gifts:

With over 65% of Fortune 500 companies offering employee matching gift programs, there is potential to use matching gifts to turn even the smallest gifts into bigger donations. Major gift donors become even more important when they have the potential to give twice as much thanks to corporate matching gift programs.

A key insight of prospect research is the potential donors’ business affiliations, such as where they work and where their spouses work. Perhaps the individual’s spouse works for a company such as GE, which will match donations up to $50,000. If this spouse has the potential to give then she shoots to the top of the potential donors list.

Not only do matching gifts present the opportunity to increase gifts, but, when combined with prospect research, you can identify more sources of doubled donations.

Four Key Prospect Research & Matching Gift Statistics:

  1. More than 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs — Matching gifts represent an easy way for donors to multiply the impacts of their donations. The best part is that matching gifts don’t cost the prospect any additional money and they only take five minutes to submit. Many smaller employers offer matching gift programs, too, so use prospect screening to identify if prospects work for such companies and remind them of matching gift opportunities.
  2. Matching gift participation rates range from 3% to 65% depending on how widely a company promotes matching gifts to its employees — Companies must share vast amounts of business, personal, and charitable giving information with employees without overwhelming them. It should come as no surprise that many employees have no idea if their company offers a matching gift program or how to submit a match.
  3. An estimated $6-$10 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year — Because matching gift participation rates are low across companies and industries, nonprofits miss out on substantial amounts of donations. Incorporating matching gift information into your conversations with high quality prospects will help close the gap for your nonprofit.
  4. Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in the response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount (prior to receiving any matching gift funds) — Did you know that highlighting a prospect’s matching gift eligibility results in an increased likelihood that he or she will make a donation? Even better, when they do donate, they’ll likely give a larger amount than if there wasn’t a match available. Empower your prospect researchers to include matching gift information in their asks as a method for helping them to secure a major gift.

View additional matching gift statistics >