At Double the Donation we receive a wide range of questions from both nonprofits who subscribe to our matching gift service as well as general readers of our blog. One question that comes up on occasion is whether in-kind donations are eligible to be matched through corporate matching gift programs.
Common Question from Nonprofits and Individual Donors
Question from nonprofits:
We’re reviewing our list of donors from the past few months and noticed that some individuals who made in-kind donations work for companies with matching gift programs. Are these donations eligible to be matched?
Question from individual donors:
I work for a company with a matching gift program and want to donate food and supplies to a nonprofit to assist with a recent natural disaster. Do most companies match these in-kind donations?
If you’re looking for the quick explanation then assume the answer is “no, in-kind donations are not match eligible.” Here are excerpts from a few companies’ matching gift program guidelines.
Google is well known for offering a variety of employee giving programs. With matching gifts on personal donations, a fundraising match, and a dollars for doers program, Google supports organizations which employees are passionate about in a number of ways.
In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from Google’s matching gift guidelines.
“Your gift must be in the form of check, credit card or marketable securities with a quoted market value. Gifts of securities will be matched with cash. The value of the stock will be calculated using the price at the close of the market on the day of transfer of the security. We don’t match any other forms of personal or real property, including in-kind gifts.”
John Deere offers a matching gift program for employees where each employee is able to request matching funds on up to $1,000 of personal contributions each year. The John Deere matches donations to nearly all 501(c)(3) organizations.
In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from John Deere’s matching gift guidelines.
To qualify for a Program match, employee gifts must:
1. Be paid before a match is paid – pledges do not qualify
2. Be paid in cash, by check or credit card
3. Qualify as a deductible charitable contribution by the U. S. Internal Revenue Service;
4. Be personal contributions by employees only – funds cannot be collected from others and pooled for Program match purposes
Did you know that General Electric was the first company to institute a matching gift program? Yes it’s true. Back in 1954, General Electric created the Corporate Alumni Program to support its employees in their personal philanthropy and charitable giving. Since then, it has become a model for countless other employee matching gift programs.
In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from General Electric’s matching gift guidelines.
Gifts may be made via cash, check, credit card or stock. Gifts may also be made by current payment from an entity such as a personal foundation or donor advised fund if that entity has been funded solely by the eligible GE participant (note that gifts made to such an entity cannot be matched). The GE Foundation will not match real estate, in-kind, or non-monetary contributions (e.g. services, materials, supplies, etc.).
Beam Inc. matches donations from employees to a wide range of organizations which fall under the following three general categories:
- Education (K-12 and higher education included)
- Arts and cultural organizations
- Youth based organizations
In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from Beam Inc.’s matching gift guidelines.
Examples of donations which are not eligible for a matching gift are those involving:
1. Dues, payments, subscriptions and contributions which accrue significant personal benefits to the donor. (e.g., gifts, which cover the cost of services, tuition, fees, subscriptions, tickets, or other considerations).
2. In-kind donations
Aspect Software offers both an employee matching gift program as well as a volunteer grant program. Through Aspect Software’s matching gift program, Aspect matches up to $1,000 annually per employee per year. Through Aspect’s Dollars for Doers program, the company provides $10 per every hour an employee volunteers (max $250 annually).
In terms of in-kind donations the following is an excerpt from Aspect Software’s matching gift guidelines.
What Gifts are Ineligible?
1. Gifts which result in a benefit to the employee. Examples include: dues, subscriptions, fees, loan repayments, bequests, insurance premiums, tuition, tickets and dinners.
2. Gifts or payments for primarily political or religious purposes, unless specified for a community outreach program, such as a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
3. In-kind gifts or gifts of real estate.
4. And a number of other common restrictions.