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Corporate Matching Gifts

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Village School Enrichment Organization qualifies for most corporate matching programs. Matching gifts are a type of giving program set up by companies and corporations as an employee benefit. Employee matching gifts are donations an employer makes to match its employees' charitable contributions. After an employee donates to a nonprofit, they can submit a matching gift request to their employer and the company will make an additional donation to that nonprofit. Matching gift programs incentivize a company's employees to give back to their community and support their employees' philanthropic endeavors. 

Did you know that 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer a matching gift program, and some companies even double, triple, or quadruple donations! If you work for a company that is not on this list but offers a matching gift program or incentives for their employees to contribute to nonprofits, please let us know so we can update our list. 

1. The major elements of matching gift programs

Though every matching gift program is unique to the company, every set of guidelines is sure to include the same elements:

  • Match ratio: The match ratio refers to the amount of money a company will pay in relation to the original donation made by the employee. A 1:1 ratio means that a company will donate the exact same amount. The match ratio can be anywhere from .5:1 to 3:1, though it is most commonly 1:1 or 2:1.

  • Minimums and maximums: Matching gift programs will almost always specify a minimum and maximum amount for qualifying donations. If an employee donates less than the minimum, they are not eligible for a match. If they donate more, they are only eligible for as much as the specified maximum amount.

  • Employee status: Sometimes the match ratio, or even an employee’s eligibility, depends on the employee’s status. For example, a part-time employee might be eligible for a 1:1 match, while a CEO of the same company qualifies for a 2:1 match. Often retired employees are eligible for matching gifts as well, though sometimes at a reduced ratio.

  • Type of organization: Some companies will narrow their matching gift programs to organizations of a certain kind. For example, some companies will not donate to organizations with religious goals, though they are technically classified as a 501(c)(3).

  • Deadlines: It is important to check your guidelines specifically for the deadline for requesting matching gifts. Some companies put their deadline at the end of the year, while some use Tax Day as their cutoff.

2. Corporations with matching gift Programs
  • General Electric: GE Foundation created the concept of corporate matching gift programs in 1954. They offer matching gifts to current employees of all levels as well as retirees. Participants are eligible to match up to $5,000 (maximum) each year.

  • BP: BP is unique in that it will match, in addition to personal donations, all money raised by an employee. So if a BP employee raises $5,000 in a peer-to-peer fundraiser, they can have that entire $5,000 matched. 

  • Microsoft: What’s nice about Microsoft is that their minimum is $1 and their maximum is $15,000! They also offer $25/hour in volunteer grants, so time spent volunteering is eligible to be matched monetarily.

  • Click here for more local Houston companies offering Matching Gift Programs. 

3. The process of collecting matching gifts

Though each program is unique, the steps for collecting matching gifts are actually quite uniform. The process consists of the following five steps:

  1. An employee makes the initial donation: The first step is always that initial donation. There can be no matching gift without an initial gift to match!

  2. Employee submits matching gift request: This is the most crucial step in the process. A donor must take a few minutes to request the matching gift from their employer. A nonprofit organization or educational institution can not make that request, even when they know that a donor is eligible.

  3. Employer checks donation eligibility: Often companies will have someone on staff who is dedicated to matching gifts. This person (or team) will make sure that a donation is within the specified minimum and maximum amounts, check the employee’s employment status, and make sure that the organization itself is covered by the program guidelines.

  4. Employer verifies donation: Once the donation is verified as match-eligible, the company will contact the nonprofit organization or educational institution to confirm the donation amount, date, and donor.

  5. The organization collects the matching gift: The last stage, of course, is when the organization receives that matching gift from a company.

 

The process is really quite simple and quick. The most vital step of the process is number two; an organization must do everything it can to encourage a donor to submit that matching gift request to their employer.

4. Frequently Asked Questions About Matching Gifts

What does a 2:1 match mean?

A 2:1 match means that for every contribution that you make, your company will write a check to the organization for double the amount. For example, if you donate $100, your company will contribute double, i.e., $200 to the organization in the case of a 2:1 match.

What is the Impact of Matching Gifts?

Matching gifts motivate giving. It has been statistically proven that matching gifts not only increases the size of the gift, but also the rate at which people donate. By matching funds, every dollar that is contributed will have 2x, 3x, or 4x the impact. This empowers the donor and removes the psychological barrier that they may have about the limited size of their giving and its impact.

How do I find out if my company offers a Matching Gift Program or Volunteer Grant Program?

We're currently compiling a database of local companies with a Matching Gift Program or Volunteer Grant Program. Check our list of Corporate Gift Matching Programs which we regularly update. You can contact your HR Department or you can email us at VSEO@VillageEnrich.org to inquire if your company offers these programs. 

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Village School Enrichment Organization qualifies for most corporate volunteer grants in which employers provide monetary grants to organizations where their employees volunteer on a regular basis. For example, if your nonprofit has a dedicated volunteer who devotes 15 hours a week to your organization and their company offers volunteer grants, the company will pay the nonprofit organization for those hours. And it doesn’t have to be 15 hours a week! Many companies have different hour requirements that can be met over a specified period of time. To see a list of companies with a Matching Gift Program or Volunteer Grant Program, click on the link below. We're continually adding to this list so please let us know if we need to add your company to the list. 

Examples of Companies with Volunteer Grants

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Corporate Volunteer Grants

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