Matching gifts are a great way for your volunteers and supporters to help your nonprofit organization. If they work for a company that has a matching gift program, their cash donation may be eligible to be matched by their employer.
Most large corporations encourage volunteerism and charitable giving and are willing to match, dollar for dollar, the amount of money that their employees donate to nonprofit organizations and charities. Some employers will even match employee contributions to a greater degree.
There is paperwork involved and the employee who wants to make the donation must get the process started. The human resources department of the corporation will have the information for the employee. Every business will have its own policy on matching gifts. Sometimes these are also called “cash grants” or “matching grants.”
The employer may have stipulations such as the minimum donation to be matched is $25.00 and the maximum is $1000.00 per employee each year or other limits. It is up to the employer. The employer can match dollar per dollar or any amount they specify. They may also specify what kind of nonprofit organization is eligible for matching gifts. For example, a well-known media corporation, gives matching funds to schools and arts and culture organizations provided they are nonprofits and recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The human resources department will give the employee a form to submit to the nonprofit organization when the employee makes the monetary donation. An officer of the nonprofit will then verify that they are a nonprofit organization and the amount donated and then send the form to the employer. The employer will then send a matching amount of money to the nonprofit organization. Some larger corporations use a third party in this process to handle all the transactions. It can often be done securely online as well.
Along with matching monetary donations, some corporations will match volunteer hours with a cash amount. For example, a well-known coffee house will donate $10 for every qualified volunteer hour worked by their employees.
Corporate matching gifts are often overlooked by smaller nonprofit organizations as a way to receive cash donations. However, it is definitely a fund-raising method that should be a part of any non-profit’s fundraising strategy.