Every Year an Estimated $6-$10 Billion in Matching Funds Goes Unclaimed
Corporate philanthropy is an important part of today’s business world. Employees want to work for companies that support the causes they care about, and consumers want to purchase goods and services from philanthropically engaged companies. Businesses see benefits from being great corporate citizens. Last year, corporations in the United States donated more than $17.77 billion to nonprofit organizations. That’s billion, with a B.
A matching gift program is a corporate philanthropy program designed to support the nonprofits which a company’s employees are passionate about by matching donations made by employees or providing grant money to nonprofits based on employee volunteer hours to that nonprofit. 65% of Fortune 500 companies and many other smaller companies offer matching gift programs.
Though $2 to $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs every year, only about 1 in 10 eligible donors claim their matching gift. An estimated $6-$10 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed every year because donors are unaware of their employer’s, or their spouse’s employer’s, matching gift program. Don’t miss out on this money.
One donation is always welcome. Two donations for the work of acquiring one seems too good to be true. It’s not. Matching gifts are exactly that. Most programs are generous about giving money, and willing to donate to a broad spectrum of organization types.
The majority of companies match donations dollar for dollar, however, matches offered range from 50¢ all the way up to $4 for every dollar donated. Ratios are typically standardized across all employee types, but sometimes a company will stipulate that, for example, part-time employees or retirees or executives will have different match ratios.
Companies that have excellent matching gift programs include BP British Petroleum, General Electric, SOROS Fund Management, Gap Corporation, Exxon Mobil, State Street Corporation, CarMax, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and many more. For example, Exxon Mobil donates hundreds of millions of dollars to charities each year, with much of its corporate philanthropic giving coming from matching gift programs. A 3:1 match on donations to educational institutions (1:1 match to all arts & cultural organizations) contributed to the company and its employees dedicating over $269 million to nonprofits in 2014.
Many companies provide generous grants to nonprofits when employees volunteer. For example, Outerwall, the parent company of Coinstar and Redbox, provides grants worth $15 per every hour volunteered by an employee with a minimum of 10 volunteer hours in a calendar year. ConocoPhillips’ provides volunteer grants worth $25 per hour volunteered with two thresholds: a $500 grant for 20 volunteer hours and a $1,000 grant for 40 volunteer hours. In addition, teams of four or more employees or retirees may apply for a team grant of $1,000.
Florida Nonprofits’ member Special Compass used Allstate’s Volunteer Matching Gift Program to get a $5,000 grant. A team of five Allstate agents each used the $1,000 corporate donation offered in response to donor hours to give to Special Compass. Congratulations Jim and Special Compass.
In 2005, Microsoft instituted a Dollars for Doers Program through which the company provides $25 grants for every hour a Microsoft employee volunteers. In Microsoft’s most recent fiscal year, more than 4,900 employees participated in the company’s volunteer grant program. Collectively, they volunteered for over 430,000 hours. Microsoft has donated more than $1 billion through the company’s employee giving programs.
If your donors are already passionate enough to donate their money or volunteer their time, then they will be happy to find a way to double their donations or add money to their donated hours. Don’t let your nonprofit miss out — market matching gifts to your donors.
Double the Donation has provided the Ultimate Guide to Matching Gifts to educate you on the facts regarding matching gifts. Click here or go to www.FANO.org under the Research/Publications tab to download a copy to learn more about by tapping into the $6 to $10 billion in unclaimed matching gifts.
Double the Donation provides technology and tools, including matching gift database search tools, to make the quest for matching dollars much easier and more productive. Visit their website for more information.