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Corporate Matching Gift Programs: Understanding the Basics

What Are Matching Gifts?

Corporate matching gifts are a type of philanthropy in which companies financially match donations that their employees make to nonprofit organizations.

When an employee makes a donation, they’ll request the matching gift from their employer, who then makes their own donation. Companies usually match donations at a 1:1 ratio, but some will match at a 2:1, 3:1, or even a 4:1 ratio.

How Does Gift Matching Help Nonprofits

Why Do Companies Match Employee Donations?

Gift matching helps nonprofits because it increases the gift initially made by the donor, leading to more revenue for the organization.

Companies of all sizes match donations their employees make to nonprofits because it’s an easy, structured way for them to support good work in their communities. CSR, or corporate social responsibility, is an important factor in how the public perceives brands and companies these days.

Takeaway: Donation matching is an easy way for donors to double (or even triple) their contributions to an organization.

Corporate Matching Gift Program Guidelines

Match Gift Ratio

Minimum & Maximum Amounts

Submission Deadlines

Every company has a different idea of what a ‘match’ is for their employees. The majority of companies match at a 1:1 ratio, but others have drastically different standards.

Some companies will give $.50 for every dollar an employee donates, but others will give as much as $4 for every $1 that an employee donates.

The ratio may also differ based on:

  • The type of employee (e.g., standing within the company or retirement status).
  • The type of organization to which the donations go (educational, arts and cultural, environmental, etc.).

A minimum is the amount the employee must donate to qualify for a matching gift. A maximum is the amount that a company will contribute in matching gifts per employee per year.

The most common minimum is $25, although it can range from $1 to $100. The maximum can range from $1,000 to $15,000, and sometimes further in either direction.

The min and max amounts vary by company, employee, and nonprofit type, so every employer will have a different policy.

All donations have a shelf life when it comes to matching gift requests. Different companies have different deadlines. Awareness of these dates ensures that you don’t miss out on easy money.

Standard match request submission deadlines include:

  • End of the calendar year.
  • A set number of months after the date of the donation, most often 3-12 months.
  • End of January, February, or March in the year subsequent to when the donation was made.

The Matching Gift Submission Process

Here’s the basic process a donor will need to follow in order to submit a corporate matching gift request and have it fulfilled by their employer:

  • The donor completes their online donation.
  • The donor then searches for their employer’s corporate matching gift program guidelines using the Double the Donation tool.
  • They follow the link to the submission form, complete it, and send it to their employer.
  • Once processed and approved, the company makes a matching donation to your organization!

Still have questions?

For questions regarding your company’s programs, please reach out to your HR or community giving department. For questions about submitting a matching gift or volunteer grant to us, please email Amanda Richard or call her at 615-627-1560.

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