At the recent Saving Grace – A Night of Hope event in Seattle, Washington, many individuals graciously purchased auction items or made personal donations. Many guests also provided us with their employer’s Matching Donor Forms. It is impressive that some of our donors had already researched their employers’ policies and had discovered this golden opportunity – the Employer Matching Gift Program.
An Employer Matching Gift Program is one where an employer matches an employee’s charitable donation, usually dollar for dollar. Some companies call this a Cash Grants Program or a Matching Grants Program. These Gift Programs can quickly multiply the impact of one employee’s donation, often quite substantially. In some cases an employer may even match up to 2 or 3 times that of the employee’s donation. But even a 1:1 match is incredibly impacting. Along with matching monetary donations, some employers even have programs wherein the company will match qualified volunteer hours with an assigned cash amount.
It is the responsibility of employees to get the “Matching Gift” process started with their employers. Some employers provide their Company Match Program guidelines online, or will supply the information through the Human Resources office. There are even companies out there that will match donations of retirees or employee spouses. An added pleasant surprise is that most employers make this process relatively simple, and usually request minimal documentation (normally only requiring an official donation receipt as well as completion of a quick online form or a one-page matching gift form).
Most employers have stipulations in place regarding minimum or maximum annual donation amounts, and may have other specific requirements, as well. It is the company’s choice as to how the Matching Gift Program is constructed. But any amount of matching gift will make a positive impact on a non-profit foundation.
What are your employer’s policies? Investigate your company! Ask your friends and family members to research their employers’ giving program policies as well!
In next month’s newsletter, we’ll continue sharing information about another avenue that can be used to receive employers’ donations – Philanthropic Grant Programs.