Did you know that 72% of ALL donations to nonprofits in 2016 was donated by individual donors? Per Giving USA’s 2017 report, individual donors were the thrust behind increased philanthropic giving in 2016. One way to make these donations go farther is by taking advantage of corporate matching gift programs.
Many corporations include matching gifts as part of their corporate social responsibility program and benefits offered to employees. Employee matching gifts are donations a company makes to match its employees’ nonprofit donations. When a company “matches” an employee’s donation, they have to decide what a “match” means for their program. The majority of companies match donations at a 1:1 ratio, donating the exact amount as the eligible employee who submitted the matching gift request. Other companies, though, set their match ratios anywhere from .5:1 ($.50 match on every dollar donated) to 4:1 ($4 match on every dollar donated). Many companies also offer different match ratios to different types of employees or different types of nonprofit organizations.
To make it easier for our donors to utilize their employer’s matching program, Blessings in a Backpack has the “Double the Donation” widget on its online donation pages. Donors can enter their employer’s name, and, if their employer offers a matching gift or volunteer grant, information such as the program guidelines, process matching form, and matching ratio, will be displayed. Donors can use this information to submit their donation for their employer to match. This is typically handled one of two ways. One way involves the employee submitting a form to Blessings in a Backpack, the BIB accounting staff completing the form to confirm receipt of the gift, the corporation then processing that form and finally the company making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack. In the other way, the employee submits the form directly to their company (sometimes this is on-line), the company contacts Blessings in a Backpack for confirmation, the BIB accounting staff completes the form to confirm receipt of the gift, and finally the company makes a donation to Blessings in a Backpack. When the matching gift is received by Blessings in a Backpack, it is then allocated in the same manner as the individual donor’s gift.
To ensure your donors are “doubling their donation,” highlight matching gift programs in your donation requests. For example, include a sentence or post-script on donor communications that mentions matching gifts, such as “Please remember Blessings in a Backpack if your employer offers a matching gift program!” or “Check out the “Double the Donation” tool at the bottom of our online donation page to see if your employer will match your donation to Blessings in a Backpack!”
Since the majority of these companies are national, Blessings in a Backpack is only allowed to have one account with each company’s matching gift program. These accounts are set-up and maintained by our national accounting department. Programs should NOT create their own account for matching gifts.
If you have any questions about corporate matching gifts, please email Beth Sedgwick, director of accounting, or call (800) 872-4366 X107.