Employee giving programs offer an exciting opportunity to have a greater impact. Each Donation could be doubled, tripled, or more, and every hour volunteered could come with a monetary contribution as well.
We’re going to explore two of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy:
- Employee matching gifts: Donations offered by companies to nonprofits that their employees have already supported.
- Volunteer grants: Monetary contributions made by a company to a nonprofit that their employees have volunteered for.
What are corporate matching gift and employee volunteer grant programs?
Corporate matching gift programs are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees to nonprofit organizations or educational institutions. Donors can double their impact by utilizing the matching gift programs in place at thousands of companies.
Employee giving programs have been around since 1954 when the GE Foundation created the Corporate Alumni Program, the first corporate matching gift program. Today, the GE Foundation matches over $35 million annually to 501(c)(3) organizations and accredited educational institutions (including K-12). Since then, thousands of companies have created similar employee-giving programs.
The most common match ratio is 1:1, meaning that the company will donate the same amount as the employee did. Each company will set a dollar amount to contribute per employee each year. Employees can then make as many matching gift requests as they like until they hit that maximum dollar amount.
Volunteer grant programs, also known as “Dollars for Doers” programs, are charitable giving programs set up by companies to provide a monetary donation to eligible nonprofits where their employees volunteer as a way to encourage community engagement. Suppose you volunteer for a nonprofit organization like ours and work for a company with a volunteer grant program. In that case, you can request a volunteer grant from your employer to increase your impact on our organization.
These volunteer grants can be set amounts ($750 for 50 hours volunteered) or hourly amounts ($10 per hour volunteered).
Matching gifts and volunteer grants ultimately help us match more Bigs with Littles to create more one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. You can help us build these life-changing relationships by searching for your own match-eligibility.
Immediately gain access to detailed information about your employer’s corporate giving programs and assess your eligibility by searching our database of companies that offer employee matching. Double the Donation provides you with as much of the following as possible:
- Up-to-date, company-specific program guidelines
- Minimum volunteer hours required to qualify for a matching donation
- Links to the online matching gift request forms or downloadable PDFs offered by your employer
- Our contact information (Tax ID, address, fundraising contact), which you may need for your matching gift request
How prevalent are corporate giving programs?
Corporate giving programs have gotten more popular with time. More than 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift or volunteer grant programs, and countless smaller companies have followed suit.
Some companies have gotten creative with their corporate giving, offering higher matches to organizations in a specific sector (educational, cultural, environmental, etc.) or even matching funds raised by employees in peer-to-peer campaigns.
A few examples of these programs include:
- Verizon provides $750 grants for 50 volunteer hours and matches up to $5,000 annually
- IBM provides $1,000 grants to nonprofits where an employee has volunteered for 40 hours. They also match up to $5,000 annually for current employees or retirees.
- In addition to similarly generous matching gift and volunteer grant programs, BP matches funds raised for nonprofit walks, runs, etc., and offers every employee an annual $300 grant to donate to any nonprofit organization. No initial donation or volunteering is required!
Thousands of companies, representing more than 18 million people, offer matching gift or volunteer grant programs.
We hope you’ll take a few extra minutes to see if your company offers employee giving grants — grants that could equal hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for the nonprofit organizations and educational institutions you care about.