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Sponsor: Double the Donation 

Double the Donation is the leading provider of corporate matching gift automation to nonprofits and schools.

Everything You Need to Know About Matching Gifts

Matching Gifts 101


Matching gifts are one of the most popular forms of corporate social responsibility. According to Double the Donation’s analysis, matching gift programs raise an estimated 2 to 3 billion dollars for nonprofits each year. When companies want to demonstrate their commitment to charitable work, they have a choice: to let an executive at the company decide where to spend their money via corporate sponsorships and grants or to look to their employees for guidance. For the companies that choose this second option, matching gift programs increase employee retention and satisfaction, are tax-deductible, and create positive community impressions.


How Do Matching Gift Programs Work?


A matching gift program works like this: An employee makes a donation, then requests that their employer match the gift. Assuming the nonprofit meets the company’s matching gift program requirements, the company then sends the appropriate matching funds to the nonprofit that received the initial gift.


Every company gets to decide how their matching gifts program works. While each program will have its own idiosyncrasies, common parameters for these programs include:

  • Ratio: Most companies match donations at a 1:1 ratio. For example, if an employee donates $100 to a local cause, their company will match that with an additional $100 gift. Ratios can vary within a company based on the employee’s rank and the sector of the nonprofit receiving the donation. Some companies will double or even triple a gift!
  • Minimum and maximum: Companies must decide the lowest and highest donation amounts they will match. Minimums can be as low as $1. Maximums can reach up to $35,000! Most companies fall somewhere in between. For example, the Gap Corporation has a maximum matching gift of $10,000 and a minimum matching gift of $25.
  • Eligible employees: Not everyone at a company is necessarily eligible for matching gifts? Can every employee at the company get their gift matched? What about contractors, part-time employees, and retirees?
  • Deadlines: Maybe the most important program requirement is the submission deadline. A majority of companies either require a matching request be submitted by a specific date each year (e.g., December 31) or within a certain period of time after the initial donation was made (e.g., within 60 days of the donation).

When a nonprofit has supporters from multiple different companies, each with their own processes, these requirements can be hard to keep track of. That’s why a matching gift database like Double the Donation can be invaluable for nonprofits and donors alike. Instead of relying on donors to remember everything about their company’s matching gift program, your organization can give them the opportunity to search for their company’s program requirements right from your website or donation form.


Matching Gifts Fundraising Potential


Of all the fundraising ideas, matching gifts can be one of the most rewarding and easiest to implement. That’s because your donors are getting double (or triple!) the bang for their buck by participating in their employer’s program. They’ve already made a gift — now all they have to do is complete the matching gift submission process to increase the impact of their donation.


Based on statistics gathered by Double the Donation, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, and these companies employ more than 26 million people. Chances are a few of them donate to your organization, right?


Deciding if Matching Gifts Are Right for Your Organization


Most organizations can fundraise through matching gift programs! The best indicator of future matching gift potential is historical matching gifts contributed to your organization. If you’ve gotten matching gifts before, chances are you can also get them in the future. Organizations that are eligible for matching gifts include:

  • Educational institutions
  • Arts and cultural organizations
  • Community organizations
  • Environmental organizations
  • Health and human services

Still, some companies place restrictions on the kinds of organizations that can receive matching gifts. Some organizations that might not be eligible are:

  • Political campaigns
  • Religious houses of worship
  • University athletic programs

Note that individual fundraisers are usually not eligible for matching gifts. Most corporate programs require their matching funds to go to registered 501(c)(3) organizations, not individuals.


Get Started with Matching Gifts


Once you’ve determined that matching gifts is the right fundraising idea for your organization, you can then get started with a matching gifts provider. We highly recommend Double the Donation!


Getting started with Double the Donation is easy:

  1. Attend a daily demo to learn more about Double the Donation’s services.
  2. Work with a member of the Double the Donation team to select your pricing package and feature tier.
  3. Onboard in less than 2 weeks.
  4. Begin raising more from corporate matching gifts!

An estimated 4 to 7 billion dollars in matching gifts go unclaimed every year. What are you waiting for? Start fundraising with a matching gift program today!

Testimonials from Matching Gifts Fundraisers

“Double the Donation’s service is great. It paid for itself in the first month!”

Beth W. — Executive Director — The Greater Boston Chapter (GBC) of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association


“We’ve been using Double the Donation for over three years. The service is a great way of reminding people to find out if their employer will match their donation and then makes it easy for donors and volunteers to submit these grant requests.”

Jamie T. — Director of Major Gifts — Piedmont Healthcare Foundation


“The matching gift lookup tool is extremely user-friendly and provides donors with exactly what they need to submit matching gifts. The plugin on our matching gift page and on the confirmation screen is boosting matches big time! We’ve been using Double the Donation in place of HEPCASE since August and have been really happy with the transition. We love how accurate the data is and the fact we can easily add the plugin on multiple pages of our website — plus, their logo, ‘Double the Donation’ in bright green letters on every confirmation screen is boosting matches big time!”

Valerie V. — Director of Donor Stewardship — ASPCA

Additional Matching Gifts Resources

Can’t get enough of matching gifts? We’ve got your back. Check out these great additional resources to learn more: