10 Companies Engaging Employees Through Exemplary Matching Gift and Grant Programs
By Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation on November 16, 2018
Matching gift programs do a lot to encourage employee loyalty, and many companies include added perks with their matching gift programs.
Matching gifts themselves are donations made by a company to an organization that an employee of said company has already donated to.
Companies find many ways to get creative with their matching gift and grant programs, and there’s no right or wrong type of benefit to include in a matching gift program. The heart of the matter is that employers and employees are working together to build a better world, and, in turn, to build a better work environment.
Highlights of some of the top matching gift companies and their programs
- Great-West Financial
- CVS Caremark
- State Street
- General Electric
Aetna gives employees an additional eight hours of paid time off (essentially one day of work) if they donate to a nonprofit at the Sponsor Level. The Sponsor Level is calculated as a percentage of an employee’s salary, so that employees pay amounts relative to the salaries they earn.
This makes it easier for all levels of employees to reap the benefits of Aetna’s matching gift program without having to give up too much of their earnings.
In addition to the paid time off, Aetna will match Sponsor Level donations to the respective nonprofits.
Nestle employees can participate in the “Community Care Campaign” by donating a full day’s pay (their Fair Share) to either the Nestle Adopt-A-School program or to a local Boys & Girls Club. These employees are rewarded with two extra days of PTO during the year in which the donation is made. In addition, Nestle will match the donation.
Paid time off programs vary by company, but they’re consistent in that they reward employee philanthropy with both a matching gift and the gift of some extra R&R.
Many top matching gift companies recognize that a large part of employee happiness is having time away from work. Nestle seeks to satisfy this desire through their paid time off offers that work in tandem with their matching gift programs.
Walks, runs, bike rides, and similar fundraising events are great ways for employees to make a difference while being healthy. Companies, such as Boeing, encourage giving through fundraising events by providing additional corporate gifts.
Boeing recently won the Healthy Lifestyles Award from the National Business Group on Health, so it’s no surprise that Boeing provides $100 grants for every cause-related fundraising event in which an employee partakes.
From bowl-a-thons to dance-a-thons to 5k’s, employees can get out, get active, and raise money for the causes they love without giving any of their own money.
4. Great-West Lifeco
Some companies provide set amounts of money for participation in fundraising events, while others give grants that match the money that employees raise.
Many fundraising events encourage participants to seek sponsors in order to raise money for the cause. Participants reach out to friends and family to raise funds.
Great-West Lifeco incentivizes this type of fundraising by promising to match the money that employees raise.
When a Great-West employee raises money for a walk, run, or other fundraising event, Great-West matches up to $1,500 of the funds raised. Employees give twice as much, nonprofits receive double the help, and businesses pair corporate philanthropy with building better employee loyalty.
5. CVS Health
CVS has a history of philanthropy; in fact, they recently donated $100,000 in cash and in-kind support to victims of the Louisiana floods.
Similar to Great-West Financial, CVS Health matches employee fundraising donations from sponsorships. When CVS employees raise money for an event, CVS matches those donations up to $1,000.
CVS requires a donation of at least $250 in order to receive a matching gift.
Minimum donations help to set the standard that employees get a little more when they give a little more, while encouraging greater participation in philanthropy.
6. State Street
A few years ago, State Street donated nearly $20 million in grants to 40 communities around the world. It’s easy to see how much State Street and its foundation cares about supporting philanthropic endeavors.
All State Street employees can submit matching gift requests for donations up to $5,000, but State Street will match even larger donations for upper-level employees.
The staggered matching gift program encourages employees who make more money to make larger contributions to good causes.
State Street’s annual levels of corporate giving are as follows:
- All employees can apply for matching gifts up to $5,000 annually.
- Senior VP’s can apply for $15,000 worth of matching gifts.
- Executive VP’s may apply for $25,000 worth of matching gifts.
- Board of Directors, CEO, President, and Vice Chairs can apply for up to $35,000 worth of matching gifts each year.
State Street will also match employee donations from fundraising pledges up to $5,000 per year.
Some companies offer outright grants without requiring their employees to make the initial donation or volunteer.
BP’s Fabric of America Fund allocates $300 to each employee to donate to the nonprofit of their choosing. Employees are able to support the causes they care about without digging into their own pockets.
BP also runs a matching gift program that will match gifts up to $5,000 per year. Many companies leverage multiple methods of corporate giving in order to increase philanthropy.
Appreciating employees also means celebrating employees. Just as gifts to nonprofits let those organizations know that people care, gifts from employers to employees assert a company’s adoration for its workers.
On an employee’s fifth anniversary with the company, RealNetworks gives the employee a $500 grant to give to the nonprofit of his or her choice.
By offering this gift to employees based on time spent working for the company, RealNetworks is encouraging company loyalty while also fostering a community of people who celebrate their accomplishments by supporting others.
It’s great to celebrate longevity, but why not celebrate the start of the journey, too?
Microsoft gives new employees $50 grants to give to the nonprofit of their choosing. Not only does this build employee loyalty from day one, but it gets the ball rolling on encouraging a company-wide culture of philanthropy.
Microsoft is known for giving back, and they waste no time in making that happen. The data backs up their desire, as research proves that employees want to work for socially-responsible businesses.
In total, Microsoft corporate donations increased from $88 million to $113 million in just four years. That increase was made possible by donations from employees who had been giving since their first day with the company.
10. General Electric
In 1954, General Electric created the Corporate Alumni Program, the first matching gift program ever, to support employee philanthropy. Today, GE matches over $35 million a year to nonprofit organizations.
While GE offers no special perks, they changed the game (or even invented it) for corporate social responsibility. GE set a precedent and created a ripple effect that has shaped modern corporate society for the better. For that, we will always recognize General Electric.
Make the Most of Matching Gifts
Consider that 72% of charitable giving comes from individuals. Now consider how much more revenue could be collected if each of those individual donations were matched by the donor’s employee. That is why it is so important to make sure that each and every donor knows about matching gifts and how to check their own match-eligibility.
To really make the most of matching gifts, you need the right software. We highly recommend the tools provided by our partners at Double the Donation. With the most thorough database of matching gift programs, your donors are able to check their match-eligibility on the spot.
And to really make sure that not a single matching gift opportunity slips through the cracks, we recommend 360MatchPro. This is Double the Donation’s most robust tool, more of a matching gifts super-platform. With automated donation tracking and donor outreach, your matching gift efforts will be completely taken care of, eliminating the need for a full-time employee focused on matching gifts.
Check out the 360MatchPro dashboard. This view offers actionable insights to enhance your matching gift efforts!
If you’re looking for additional matching gift resources check out the following:
- Workplace giving options for employers
- Matching gift services for small to medium sized nonprofits
- Matching gift services for large nonprofits
- America’s Charities member-only discounts to Double the Donation’s matching gift products