Tapping into $10B in Employee-Directed Giving

Smart grant seekers can take advantage of a growing trend in the world of philanthropy, matching gifts or employee-directed giving.

Unfortunately, this is free money that nonprofits often overlook. The popularity of workplace giving is clearly on the upswing. In 2015, 65% of large companies match while 28% of small to mid-size companies now match, a boost from previous years.

And businesses are looking at employee giving as a direct component of overall employee engagement, with the key metrics of success continuing to be how many employees participate in their company’s programs and how much money they give. But employee surveys and benchmarking are also becoming important, and companies are increasingly looking to the best practices of other companies to grow engagement.

Such giving is an extension of corporate philanthropy; matching gift programs are designed to be the means by which companies support employee charitable giving. Companies match donations made by employees to a wide range of nonprofits.

“Many have said that workplace giving is dead,” according to Snapshot 2015: The New Corporate DNA—Where Employee Engagement and Social Impact Converge. “The Snapshot reports reveal quite the opposite is true. The traditional model of top down, corporate-directed giving is no longer acceptable. And, workplace giving and employee engagement is alive and evolving at a very rapid pace.”

Quick Stats

  • An estimated $6-$10 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year.
  • The median employee participation rate for matching gift programs is 9%.
  • Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in the response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount.
  • 93% of companies have a minimum match requirement of less than or equal to $50.  
  • 80% of companies’ matching gift maximums fall between $500 and $10,000 annually per employee.

Large corporations are heavily involved.

For example, BP-British Petroleum offers practically every type of employee giving program and allows the general public to track which organizations are receiving donations online in real time. The company provides a standard 1:1 match on all donations made by employees. The company also offers a 100% match on all money raised by employees for charity runs/walks.

And, there is the Gap Corporation. This includes Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix. It offers a matching gift program as well as multiple types of volunteer grants. Gap employees can request matches on donations made to almost all types of nonprofits. Match limits range from $1,000 annually for part-time employees to as much as $10,000 for Senior VPs and above.

Info: https://goo.gl/hxV3ey (Snapshot).

Company Max Match Amount Match Ratio What it Funds
General Electric $25,000 1:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/HjVubX
Soros Fund Management $300,000 Up to 3:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/RlRU8B
BP (British Petroleum) $5,000 1:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/cxHiw0
Gap Corporation $10,000 1:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/1GHbA8
State Street Corporation $35,000 1:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/Whx7Dl
ExxonMobil $22,500 Up to 3:1 Arts and cultural organizations and higher education
https://goo.gl/LzDY7N
CarMax $10,000 1:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/6pSxQE
Johnson & Johnson $20,000 Up to 2:1 Educational institutions (K-12 excluded); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/Mcyf4I
Boeing $6,000 Up to 1:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/8Itpfo
Microsoft $15,000 1:1 Educational institutions (K-12 included); health and human services; arts and cultural; civic/community organizations; environmental organizations
https://goo.gl/thgxZK

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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