Matching Gifts & More: 5 Workplace Giving Programs to Know

Double The Donation2023-10-16

Unlock the potential of workplace giving programs for your organization. These initiatives can amplify your nonprofit's fundraising impact in no time.

Corporate philanthropy offers a significant amount of funding and resources to mission-focused organizations, allowing companies to give back and make a positive difference in the world. Though this can take many forms, you’ll want to keep an eye out for one particular sort: workplace giving.

Workplace giving⁠—or employee giving, as it’s sometimes referred⁠ to—is a subcategory of corporate philanthropy that places individual employees in the driver’s seat of a company’s giving initiatives. Rather than corporate leadership selecting a nonprofit cause to support behind the scenes, workplace giving stands out by involving team members in a direct and tangible way. And it means that organizations like yours can access corporate funding by engaging individual donors to participate.

Of these programs, the most popular example is employee matching gifts. But that’s not the only option by a long shot! In this guide, we’ll walk through five common types of workplace giving offerings and what your team can do to maximize each opportunity for your mission.

These include:

  1. Matching Gifts
  2. Volunteer Grants
  3. Fundraising Matches
  4. Annual Giving Campaigns
  5. Payroll Deductions

Let’s begin!

Workplace Giving Program #1: Matching Gifts

Corporate matching gift programs are initiatives offered by employers where they commit to matching employees' charitable donations to eligible nonprofits. For example, if an employee donates $100 to a qualifying organization, the company donates an additional $100 to the same cause⁠—effectively doubling the impact of the employee's gift.

How to maximize this funding source:

First, make a point to mention matching gifts in your fundraising appeals. After all, Double the Donation research indicates that simply highlighting matching gift opportunities results in a 71% increase in appeal response rate and 51% growth in average gift size.

We also recommend collecting employment data from donors as they fill out your online giving forms. From there, you can identify those who work for companies that match gifts and follow up post-transaction with employer-specific guidelines and instructions for match-eligible donors.

Workplace Giving Program #2: Volunteer Grants

Similarly, volunteer grants (or “Dollars for Doers”) are a type of workplace giving initiative that incentivizes employees’ time spent volunteering with charitable causes. When an eligible staff member devotes a certain number of hours to working with a nonprofit, the employing company makes a financial donation to the organization.

Funds are typically issued on an hourly (i.e., $15 per hour spent volunteering) or tiered basis (10-25 volunteer hours produce a $200 grant) in order to support the causes the employees are passionate about.

How to maximize this funding source:

Encourage your existing volunteer base to look into their employers’ philanthropic initiatives to uncover any volunteer grant opportunities. If you have access to a matching gift database (like Double the Donation), you can even invite volunteers to look into their company’s programs using your quick and easy search tool!

Upon doing so, ensure that qualifying individuals take the steps to complete their employers’ grant request forms and provide volunteer hour-tracking information as needed.

Workplace Giving Program #3: Fundraising Matches

Fundraising matches are also closely related to matching gifts. But rather than matching a donation an employee personally contributes to an organization, the company matches all gifts an employee collects through a peer-to-peer fundraising role benefitting a nonprofit cause.

While less common than traditional matching gift programs, fundraising matches have an opportunity to drive significant levels of corporate support through eligible campaigns.

How to maximize this funding source:

Research companies that are known to offer fundraising match programs⁠—such as theseAgain, your matching gift database tool should provide information on employers who participate.

As you host peer-to-peer giving initiatives (such as run/walk/rides, event-a-thons, pledge drives, and more), look into the types of programs offered by your participants’ employers. Or encourage them to do so themselves!

Workplace Giving Program #4: Annual Giving Campaigns

Annual giving campaigns are a type of corporate initiative that involves a business hosting a fundraising drive on behalf of a nonprofit cause and actively encouraging its employees to participate.

These campaigns often incentivize team members to donate generously using elements of gamification⁠—such as goal-tracking, friendly competition, activities, and rewards organized by the company. Not to mention donation-matching may also be made available to further amplify giving impact and encourage staff to get involved.

Annual giving campaigns typically aim to foster a sense of community among a company’s workforce, too!

How to maximize this funding source:

Becoming the recipient of a company’s annual giving campaign typically involves relationship-building—with your individual donors, the company’s CSR department, or both. After all, many companies allow team members to nominate their favorite organizations, while others select nonprofit causes with which they share an existing partnership.

Consider reaching out to businesses in your community to see if they’d be interested in organizing an annual giving campaign. Just be sure to highlight the benefits for the company hosting it, too!

Workplace Giving Program #5: Payroll Deductions

Payroll deductions are a convenient way for employees to make regular contributions to organizations they support⁠—directly from their paychecks. Once an individual registers for this type of program, their employer automatically deducts a set amount from each paycheck and transfers it to the selected organization on a regular basis.

This method allows for easy and consistent support of charitable causes, essentially functioning as a company-facilitated recurring giving program!

How to maximize this funding source:

Be sure your organization is registered with as many CSR platforms as you can⁠—but especially the three largest providers. Most companies facilitate their payroll deduction programs through their corporate giving solution of choice and often require recipient organizations to first go through the platform’s screening in order to become eligible for employee giving.

Your team can streamline the process for donors and increase visibility amongst prospects by becoming a verified cause ahead of time!

Workplace giving programs continue to be notably under-utilized by the nonprofits and donors who qualify to participate. By increasing your understanding of the opportunities at hand, you can set your organization up for success and direct more corporate and individual funding toward your cause.

Just remember: it’s not enough for your internal team to be aware of these philanthropic initiatives. You need to implement a plan to pass the knowledge on to your donors, volunteers, individual fundraisers, and more. Luckily, equipping your organization with the right tools makes a huge difference.

Click here to find out how Givecloud and Double the Donation can help you do so!


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