Corporate Matching Gift Program: How to Start It

Many companies are adopting the corporate matching gift program to provide much-needed funds to charitable organisations. This program is also a way to incentivise donating to a good cause since, as an employee, you’re not at it alone.

This program is one way to build camaraderie within companies and will make employees feel that they are one with the company’s policies. Overall, this system is an excellent policy since it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

But what exactly is corporate matching, and how does it work? If you want to know the answers to these questions, we encourage you to read this article. 

What is Donation Matching? 

In a nutshell, corporate matching gift, also known as donation matching, is a policy where employers match their employees' donations to a nonprofit organisation of their choice. If an employee chooses a specific amount for an organisation, the company should match that depending on their agreed-upon ratio.

You can discuss the ratio for these donations beforehand, and it can be 1:1 or 1:2, or any other ratio the company and its employees agree on. The budget also plays a huge factor in these donations, and you can also discuss this during meetings before conducting the program. The minimum and maximum donation and matching ratio are something that need to be discussed before undertaking such an important task.

Organisations like Ocean Cleanup benefit significantly from receiving increased funds due to donation matching, allowing them to continue doing good work. With significant problems such as our environment’s destruction, it’s refreshing to see your contributions go to entities that support sustainability.

Imagine if you were to contribute $20 to the cause and your company has a donation matching program. Organisations such as Ocean Cleanup will get a significantly larger amount depending on the matching ratio and maximum amount these companies agree upon. 

Corporate Matching Gift Program

Why Does Donation Matching Matter?

Aside from the reasons discussed above, there are many things you can get out of corporate matching. Sometimes we become so focused on earning we forget to give back, so simple acts such as matching gifts go a long way.

That said, here are some of the reasons why donation matching matters: 

1. Helps Nonprofit Organisations

Nonprofit organisations don’t profit from their work and are solely focused on giving back to the community. These entities rely on contributions from other people, which helps keep their operations afloat.

Corporate matching gift programs are an excellent way to help nonprofit organisations because instead of getting one donation, they are getting twice the amount of that. It’s always good to give back to the community, and by helping these organisations stay afloat, you’ll be doing way more than you think. 

2. Puts the Spotlight on Nonprofit Organisations

One unfortunate thing about these nonprofit organisations is they never get the recognition they need to stay in their operation. These organisations rely on having their names out there, so when more people know about them, they will likely continue their operations.

Engaging in corporate matching programs will help promote the nonprofit organisation’s name. That means you’re going to put a spotlight on them with the help of your employees. Encouraging people from your workplace to participate is tantamount to giving these organisations free advertisement, which is a win-win situation for everyone involved. 

3. Helps Improve Your Company’s Image

Getting good impressions is not certainly the goal of engaging in this program. However, corporate matching will help improve and build how people see your company. Perhaps you’re a startup company looking to gain traction or an already established one looking to solidify your legacy, either way, it’s good for your image.

As discussed earlier, you are also giving free advertisements to the nonprofit organisation of your choice, so the exposure goes both ways. These days, exposure means everything, so the buzz will end up helping all the parties involved in the long run. 

How to Start a Corporate Matching Program?

Now that we know what we can get from engaging in this type of program, you might wonder how you and your company can participate. This section discusses the step-by-step processes you can follow to get this program underway.

Here are the things you can do to start your donation matching program: 

1. Inform your Team About Your Matching Gift Initiative

The best way to get everyone involved is to inform them about your plans. A carefully laid out plan for this initiative will make your team appreciate its nuances, prompting them to be interested in participating.

Giving your team a vague explanation about the program might discourage them, so be as meticulous and detailed as possible about the benefits of participating in that program. Once they discover how impactful this simple act can be, they, too, would want to participate. 

2. Find Companies that Match Donations

The best way you can learn the inner workings of this program is to find other companies that have engaged in it before you. The only way to learn is to see what worked for them and what didn’t and apply what you think is the best approach for your own matching gift initiative.

You can also look into how matching donations affected the nonprofit organisations and companies that took part in it, giving you an extra incentive to participate and provide happiness to the people these organisations help. 

3. Set a Budget

One part of being prepared for the task is ensuring you have enough funds to make a significant contribution. Your team must have a goal to strive for; otherwise, employees might find it hard to determine how much they need to contribute.

Determining the minimum employee donation will help smooth things out and allow you to coordinate effectively. Additionally, part of setting a budget is informing everyone of the maximum donation from the company.

Knowing which number to reach will allow you to paint a clear goal for your team, making things much easier and smoother for everyone involved. 

4. Determine the Match Ratio 

The match ratio refers to how much the company will match its employees' contributions. Ideally, the proportion that should be used is 1:1 or 50/50 since it’s fair to all parties involved, but you can set it to 70/30 with the company shouldering most of the donations.

This ratio is up to the employers and employees to agree upon, so it is crucial to discuss this concern beforehand. 

5. Determine the Donation Deadline For Your Company

The preparations for this drive can only go on for a while; you should have a set deadline for when you need to accomplish this goal. Aside from getting your donations faster to their intended destination, deadlines also allow you to work towards a common goal, increasing efficiency in the workplace.

As a company, you’re already used to meeting deadlines and working together to achieve a goal, so this will also serve as a practice for everyone involved. The best thing about this drive is its good cause, making it more special. 

Encourage Your Team to Participate in Donation Matching

These are what you need to know about employee matching gift programs. Aside from the apparent benefits like increasing camaraderie within the team and helping nonprofits achieve their goals, more positive things can happen when you engage in this program, like supporting good causes such as the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Initiative.

If you are thinking about implementing this drive within your company, let these insights serve as your guide as to what the impact of doing so might be. Encourage your team to participate in donation matching, see how it changes lives, and experience a win on all fronts.