Not-for-Profit Notebook

Practical insight and analysis on the accounting, audit and tax issues impacting not-for-profit organizations.

Foster Gift Matching at Your Nonprofit

When a corporate partner agrees to match the value of a donor’s gift, you can quickly double your organization’s gain. Are you doing everything you can to educate your financial supporters and their employers about matching gifts?

Organize Your Efforts

Gift MatchingMost matching programs are managed by HR departments, which provide employees with matching gift forms. Typically, the employer sends the completed forms, along with the matched donations, to the charity the employee has chosen. Dollar-for-dollar matching is most common among participating corporations, but some companies offer more, others less. Many match donations to any nonprofit, but some are more restrictive.

To encourage increased matching gifts, draw up a list of employers in your area that offer matching. Typically, you can find this information in annual reports, on company websites or by calling companies’ HR, PR or community relations departments. Matching programs are often run through a company’s related foundation, if applicable.

Once you have a comprehensive and accurate list, post it on your website’s donation page. Be sure to reach out to existing donors who currently work for companies on your match list. All of your nonprofit’s solicitations should encourage supporters to check with their employers about the availability of matching.

Create Your Own Gift Matching Programs

Consider creating your own matching pool to further increase your donations. Ask board members and major supporters to match donations during a certain time period, for certain populations or for a minimum donation amount. For instance, your board might match all donations from new contributors in February or a major donor might commit to match gifts made at your annual gala.

Also keep in mind that some charitable foundations will match gifts to jump-start a fundraising effort or major campaign. Such an arrangement might be easier to set up than securing a large employer to donate to your organization.

Be Persistent

Gift matching enables donors to make larger contributions than they can manage on their own. Knowing their gift will be matched, they might even bump up the amount, especially if their own company is matching their donation. The effort involved in obtaining matching gifts is worthwhile for your organization.