Harnessing the Power of Matching Gifts

A strong matching gift program is an effective and practical way to improve your organization's corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. It sends a message of compassion to both your employees and your customers, demonstrating that your company takes their CSR initiative seriously. In fact, a recent study published on shared that 65% of Fortune 500 companies, as well as many other smaller companies, offer a matching gift program, confirming they are an integral source of funding for nonprofits.

Matching gift programs are one of the most appealing modern philanthropy options and make for an ideal addition to a cohesive and successful corporate social responsibility initiative.

What Is a Matching Gift Program?
A matching gift program consists of donations that an employer makes, which match the charitable contributions of the employer's staff members. It may also be called an "employee gift matching" program. Generally, these programs are linked with corporate grant makers.

91% of companies who run a program of this type will match the charitable contributions of their employees dollar for dollar. An additional 5% of companies choose to donate double or even three times the amount of the employee contributions.

Matching Gifts as a CSR Enhancement

Matching gifts have a proven track record of effectively attracting new employees and retaining existing employees at corporations for years to come. Along with creating a positive workplace culture, this type of program also improves a company's public image. It sends a message that the company cares about the world around them, rather than caring about the bottom line alone. 

How to Boost Employee Participation
Statistics show that over 10 billion dollars are left unused in matching gifts programs each year. The good news is, however, that there are simple steps you can take to raise the rate of participation and make sure your employees are aware of your corporate matching gifts program.


First, you should plan on choosing managers or ambassadors for your corporate philanthropy programs. Whether you will need one manager or multiple will depend on the size and scale of your CSR efforts. Next, you should plan to promote the matching gifts program via company blog, face-to-face meetings, and company-wide email announcements. Using your company intranet is another great way for ambassadors to spread the word.

In addition, you should focus on letting your team members know why the matching gifts program is beneficial. One way to effectively do this is by publicizing its positive impact. For example, you can create reports that detail the success of charities that employees and your company have donated to. You might also consider giving out awards to employees who donate or recognizing their charitable efforts in other ways.

Embracing technology, such as software made exclusively for matching gift program automation, is another way to make it easier for your staff members to participate in this type of CSR initiative.

Increase Gift Matching Program Engagement Through Automation
Innovative software can significantly streamline the administration efforts of this type of philanthropy initiative through the power of automation. 
Corporate giving software allows you to access a number of benefits, including the capacity to gather matching gift data through online donation forms rather than paper applications.

Many software providers offer the option to process donations via payroll deduction, credit card, or e-check. You should also find it easier to push matches through the system. For example, you can access automated messaging choices and tracking features, which provide the right data to donors at appropriate times, all via customized capability emails.


Without automation, the process of administering this type of program may put unnecessary pressure on your team. Automation reduces the amount of administrative work that needs to be done, makes record keeping easier, and ensures that all relevant stakeholders remain in the loop.

Get Started
To get this type of program up and running, it is best to follow a handful of tried and true steps. First, find the specialized software that makes this type of program easy to manage. Next, establish a budget and create criteria for eligibility. Then you can begin to test out the matching gifts platform via a pilot program.

From there you can track your results and make refinements as needed. Then you can scale the program to fit your entire company. At this point, you should appoint philanthropy program ambassadors to spread the word about the new matching gifts program to your employees.

Creating a program along these lines will send a strong message of social responsibility from your company, both internally and externally. This will also help to foster a positive and supportive corporate culture, which in turn helps your company attract and retain top talent.

We would love to help you get started on the road to matching gift success. Our software will help you streamline your program, maximize the impact of your initiatives, and substantially minimize costs.