Matching Gifts: the CSR Addition Your Company Needs

If you are looking for an effective and practical way to improve corporate social responsibility at your company, you should consider implementing a matching gifts program.

Starting a matching gifts program sends a message of compassion to both your employees and your customers, and demonstrates that your company takes corporate social responsibility seriously. Given this, it is not surprising that more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have a matching gifts program.

Read on to explore the features of matching gifts and learn about how this form of corporate philanthropy pays off for companies. Matching gifts programs are one of the most appealing modern philanthropy options and make for an ideal addition to a cohesive and successful corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.


What Is A Matching Gifts Program?

A matching gifts 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

If your CSR program needs a shot in the arm, a gifts matching program may be the answer. Gift matching programs are effective in terms of attracting new employees and keeping existing employees at companies. This program can also positively impact your company's public image.

Corporate philanthropy sends a message that companies care about the world around them, rather than caring about profits alone. Matching gift programs also show that companies support the charitable endeavors of their employees.


How to Boost Employee Participation

Over 10 billion dollars is left unused in matching gifts programs each year. The good news is 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.

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. You may do this 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 just 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 make the administration of this type of philanthropy initiative much easier 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 provide 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 customizable 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.


How to 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 software that makes it easy to run this type of program. 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.



If your company wants to reap the benefits of a successful matching gifts program, DonationXchange is here to help. Learn more about our dynamic philanthropy platform.