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Billions in Matching Funds Go Unclaimed (October 3, 2018)

Last year non-profit organizations received an estimated $17.77 billion in donations from companies in the United States. While that number is impressive, corporate donations could be significantly higher if more people took advantage of matching gifts and donations. An estimated $6-$10 billion in matching gift funds are unclaimed every year. The biggest reason non-profits miss out on these funds? Donors don’t know about their employer’s, or spouse’s employer’s, matching program.

One of the easiest ways for a non-profit to see more matching donations is by asking donors to check if their company offers a match. Reminding potential donors to ask their employer about a company match on your website, social media and other marketing materials can help.

With research, a non-profit can identify companies with matching programs, particularly those with operations in their local market.  By collecting employer information from donors, and identifying employers with matching programs, a non-profit can see their matching donations soar.   

Some corporate matching programs require their employee to volunteer a certain number of hours or donate a minimum amount to be eligible for a company match. Others limit their donations to certain causes, or may decline to donate to charities with religious or political affiliations.  Non-profits can make it easy for donors to pursue employer matches by providing program eligibility information online and providing donors with documentation, such as tracked volunteer hours, in a timely manner.

Here at Myers, Bretthotlz & Company we offer a company matching donation when our employees donate to the United Way. 

When an organization receives a matching donation, they should thank the donor for getting the match and the company making the matching donation. Keep a record of matching donations and consider targeting donors from companies with matching programs in future appeals. If you find a pattern of employees from a particular company donating to your organization, consider approaching their employer about a matching campaign.  This can be especially powerful for a specific fundraising goal, like a capital campaign.

Company matching programs are an opportunity non-profits should consider including in their fundraising strategy.  Even the simplest effort, such as reminding donors to inquire about a company match with their employers, can benefit your organization and your cause.  

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