Companies like financial services firm Ernst & Young understand that matching gifts programs aren’t just a perk for your staff. Indeed, Ernst & Young doesn’t see these programs as a perk at all: rather than a side project, their matching gifts program is an integral part of Ernst & Young’s overall strategy.
The matching gifts program at Ernst & Young has tight parameters, rewarding employees for donating only to an accredited nonprofit college or university in the United States. Small donations need not apply - the company only tracks donations over $25 (or $100 for more senior personnel), and the donations to a single college or university must be over $2,500 for a calendar year to be matched. Despite the restrictions, or perhaps because of them, the program has flourished, allowing Ernst & Young to maintain close connections with the accounting and business programs at top American universities.
Companies looking to create a matching program of their own are often at a loss for where to start. Even companies with long-standing matching gifts programs would do well to examine potential improvements. Ellen Glazerman, Executive Director of the Ernst & Young Foundation, the nonprofit that oversees matching donations for Ernst & Young employees, was happy to sit down with us and describe how her company’s matching gifts program has thrived.
Here’s Glazerman’s list of the five ways you can maximize the benefits of your own matching program: