Stats You Need to Know about Employee Donation Matching Programs

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Matching gifts are often the best kept secret at companies across the country.

And that’s not a good thing.

Too many employees aren’t aware of their company’s policies around matching gifts or aren’t able to easily capitalize on this perk. Too many companies aren’t sufficiently promoting this engagement-fostering tool. And too many nonprofits are left with a fraction of the resources that they could have benefited from with each employee donation.

Unmatched donations is, plain and simple, money left on the table. So if your company offers matching gifts, consider how you can make this benefit more widely known and easier to access. And if you don’t offer matching gifts, it’s time to make the case to the powers that be about adding this benefit at your company.

According to our friends at Double the Donation, a matching gifts services company, higher matching gift caps yield higher employee engagement. From their research:

    • Caps that are set at $1,000 see a 12% employee engagement rate.

    • Caps that are from $1,001 to $10,000 see an 18% engagement rate.

    • Any cap beyond $10,000 sees a spike in employee engagement up to 40%.

If you’re not offering a matching gifts program, bear in mind that your competitors for top talent are. Here are stats you need to know about this highly valued perk that employees love as much as nonprofits:

  • 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs.

  • Over 18 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs.

  • An estimated $2-3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually.

  • An estimated $6-$10 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year.

  • The median employee participation rate for matching gift programs is 9%.

  • Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in the response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount (and that’s prior to receiving matching gift funds.)

  • 84% of survey participants revealed they’re more likely to donate if a match was offered.

  • When a match is offered, one in three donors indicates they gave a larger gift because matching was applied to their donation.

  • Match-funding is the most likely factor to make donors give more. Match-funding even scored higher than emergency appeals.

  • 12.3% of total corporate cash contributions went through corporate matching gift programs.

    • Technology companies gave the highest proportion of matching-gift contributions as a percentage of total cash gifts at 17.3%.

  • The top 10 matching gift companies will match on average up to $47,500 per employee per year.

  • In 1954, the GE Foundation created the Corporate Alumni Program, the first corporate gift-matching program.

    • Last year GE matched over $39 million in donations from employees to a wide range of 501(c)(3) organizations and accredited educational institutions (including K-12 schools)

    • Since the program was created in 1954 over $1.07 billion have been matched by General Electric to nonprofits

  • Microsoft is the largest contributor of matching gift and volunteer grant funds

    • 65% of Microsoft’s employees participate in the annual giving campaign

    • Inclusive of the corporate match, Microsoft employees have donated more than $1 billion to nonprofits

    • Since Microsoft began its volunteer match program in 2005, U.S. based employees have volunteered more than 2 million hours of their time to causes they’re passionate about

    • In Fiscal Year 2014, Microsoft matched $53.2 million in employee monetary donations

      • This represents an 11% increase over 2013 match levels

      • Donations went to nearly 19,000 unique nonprofit organizations

    • In Fiscal Year 2014, Microsoft donated an additional $7.7 million as a result of the 456,000 volunteer hours logged through the company’s employee volunteer program.

  • 93% of companies have a minimum match requirement of less than or equal to $50

  • 80% of companies’ matching gift maximums fall between $500 and $10,000 annually per employee

  • 91% of companies match donations at a 1:1 ratio

    • 4% match at a lower rate such as .5:1

    • 5% match at a higher rate such as 2:1 or 3:1

  • In 2013, the top 10 corporations donated over $2 billion in cash to nonprofits, much of it through employee matching gift programs.

  • Corporations gave over $17.8 billion to charities in 2014, a 13.7% year-over-year increase.

  • Giving grew for 64% of companies between 2010 and 2013.

    • Giving increased by more than 10% for 52% of companies in the survey.

    • Giving increased by more than 33% for 25% of companies in the survey.

If your company is considering implementing or improving upon a matching gifts program, Double the Donation points out three things that every successful program has in common:

  1. They are easily understood and communicated to employees.

  2. They are easy for the corporation to administer.

  3. They are flexible enough to be utilized by employees in their desire to support nonprofits and causes of their choosing.

Employees expect the opportunity to participate in a robust corporate giving program as part of their work with you, and matching gifts is one of the best tools available to supercharge participation, engagement and impact. Just remember: when you give matching gifts, you get back far more.

Ryan Scott