Corporate giving: how technology taps into a growing source of ongoing support

Apr 22, 2024
Sage Avarda

Upwards of 26 million people in the United States work for an employer that matches charitable donations, yet 78% of employee donors don’t know if their employer offers matching gifts.

In today’s digital landscape, the decision to donate may occur in the blink of an eye — meaning, employees aren’t going to reach out to HR to ask about a matching gift option and wait for a reply. They’ll just smash that “Donate” button and move on.

So how do nonprofits activate corporate giving and tap into this wildly underutilized source of support? It’s actually not difficult with the right technology. This post explains the key benefits of corporate giving programs, how they work, and how nonprofits can use technology to drive matching gifts.

Why corporate giving programs are trending upward

The context behind the growth of matching gift programs can help nonprofits develop their corporate giving strategy. So here’s some essential background on that topic:

Competitive benefits attract top talent

According to the 2023 Benefits Trends Survey from WTW, a global risk and human capital firm, 80% of surveyed employers cited competition for talent as the top influence on their benefits strategy.

Health, vision, and dental insurance might’ve been an attractive benefits package at one time, but today’s top talent is looking for a lot more. Millennials in particular are looking for benefits that align with their values and enhance their quality of life — paid parental leave, wellness programs, and technology stipends, for example. Many companies have added a corporate matching gifts program to their slate of benefits, with some planning to expand their programs in the near future.

Matching gifts boost engagement and retention

Employees looking for more than just a paycheck tend to be more engaged with employers that demonstrate their commitment to supporting worthy causes. Philanthropy-minded employees may also be more likely to stay with a company that matches their charitable donations.

Philanthropy strengthens brand reputation

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can help companies build their image and set them apart from competitors. Demonstrating a commitment to philanthropy can be especially powerful when companies are supporting nonprofits in their own communities.

Why nonprofits should prioritize corporate giving

There are several reasons nonprofits should bring corporate giving into fundraising stack, among them:

Diversified funding

Corporate giving programs reduce reliance on individual donors. When employers match donations, it effectively doubles the contribution without requiring additional fundraising efforts from the nonprofit.

Boosted employee contributions

Knowing their employer will match their donation may motivate employees to give more than they might have otherwise, which can significantly increase the total contribution a nonprofit receives.

Higher match percentages

Some companies go beyond a simple 1:1 match, offering higher ratios like 2:1. Large companies that offer this benefit may limit the maximum match amount, but the benefits for nonprofits can still be tremendous — Coca-Cola offers a 2:1 annual match for employees and retirees on donations up to $10,000.

Targeted marketing

Nonprofits can leverage corporate matching programs through targeted marketing efforts, such as social media ads aimed at employees of specific companies known for their generous matching policies. Targeting can yield higher donation rates among existing employee donors and boost awareness among potential donors at companies with matching gift programs.

The tech behind matching gifts

Some companies proactively tell employees about the availability of matching gifts. But in an age of flexible work schedules and fully remote employees, communication about this benefit may be lost amid a sea of other information.

Nonprofits can and do use social media to remind employees of this potential benefit, as shown here in this post from National Kidney Foundation:

Social posts may help boost matching donations, but the most effective way to do this is to engage donors during the donation process.

With the right technology, nonprofits can prompt employee donors to search for their employer match before submitting their donation. An off-the-shelf solution won’t work here — businesses need a few pieces of connected technology to create a seamless experience.

Here’s an example of how it all comes together when nonprofits use Fundraise Up and 360MatchPRO:

  1. An employee donor clicks on the “Donate” button on a nonprofit’s website.
  2. The donation form encourages the donor to look up their employer. (This search function ties into the 360MatchPRO database of more than 24,000 employers that offer matching contributions).

Fundraise Up and 360MatchPRO integration

  1. If the donor chooses to continue without looking for their employer, they’ll receive a follow-up email that explains the value of matching donations and a clickable CTA button that takes them to an employer lookup page.
  2. If an employee’s donation is below the minimum threshold for a company’s matching program, they’ll see a prompt that asks them if they want to change their donation amount.

Exclusive to Fundraise Up, this feature prompts donors to increase their donation amount at checkout to meet their employer’s matching requirements.

  1. Once the employee donates, they’ll receive an acknowledgment, and their contact information will sync to the nonprofit’s CRM.

Frictionless fundraising is within reach

Nonprofits work hard to find, convert, and retain donors, but matching gifts require low effort and maximum reward. The key to capitalizing on this deep well of support is raising awareness among employees and offering a frictionless donation process.

Fundraise Up’s plug-and-play donation checkout functionality brings new fundraising power to nonprofit websites. With features like suggested donation amounts, AI-powered upsells, and integrations with the tech nonprofits use every day, Fundraise Up drives digital donations and recurring revenue without straining resources.

No contract or setup fees. No monthly fees. No reason to wait — get started with Fundraise Up.

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