Give More Free: Double Charitable Donations at No Cost
Think of it as “buy one, GIVE one free.”
Many companies will match an employee’s charitable contributions, effectively doubling a donation to non-profit organizations such as Greenbelt.
These matching gifts are corporate philanthropy programs that reward employees’ charitable donations.
While an estimated $2 to 3 billion dollars is donated through matching gift programs each year, another $4 to 7 billion goes unclaimed, largely because employees are not aware of their company’s program.
In fact, 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies have matching gift programs, and a significant number of small companies have them as well.
Among companies with a local presence in Massachusetts, Home Depot offers gift matching to eligible full and part-time employees. As with most companies, there is both a minimum and maximum donation that will be matched.
Home Depot will match a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $3,000 per employee, doubling those donations. While General Electric will match up to $5,000 and CarMax will match up to $10,000.
Starbucks will match donations made by both current and retired employees, as does The Gap.
While most companies have an open matching gift program, meaning they will match donations to any eligible charity, other companies will sometimes limit what types of nonprofits they will match donations to.
For example, airlines commonly focus their corporate philanthropy efforts toward education-based organizations, according to America’s Charities. Other companies will only match grants to institutions of higher learning.
ExxonMobil offers a 3:1 match for donations made to educational institutions, while donations to arts and cultural organizations get a 1:1 match.
However, in all cases the process for obtaining the match must be initiated by the employee after their donation has been made. Otherwise, the matching contribution goes unclaimed.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.