The ultimate guide to matching gifts for fundraisers

Find out how to elevate your institution’s fundraising efforts
by doubling donations with matching gifts

Corporate matching gift programs are one of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy for fundraisers to implement. Specifically, they fall under a more specific type of corporate philanthropy known as workplace giving, in which a company’s employees play a direct role in the corporation’s philanthropic efforts. Matching gifts benefit everyone involved, from fundraising organizations and donors, to companies and employees—not to mention the communities impacted by the results!

Key matching gifts statistics for fundraisers to know

Curious about the impact of matching gifts programs for fundraisers? Here are a few statistics from our friends at Double the Donation that can help communicate the value and potential of corporate donation-matching initiatives:

  • Though approximately $2 – $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually, an additional estimated $4 – $7 billion in match funds go unclaimed per year.
  • 65% of Fortune 500 companies, plus tens of thousands of other businesses, offer matching gift programs⁠. All in all, matching gift companies employ over 26 million people who qualify for the programs.
  • The top 10 matching gift companies match on average up to $47,500 per employee per year.
  • 84% of survey participants say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered, and 1 in 3 donors indicate they’d give a more sizable gift if matching is applied to their donation.
  • In total, mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate and a 51% increase in average donation amount.
  • Employing multiple approaches to identifying match-eligible donors (such as targeted outreach, email domain screening, and more) results in 77% more identified match-eligible donations.

Get the complete guide:

The Ultimate Guide to Matching Gifts

Eligibility for matching gifts: guidelines for fundraisers

Criteria + guidelines

Each company that matches gifts is also able to set its own unique matching gift program guidelines. These guidelines typically outline the types of donations, organizations, and employees that qualify for match funding, and often encompass the following criteria;

Employee eligibility

Some companies that match donations put specific criteria in place that the employees must meet in order to qualify for matching gifts. Most typically, full-time and part-time employees are eligible for matching programs. However, some companies will only match donations made by current full-time employees, while others open up their programming to part-time team members, retired individuals, and family members of employees as well.

Organization eligibility

Similarly, businesses can also choose whether to match donations made to all nonprofit organizations (inclusive of higher education institutions and K-12 schools) or to restrict their programs to only a subset of organizations (such as only matching gifts made to education institutions). Companies can also establish exclusions to their matching programs, which most commonly apply to political and religious organizations.


Companies that match employee gifts typically establish a minimum donation amount that they’re willing to match, though lower-level gifts are often able to be batched to reach the matching gift-eligible threshold. And luckily, most businesses’ minimums are fairly low in order to ensure program accessibility. Research shows that 93% of companies set their minimum match requirements at less than or equal to $50, with the average minimum match falling at $34.


Most companies also set matching gift maximum thresholds at which they cap their offer to match donations. The higher the maximum cap, the greater rates of participation a company can expect to see. 80% of companies’ matching gift maximums fall between $500 and $10,000 annually per employee, and the mean maximum lands around $3,728 on an annual basis.

Match ratio

A matching gift ratio determines the rate at which the corporation will match the individual employee’s donation. A standard 1:1 ratio is most common, with 91% of participating companies utilizing this dollar-for-dollar match type. However, some companies (around 4%) choose lower rates such as .5:1, and around 5% of companies establish a higher rate of 2:1, 3:1, or even 4:1.

Submission deadline

Most companies establish a certain deadline by which employees must complete the matching gift process in order to remain eligible for a corporate match. The end of the year in which the donation is made is a common deadline, though some companies choose based on a certain number of months following the initial gift (typically between 1 and 12).

Request process

Once a donor has determined that they qualify for a matching program, they need to know how to complete the submission required to secure the matching gift on behalf of the organization. This can also vary from one company to the next, but often encompasses a brief online request form asking for basic information such as the donation date and amount, receiving organization, and more.

The matching gift plugin on Advance from Gravyty pages empowers donors to discover their match eligibility and take their next steps toward matching gift success by guiding them through the process.

With Advance from Gravyty, create fully branded online giving sites for giving days, annual appeals and crowdfunding campaigns with powerful gamification, marketing and sharing features to drive participation and increase donations.

Book a demo now.

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