Donation Matching

What Is Donation Matching?

Donation matching is a corporate giving initiative in which an employer matches their employee’s contribution to a specific cause, increasing the gift. For example, if a Kindful employee donates $50 to a local organization, the matching gift would be Kindful’s additional donation of $50. Instead of receiving a one-time $50 donation from a Kindful employee, the organization receives $100, thanks to the employee and Kindful.

Companies that participate in donation matching have a standard set of guidelines they follow when matching gifts. For example, most will typically match cash donations but not in-kind donations. They will also have maximum match amounts and submission deadlines. They may even have rules about what kinds of organizations they will contribute to (churches and religious organizations are often off limits). For a more in-depth look at companies’ donation matching guidelines check out our blog post, How To Use Employee Matching Donations To Raise More Money For Your Nonprofit.

How Does Gift Matching Help Nonprofits?

Gift matching helps nonprofits because it increases the gift initially made by the donor, leading to more revenue for the organization. Additionally, employees who request donation matches from their companies are essentially providing the nonprofit with free marketing and fundraising services. They are giving the nonprofit exposure and soliciting donations on behalf of the organization, which is a huge win for the organization.

How To Find Companies That Match Donations

Finding companies that match donations is simple thanks to the many online resources that have compiled lists of such companies. Some organizations even have search tools on their websites that allow donors to search company names to learn whether or not they have matching programs. Additionally, Double the Donation, a matching gift software for nonprofits, regularly releases lists like Top 30 Matching Gift Companies, which are also helpful when trying to find companies that participate in donation matching.

How To Start A Matching Gift Program

There are five key guidelines to establish when starting a matching gift program: match ratio, minimums and maximums, employee status, nonprofit eligibility, and deadline.

Match ratio

A match ratio is how much a company will donate in relation to the amount of the employee’s contribution. A 1:1 match is most common, indicating that the company will donate the exact same amount as their employee did to the same nonprofit.

Minimums and maximums

A minimum is the amount the employee must donate to qualify for a matching gift. A maximum is the amount that a company will contribute in matching gifts per employee per year.

Employee status

In some situations, an employee’s status within their company impacts their eligibility to participate in the company’s matching program.

Nonprofit eligibility

The nonprofit chosen by the initial donor can affect the match offered by the company. For example, a company may agree to match donations for educational nonprofits at a 3:1 ratio, while donations made to cultural organizations may only be matched at a 1:1 ratio.


All donations have a shelf life when it comes to matching gift requests. Companies will either set a firm date for all requests to be submitted by (often December 31st or April 15th) or will offer a window of time after the donation is made (90 days).

Once these standards have been set, companies must create the process for collecting matching gifts, which is usually the same no matter the company.

Step One: Employee makes a donation to their chosen nonprofit
Step Two: Employee submits matching gift request to their employer
Step Three: Nonprofit verifies details of the initial donation
Step Four: Company sends matching gift to nonprofit

Bottom Line

Donation matching is an easy way for donors to double (or even triple) their contributions to an organization.

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