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Would you like two scoops of ice cream for the price of one? How would you like it if your favorite sports team won back-to-back titles by only winning one game? Imagine how much you could accomplish with an exact clone of yourself.

Turns out, most ice cream shops aren’t going to go for your two-for-one offer, and cloning technology isn’t quite there yet. But when it comes to fundraising, there is a way to get more for less. They’re called matching gifts, and there is no easier way to increase donations to your nonprofit.

What is a Matching Gift? 

Matching gifts are charitable corporate donations that match employee gifts to eligible nonprofits. About 91% of companies match their employee’s exact donation amount $1:$1, while about 5% of companies match at a higher rate. Thousands of companies worldwide and 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs, so there are plenty of opportunities for your nonprofit to take advantage of!

Matching gifts are submitted through company-specific online portals, for about 80% of companies, or via paper forms, for the remaining 20% of companies. Human Resources departments typically handle these programs.

Matching Gift Benefits

Research has demonstrated that $4-7 billion goes unclaimed because employees fail to take full advantage of corporate giving programs. 


Most corporate giving programs have deadlines for submitting matching gift requests. The most common dates are:

  • End of the Calendar Year – When the page turns to January, a donation loses matching gift eligibility.

  • A Certain Number of Months After the Date of the Donation – Anything between three and twelve months is normal.

  • End of January or February in the Year After the Donation was Made 

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