Corporate Giving | An Underutilized Fundraising Goldmine

October 18, 2021

Corporate Giving | An Underutilized Fundraising Goldmine

Corporate giving is one of the most underutilized fundraising strategies, yet it holds billions of dollars in potential revenue for charitable organizations. That means that more than likely, your organization is missing out on available corporate funding opportunities, valuable business partnerships, and more.

But surely, you want to secure every dollar you can for your mission! That’s why exploring corporate giving and seeing what it can do for your team is critical. In this guide, we’ll share valuable information on corporate fundraising, why it’s essential, and how you can make the most of it by answering the following questions:

  • What Is Corporate Giving?
  • Who Benefits From Corporate Giving?
  • Why Is Corporate Giving Underutilized?
  • How Can I Make the Most of Corporate Giving?

Ready to dive into the vast world of corporate giving? Let’s get started.

What Is Corporate Giving?

Corporate giving is the most common subset of corporate philanthropy, in which for-profit businesses work to promote social welfare⁠—often through donations of time, money, and goods. Although there is a wide range of corporate giving opportunities available, these are two of the most popular and most accessible programs to look for:

  • Matching gifts: Corporate matching gift programs involve companies matching charitable donations made by their employees to eligible nonprofit causes. Picture this: your donor, John, makes a $1,000 contribution to your fundraising campaign. His employer offers a corporate matching gift program, which means they’ll cut you an additional $1,000 check. That’s basically free money!
  • Volunteer grants: Volunteer grants follow a similar premise, although the initial gift being “matched” by the supporter’s employer is of time rather than funds. When individuals regularly volunteer with a nonprofit, many companies will offer monetary grants corresponding to the amount of time donated or once a supporter hits a certain threshold. For example, Mary has volunteered over 50 hours with your organization this year. Her employer will provide a grant worth $15 for every hour worked. This results in a $750 grant for your cause⁠—in addition to the value of the volunteer hours themselves.

Regardless of the kind of corporate giving programs you target with your fundraising strategy, these types of efforts allow nonprofit causes to partner with for-profit businesses looking to make a positive impact on their communities and the world around them.

Who Benefits From Corporate Giving?

Everyone! Corporate giving programs offer significant benefits to each party involved⁠—mainly the businesses providing and the nonprofits receiving. Here’s a quick look at the advantages to each group

  • The business: Businesses participating in corporate philanthropy benefit from an improved reputation among consumers, substantial tax deductions, and increased levels of employee engagement.
  • The nonprofit: Charitable organizations that are on the receiving end of these arrangements receive much-needed financial support for their causes, in addition to potentially long-term relations with philanthropic-minded businesses.

In particular examples of corporate giving, such as matching gifts and volunteer grants discussed above, there’s a third party that benefits from these types of partnerships: the initial donor or volunteer!

Nonprofit supporters who partake in gift or volunteer hour-matching programs through their employers receive the added bonus of knowing that their contributions go even further for a cause they care about.

Why Is Corporate Giving Underutilized?

All types of corporate giving programs are often underutilized by nonprofits. Unfortunately, this means a significant portion of a company’s budget set aside specifically for that purpose will go untouched.

When it comes to employer matching of both financial gifts and time, the most significant roadblock to maximizing these programs is a lack of awareness among supporters. Consider the following statistics:

4 to 7 billion dollars in matching gifts go unclaimed per year

  • $4 to $7 billion in matching gift funding is unclaimed each year.
  • Only 1.3% of donations are matched at the average nonprofit, despite upwards of 10% being match-eligible.
  • 78% of match-eligible donors are unaware that their employers offer matching gifts.

These studies from Double the Donation showcase the significant knowledge gap between individuals who are eligible for matching gifts and individuals who know that they’re eligible for matching gifts. Reduce the knowledge gap, and you can increase the funding secured through these sources!

How Can I Make the Most of Corporate Giving?

If you’re looking to boost corporate fundraising efforts at your nonprofit, here are two of the most impactful ways to do so:

Promote corporate giving opportunities to donors.

Educating supporters on available corporate giving programs is an excellent idea to increase your donor engagement strategies. After all, the majority of donors would jump at a chance to make a more significant contribution to a cause they care about without having to reach back into their own wallets. 

Unfortunately, these individuals will miss out on that opportunity if they’ve never been informed of them in the first place⁠—thus, the awareness problem. This is why we recommend sharing corporate giving information through the following channels:

  • Social media posts
  • Email blasts and e-newsletters
  • Letters, postcards, and mailing inserts

And you don’t have to pick just one, either. Taking a multichannel approach to sharing critical corporate giving information is one of the best ways to increase awareness and drive participation in these programs.

Invest in corporate giving software.

Various types of fundraising software are available to help streamline and simplify nonprofit operations. If you’re looking to substantially increase your matching gift or volunteer grant efforts, the right corporate giving software is a must-have.

For example, a comprehensive database of corporate giving information will provide users with details on matching gift and volunteer grant programs from thousands of businesses and subsidiaries. This might include:

  • Matching gift minimums and maximums
  • Volunteer hour thresholds
  • Match ratios or hourly volunteer grant rates
  • Types of nonprofit causes eligible for matching gifts and volunteer grants
  • Matching gift and volunteer grant request deadlines
Double the donation has a comprehensive database of corporate giving information will provide users with details on matching gift and volunteer grant programs from thousands of businesses and subsidiaries.

To receive this information (and more!), it simply requires donors and volunteers to conduct a quick search of their employer’s name in your provided database. You can even embed this type of search tool directly into your donation form and confirmation screens for easy access.

The less information supporters have to search for manually, the more likely they will submit a request with their company.

As we head into the year-end giving season, making the most of corporate giving is an excellent objective to work towards. When you equip your team with the right tools and strategies, you can begin raising more through matching gifts, volunteer grants, and other corporate giving opportunities in no time. Good luck!