The more revenue sources your nonprofit has, the more sustainable your organization will be. One often underutilized source of income for nonprofits is workplace giving programs. These programs allow donors to give through their employers and, in some cases, even have their donations supplemented by employer contributions.
Workplace giving programs make donating easy and routine, helping boost supporter retention while increasing your fundraising potential. All your nonprofit needs to do is remind employees to check their workplace giving programs, make sure their donations are going to your organization, and submit any necessary applications.
To help your nonprofit make the most of workplace giving, this article will explore four ways to increase corporate donations.
Encouraging employees to give through their workplace is a win-win-win: for supporters who can easily increase their donations, nonprofits that earn more revenue, and businesses that boost employee engagement.
1. Educate your supporters about matching gifts.
Matching gifts are one of the most powerful types of workplace giving programs for nonprofits. Businesses that offer matching gifts will match the donations their employees make at a dollar-per-dollar rate, effectively doubling or even tripling their gifts. Being able to give more without reaching back into their wallets is a powerful motivator for employees to give, and your nonprofit earns larger donations.
However, just because a company has a matching gift program, doesn’t mean employees are taking advantage of it. According to 360MatchPro, 78% of donors are unaware of whether their employer offers a matching gift program.
To tap into this revenue stream, your nonprofit needs to educate donors about matching gifts. There are a few ways you can do this, such as:
- Create a page on your website explaining how matching gifts work and help power your mission.
- Send out automatic emails after donations informing supporters about matching gift opportunities.
- Include information about matching gifts in your nonprofit email newsletter.
- Add a matching gift tool to your donation page, prompting donors to look up their company’s matching gift program information.
Make information supporters may need to fill out their employer matching gift application, like your physical address and tax ID number, easily available. Then, when supporters complete and submit their application, send them a thank you message to increase the chances they’ll go through the process again the next time they donate.
2. Explore volunteer grant options.
Supporters who aren’t able to make monetary donations still have the ability to participate in workplace giving. Rather than donating, they can volunteer their time. Then, they can fill out a volunteer grant application with their employer.
Volunteer grants are donations companies make to the nonprofits their employees volunteer with. Most volunteer grants donate at a per-hour rate. For instance, if an employee volunteers for 5 hours a week, their employer might donate $15 per hour for a total donation of $75.
Usually, volunteer grants require the same information as matching gift applications, along with a record of the employee's volunteer hours, so make sure to keep track of how long everyone who volunteers with you works for. Additionally, remember to send thank-you letters to all your volunteers, especially if they submitted a volunteer grant request.
3. Partner with businesses.
Rather than waiting for employees from businesses with workplace giving programs to come to you, your nonprofit can approach businesses to form active partnerships. These partnerships can take several forms, such as:
- Sponsorships. If you have an event or major project coming up, your nonprofit can likely benefit from sponsors. Before approaching businesses, create sponsorship packages that explain the various benefits they’ll receive depending on how much they contribute. These benefits usually include ways to promote their business, such as featuring their logo on your event’s informational pamphlet vs. adding it to a large banner visible through your event space.
- Organized philanthropic events. While employees submit matching gift requests and volunteer on their own, businesses can take a more active role in organizing these programs. For example, you might arrange to host a corporate volunteer day, or maybe a business agrees to match all donations made on a specific day.
- Marketing assistance. Spreading awareness of your nonprofit is essential, and corporate sponsors may be an overlooked marketing channel. Most businesses that partner with nonprofits are happy to help market their connection to boost their own reputation. As a result, the business earns more customers, and your nonprofit earns more donors.
When pitching to businesses, start by discussing the ways the business can benefit, such as improved reputation, better employee engagement, and even marketing opportunities. Create a list of your top businesses to partner with and get started by approaching your lowest priority targets first. This will give your team the chance to practice and refine their presentation before speaking with their dream business partners.
4. Encourage supporters to advocate for matching gift programs.
Not every company that has a workplace giving program also offers matching gifts. However, your nonprofit can help supporters lobby for their employers to create one.
If supporters express excitement about increasing their support for your nonprofit or doing more through corporate philanthropy, share informative matching gift materials with them that they can present to their employers. This might include research on the benefits of matching gifts or case studies about successful matching gift programs. If you notice a notable number of donors all work for the same employer, sharing these numbers can be especially useful in creating buy-in.
To help you create these materials, Double the Donation’s guide to advocating for a matching gift program provides a sample letter nonprofits can edit and share with interested supporters that provides context for the popularity of matching gifts, links to case studies of successful matching gift programs, and resources businesses can explore to learn more before making a decision.
Your nonprofit works hard to make an impact in your community, and workplace giving programs can help give you a boost. Talk to your supporters about how to get involved in corporate giving and take active steps to connect with local businesses. These corporate partners can help promote workplace giving and be reliable sources of revenue for events, capital campaigns, in-kind donations, and other kinds of support.