11 Types of Corporate Giving Programs for Nonprofits

There are many ways nonprofits can take advantage of the variety of corporate giving programs that exist. Don’t miss out! In 2018, according to Giving USA’s Annual Report on Philanthropy, giving by U.S. corporations is estimated to have increased by 8.0 percent, totaling $20.77 billion (an increase of 5.7 percent, adjusted for inflation).

Many companies create corporate giving programs as a way to give back to their local communities, increase employee engagement, and foster meaningful partnerships with nonprofits.

Here are 11 types of corporate giving programs that nonprofits can participate in:

 1. Employee Matching Gifts

In a matching gift program companies match donations made by employees to nonprofit organizations. Usually, the company matches the employee donations at a 1:1 ratio.  However, some companies will match donations up to a 4:1 ratio.  For instance, General Electric (GE) matches each employee’s and retiree’s charitable donations up to $5,000 annually. The company matches to all schools, health and human service organizations, arts and cultural organizations, community organizations, and many other nonprofits.

According to Double the Donation, over 65% of Fortune 500 corporations offer this benefit to employees. So, for all the fundraiser out there make sure your donors are taking advantage of their employer’s matching gift program.

2. Volunteer Grants

Also known as Dollars for Doers, corporations reward employees who donate their time to nonprofits by providing monetary grants to an organization where their employees regularly volunteer.  For instance, Verizon provides a $750 grant to nonprofits ($15 per hour) after employees volunteer for 50 hours in a year.  Employees can receive up to two volunteer grant awards of $750 each in a calendar year for two separate organizations or schools (total per employee per year is $1,500).

Volunteer Grants (Dollars for Doers) is a great corporate giving program to take advantage of when you have a dedicated group of volunteers.

3. Team Volunteer Grants

Team volunteer grants are corporate giving programs in which a company provides a monetary donation to nonprofits when a group of employees volunteer together.

Corporations offer these programs to promote team building and community service.

These corporate grant programs have the potential to be a win-win for everyone involved. If your organization can design attractive opportunities for groups of corporate employees to come out and volunteer, everyone wins! Both Kohls and Walmart have Team Volunteer Grant opportunities.  At Kohls when a minimum of five Associates from one location volunteer at least three consecutive hours of their time with a qualifying organization, the nonprofit is given a $500 grant. When five or more associates volunteer at least an accumulated 25 hours, Walmart will grant the team $500 for their nonprofit.

4. Community Grants

Most large corporations have either created a foundation to handle their charitable giving programs or handle them internally. Through community grant programs, companies are able to positively impact their local communities by providing funding to support organizations that work to improve the lives of employees, customers, and local neighborhoods.

Nonprofits can apply for community grants by submitting a grant request that explains how the funds will be used. Community grants usually have specific deadlines.

In most cases, these grants are restricted to organizations where companies have a physical presence. For instance, H-E-B offers community grants to Texas organizations that operate within their immediate marketing area. The amount of each grant varies.

5. Challenge Grants

Challenge grants are essentially community grants with a caveat. Instead of just applying for and receiving a grant from a company, a nonprofit must complete a “challenge” before the funds are released. The “challenge” is usually fiscally-based and requires the nonprofit to raise a certain amount of money before a deadline. Corporations can choose to match the challenge gift at a 1:1 ratio or a 2:1 ratio.

For example, a challenge grant of $5,000 might require an organization to raise an initial amount of $5,000 before the grant is awarded.

Challenge grants can be very beneficial for organizations because they can motivate supporters to donate and even attract new supporters who find the incentive of doubling their gift a just reason to give. It is also beneficial to the corporation by increasing their positive public image.

6. In-Kind Donations

In-kind donations or non-cash contributions are often given to nonprofits directly from a company or business.

Instead of donating money or volunteer time, a company will give equipment, products, or supplies to a nonprofit. This could be anything from computers to office furniture.

For example, your nonprofit might be hosting your annual gala soon. You need invitations, programs, save the date cards, and sponsor packets printed.  So, you ask a local printing company to donate graphic design and printing. This will make your gala stand out from the rest all without impacting your budget.

7.  Service-Based Donations

In the same family as in-kind donations, we find talent- or service-based donations.

Service-based donations are essentially volunteer hours given by employees with a specific expert skill set.

For example, do you need to upgrade your computer systems? Why not approach a company which has a large internal IT team and ask for their assistance? Do you need to update your website?  Seek out a local company which does a great job with its digital marketing. You will find that companies will be more than willing to help and will do higher quality work than your organization could internally.

Other Common examples of service-based donations are legal or tax-related advice, catering services, and consulting services.

Service-based donations require companies and nonprofits to work closely together, it’s crucial that you work hard to form positive and meaningful relationships.

Great partnerships can result in more donations of time, money, and services in the future!

8. Automatic Payroll Deductions

Automatic payroll deduction is one of the easiest programs that corporations can take part in.  Employees can authorize a portion of their paycheck designated to a nonprofit.

For example, a specific amount per pay period can be sent to a nonprofit.  Nonprofits must work to become an approved deduction and organization.  But once that is done it is a great way to receive reoccurring donations.

9. Annual Grant Stipends

Not very common, an annual grant stipend is a great way for nonprofits to benefit from companies and their employees and are impactful corporate philanthropy programs.

An annual grant stipend is a set amount of money that a company sets aside for each employee every year to give to their nonprofit of choice. Volunteer hours are not required, and the company donates for them.

For instance, every year the BP Fabric of America program provides $300 per employee to donate to whichever organization they choose.

10.  Internal Employee Fundraising

Some companies allow their employees to raise funds throughout the year or during a specific time frame.  The purpose of these funds is to support a local nonprofit that aligns with the companies’ core values.  For example, Magic Valley Electric Coop has an employee committee that raises money, vet nonprofits and distribute over $30,000 each year.  They have raised money by bidding on preferred parking spots to paying to wear jeans on Thursday.

It’s a win-win for the company and the nonprofit.  Employees feel a sense of pride in their company while the nonprofit receive money to further their mission.

11. Corporate Sponsorships

Corporate sponsorships are a form of advertising in which companies pay to be associated with certain events or attractions. Depending on how much they donate, nonprofits might offer to showcase their name on the event itinerary, post about their company on social media, or allow them to hand out promotional materials.

If you have an event coming up like a gala or golf tournament make sure you’re creating a variety of sponsorship opportunities so the companies can get something of value in return for the sponsorship.

Nonprofits can create great partnership opportunities with local companies and business through sponsorships. For example, Clark Knapp Honda, a Rio Grande Valley Car dealership, sponsors Collage at the International Museum of Arts and Science.

So, there you go, 11 corporate giving programs.  Start now looking into the programs offered by companies in your community.  You will see that your organization probably qualifies for support from many local and nationwide corporations.

I hope this helps. Your feedback is appreciated.

If you are a CEO or ED of a nonprofit organization and want to learn from me and others join the Supporting World Hope Facebook Group.

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