In a world where philanthropy plays a crucial role in driving positive change, the potential to amplify the impact of your charitable contributions often lies right at your doorstep, or rather the doorstep of your employer. 

An often underutilized and powerful resource, employer giving programs are perfect for anyone looking to make their charitable efforts go that bit further.

Understanding Employer Giving Programs

In simple terms, employer giving programs and initiatives are created by companies in order to support the charitable interests of their employees. One of the most common and impactful types of employer giving is something called a ‘matching gift.’ 

When you make a donation to a nonprofit organization like Virunga National Park, your employer may offer to match that donation with an equal or greater amount. This means that your initial contribution is effectively multiplied, and the impact of your support grows. 

Note that there may be a cap on how much an employer is willing to offer per employee. As such, approaching fundraising as part of a team may be more beneficial for your chosen nonprofit, while also providing mutual motivation for meeting your collective fundraising goals.


Added Benefits of Matching Gift Programs

When your employer matches your donation, it’s often done through automatic payroll deductions, the reduction in taxable income you receive making its benefit twofold. It may also be possible to set up such tax-deductible donations on an ongoing basis, for as long you wish to keep on giving.

Overall, payroll deductions lead to a boost in the total donated to nonprofits such as Virunga, while also bringing you legitimate financial gains, allowing you to donate more or save for a rainy day. It’s a win-win scenario.

  • Employee Reward Grants

    Employee reward grants are an innovative way to recognize and reward employees engaged in workplace giving and volunteering programs. Rather than receiving it directly, an employee may choose to direct a lump-sum financial reward for their overall fundraising and volunteering efforts to a nonprofit of their choice.

  • Pay-as-you-go Rewards

    Some businesses opt to financially reward employees based on the hours that they volunteer each month. These earned rewards can be donated to a nonprofit organization of their choosing. Whether participating in group volunteering efforts or volunteering independently, employees have the opportunity to give back to their communities, regardless of their financial situation.

  • Grants for Volunteering Expenses

    With this type of corporate giving, companies offer grants to support employees in their volunteer efforts by covering expenses related to travel, meals and other associated costs. This form of corporate giving enables employees to engage in volunteer opportunities without financial constraints.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Engaging with Employer Giving Programs

Ready to get started? Here’s a step-by-step guide to engaging with employer giving programs:

Step 1: Inquire with HR

Begin by reaching out to your human resources or people operations department. Ask if your company offers a matching gift program or any other charitable giving initiative. They can furnish you with the information necessary to proceed

Step 2: Verify Eligibility

Most programs have specific guidelines for eligibility. These may include the types of organizations they support, minimum donation amounts, or hours volunteered. Make sure you meet these requirements to take full advantage of the program.

Step 3: Abide by Application Procedures

Each company has its own process for applying for matching gifts. This may involve filling out forms, submitting your donation receipt, or both. Follow the prescribed steps carefully to ensure your gift is matched.

Step 4: Follow up with Your Employer

After you’ve completed the application process, it’s a good idea to follow up and check that your donation has been matched or processed correctly. This way you proactively ensure that your generosity reaches its full potential.

Step 5: Encourage Others

Don’t stop with your own donation. Use your social channels to encourage your colleagues and friends to explore their employer giving programs as well.  With 78% of donors unaware if their company offers a matching gift, spreading the word can dramatically increase our collective impact, generating even more for good causes like Virunga National Park.