Four Types of Corporate Giving Programs

Did you know that in 2012, corporations donated over $18 billion to nonprofits? (Source: Giving USA’s 2012 Annual Report on Philanthropy for 2011). Has your organization looked into the many different forms of corporate giving?

Although specifics vary for every company, here are four of the most popular types of corporate giving programs:

1. Community Grants

Through community grant programs, corporations support their local communities by providing funding to organizations that work to improve the lives of employees, customers, and local neighborhoods.  In most cases, organizations apply directly to the company by providing an overview of how the grant will be used.

Typically, these grants are restricted to organizations located in regions where the company has a physical presence. For instance, Walmart offers community grants to local organizations. The amount of each grant typically ranges from $250 – $5,000 and is awarded by a team of associates who work at each store.

2.  Employee Matching Gifts

Are you familiar with employee matching gift programs? These are charitable giving programs set up by corporations in which the company will match donations made by employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. Over 65% of Fortune 500 companies match employee donations so there’s a lot of money available. Unfortunately, awareness among employees is low at many companies so make sure to research programs for major employers in your city. For example:

  • IBM provides a 1:1 cash match or a 2:1 equipment match (up to a maximum of $5,000 annually per employee)
  • Coca-Cola triples donations made by employees (up to a maximum of $10,000 annually per employee)
  • Starbucks doubles donations made by all of their employees (up to a maximum of $1,500 annually per employee)

Most companies who offer these programs provide a 1:1 match but a few companies really stand out.

View Double the Donation’s ranking of top matching gift programs.

3.  Employee Volunteer Grants

Volunteer grant programs, also known as “Dollars for Doers” programs, are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company provides a monetary donation to eligible nonprofits as a way to recognize employees who volunteer.

These are grants that individual employees earn for a nonprofit after meeting certain volunteer thresholds. For example:

  • Kraft offers $500 grants after an employee volunteers for 50 hours
  • Carmax awards $10 per hour
  • Google provides $50 grants for every 5 hours an employee volunteers.

4. Volunteer Support Programs

Successful companies are full of talented individuals looking to give back to their communities. One of the best ways to benefit from non-cash contributions is by partnering with companies that have some sort of expertise that your organization can leverage. For instance:

  • Are you looking to overhaul your computer systems or upgrade your technology? Consider partnering with a company that has a large internal IT team.
  • Do you need to design a new flyer or develop an online marketing strategy? Seek out a local company that does a great job with its email campaigns.

Companies are always looking for team building activities outside of work. Tap into their expertise and get high quality work from industry experts.

Make sure you’re exploring these four types of corporate giving programs so you aren’t leaving any stone unturned.