Corporate Giving: How Nonprofits Can Achieve Maximum Impact

Adam Weinger • Jul 29, 2021

From matching gifts to corporate volunteer grants, learn how to leverage these underutilized forms of support to propel your nonprofit and its mission forward.

As a nonprofit professional, your fundraising efforts make up the foundation of your entire organization. Each day you work hard to promote your mission, cultivate and engage donors, and raise the funds you need to continue your programming and services.

But sometimes, these efforts alone aren’t enough.

Oftentimes, nonprofits must get creative with how they go about developing their fundraising strategies. And one of the most effective avenues they can take to meet their goals is leveraging corporate giving programs.

Through corporate giving, companies support nonprofits all over the world and invest in social good. Then, as a result of these programs, organizations can thrive on newfound support, continue serving their missions, and develop long-term relationships with their donors and the companies that helped them in the first place.

That’s why we’re going to explore just how nonprofits like yours can achieve maximum impact through corporate giving. Hopefully, this information helps your team realize a new, effective route you can take when it comes to fundraising. Let’s begin.

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1. Think about how to maximize monetary donations.

When donors give to your nonprofit, every dollar counts, right? Well, there are additional ways to ensure you maximize those monetary donations—and many of them stem directly from corporate giving.

Whether you receive a gift from an individual donor, a major donor, or anyone in between, think about matching gifts.

According to Double the Donation’s guide to matching gifts, matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy in which companies financially match the donations their employees make to nonprofit organizations.

Basically, when a donor gives to your organization, their employer will match that donation dollar for dollar. However, some companies match at an even higher ratio, such as 2:1 or 3:1.

Imagine having a major donor give to your nonprofit and then having their gift matched! Or, imagine having several smaller donations doubled over the course of a year. All of these types of gift matches are valuable to your organization.

All of this falls under the larger umbrella of corporate giving. In terms of maximizing monetary donations, you can look at:

  • Standard matching gift programs, wherein a company will match their employees’ donations to nonprofits.
  • Fundraising matches, wherein companies match the funds employees raise from participating in a fundraising event (e.g., walkathons or runs).
  • Automatic payroll deductions, a type of workplace giving program where employees deduct a set amount from their paychecks to go toward an important cause. Automatic payroll deductions can also be eligible for matching gifts.

All of these forms of corporate giving can help your team make the most of the funds you receive, even doubling them in some cases. We’ll cover more of how your nonprofit can ensure you promote these opportunities in a later section.

2. Remember that money is only one form of support.

While monetary funds are essential to your success, it’s important to remember that money is only one type of support.

As a nonprofit professional, you likely understand the value that comes with other forms of support, such as volunteers and donations of goods and services.

Let’s start with volunteers. Having a dedicated group of volunteers is vital to your team’s ongoing operations. This is because:

  • Skilled volunteers who work for companies can offer knowledge and expertise you might not otherwise have available.
  • A dedicated group of volunteers can actually be worth monetary value! Many companies offer grants to nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer.
  • Groups of employees who volunteer together can also be eligible for team volunteer grants through their companies, which brings in even more revenue for your cause.

Corporate volunteerism is growing in popularity, and recruiting employees who are eligible for grant money or can offer valuable skills is a great way to tap into corporate giving and achieve maximum impact.

Beyond volunteering, companies also often provide in-kind donations. Through this common form of corporate giving, companies offer their products and services to nonprofits that need them. For example, this can include donated computers, consulting services, or even food.

It’s clear that there are many ways beyond tangible money that nonprofits can benefit from company support. Don’t forget these opportunities when your team sits down to determine its fundraising strategies.

3. Actively promote and pursue corporate giving opportunities.

You may be wondering at this point how to actually pursue these corporate giving opportunities. After all, it’s one thing to know they exist—but securing them is another thing entirely.

All of this comes down to how your organization handles its communications with donors and companies.

In order to successfully promote corporate giving opportunities with donors, consider the below:

  • Email communications. Once donors have given to your cause, make sure part of your email communication after the fact highlights matching gift opportunities. Briefly explain what matching gifts are and that donors can check with their employers to determine their eligibility.
  • Website content. Use your website to your advantage. Offer a dedicated matching gifts page that explains matching gifts and offers actionable tips donors can follow to submit a match request. Post volunteer opportunities on your website and encourage volunteers to look up their eligibility for a volunteer grant, as well.
  • Social media. Use your social media platform to educate supporters about corporate giving opportunities that may be available to them through their employers. Include links in your posts that send them back to your website for more information.
  • Direct mail. Include inserts within your direct mail materials that promote volunteer grants and opportunities, matching gifts, and other forms of corporate support you’re seeking.

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There are many ways your nonprofit can actively promote corporate giving programs to your supporters. But there are additional routes you can take to directly build relationships with companies, as well.

As you approach companies, think about:

  • Their values. Do they align with yours? For instance, if you’re part of an environmental organization, do they follow environmentally friendly policies?
  • How you want to market your nonprofit. What kind of value would a partnership between your organization and theirs bring to the table? What reasons should they support your nonprofit and its mission?
  • Corporate sponsorships. Consider opportunities for companies to sponsor your programs or events. What can you offer companies in return for their sponsorship? Cover all of this in a detailed proposal.

Reaching out to companies whose values align with your organization’s and offering a compelling reason for them to build a partnership with your cause can do wonders for your goals. And the more interactions you have with these companies, the stronger your relationships will get—which will then lead to more support down the road.

Corporate giving programs for nonprofits are a wonderful avenue to explore when it comes to both monetary and non-monetary support. Organizations that tap into several forms of corporate philanthropy set themselves up for success because they can cover more ground. 

Be sure to consider all types of corporate support when it comes to funding your cause, and you’ll be on your way to maximizing your impact.

About the Author: 
Adam Weinger

Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.