For nonprofit organizations, every dollar counts. Corporate employee matching gifts offer the opportunity to turn one dollar donated by a match-eligible employee into two, three, four, or even five dollars!
In this article, we’re going to explore exactly what to expect when working with matching gifts and how to make the most of this incredible fundraising opportunity.
What are corporate matching gift programs?
Employee matching gift programs are a type of corporate philanthropy set up to encourage employees to give back to their communities. These companies encourage community outreach by making donations to the same nonprofits that their employees have donated to.
These programs have become quite widespread, but many donors have not heard of them or aren’t aware of their own match-eligibility. $4-7 billion in matching gift revenue is left on the table each year, and we want to work with our donors to claim some of it.
The specifics of these programs vary from company to company, but the elements that shape these guidelines are always the same:
- Match ratio: This defines what kind of donation the company will make in relation to the employee’s initial contribution. A 1:1 ratio indicates that the company will donate the exact same amount, doubling the contribution to the employee’s chosen nonprofit.
- Minimum and maximum: The minimum refers to the amount an employee must donate to qualify for a matching gift. The maximum is the total amount that a company will donate in matching contributions per employee annually.
- Employee status: Sometimes, the employee’s role at the company can affect the match that they qualify for. For example, Gap Inc. offers a $1,000 maximum to part-time employees and a $10,000 maximum to Senior VP’s.
- Nonprofit eligibility: Some programs offer different matches based on the nonprofit being donated to. ExxonMobil offers a higher match for donations made to educational institutions than for donations made to cultural organizations.
- Deadline: Every program identifies a deadline when the matching gift request must be submitted by the employee. This deadline can be either a firm date (December 31st is common) or a threshold based on the date of the initial donation (90 days after donation is made).
Thousands of companies offer matching gift programs. A few examples include:
- Johnson & Johnson — Triples donations with a 2:1 match for current employees while also doubling donations (a 1:1 match) for retirees.
- Bank of America — Matches donations 1:1 up to $5,000 annually per employee.
- Home Depot — Matches donations 1:1 up to $3,000 annually per employee.
The impact of these programs can be substantial! Microsoft has been known to match over $48 million worth of employee donations to schools and 501(c)(3) nonprofits in a single year. Did you know that more than 18 million employees work for companies with matching gift programs? You might be one of them.
Want to help ReadWest?
Increasing revenue with matching gifts isn’t too tricky, but we need your help. You can help us reach our fundraising goals by contacting HR at your company to see if they offer an employee match-eligibility program. If your company doesn’t have ReadWest listed and would like to, we can provide our information (Tax ID, address, fundraising contact). We appreciate you taking a few minutes to double your donation!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born in Texas and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee. I served three years in the US Army as a Medic. While stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, I developed a real affinity for exploring new places, cuisines, and cultures. After my discharge, I returned to Memphis where I earned a BA in History from Memphis State University. In 1978, I moved to Western Massachusetts where my first wife and I raised our daughter and son. While I have worked in a number of different fields, most of my work life was as a construction project manager and contractor.
In 2013, my second wife and I started traveling around the country. She worked temporary assignments as a Family Nurse Practitioner and I stayed busy volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, and various local nonprofits. Our first temp assignment was in Gallup, New Mexico. During our six months there, we fell in love with the Southwest. After four more years of travel, we permanently relocated to Rio Rancho in 2017.
Biggest impact books:
Nonfiction – “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”
Fiction – “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Favorite genre: Detective novels
Favorite author: Tony Hillerman
What Inspires You: I’m inspired by working to make the world a better place.
Favorite quote: “All animals are equal; but some animals are more equal than others.” – George Orwell in “Animal Farm”
If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? The superpower that I would choose is the ability to spread my arms and take flight. Whenever I have a dream where I can fly, I wake up with a feeling of contentment and joy!
January 29, 2019 – ReadWest, Inc. received a $10,000 grant from the New Mexico Gas Company – an Emera Company – to support its adult literacy services. Pictured below are NM Gas Company VP Operations and ReadWest Board of Directors VP Ray Sanchez, ReadWest Executive Director Muncie Hansen, ReadWest Board of Directors President Todd Clark, and New Mexico Gas Company President Ryan Shell.
About New Mexico Gas Company
New Mexico Gas Company cares. We believe in giving back to the communities where we live and work. Our employees do that through financial donations and, most importantly, by volunteering their time. Our staff participates in many activities that help communities across New Mexico.
For more information, visit https://www.nmgco.com/
On January 23rd, approximately sixty people gathered to celebrate ReadWest’s new home at 103 Rio Rancho Blvd NE, Suite A-5, Rio Rancho, NM 87124. Rio Rancho’s Mayor Hull provided a speech, noting that ReadWest had been a part of the city nearly as long as it had been incorporated. After his speech ReadWest Board President Todd Clark and Executive Director Muncie Hansen cut the ribbon. After the ribbon cutting and presentations, everyone was invited in to enjoy refreshments and tour the new facility.
Photos were generously provided by Barnes and Noble representative Howard George who also owns a photography business.
We are excited to announce that Under Charlie’s Covers, Sandoval County’s largest bookstore, has partnered with ReadWest for #GivingTuesdayNM! They have generously agreed to donate 25% of all sales on November 27th. When we asked owner Lara Harrison about why she chose ReadWest, she said:
“Under Charlie’s Covers is committed to helping readers of every age. Adult literacy is an essential building block to future success. ReadWest is providing a crucial service to members of our community and we are proud to contribute to their important mission.”
Executive Director Muncie Hansen was thrilled about the opportunity to partner. “Partnering with Under Charlie’s Covers is a perfect fit for us. We help adults read the books that they sell.” She also noted that it was excellent timing to receive additional funding to help with the challenges of moving into a new facility.
Under Charlie’s Covers is open 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on November 27th. Be sure to stop by and stock up on books for your holiday gifts. Don’t forget to treat yourself to one or two as well!
#GivingTuesdayNM is not about just one sector, cause, or community. #GivingTuesdayNM is about New Mexico.
Together we can do more.
You can find the complete list of participating organizations at www.GivingTuesdayNM.org.
In case you missed it, ReadWest has been in the news lately!
The Rio Rancho Observer published an article about the need to find a new home both in their online edition (Oct. 5) and in print. You can find the online article here.
Executive Director Muncie Hansen also made an early morning appearance on KRQE. You can watch the recording here:
You can also read the accompanying article and access it via this link. https://www.krqe.com/news/mornings/readwest-helping-adults-transform-their-lives/1574374613
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
ReadWest Adult Literacy Program to Move
The 29-year-old charity is seeking a new home.
October 3, 2018, Rio Rancho, New Mexico – ReadWest, Inc., one of New Mexico’s largest and oldest adult literacy programs announced today that it has been given 60 days to vacate its current location in Rio Rancho Jewish Center on Grande Ave. ReadWest has been generously housed there since 1996 at a very modest monthly rent. The current location, which is about 1600 square feet, houses two full-time and one part-time staff, has a training conference room, a library of nearly 4,000 instructional books and materials for volunteer tutors, and six small classrooms where tutors and students can meet safely without distractions. Providing space for the student/tutor pairs to meet each week plays a large part in ReadWest’s success. The experienced staff is on site to help tutors find materials in the resource library. Meeting at a regular time and location helps the student focus on his/her learning. Now the adult literacy agency will be forced to find new accommodations that will likely double in cost at the least.
“I have always been inspired by the many students who have come through our doors and overcome numerous challenges to move forward in life, “ said executive director Muncie Hansen. “Seeing their successes gives me faith that we too will rise to the current challenge and come out even stronger. “
As a volunteer-driven, community-focused nonprofit, ReadWest has taken to its network and issued a “call to action” asking for donations to assist with the upcoming move and increased operating and rental costs. Donations via credit or debit card can be made online at www.readwest.org/donate-new-home. Checks can be mailed to ReadWest, PO Box 44508, Rio Rancho, NM 87174.
Serving Bernalillo and Sandoval counties since 1989, ReadWest, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. ReadWest provides one-to-one tutoring for adult literacy, computer literacy, and English Language Learning. ReadWest has over 333 adult learners enrolled. More than 200 trained volunteers provide free literacy help once a week for two hours. Last fiscal year, ReadWest Volunteers logged 12,719 hours of literacy tutoring. According to the Independent Sector’s estimate of a volunteer tutor’s wage of $24.14 per hour, ReadWest tutors donated $307,037 worth of free literacy instruction to our community.
ESL Tutor Orientation and ESL Tutor Training
WHEN: Orientation: Thursday, September 20th 10 am or 6 pm
Training: Saturday, September 22nd 9 am to 5 pm
WHERE: ReadWest 2009 Grande Blvd SE, Rio Rancho NM 87124
CONTACT: Cyndy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-892-1131
Upcoming Basic Literacy Tutoring Training
WHEN: Saturday, October 20th 9 am to 5 pm
WHERE: ReadWest 2009 Grande Blvd SE, Rio Rancho NM 87124
CONTACT: Cyndy at email@example.com or by phone at 505-892-1131
Our volunteer tutors make a difference.
Please ask a friend, relative, neighbor or loved one if they have 2 hours a week to tutor an adult learner.
We are out of the office today and tomorrow (September 6 & 7). We are attending the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy 31st Annual Meeting and Conference. In the meantime, we wanted to share what we are currently reading in honor of #ReadABookDay.
Cyndy Ratliff, Program Coordinator
Dean and Me: (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis – I enjoy that era of comedy and music.
Muncie Hansen, Executive Director
I am reading The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman. I’m reading it because I just participated in an interview with Anne Hillerman, Tony’s daughter, author, and friend of ReadWest. Recently, I picked it up at the ReadWest Used Book Sale to read during my Labor Day trip to the Grand Canyon. I am a sucker for all things WESTERN.
Morgan O’Donnell, Advisory Board
I’ve got Frank Herbert’s Dune on my nightstand. I have been rereading this book for nearly 30 years. I learn something new everytime I read it. What inspired me to reread it this time was something I saw in the 2nd season of Westworld. I won’t say what so I don’t spoil anything for any Westworld fans.
Elvira Burciaga, Secretary, Board of Directors
We would love to hear what you are reading! Please share in the comments. And remember, if you decide to buy a book from Amazon, be sure to use Amazon Smile and choose ReadWest as your charity.
By Muncie Hansen, Executive Director
I recently had a wonderful experience. I had lost my debit card and called to cancel it and order a new one. However, I couldn’t answer the security questions, so I decided to talk to a human being at the bank. After a 10 minute wait, I was greeted by a smiling employee. I told him my plight. He continued to grin as he logged the information into the computer. Then he said, “Mrs. Hansen, you look very familiar. Where do you work?” I told him ReadWest Adult Literacy Program. We help adults who struggle with reading or need to learn to speak English. (This is my standard answer.) His grin got bigger. “I used to go to classes at ReadWest to learn English!” Then, I remembered him.
Abel came from Puerto Rico to live with a relative in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He told me how much he liked his ReadWest tutor and the group classes he attended with people from all over the world. He said he was grateful the program was free because he had so little money when he first arrived. After 6 months in the program, Abel spoke well enough to get a job as a shoe salesman. The new job meant he had much less time to meet one-to-one with his tutor. Before exiting the program, his tutor helped him buy some books to continue studying English on his own. Four short years later, here he is, helping this English speaker solve her banking crisis. The last time we met across a desk like this, I was assessing his English speaking and understanding. It was a full circle moment for both of us. He told me he often had clients who speak little English, so I gave him a stack of my business cards to refer them to our program. I agreed to refer my students to him if they needed to open an account. He got me a new bank card and we concluded my business. We shook hands. I told him it made my day to meet someone who had participated in our program and remembered me.
When I got in the car, I burst into tears. My heart was so full of joy and gratitude to witness the difference the little nonprofit I work for had made in this individual’s life. I feel so blessed to have a job that connects people who want to help to people who need help.