10 Companies Engaging Employees Through Exemplary Matching Gift and Grant Programs

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10 Companies Engaging Employees Through Exemplary Matching Gift and Grant Programs

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 1:00pm

Matching gift programs do a lot to encourage employee loyalty, and many companies include added perks with their matching gift programs.

Companies can get creative with their matching gift and grant programs in many ways, and there’s no right or wrong type of benefit to include in a matching gift program. The heart of the matter is that employers and employees are working together to build a better world, and, in turn, to build a better work environment.

Highlights of some of the top matching gift companies and their programs:

  1. Aetna
  2. Nestle
  3. Boeing
  4. Great-West Financial
  5. CVS Caremark
  6. State Street
  7. BP
  8. 8.RealNetworks
  9. 9.Microsoft
  10. 10.General Electric

1. Aetna

Aetna gives employees an additional eight hours of paid time off (essentially one day of work) if they donate to a nonprofit at the Sponsor Level. The Sponsor Level is calculated as a percentage of an employee’s salary, so that employees pay amounts relative to the salaries they earn.

This makes it easier for all levels of employees to reap the benefits of Aetna’s matching gift program without having to give up too much of their earnings.

In addition to the paid time off, Aetna will match Sponsor Level donations to the respective nonprofits.

Learn more about Aetna’s corporate giving programs.

2. Nestle

Nestle’s “Fair Share” program rewards employees who donate a full day’s pay to a nonprofit with two paid days off of work during the year in which the donation is made. In addition, Nestle will match the donation.

Paid time off programs vary by company, but they’re consistent in that they reward employee philanthropy with both a matching gift and the gift of some extra R&R.

Many top matching gift companies recognize that a large part of employee happiness is having time away from work. Nestle seeks to satisfy this desire through their paid time off offers that work in tandem with their matching gift programs.

Check out the details of Nestle’s matching gift program.

3. Boeing

Walks, runs, bike rides, and similar fundraising events are great ways for employees to make a difference while being healthy. Companies, such as Boeing, encourage giving through fundraising events by providing additional corporate gifts.

Boeing recently won the Healthy Lifestyles Award from the National Business Group on Health, so it’s no surprise that Boeing provides $100 grants for every cause-related fundraising event in which an employee partakes.

From bowl-a-thons to dance-a-thons to 5k’s, employees can get out, get active, and raise money for the causes they love without giving any of their own money.

Check out additional details of Boeing’s corporate giving programs.

4. Great-West Financial

Some companies provide set amounts of money for participation in fundraising events, while others give grants that match the money that employees raise.

Many fundraising events encourage participants to seek sponsors in order to raise money for the cause. Participants reach out to friends and family to raise funds.

Great-West Financial incentivizes this type of fundraising by promising to match the money that employees raise.

When a Great-West employee raises money for a walk, run, or other fundraising event, Great-West matches the donation up to $1,500. Employees give twice as much, nonprofits receive double the help, and businesses pair corporate philanthropy with building better employee loyalty. 

Learn more about Great-West Financial’s matching gift program.

5. CVS Caremark

CVS has a history of philanthropy; in fact, they recently donated $100,000 in cash and in-kind support to victims of the Louisiana floods.

Similar to Great-West Financial, CVS Caremark matches employee fundraising donations from sponsorships. When CVS employees raise money for an event, CVS matches those donations up to $1,000.

CVS requires a donation of at least $250 in order to receive a matching gift.

Minimum donations help to set the standard that employees get a little more when they give a little more, while encouraging greater participation in philanthropy.

Check out additional details about CVS’s matching gift program.

6. State Street

A few years ago, State Street donated nearly $20 million in grants to 40 communities around the world. It’s easy to see how much State Street and its foundation cares about supporting philanthropic endeavors.

All State Street employees can submit matching gift requests for donations up to $5,000, but State Street will match larger donations for upper-level employees. The staggered matching gift program encourages employees who make more money to give more of it back to good causes.

State Street’s annual levels of corporate giving are as follows:

  • All employees can apply for matching gifts up to $5,000 annually.
  • Senior VP’s can apply for $15,000 worth of matching gifts.
  • Executive VP’s may apply for $25,000 worth of matching gifts.
  • Board of Directors, CEO, President, and Vice Chairs can apply for up to $35,000 worth of matching gifts each year.

State Street will also match employee donations from fundraising pledges up to $5,000 per year.

For more info about State Street’s matching gift program, click here.

7. BP

Some companies realize that they already have money to give to nonprofits, so why require employees to give in order to build goodwill?

BP’s Fabric of America Fund allocates $300 to each employee to donate to nonprofits. Employees don’t have to give anything out of their own pockets, and they still get to help the causes they care about.

BP also runs a matching gift program that will match gifts up to $5,000 per year. Many companies leverage multiple methods of corporate giving in order to increase philanthropy.

Check out additional details about BP’s matching gift program.

8. RealNetworks

Appreciating employees also means celebrating employees. Just as gifts to nonprofits let those organizations know that people care, gifts from employers to employees assert a company’s adoration for its workers.

On an employee’s fifth anniversary with the company, RealNetworks gives the employee a $500 grant to give to the nonprofit of his or her choice.

Not only does this gift have to be earned, which encourages employees to stay with the company longer, but it instills a desire for employees to share their good times with others.

9. Microsoft

It’s great to celebrate longevity, but why not celebrate the start of the journey, too?

Microsoft gives new employees $50 grants to give to the nonprofit of their choosing. Not only does this build employee loyalty from day one, but it gets the ball rolling on encouraging a company-wide culture of philanthropy.

Microsoft is known for giving back, and they waste no time in making that happen. The data backs up their desire, as research proves that employees want to work for socially-responsible businesses.

In total, Microsoft corporate donations increased from $88 million to $113 million in just four years. That increase was made possible by donations from employees who had been giving since their first day with the company.

Learn more about Microsoft’s corporate giving programs here.

10. General Electric

In 1954, General Electric created the Corporate Alumni Program to support employee philanthropy. Today, GE matches over $35 million a year to nonprofit organizations.

While GE offers no special perks, such as paid time off or matching gifts for fundraising events, they match donations up to $25,000 a year. That’s a lot of money that can do a lot of good for multiple nonprofits, which goes to prove that matching gift programs without special perks are exemplary programs.

Check out this interview between Bill Baue of 3BL Media and Frank Mantero, the former Director of Corporate Citizenship at GE.


Consider that 72% of charitable giving comes from individuals. So, when companies are supporting what their employees care about and are giving to good causes, great things are happening in the world.

Employee engagement matters, but not just for businesses. With so many companies looking to corporate giving programs as a means to build employee loyalty, nonprofits are reaping the benefits of companies’ desires to ensure that their workplaces are environments where people want to be for a long time.

If you’re looking for additional matching gift resources check out the following: