My last post was about triple dipping to stack cashback, so what better post to follow up with than stacking your charity donations?
What is Charity Matching?
You know how most people don’t know you can get your 401k contributions matched? Most people don’t realize you can get your charitable contributions matched either.
Let’s say you wanted to donate $500 to Doctors Without Borders. If your company offers 2:1 matching, that means you’d donate $500 and your company would donate $1,000 to the organization as well. You basically increase your donation to the charity of your choice with just a few minutes of your time! There are a few other ways to match charitable donations but this one is probably the easiest and readily available for those who work at a corporation with that benefit.
Who Can Receive The Match?
Check if the charity in question is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Only charities with that legal designation are eligible for most matches.
Some charities you might not realize carry that designation might be museums, neighborhood organizations, environmental organizations, etc.
Check with your HR/benefits department to see if your firm offers it charitable contribution matching. Most large companies or places that hire highly skilled employees offer this program and most offer a 1:1 match up to a certain dollar limit per year — some offer maximums in excess of 5 figures. The biggest employer match I could find was Soros, which offers a 3:1 match with a cap of $300,000, but that’s quite an outlier!
You can also check if an employer offers matching through a search engine that tracks matching contributions. I’d also check with your employer though.
The employer matching form is a very short form to fill out by your company and helps you double your donation. It probably takes less than 5 minutes to fill it out and send it along to your company HR/benefits department and forward to the charity to follow up in case.
If you donated earlier this year but didn’t know employer matching existed, check with your HR/benefits department and see if you can still fill out the form! Most companies offer the employer matching benefit on a yearly basis with a cap, so as long as you haven’t hit that cap, they should still match it!
Occasionally, a generous person will offer to match your donation within a given time frame or to a certain charity. If you’d like, you can try to double stack the match by getting both your employer to match and the generous person as well.
Share the post with your network as well so that more people can be incentivized to donate as well.
Thanks to the commercialization of Black Friday after Thanksgiving, the generous community has come together to match donations the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Look out for a ton of organizations offering matching on that day or the coming weeks to it.
If you’re looking to get a company based match and stack that, consider #GivingTuesday.
Skills Based Volunteering – An Alternative
A lot of current volunteering is not for overly complex work. Have you been to a non-profit though? A lot of them need operational streamlining, automation through coding or spreadsheet work, etc. If you’re highly skilled, consider donating your skills instead of your dollars. Your help will make a difference well beyond the time that you volunteer there.
Let’s say you’re a consultant and your company bills out at some outrageous rate. You might not get paid that much, but hey, that’s what your company bills. It might be better for you to volunteer some hours to streamline the company’s finances and operational efficiency versus donate the thousands of dollars equivalent to the work you could’ve done.
If you’re a doctor or lawyer, same concept. Consider donating your skills if you’re highly skilled at a certain task.
I wrote an entire guest post about skils based volunteering on 1500 Days. If you’ve never checked it out, take a look!
Non-Profit Day At Work!
Ask your team leader or HR if the company can organize a day where you volunteer at a organization. Find a non-partisan organization so that no one feels alienated. It’s possible people didn’t grow up in an environment that emphasized charity work, so it’d give others a great chance to experience the happiness that giving to others comes with.
What other ways have you come up with for charity matching? Or other unique ways you can give back?