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Corporate matching gift programmes in the UK

Howard Lake | 11 October 2013 | Blogs

Are you familiar with employee matching gift programmes? Well for donors in the USA and Canada, it has long been the practice for many companies to match employee contributions which are made directly to charitable organisations. But did you know these programmes are becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK as well?
This employee benefit is known as an employee matching gift programme.

How do employee matching gift programmes work?

In general, companies with match programmes give £1 for every £1 (or $1 for $1) that an employee gives to a variety of nonprofits. Annual limits as well as employee eligibility (full time vs. part time) vary based on each company’s individual guidelines.
Matched giving process
For an individual donor, the matching gift process is pretty straightforward. After making a donation there are three core steps for donors:
1. Determine if the donation is eligible to be matched
2. Fill out the required form
3. Submit the match form either electronically or by mail
Click here for a more comprehensive overview of all the information contained in employee matching gift

Which companies match donations to UK organisations?

Matching gift programmes are offered by both large multi-national companies as well as smaller regional players in the UK. Here are a few companies which match donations by United Kingdom employees.
General Electric
General Electric created the world’s first employee matching gift programme back in 1954. Since then, the programme has expanded in both scope and size.
Employees of the GE Company or a majority-owned affiliate and who have a valid GE Single Sign On (SSO) ID can request matching gifts up to $50,000 annually. UK nonprofits must be recognized by and registered with the United Kingdom Charity Commission as a charitable organisation to be eligible.
State Street Corporation (and wholly owned subsidiaries)
State Street has offered an employee match programme for over 20 years. Over the years the programme has expanded the types of nonprofits which are eligible as well as the employee base which can participate.
During 2008 and 2009, the company rolled out its’ employee giving programmes to employees across Europe. Now donations made by all global employees to nonprofits across the world are eligible to be matched. The annual limit per employee varies based upon the employee’s job level but ranges between $5,000 – $35,000 (or the equivalent amount converted to non-US currencies).
New Voice Media
New Voice Media is another example of matching gift programmes spreading to the UK. The company formed its match programme in 2012 by matching up to £1000 annually per employee when employees get involved with challenges and fundraising outside of work for initiatives which are important to them.
To take it even further, the company matches the fundraising efforts of an employee as well.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

What can an organisation do to raise more money from match programmes?

The most important thing your organisation can do is increase awareness among your donors.
Make sure you’re promoting matching gifts across your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts including in places such as:
• The donation process (on your ways to give, donation, and confirmation screens)
• Social media
• Acknowledgement letters
• Emails


While matching gifts are a small but growing form of corporate philanthropy in the UK, nonprofits should be aware of the major employers which offer match programmes and help promote matching gifts to donors.
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, a company which helps nonprofits raise money from employee giving programmes. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.