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Living and Giving:

Stories And Causes You Care About

Why Your Employee Giving Program Should Include Employee matching

By Leo Ramirez Posted on March 14, 2017

When it comes to creating a corporate giving strategy, you have a lot of options. Unfortunately, many of those options – such as partnering with a large charitable organization – actually limit choices for employee giving.

Instead of choosing a charity for your charitable giving and asking employees to pitch in, why not flip the script? Let employees choose which organizations to support and offer an employee matching program.

Employee giving programs are good, but employee giving programs that include employee matching are great! Here’s why:

It’s Says We’re Not Leaning on You

When you match employee donations, you are saying a couple of important and meaningful things to your employees. You’re telling your employees:

You’re not the only one doing this. Employee gift matching lets your employees know they are not alone in trying to make a difference.

We’re engaged. It’s easy to talk about company giving programs and community engagement, but it’s more difficult to show employees the ways your company contributes. When you match employee gifts, they not only see your contributions, they get to decide which causes benefit from them.

Makes the Employee Feel They’re Working for a Company that Cares


Nearly two-thirds of millennial-aged employees prefer to work for a company that is involved in charitable giving. A carefully crafted corporate social responsibility strategy demonstrates that your company cares.

When your corporate social responsibility strategy includes employee gift matching, it shows that your company cares about more than just about charity in general. Instead, employees feel that you care about them and the causes that matter to them personally.

They see their contribution as more than just an individual donation. Giving back to causes that matter is important, but it is easy to feel as though a small donation doesn’t really matter or make much of an impact. Matching gift programs help even the smallest donations add up quickly.

Additionally, employee matching can help employees feel more connected to the company. When your corporate culture is one of giving to employee-driven causes, work is more than just the work and services employees build, it’s about the community it creates.

Employee matching encourages a bigger sense of belonging and camaraderie. After all, when you give along with your employees to causes they choose, you are all “in it” together.

Increase Company’s Brand Reach

Brand reach and visibility is a tangible benefit of corporate giving. But when you only give to a few, large charities, you limit the scope of that reach.

When employees choose who gets their donations you essentially diversify the reach and visibility benefit of your corporate social responsibility program.

By matching these donations, your company ensures employee gifts have a greater impact and small, local organizations see bigger donations throughout the community.

Companies Show Trust and Faith in Their Employees


Nothing says, “I trust you” like letting someone else take charge of your money.

When employee matching comes without stipulations or limitations, you entrust your employees with your charitable giving dollars. Employees feel and appreciate that trust.

When your company truly embracing giving to causes employees care about it’s more than entrusting them with your giving budget. It is showing employees that you, as a company, want to further the interests of their employees.

It is a clear and simple way to put your money where your mouth is in terms of caring about the issues that matter to your employees.

Another Benefit to Draw Workers and Keep New Workers

Millennials will soon make up the majority of the American workforce and, as mentioned earlier, they want to work for companies who contribute in a meaningful way.

Corporate social responsibility strategies that only partner with a few charities are only attractive to people who want to support those specific charities. Employee matching programs without stipulations, on the other hand, are an attractive benefit to all current and potential employees.

Whether you match $500 or $1000, it’s a specific monetary benefit for employees. It’s almost like an add-on to their salary. Even though the money doesn’t go into their pockets, they get to determine where it goes and who benefits.

You Determine the Scale Matching

We’ve talked a lot about how employee gift matching puts your employees in control, but your company has a lot of control as well.

Not every company can match 100% of all employee donations and that’s okay. You can match 50% up to a certain amount, or 75% up to a certain amount. You can even just set a dollar amount that you will match.

Corporate giving programs with employee matching don’t have to be financially challenging. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You have the flexibility to determine exactly how your employee matching program will look.


If you want your employees to truly feel that your company cares about the causes and issues that matter to employees – empower them.

Empower your workers to choose which charities will benefit from their donations. Then put your money where your mouth is with an employee matching program.


Benefits, CSR

Author: Leo Ramirez

Leo is the co-founder and CEO of Encast, an organization dedicated to improving the way CSR professions create, manage, and measure CSR programs. Leo is passionate about the role that culture plays in business success. Leo has launched and managed social ventures, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and built solid relationships with civic and corporate leaders. His 25-year career has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions with Southwest Key Programs, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Coremetrics, Trilogy and Apple.

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