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Using Employee Matching Grants to Bless Others with Bibles and Desperately Needed Support

Apr 16, 2012 12:27 PM EDT

One of the best parts of my workday is processing the employee matching grants applications that are sent by our donors. Working at American Bible Society, I know all too well the financial struggles employees and the companies they work face. Everyone—from employers to employees to retirees—are trying to find new ways to save money and cut costs. These applications remind me that donors have taken the extra step toward assisting our ministry.

A donation, when matched by your employer, can make a huge impact for someone in need, at no additional cost to you. When a charitable contribution is doubled, it can also make a big difference to those providing health care services, faith-based ministries, educational programs, disaster relief and environment conservation. A matching contribution is one of the most heartfelt benefits a company can offer its employees, because it encourages them to support the eligible nonprofit organizations of their choice.

Marianna B. Funk, is director of customer service, matching gifts and research at HEP Development Services, a Leesburg, VA ,-based firm that provides data services to nonprofits. She informed me that at least one company per week is joining the growing list of companies that will match, double or, in some cases, triple a donation that is made by their employees.

Daily, she hears from employee/donors, corporate administers and nonprofits that want to find those matching gift dollars. “I love my job and that I can help people,” she says.

It only takes is a few minutes to learn how this simple, but vital process can change someone’s life.

Contact the personnel or human resource department of your company to see if it has an employee matching employee program. Some companies will also match donations made by their retirees or by an employee’s spouse. In order for the contribution to be matched, the nonprofit organization must be recognized as a 501© (3) by the Internal Revenue Service. This means it’s exempt from paying federal income tax.

Be sure to find out your company’s guideline about employee matching grants. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Follow their instructions, and know that guidelines can change from year to year.

Complete the employee section of the employee matching grant application, either in print or online. You can include your donation, a recent receipt or ask to have the nonprofit apply it to a prior donation made within the same calendar year.

Each company determines the amount it will match per employee per year. Most companies start with a minimum donation from the employee, starting as low as $25 and going as high $40,000. In some rare cases, an employee-matching grant can be matched as high as $200,000 per year. I’m always touched by the generosity of our donors and the many ways they help others get Bibles and the support they need.

Please take a minute to see if your company offers a matching grant program to American Bible Society. Go to www.AmericanBible.org , click on the “Ways to Give” section, select “Workplace Giving” and type in your company name.