Five types of corporate giving

Published by Adam Weinger on

Does your nonprofit take advantage of the variety of corporate giving programs that exist? If not, your organization is missing out! In 2010, U.S. corporations gave over $15.5 billion worth of cash and products to nonprofits (Source: Giving USA’s 2011 annual Report on Philanthropy for 2010). Get in on the action by exploring the different programs that are available.

Here the top five most prevalent types of corporate giving programs:

1. Community Grants
Most large corporations have either created a foundation to handle their charitable giving programs or handle them internally. Through community grant programs, companies are able to support the needs of their local communities by providing funding to support organizations that work to improve the lives of employees, customers, and local neighborhoods. Eligible organizations can apply for community grants by submitting a grant request that explains how the funds will be used.

In most cases, these grants are restricted to organizations where companies have a physical presence. For instance, Walmart offers community grants to local organizations. The amount of each grant typically ranges from $250 – $5,000 and is awarded by a team of associates who work at each store.

2. Employee Volunteer Grants

There are two types of volunteer grants:Volunteer grant programs, also known as “Dollars for Doers” programs, are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company provides a monetary donation to eligible nonprofits as a way to recognize employees who volunteer.


  • Team volunteer grants – Companies create an incentive for employees to organize joint team building / volunteer events. In these cases, companies offer a monetary donation to nonprofits where the team volunteers. For example, through Kohl’s Associates in Action program, when a group of five or more employees volunteer together for three consecutive hours at a nonprofit organization, the nonprofit receives a $500 volunteer grant.
  • Individual volunteer grants – These are grants that individual employees earn for a nonprofit after meeting certain volunteer thresholds. For instance, Dell awards $150 grants for every 10 hours that employees volunteer. In many cases, companies also offer programs where they recognize a few employees each year who really exemplify corporate volunteerism and award larger grants in the range of $5,000 – $15,000 to organizations where those employees volunteer.

3. Employee Matching Gifts
Corporate matching gift programs are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. For instance, Geico matches each employee’s charitable donations up to $5,000 annually. The company matches to all schools, health and human service organizations, arts and cultural organizations, community organizations, and many other nonprofits.

Over 65% of Fortune 500 corporations offer this benefit to employees, so make sure your donors are taking advantage of their employer’s matching gift program. (Source: Double The Donation’s 2012 Review of Matching Gift Programs)

4. Corporate Sponsorships
Corporate sponsorships are a form of advertising in which companies pay to be associated with certain events or attractions. Do you have a charity event coming up? Make sure you’re creating a variety of sponsorship opportunities so the companies can get something of value in return for the sponsorship.

And don’t forget about creating partnership opportunities with local companies! For example, Gigi Brady, a small Atlanta, Georgia CPA Firm, sponsors the Golden Lion Tamarin at the Atlanta Zoo.

5. Non-cash contributions
Non-cash contributions consist of donations such as equipment, supplies, or time. These can include old computers, furniture, office supplies, or services. One of the best ways your organization can benefit from non-cash contributions is by partnering with companies that have some sort of expertise.

Are you looking to revamp your computer systems? Why not approach a company which has a large internal IT team and ask for their assistance? Do you need graphic design help for an upcoming fundraising campaign? Seek out a local company which does a great job with its email marketing. You might be surprised to find that they’re more than willing to help and can do higher quality design work than your organization could internally!


If you start exploring the programs offered by companies, you’ll see that your organization probably qualifies for support from many local and nationwide corporations.

Has your organization had success receiving donations from corporations? Do you have any strategies, ideas, or resources to share with other nonprofits?

Adam Weinger

Adam Weinger is the president of Double the Donation, a company focused on helping nonprofits increase the amount of money they raise from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs.

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