No doubt you and your organization know how to get donations from individual supporters, but do you also know how to get donations from bigger entities such as small companies all the way to big multinationals. It’s very popular for companies to make donations so make sure you play in on this trend!
Has your non-profit organization already benefitted from the many forms of corporate fundraising? No? Then this just the article you need to read!
Simply said, corporate fundraising is when companies support charities and non-profit organisations eithers through donating money as a company, voluntary work, or something else.
Many companies have collective fundraising or charity programmes to encourage employees to do some volunteering or to support charities in another way. These programmes are advantageous for the companies itself but even more so for the non-profit organizations they support.
In this article we will discuss four different forms of corporate fundraising and what key role they can play in the strategy of your organization.
We will discuss the following four topics:
- Donation matching programmes.
- Euros for do-ers programmes.
- Support programmes for volunteers.
- Community grants.
This list isn’t extensive but it will give your non-profit organisation a good introduction to the different ways in which to implement corporate fundraising and how to maximize donations.
Let’s give it a go with that in mind.
1. Donation matching programmes.
Are you looking to double (or even triple!) the money given to you by donors? You’re in luck!
Matching donations are as easy as they sound. In theory its companies matching the donations of their employees to the relevant non-profit organisations.
There are different ratios to which a company can match donations. The most commonly used ratio is 1:1 (euro for a euro). This means that a donation of €100 becomes €200 and so on.
Most non-profit organizations will be able to receive matching donations. However, there are a few exceptions such as sports teams, certain religious groups, and political organizations.
Matching donations isn’t just easy to implement for you as organization, it’s also easy to take part in for your supporters. The submission process is very easy and usually takes less than 10 minutes for donors to go through. (Tip: have a look at this webpage from the National Kidney Foundation to see how easy it is!).
It really depends on the company how long an employee has to fill in his/her request to the employer, it can range from only one month to more than a calendar year. That being said, it’s absolutely critical you tell your donors about this process! This means they will get their submissions in quickly and you will get your money.
To get the most out of this form of corporate fundraising it’s important that your marketing strategy also includes donation matching. Include information about this on your donation’s webpage, newsletter, social media posts, and make sure to mention it at events!
Even more important, don’t forget to thank your donors when you have received their donations and when you have matched it.
Conclusion: matching donations is like a two-for-one deal for the non-profit sector. Programmes like this make it easier than ever before to maximize your donations potential through corporate fundraising.
2. Euros for do-ers Programmes.
The Euros for do-ers programmes turns voluntary hours into monetary donations.
Companies will make financial donations to organizations where employees regularly do some voluntary work through these programmes.
These programmes which are also known as voluntary grants, are set up by companies who want to encourage their employees to do voluntary work. This also helps them to increase employee engagement and teambuilding through giving back to the community in groups.
Volunteers offer an incredibly valuable service to your organization by giving you their time and effort. Now their contribution can be strengthened through their company donating to your organization!
Most non-profit organizations will qualify for these programmes but bear in mind that companies might restrict the number of hours employees can volunteer at your organization. A company will usually donate to organizations where employees have spent at least 10 hours (on average) doing voluntary work.
Some companies will establish a threshold of hours that needs to be met before they can do a donation whereas other companies will donate on an hourly basis.
Besides donations for voluntary work on an individual basis, some companies also offer corporate fundraising for groups of employees who take part in voluntary work.
However, it will always be: the more employees take part, the more money the company will donate. For example, a company will donate €500 when 5 or more employees hit 25 hours of voluntary work. Yet, when 50 or more employees take part voluntarily, they will donate €5000!
Group focused activities like this can also include corporate fundraising team efforts like a walkathon or running sessions. This kind of corporate fundraising fits exceptionally well with online peer-to-peer campaigns where donors are raising money through their social networks.
If you think that the peer-to-peer fundraising route is the one for you, check out the Whydonate donation crowdfunding platform!
When you’re creating your volunteer strategy for corporate fundraising make sure you consider group focused activities as well. This will boost your potential as a donation receiving organization.
Conclusion: the euros for do-ers programmes combines two key aspects for non-profit organizations: volunteers and financial donations. Using your existing volunteers’ employers and their volunteering allowance can be a great way to increase your corporate fundraising.
3. Support programmes for volunteers.
Although donations from a company are an invaluable part of your organization, volunteers are also a very important resource.
We have already discussed how you can tap into your existing volunteers to raise extra money. But there are more ways to maximize tapping into your existing volunteers through corporate giving and donation companies.
Through support programmes for voluntary work, companies can donate goods to non-profit organizations in need as a company.
Donating as a company can be done both through volunteering or through material goods. Some examples of donating as a company are:
- Business consultancy services
- Office supplies
- Technology such as computers and software
- Marketing strategies
- Building and construction materials
Before you ask for materials and services think carefully about which will be of most benefit to your organization as what can be donated will be different for each company. Donations like this for example can be very useful for corporate fundraising events or very specific corporate giving projects.
Not every company will have corporate giving programmes or will be able to donate as a company. Nonetheless, support programmes for volunteers will be able to provide your organisation with specialised volunteers who can help your organisation in ways not all volunteers can.
What’s more, this enables non-profit organisations to receive high quality products and services completely for free. That is clearly a big advantage of corporate giving!
Conclusion: support programmes for volunteers can provide non-profit organization’s of invaluable services and materials of generous companies. Even though you don’t directly receive money you can benefit from thousands of euros in donated materials.
4.Donating as a company: Community Grants
If your organisation wants to make a positive change in your community you might be able to get financial support from companies who share your vision.
Although the details of donating as a company will be different for each company, community grants are in essence lump sums given to non-profit organisations by companies. These are often given on a yearly basis by companies.
If you’re looking for sponsoring for a big project, continuing a community programme, or to participate in emergency relief, Community Grants are a great option for you.
Even though most forms of corporate giving require employees to submit applications, community grants are usually applied for by organization’s themselves.
Sometimes companies decide not to go for an application process and instead hand pick a non-profit organization they will support. Usually though non-profit organization’s need to set out why they need the financial support and how it will help them through an application.
Writing applications is serious business. One of the most important steps is finding the right business partner. This means, what is the best business to give you the funds you need?
Just like you would do research to potential individual donors to find the right one, you will also need to think about your application for a Community Grant.
Whilst you’re doing your research, the following questions may help to establish which companies are the best fit for your organisation:
- What are the values of this company? Most companies will have specific parameters for the kind of projects and organizations they would like to sponsor. Take Verizon Foundation, they support education, healthcare, and energy management. Find yourself a company that really fits with your organization to increase your chances of receiving that funding.
- How much money does my organisation need? Some companies may not have set limits to how much they can sponsor through Community Grants but others will have set limits. Think about how many of your online fundraising goals you would like to reach subsidies and how much sponsorship you need for your campaign. Sometimes it makes more sense to ask for many smaller amounts of financial support whilst other times it’s better to put your time and effort in getting a few big donations.
- What are the submission deadlines for this donation? Every company will have their own deadlines so make sure you have more than enough time to fill in the application properly. Applications can be very time consuming but make sure you put in the required time to write a good application letter.
Conclusion: company donations can really help your organisation to meet your fundraising target or it can help a specific project or longer running campaign. Although these can’t be implemented as quickly as other forms of corporate giving, they really are worth it in the long run.
Corporate fundraising really is a win-win situation: companies will profit from a bigger social impact whilst receive the required donations to further build on their mission. Your organization can increase donations, receiving of useful materials, and maximising volunteers through using multiple forms of corporate giving.
If you’re interested in more fundraising tips for non-profit organization’s make sure to check out our latest non-profit blog.