Living and Giving

Five Reasons Nonprofits Don\’t Receive Matching Gifts (And What To Do About It), Part Two

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Today, we continue with Part Two of Five Reasons Nonprofits Don\’t Receive Matching Gifts (And What To Do About It). Part One is available here







3. They Don’t Submit On Time

Unfortunately, many nonprofits are overloaded with day-to-day responsibilities. They may be entrenched with serving homeless people on the street and concerned with serving others through their mission. They might be burned out from working 12 hours a day. Their heart is in the mission, and they are doing good, but they haven’t submitted the paperwork. This happens all too often.







My heart goes out to these nonprofits, as they sincerely deserve the funds. Yet, at the same time, if they don’t submit the documents on time, they won\’t get a grant and often miss the opportunity.


4. Too Many Red Flags

Often, when we approve a grant for a matching gift program, there might be one item that doesn’t meet the guidelines of our corporate partners. Most of the time, our corporate partner will pass the NGO through. But if there are several red flags, the case is built to not approve them. Here are a few examples of what we consider \”yellow\” flags:

• Overhead is 35%.

• There is no regularly meeting board.

• There is a concern about potential political lobbying.

These yellow flags build up to general concern and a red flag. In that case, too many flags will mean the nonprofit does not get the grant.

5. Lack Of Separation Between Board And Team

It’s wonderful to include some employees on your board; it provides practical experience on your board of what the day-to-day realities are. In addition, when the board makes requests, that team member is able to be a witness to what’s actually happening on the ground.

Yet, far too often, nonprofits stack a board with employees. There is no third-party accountability. Basically, the “board” consists of employees, and “board members” approve the decisions that affect employees. Essentially, employees are directing themselves. This is considered a very grave scenario with no accountability. Often, nonprofits will not receive a grant due to this lack of appropriate governance.

Final Thoughts

We always hope that nonprofits pass all the tests for receiving matching gifts. As noted, matching gifts are an inspiring way to get employees connected to the community and to get foundations to support your efforts.

As a nonprofit, you can be prepared. Gather together the documents required and put them in a Google folder on Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, Tresorit or OneDrive so that you are prepared anytime these requests happen. We recommend putting in articles of incorporation, 990 forms, your mission statement, board members and other important governing documents.






Thank you to all the nonprofits for all you to do for the world. Thank you to all the employee nominators who help support these nonprofits and to the more than 65% of Fortune 500 corporate foundations that match these employee gifts every year. We’re all trying to make the world a better place!