Billions of dollars in corporate matching gift programs going unused

Posted at 8:29 AM, Nov 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-27 13:11:28-05

Billions of dollars are going unused when they could be going to local charities. If your company has a matching gift program, you can be charitable this holiday season without having to give more than a dime.

Matt Schulz, the chief credit analyst at LendingTree, lost his dad, Paul, to cancer in October 2020.

"In September of 2021, in honor of what would have been his 75th birthday, I started a little online fundraiser through the American Cancer Society," Schulz said.

Money trickled in, and out of curiosity Schulz asked his employer if they matched employees' charitable donations. The company said yes — up to $1,500 per year!

"My first reaction was, wow, that's a lot of money," Schulz said.

And it's something that people need to know about. Across the country, countless companies match donations made to charity.

Like News 3's — the E.W. Scripps Company. Employees can apply for up to $1,250 twice annually to support organizations where they give time and money.

"Time really can be money when it comes to these donation matches," Schulz said.

The problem is that very few people take advantage of these programs. And in part, that's because people just don't know.

Schulz says billions of dollars go un-donated every year. Imagine all that money benefiting your favorite nonprofit, especially when so many have been hurt by the pandemic.

You can turn $10 or $15 given to your charity of choice into $20 or $30 just by getting your company involved.

Because LendingTree matched the donations from Schulz's GoFundMe, his family was able to donate around $4,000 to the American Cancer Society.

"A lot of people stepped up and gave to honor my dad, which was really cool," Schulz said.

The best way to go about learning about these programs is just reach out to the HR team in your company.

Heads up — many companies set their deadlines by calendar year, so you may need to act quickly or just wait until 2022.