How are recurring or monthly donations treated for match purposes?

How are recurring or monthly donations treated for match purposes?

As a nonprofit you'll often face scenarios where a donor signs up for a recurring monthly donation and works for a matching gift company.


In these cases one of three options can occur:

  1. Donors submit the expected annual total donation for the company to match at the time of initial commitment.
  2. Donors submit the monthly donation every month.
  3. Donors wait and submit aggregate donation once per quarter or year, depending on their employer's matching gift guidelines.

The most efficient of the three options is for a donor to aggregate their monthly donations (#3) and submit match requests for donations made over multiple months. It save the donor and nonprofit time.


Alternatively we hear from some nonprofits that they have donors that submit their matches every month (#2) like clockwork. While slightly less efficient for every party, the nonprofit still receives every matching gift check.


Submitting an expected annual total donation to a company to be matched (#1) has challenges. While each company has different guidelines, most companies match actual donations made by employees. They do not typically match amounts pledged, which is what occurs in scenario #1.


One strategy that we've heard is effective for organizations with a large number of recurring donations is to send an email to all of these donors towards the end of the calendar year encouraging them to see if their employer will match their donation and submit a match request for all their recurring donations during the calendar year. If you subscribe to Double the Donation's service make sure you direct donors to your dedicated matching gift page which has our search tool so donors can instantly determine if their employers will match their donations and find the relevant forms, guidelines, and company specific instructions.

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