How to start matching your employees' donations in 10 minutes or less.

Many years ago Olark put our donation matching program in place. This program was spearheaded by a member of our DevOps team back when we were a tiny company. Since its inception we've made it more streamlined, but still run it with a shoestring amount of effort.

My goal of this quick post is to help you realize how simple it is to administer a donation matching program for a startup or small business and have you up and running in minutes.

If you have 10 minutes.

Email your team, some version of the below:

Subject: Donation Matching
Hey Team,
We are starting a donation matching program to support you and the causes you care about. We'll match your donations in 2020 up to $X.XX total. We'll make this process easier over time, but for version 1 here's how it works.
1) Donate to a 501c3 nonprofit you want to support
2) Send me your receipt and a link to where to donate, and I will match the donation.
Your name

If you care about making the deductions tax deductible, forward all of your donation receipts to your bookkeeper at the end of the year.

If you are concerned about budgeting start with a smaller match number and when it's exhausted consider increasing it.

If you have 30 minutes.

Duplicate this google form

NOTE: I do not know how to share this form so it can be duplicated without making it editable. PLEASE DUPLICATE IT before editing.

Send basically the above email to your team. Ask them to forward the receipt to an email inbox. At Olark we have a specific alias setup i.e.

Add some tracking to the spreadsheet output of form so that you can make sure you are only matching up to the limit.

If you have more than 30 minutes.

There are many solutions out there for donation matching. I am not familiar with them all, but my guess is evaluating, picking, configuring and administering a solution will take you far more time than it's worth if you have fewer than 100 employees. (Our process takes between 2-5 minutes per matched donation, so even with 100 employees, we are talking on the order of 2 days a year spent on program administration, it's OK to batch process your matching)

In closing

If you don't have donation matching, now is a good time to start. You can start small and your team and your community will appreciate it.

Someone will need to be in charge of managing the donation match pool, and getting receipts to your accountants. This should be a very fulfilling and light lift. It could be you.

Changing our society will take a lot of help and continued efforts. Supporting your team as they champion their values will go far beyond the monetary impact on their donations.

Check out relevant topics on: Making Business Human

Ben Congleton

Read more posts by Ben Congleton