Corporate Matching Gifts: Making Your Gifts & Volunteer Time Go Further

Whether you are currently working or are retired, taking a moment to check and see if your company participates in "Matching Gift Programs" is an easy way to multiply the value of your donations to the Bruce Trail Conservancy or your volunteer time. Often overlooked, it is a form of Corporate philanthropy where companies match the amount of dollars or effort that their employees (and often past employee's) give to registered charities such as the BTC.

Many companies offer these programs as they are a great way to show employee appreciation and honour people's community involvement. Although the type of support and causes they embrace does vary among corporations, often it means matching or doubling employee donations or contributing financially--up to a certain level--to a charity where an employee volunteers his or her time.

Ron Savage, Trail Director for the Sydenham Club, has had great success obtaining Matching Gifts from Bell Canada over the years. He explains: "Last fall, they approved a grant request from my Sydenham volunteer team and made a gift of $2,500 to the BTC through their Employee Giving Program which went to the Lindenwood property. These grants are offered to support the organizations where Bell employees and retirees volunteer as well as recognize the generous contributions of time these people make to charities. I have been lucky enough to have secured a number of grants from Bell, and have even been able to get other former Bell employees interested in helping us out."

Participating in your company's Matching Gifts Program is an easy way to increase your giving, bring attention to the charity's cause, and create a relationship that might set the stage for enhanced corporate support in the future. There are hundreds of company's in Ontario that have Matching Gift Programs and a few of them are: Bell Canada, BMO Employee Charitable Foundation, 3M Canada Inc., Alcan, Canadian Tire Corporation, General Electric Canada, Home Depot, Pepsico Inc., KPMG Canada, Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, Telus Corporation, Trimark Investment Management Inc. and UPS Foundation.

If you are interested in finding out whether your company does this sort of thing, check with the Human Resources Department. They should be able to direct you to the right person, and you will likely be provided with a special form to fill out. That's all it takes to make your BTC donations or volunteer time go even further