The Importance of Matching Gifts to the Success of the AV200
Matching gifts are an important source of donations for all non-profit organizations and the AIDS Vaccine 200 (AV200) is no exception. Every dollar counts, so it’s extremely important for nonprofits to maximize all sources of donations. But what exactly are matching gifts and how are they handled by the AV200?
A matching gift is a charitable donation made to a qualifying nonprofit organization by a matching donor (usually a corporation) with the requirement that an original donor (usually an employee of the corporation) first makes a gift toward the nonprofit organization. A 1 to 1 matching is the most common scenario, but others also exist. Many employers will process matching gifts for “donations of time” at set rates “per hour” of volunteered time, and some also offer matching opportunities for spouses and retirees. The following steps must be completed to finalize matching gifts; so, it’s easy to see why the process can take up to six months to complete.
- After making the initial donation, the employee must apply for the match, usually through the Human Resources area of the company.
- The company notifies the nonprofit of the matching gift request and asks them to validate that the donation was received.
- The nonprofit researches and validates receipt of the gift, usually through an on-line site.
- The employer cuts the check to the nonprofit. The vast majority of corporations cut “matching gift” checks once every three months.
Action Cycling Atlanta (the 501(c) (3) entity of the AV200) is a qualifying nonprofit organization and, thus, receives matching gifts. In determining how these funds should be used, the organizers of the ride and the Board of Directors looked at all income sources while factoring in the total cost of organizing the best ride possible, and the mission of the organization. It became clear that matching gift funds were crucial to help meet budgeted operations, and the Board voted to steer “matching gifts” to cover the cost of the Ride. This ensures that 100% of all donations from individual donors raised by participants and volunteers are donated to our charities.
Nonprofit entities are limited in the direct marketing than can be done in the matching gift area, so we want to be sure you know about this source of funding and how important it has become to the success of the AV200. The Board and Steering Committee of Action Cycling Atlanta and the AV200 would like to thank our participants and donors for their efforts in obtaining matching gifts and encourage you to continue to tap into this resource! We are also periodically evaluating the use of matching gift funds as the ride and related fundraising efforts evolve to ensure we are applying them as efficiently and practically as possible and will certainly let everyone know of any changes in this area. Thanks again and please send any questions regarding the status of your matching gift or any other questions about this process to firstname.lastname@example.org.