Webinar Presentation with Instrumentl
Our CEO, Geng Wang, recently gave a presentation in partnership with Instrumentl explaining just how you can leverage your volunteer program for recurring grants. During his talk, he covered:
- Volunteer matching grants types
- Benefits of these non-profit grants
- Companies who offer them
- How to get started
You’re invited to watch his presentation online or continue reading this blog summarizing his main points. Either way, you’re bound to learn how this strategy will help you double the impact your volunteers make.
What are volunteer matching grants?
There are many corporations who have philanthropic initiatives. Some donate a set amount of money to a non-profit organization, while others match their employees’ effort toward a cause. There are 3 general types of volunteer matching programs:
- Matching a dollar amount for every hour an individual employee volunteers
- Match all the hours employees volunteer over the year at a specific organization
- An event where the company participates in a volunteer session
Geng goes on to explain that, “for almost all of these grants, there's a minimal requirement … to be eligible to submit a grant application.” You should expect a minimum number of volunteer hours to be satisfied to be considered for these grants.
What are the benefits of volunteer matching grants?
Of course the apparent benefit is that you’ll increase the amount of donations your organization receives. However, there are other adjacent benefits that will help secure continued funding and support.
- Foster closer relationships with local companies
- Increase volunteer engagement and retention
- Qualify for other grants with matching requirements
Did you know that 40% of Fortune 500 companies participate in volunteer matching programs? Geng recommends that you “look at the largest companies in your community. They're the ones that are most likely to have a program like this.”
Here are some companies who offer volunteer matching that you might be able to find in your community.
In the presentation, Geng shares some case studies showing how volunteer hours are reported and grants are claimed.
"Almost all of these programs require [your organization] to validate these hours. And so, this is another reason why it's helpful to have a tracking platform like Civic Champs.” We make it easy for you to store all the data you need to qualify for grants like these.
How do you get started with volunteer matching?
With these 5 tips, you’ll be on your way to applying for and receiving recurring grants through volunteer matching.
- Identify national employers: Consider the companies in your community that have a national presence. They’re most likely to have a volunteer matching program.
- Search online (Instrumentl is a good resource): Will from Instrumentl gave a demonstration in the video explaining how their platform is used to search for volunteer matching opportunities.
- Examine existing volunteer profiles: Identify which volunteers are using their work email addresses to engage with your organization. Ask them to complete the appropriate grant application.
- Reach out to corporate engagement leads: Sometimes people forget they offer volunteer matching grants. Offer to put together an event where volunteers can contribute hours.
- Leverage your board: Board members (both existing and new) may work at a company who participate in volunteer matching programs.
Our #1 of advice when it comes to securing grants from volunteer matching programs is to use volunteer management software. Civic Champs provides easy access to volunteer profiles that track their volunteer hours, pertinent information to determine your organization’s qualification for a grant.
You also want to remove as much friction as possible to make it easy for your volunteers to submit grant applications on your behalf. Create a simple set of instructions they can follow and remind them of opportunities to contribute more hours to reach the program minimum requirements.
A lot of companies are looking for opportunities to fulfill their philanthropic initiatives. Create events where they can bring a group of employees together to offer a helping hand to your organization. Remember to tie these events to their mission and core values.
Let us know which volunteer matching programs you participated in! We’d love to feature you in our monthly newsletter.
Emma Dawson is the Chief of Staff at Civic Champs. She is a 2022 Venture for America Fellow and a graduate of The University of Tulsa, where she studied Music Education and Entrepreneurship.