Guest post by Adam Weinger, Double the Donation
Volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofit organizations or educational institutions; without them, nonprofits would struggle to meet their goals and fulfill their mission. But did you know that corporations are increasing the value of volunteers’ time with employee volunteer grant programs?
Thousands of companies offer monetary grants to eligible nonprofit organizations when employees volunteer their non-paid time, seemingly doubling the value of a volunteer’s time.
Here are a few large corporations with more than 100,000 employees that offer generous volunteer grant programs to their employees. If any of your supporters work for one of these companies, make sure you’re taking full advantage of their generosity!
Bank of America
Bank of America was ranked by Forbes in 2010 as the third largest company in world, and employs nearly 250,000 people worldwide.
In 2012, Bank of America employees volunteered over 1.5 million hours to more than 6,000 nonprofit organizations. This includes more than 487,000 hours in education and youth development organizations, 397,000 hours in health and human service organizations, and more than 315,000 hours toward general community support.
Bank of America’s volunteer grant program greatly recognizes its volunteers’ efforts with monetary donations of up to $500 per employee per year to the organization at which that employee volunteered. When an employee volunteers up to 50 hours, Bank of America will provide a $250 grant to eligible nonprofits, and up to 100 hours yields $500 grants.
Read more about Bank of America’s Corporate Philanthropy program.
Best Buy is an electronics corporation based in Minnesota that employs 180,000 people. It was named “Company of the Year” by Forbes magazine in 2004, and ranked in the top 10 of “America’s Most Generous Corporations” by Forbes in 2005 (based on charitable giving in 2004).
Best Buy has three different kinds of volunteer grant programs:
1. Individual TagTeam Grant Awards – after an employee volunteers at least 40 hours at an eligible nonprofit organization, Best Buy will provide a $1,000 grant to the organization.
2. Individual TagTeam Board Member Grant Awards – if an employee volunteers at least 40 hours at an eligible nonprofit organization and is also on the board of directors of that organization, Best Buy will provide an additional $1,000 grant to the organization (totaling $2,000)!
3. Team TagTeam Grant Awards – when a team of five or more employees volunteers together for a nonprofit organization during non-work time, Best Buy will provide a $1,000 to the organization.
With 2.2 million employees, Walmart is the world’s largest private employer, and the world’s second largest public corporation according to the Fortune Global 5000 list in 2013.
Walmart’s program, “Volunteerism Always Pays” (VAP), offers two different kinds of grants for Walmart and Sam’s Club employees who volunteer with eligible nonprofit organizations.
Walmart Individual VAP Grants – when an employee volunteers at least 25 hours with a nonprofit organization, Walmart will provide a $250 volunteer grant to that organization. Each Walmart employee can request up to two volunteer grants for two separate organizations every year, meaning up to four volunteer grants (and $1,000) can be earned per year.
Walmart Team/Group VAP Grants – when a group of Walmart employees volunteer together or participate in fundraising events (walks, runs, bike races, etc.), they are eligible to request a grant between $500 and $5,000, depending on how many employees are involved in the activity.
In 2012 alone, Walmart employees volunteered over 2.2 million hours and requested over $18 million in grants to nonprofit organizations through the VAP program.
Bottom line: the companies listed above are widely known, but thousands of employers have a volunteer grant program! If your nonprofit benefits from volunteers, it’s almost certain that many of them work for an employer willing to provide grants.
Make sure your volunteers know about this – they’ve already proven they care about your mission by volunteering their time, so they’re likely to be interested in doing something that increases the value of that time. And since it usually only requires them to submit a form at work, it’s often so easy for them to do!
Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, a company focused on helping nonprofits increase the amount of money they raise from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Follow Double the Donation on Twitter or LinkedIn.