Guest post by Adam Weinger, Double the Donation
While volunteering for a nonprofit organization or educational institution creates social impact all on its own, corporations are upping the ante with 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.
Unfortunately, not every company offers a program as generous as others. So, if you volunteer your time to a nonprofit close to your heart, but your employer doesn’t offer a volunteer grant program, what should you do?
Here are a few options you have to make the most out of your volunteering!
Check Your Spouse’s Employer
Many companies offer volunteer grant programs that extend eligibility beyond just their current employees – some programs will accept requests from part-time employees, board members, retirees, and even spouses. Check with your partner’s employer to see if it offers such a program – you might be surprised!
Ask Your Employer to Start a Volunteer Grant Program
Companies that don’t offer volunteer grants may not do so out of a sheer lack of knowledge. Talk to your employer and see if there has ever been anything comparable to this kind of program in the past, and if so, why it didn’t work. If there hasn’t actually been anything like a volunteer grant program, ask for one! Worst-case scenario is you get a “no,” but simply by asking, you could be the catalyst for a new corporate giving program in your company!
Take Advantage of a Matching Gift Program Instead
Thousands of companies across the country offer volunteer grant programs, but (maybe not surprisingly) even more corporations offer matching gift programs. While these companies won’t honor the volunteer hours put in at eligible nonprofits via grants, matching gifts can still make a substantial impact on organizations everywhere. Many companies match donations as low as $25, and it only goes up from there!
Bottom Line: If you are an avid volunteer, but your employer doesn’t offer a volunteer grant program, not all hope is lost. There are other options you can take advantage of to make sure your volunteer hours offer the biggest return possible for the organizations you support!
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.