Corporate Social Responsibility is a big buzzword at the C-Suite level, but what does it mean down on the ground for Green Foothills and our loyal supporters?
Corporate matching gift programs have been around since 1954, when the GE Foundation decided to stand behind its employees’ personal philanthropy with a dollar-for-dollar match. Today, chances are good that if a donor works for a larger corporation, their employer will provide a match. “Engaging employees in their communities is a common goal of corporate social responsibility programs for good reason,” writes Liz Longley of Inside Philanthropy. “It differentiates the brand, creates team and leadership opportunities, and helps attract and retain talent.”
Matching Gifts: Double Your Impact
One of Green Foothills former Board members, Chris Manning, has worked at a major Bay Area tech company since 2011 and describes his experience utilizing Matching Gift programs as, “It’s super easy! Many corporations have streamlined the application process by utilizing new online platforms such as Benevity, which is very efficient and also saves our natural resources by eliminating the need for paper forms, envelopes, and even postage stamps, not to mention reducing pollution from USPS delivery vehicles.”
Chris also values the fact that he can leverage his philanthropy and support a number of worthy community organizations. “From my perspective as a former Board member, for a relatively small but mighty nonprofit such as Green Foothills, I know that a large number of matching gifts can collectively make a huge impact on the environment and quality of life we all enjoy. For many young professionals, it can be difficult to find the time to volunteer for causes they care about, but they shouldn’t overlook the opportunity to help out through their company’s matching gifts program that doubles their charitable dollars. It’s a win-win for all involved!”
The Bay Area Leads in Social Responsibility
In a recent report from Guidestar, a highly-regarded nonprofit rating platform now known as Candid, some of the national leaders in Corporate Social Responsibility are based here in the Bay Area. Many local companies have supported Green Foothills with numerous matching gifts thanks to their employees who are also our loyal supporters. In the past five years Green Foothills received some 46 matching gifts totaling over $17,000 from individual supporters who have leveraged their charitable giving with a matching gift. Furthermore, Green Foothills has received over $400,000 in the last five years from some 160 generous corporate contributions or sponsorships.
“We’re very fortunate to be living in an area known for progressive ideas and innovation where many companies seek to enhance their corporate social responsibility programs and make a positive impact in the communities where their employees live and work,” says Jessica Weare, who is the new VP of Corporate Responsibility at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Microsoft’s former Philanthropy and Civic Engagement Manager.
Support Green Foothills’ Advocacy
Green Foothills looks forward to working with our business partners and their corporate employees to increase employee giving and make an even bigger impact in support of our work in the future. Since our founding in 1962, Green Foothills has protected more than 183,000 acres of local open space, farmland and natural resources, making this a region where people want to live and work. We are truly grateful to the corporate leaders who have supported our work with philanthropic sponsorships and Matching Gift programs.
For more information on maximizing your charitable contributions in support of our work and mission, please go to our “Double Your Dollars” giving page. You can also contact our Development Director Will Wyman ([email protected]) if you are interested in sharing your thoughts on your company’s giving programs or serving on one of our focus groups to help with our corporate engagement efforts.
A tip of the hat and our sincere thanks to the following corporations who have supported our work over the past five years with their matching gifts programs:
- Apple Inc
- David and Lucile Packard Foundation Matching Gifts Program
- ExxonMobil Foundation
- Gap INC
- GE Foundation Matching Gifts Program
- Genentech Employee Giving Program
- Google Gift Matching Program
- IBM Corporation Matching Grants Program
- Intel Corporation
- Juniper Networks Foundation Fund
- Lam Research Foundation at the East Bay Community Foundation
- Levi Strauss Foundation Matching Gifts
- Service Now
- Truist VMware, Inc. Foundation Matching Gifts Programs