Matching Gift Policies

Want to double your donations? Don't miss out on the easy money to be raised through donor matching opportunities. How does it work? It's easy. Ask your donors to contact their employer's Human Resources departments to find out if their company matches charitable donations, and to get specific applications and instructions. Most companies match their employee's contributions dollar for dollar. Some companies double the contribution!

To make sure you get credited with the matching gift, please have the donor include your participant name, number and event in the field on the application or online form for "Designation" or "Purpose". All applications that go through Donor Services, whether electronic or paper, are logged in our system so that appropriate participants are credited when the check arrives. AIDS/LifeCycle will credit your fundraising account as soon as we receive the funds!

Matching gifts are another reason to start your fundraising early. In general, matching gifts take longer to appear because they must be processed by both the non-profit and the employer and paid out according to the employer’s schedule which usually takes several months.

Finally, make sure you or your donor send the documentation required to match the gift to AIDS/LifeCycle Donor Services. Some donors include the matching form with their donation. This form should be mailed directly to the attention of Donor Services at AIDS LifeCycle. And it’s always a good idea to keep records of all your correspondence with the matching company with regards to matching gifts.

As always you can contact your Participant Representative for more help!

Frequently Asked Questions about Matching Gifts

Q. What is a Matching Gift?

A. A matching gift is a company's payment matching wholly or in part a donation made by company employees. Most companies match 100%, some match 50% (Aetna, for example, pays 50¢ for each $1 donated), and some match even more (Johnson & Johnson matches 2:1, Grainger 3:1).

Q. Which companies offer matching gifts?

A. Nearly all large and mid-size companies have a matching gift program.

Q. How does a donor apply for a matching gift?

A. The donor should contact their company’s Human Resources department for specific instructions.  Please note that AIDS/LifeCycle is not an independent 501(c)3 and matching gifts must specify either San Francisco AIDS Foundation or L.A.Gay & Lesbian Center as the beneficiary of the matching gift.

Q. Which address should I use for AIDS/LifeCycle?

A. For donations to Northern California participants, use the SFAF address when applying for Matching Gifts: AIDS LifeCycle, c/o San Francisco AIDS Foundation, 1035 Market Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA  94103.  The San Francisco AIDS Foundation Federal Tax ID # is 94-2927405.

For donations to Southern California participants, use the LAGLC address when applying for Matching Gifts: AIDS LifeCycle, c/o L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Dept. 9383, Los Angeles, CA  90084-9383.  The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Federal Tax ID # is 95-3567895.

For donations to participants that live outside of California, please contact Donor Services in San Francisco (donate_sf@aidslifecycle.org or (415) 487-3092) or in Los Angeles (donate_la@aidslifecycle.org or (323) 860-7385) for the appropriate address to use.

Q. How does a donor ensure that the match for his/her gift is applied to the correct participant?

A. Most applications and online forms have a field for "Designation" or "Purpose". Please have the donor include the participant name, number and event in this field. All applications that go through Donor Services, whether electronic or paper, are logged in our system so that appropriate participants are credited when the check arrives.

Q. What information does Donor Services need to research a gift or match?

A. In order to research a pending match, contact Donor Services with the donor/employee name (this is important because sometimes the donation is from a couple and the match is under the employee/spouse's name), the company name, the amount donated as well as the Event/Participant number. 

Q. When can the Participant expect the match to appear in his/her fundraising total?  Why doesn’t the Matched amount appear when the application is submitted?

A. Matching gifts do not appear in a Participant’s fundraising total until the funds are received and allocated. 

Remember, Matching Gifts are paid out per the Company’s schedule. Many companies (Gap, Bank of America, Adobe, Starbucks, Microsoft, Electronic Arts) pay quarterly.  Some (James Irvine Foundation) pay bi-monthly or as applications are received. There are a few that pay annually or bi-annually (ACE INA). 

There are limitations or restrictions to the match process, which vary from company to company. Nearly all have a minimum amount for a donation to be matched (usually $25, but for some firms, like Google, it is $50), and all companies have a cap – a maximum match amount per employee. The employee is free to donate as much as he or she would like, but the company will only match up to a certain amount (ranges from $1,000-$5,000). Because there is no way for AIDS/LifeCycle Donor Services to know whether restrictions will result in a denial of match, matching gifts are not applied to participants’ accounts until the funds are received.

Some companies/vendors do not require confirmation (Autodesk, Genentech, Morrison & Foerster). In additon, some employers allow their employees to make donations via payroll deduction or credit card via the company website/Matching Gift vendor. In Blue Shield's case, their vendor, Easy Match, will accept that donation, apply when applicable any fees, and then secure the match, then mail a check for each at approxiamtely the same time. Since AIDS/LifeCycle is not required to participate in this process, we accept the checks when they arrive and designate the amounts as indicated at that time. It is impossible for AIDS/LifeCycle to allocate these gifts until the checks are received. Also, it is imperative that donors indicate in the "Purpose" or "Designation" field the name of the participant, the event and the participant number. 

Q. What does a Participant need to know about Restaurant Fundraising checks? 

A. Many participants hold fundraising parties at a restaurant that will donate a portion of the meal total to a participant’s fundraising.  Real Mex Restaurants (Acapulco, Chevy's or El Torito) are popular venues for this and the checks arrive about a month or so after the event, absent any information about which restaurant, location or the participant the check is meant to benefit.  So, as a rule, participants will need to let their Participant Representative or Donor Services Department know their party location, fundraiser date, the approximate restaurant check amount, and who receives credit (if it was a team fundraiser) in order to correctly allocate the restaurant check when it comes in.

Q. Who can I contact with questions about Matching Gifts?

Please refer all questions to Donor Services in San Francisco (donate_sf@aidslifecycle.org or (415) 487-3092) or in Los Angeles (donate_la@aidslifecycle.org or (323) 860-7385)