FAQs match funding

Many companies throughout the UK offer employees the chance to boost their fundraising efforts by 'matching' the money they raise. It really is money for nothing, and your PTA could double the amount of cash it raises with very little effort. Want to know how? Read on...

What is match funding?

Match giving or match funding is a simple way of maximising the fundraising efforts of your individual PTA volunteers. It is an informal albeit corporate arrangement between a company and their employee. Not all companies offer matched funding but those that do will pledge a sum of money relating to the amount their employee has raised for or donated to the charity of their choice. Some organisations will match fund on a £ for £ basis, others will stipulate what they are prepared to give. It is likely that an upper limit will be applied along with certain criteria such as the recipient organisation being a registered charity. Some companies will also pledge time and resources instead of money, so enabling their employees to support a cause during their working week, or offering a tangible service such as the opportunity to print posters, programmes, newsletters and so on.

Which organisations will support our PTA?

Unfortunately, while we'd love to be able to provide a list of companies offering match funding, it is fraught with too many issues - some companies have certain criteria in their small print (i.e. where it's only offered to full-time staff after two years service), or the schemes change too often for us to be able to keep any such list up to date. Generally speaking, banks and building societies, insurance companies, supermarkets, utilities providers, phone companies and car manufacturers are known historically to offer match funding schemes. It's a case of making it clear to parents what 'match funding' is, and asking all your supporters to check with their employers whether a scheme is already in place or if they'd be willing to set one up. 

Having said this, a match funding scheme can be adopted by any company no matter how big or small. Barclays for example offer their employees the opportunity to match funds they raise for their chosen charity up to £750 per year and this is available for three activities a year! And Aviva, in response to feedback from their staff has introduced a '£Plus' matching scheme. This gives Aviva employees the chance to raise funds for any registered charity in which they are interested and to receive matched funds from Aviva in support.

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How do we get started?

To get things started you need to harness the support of your parents by asking them to ask their employers if they operate or are interested in running a matched giving scheme. Ask mums and dads to make the approach to their boss in the first instance. You may find that there are one or two large organisations that employ many of your mums and dads, so if you find a company that is willing to match fund through a parent, make sure you let everyone know! A quick internet search will also give you a list of organisations that have been known to match fund, so this may be a good way to identify employers in your local area that your parents can approach. Once the company has agreed to match fund, they will probably ask their employee to complete a request form. If this is not the case, ask the company to put their pledge in writing to the PTA. Ensure that your association formally acknowledges the contributions made by companies and their employees.

How can we raise awareness?

Promote, promote, promote! The more you can do to spread the word about the benefits of match funding amongst your parents the better. Make sure you tell everyone that this way to fundraise exists! Explain that its not complicated and will cost the individual nothing extra other than some time to talk to their employer!

What can we do to ensure maximum benefit?

Once you've identified PTA volunteers that can tap into matched funding via their employers you need to ensure that you use this opportunity wisely! So for example, if there is a mum or dad that has volunteered to help at the summer fair, and their company is match funding the money they help to raise, make sure you put them on the most lucrative stall! It's a great way to build a rapport with local businesses; if they are prepared to support their employee, they may be willing to go a bit further and support your association in other ways by providing raffle / auction prizes for example.  

Case study

Michelle Glumart, assistant secretary, Friends of Herringham Primary Academy, Essex (370 pupils) successfully recieved match funding from a parent at their school: 'We were approached by a parent who works for a company offering match funding for their employees - up to £6,000 per year ad no more than £1,500 each time. Her company match funds against the overall amount raised at that event. There was one form to fill in for the company to prove who we were and we had to provide bank account detaisl, etc, but after that it's been plain sailing. We simply give our parent a cheque payable to her company for the amount raised. Providing it's banked before the end of the month, the doubled amount is paid directly into our PTA bank account by the 15th. This year alone on two events, we have raised an additional £2,900 in match funding - what's not to love about that? My advice for other PTAs is definitely find parents who can access match funding for you!'

Top tips:

  • A quick internet search will give you a list of organisations that have been known to match fund, so this may be a good way to identify employers in your local area that your parents can approach.

  • You may find that there are one or two large organisations that employ many of your parents, so if you find a company that is willing to match fund, make sure you let everyone know.

  • Once you've identified local employers, send letters to parents explaining how the scheme works, what you are raising money for and provide a list of local companies known to match fund.

  • Download our template letter to parents on match funding, here.

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