Many companies throughout the UK offer employees the chance to boost their fundraising efforts by 'matching' the money they raise. Reach out to your working parents, and your PTA could double the amount of cash it raises.
What is match funding?
Match giving, or match funding, is a simple way to maximise the fundraising efforts of your individual PTA volunteers. It is an informal, albeit corporate, arrangement between a company and an employee. Usually, a company pledges to match a sum of money relating to the amount the employee has either raised or donated to a charity. It is likely that there will be an upper limit and certain criteria applied, such as the recipient organisation being a registered charity. Some companies will pledge time and resources instead of money, enabling their employees to support a cause during their working week. Or a tangible service may be offered, such as the opportunity to print posters, programmes and newsletters.
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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 to offer match-funding schemes. Explain the idea of match funding to your supporters and ask them to check with their employers whether a scheme is already in place or if they would be willing to set one up.
A match funding scheme can be adopted by any company no matter how big or small. Barclays, for example, offers its employees the opportunity to match funds they raise for their chosen charity up to £750 per year. This is available for three activities a year! Aviva, in response to feedback from their staff, has introduced a '£Plus' matching scheme. The scheme gives Aviva employees the chance to receive matched funds for any money raised on behalf of a registered charity of their choice.
How do we get started?
To get things started, you need to harness the support of your parents by getting 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 supporters, so if you find a company that is willing to match fund, 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, and this is 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?
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 other than some time to talk to their employer.
What can we do to ensure maximum benefit?
Once you've identified PTA volunteers who can tap into matched funding via their employers, you need to ensure you use this opportunity wisely. For example, if a mum or dad has volunteered to help at the summer fair and their employer will match the money they raise, make sure you put them on the most lucrative stall. It's a great way to build a rapport with local businesses. If a company is prepared to support their employee, ask if they are willing to go further and support your association in other ways, such as providing raffle or auction prizes.
'We raised £2,900 in match funding'
Michelle Glumart, assistant secretary, Friends of Herringham Primary Academy, Essex (370 pupils) successfully received match funding from a school parent: 'We were approached by a parent who works for a company offering match funding for their employees – up to £6,000 per year, and no more than £1,500 each time. Her company match funds against the overall amount raised at an event. There was one form to fill in, for the company to prove who we were, and we were asked to provide bank account details, but after that it's been plain sailing. We simply give our parent a cheque payable to her company for the total amount raised. Providing it's banked before the end of the month, double the amount is paid directly into our PTA bank account by the 15th. This year alone, we have raised an additional £2,900 in match funding for just two events – what's not to love about that?
- 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. 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
The above is intended as guidance only. We recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on the guidance provided.