Do you wonder how you can make a big impact and provide more clean water? Do you know whether your employer offers an employee-giving program?

Recently RainCatcher supporters have harnessed the power of their employers’ matching donation programs to magnify the impact of their gifts in some interesting ways. One dedicated supporter was able to raise enough to fund a rainwater-harvesting system at the school pictured above, which provides clean water to hundreds of students all year long. That huge gift was made possible, in large part, by a generous charitable giving program he had access to through work.

How Do Employer Matching Programs Work?

A matching donation is a donation the corporation makes to match the gift of an employee. Typically the employee submits a formal gift request to the company after making a donation and then the employer matches the employee’s contribution.

Programs vary, but companies like eBay, Gap Inc, CarMax, Boeing, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and American Express match the eligible gifts of their employees.

Please check with your HR department or employee benefits office for the details of your company’s program.

What Are Some Ways to Use Your Program Well?

This team raised more money for clean water because of a matching gift

Athletic Events Like Team RainCatcher

Invite your co-workers to get involved. When your company offers to match gifts, you can invite your friends at work to sponsor your race, climb, or run. Christian did just that as part of a recent Team RainCatcher ride. The program provided by his employer, Google, generously matches donations made by all Christian’s co-workers.

A handful of companies, including BP, Intuit, McAfee, Inc., and Penguin Random House, have expanded their matching gift program to also include money raised by an employee participating in a fundraising walk, run, or ride, like Team RainCatcher. In those cases, the company will match donations made even by non-employees.

You can make a difference doing what you love and provide your co-workers and friends the chance to be part of something positive. People love to help because it feels good! If you’d like to dedicate your next race, climb, swim, or other trained-for activity to saving lives with RainCatcher, please contact us today to learn more.

The tank provided by community fundraising and a matching gift

Rally Your Community Around RainCatcher

Rett Frost had a soft spot in his heart for Uganda after hearing about the need for clean water from a priest who was a close family friend. He learned a tremendous amount about the immense challenges faced in accessing clean water and was told about RainCatcher’s work in Mityana, Uganda. Once he knew about the rainwater-harvesting systems and the positive impact in the villages, Rett decided he would provide a tank for a school.

Knowing it was a big undertaking, Rett decided to tap into his employer’s match program and harness the compassionate power of his church community. By telling the story and inviting people to participate, Rett was able to generate a substantial number of gifts from people in his parish. By donating that money to RainCatcher and reporting it to his employer, he was able to double the money he collected.

In late 2016, a school in Entebbe, Uganda received a rainwater-harvesting system as Rett had dreamed. Before the tank was installed, the students at this school had no choice but to walk down the road to this dirty stream to get water and then haul the heavy yellow jugs of contaminated water back to the school.

The stream the kids walked to for dirty drinking water before the matching gift funded a tank
Touched by the quick impact the system made and the elimination of that long walk for dirty water, he asked us to have the dedication on the tank read “Donated by the Mnapendwa Project.” In Swahili, Mnapendwa means, “You are loved.”

These students can spend more time at school with the tank that was provided by a matching gift

Depending on the specifics of your employer’s program, you could organize fundraising through your friends and family, too. You’re limited only by your creativity and the guidelines your employer provides. When people know that their gift is being matched, they’re likely to give and get an extra boost knowing the impact they’re making is even bigger.

If you would like to create a fundraising page online to make it easier for people to donate to your cause, you can “Create A Campaign” as a Rain Maker for our Water Is Life! cause on a secure platform that provides space for you to share your story.