KSL INVESTIGATES

How billions of dollars in charity donation matches go unused every year

Nov 29, 2021, 6:20 PM | Updated: 8:44 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — When it comes to helping people in need, every dollar counts. But, as the KSL Investigators found, there are billions of extra dollars going to waste because people don’t know to ask for them.

‘Tis the season of giving — where many will find themselves digging deep to help. But it is money that is not being donated that has financial and credit analyst Matt Schulz scratching his head.

Schulz told us his father’s battle with cancer made raising money personal for him.

“I started a little online fundraiser,” he said of his efforts.

In the process, he learned something he did not know. His company will match charitable donations up to $1,500 per employee every year.

“I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a really big number!’” he exclaimed.

Schulz is a money guy. He works for a company called Lending Tree. If he did not know about his own company’s charitable-donation matching program, he wonders how many others do not know if their company matches.

Turns out: it is a lot.

According to doublethedonation.com, an estimated $4 billion to $7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year.

The main reason? Employees do not know that their company has a matching program.

“Far too few people know about them and take advantage of them,” Schulz said.

Schulz said he is glad he reached out to his company, which doubled his donation to the American Cancer Society.

He said he hopes that as you consider what you can afford on this Giving Tuesday-eve, you will consider a conversation about donation matches with your company’s human resources department.

“You literally have billions of dollars in potential matching funds that go unused each year.”

Most companies will only match if it’s a legit, registered charity, as opposed to someone in need, trying to raise money on GoFundMe.

If you are in need of an idea for a charity, there is always KSL’s Quarters for Christmas. Every quarter raised goes to providing coats and shoes to people who may otherwise go without.

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How billions of dollars in charity donation matches go unused every year