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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Casualty of the Economy?

As uncertainty about the economy continues to force businesses to make difficult decisions, the most recent trend is to eliminate or reduce matching gift and volunteer programs, reports the Wall Street Journal. An easy way to increase the impact of an employee’s donation to their favorite charity, these programs are now being viewed as a benefit some companies just can’t afford to keep. Many large companies, such as Northrop Grumman, General Motors and Proctor and Gamble, are cutting back or eliminating these programs completely. And for charities that are already struggling, this could reduce contributions even further.

However, the Seattle Times’ Business of Giving blog indicates that this problem isn’t as widespread as the Wall Street Journal might indicate; in general, more matching gifts are added each year than eliminated.

Without a doubt, we are in the throes of unprecedented economic problems, and it remains to be seen what will happen to these programs in the future. Regardless, if you’re not sure whether your company has a matching gift or volunteer program, you should find out and take advantage of it when possible. And of course, it is important to make sure your donation is going to a charity that is going to use it efficiently; as always, we recommend you use our site to find a fiscally healthy charity before your give.

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