How sponsors raised an additional $329,000 for CFCA in 2011

Last week we mentioned employer charitable matching gifts and how they work. In 2011 these matching gifts raised an additional $329,000 for CFCA.

This guest post is from CFCA sponsor and volunteer Paula Kiger, who participates in her employerís matching gift program and shares how easy it is for her to double her donation to CFCA each year.

CFCA sponsor donates matching gifts

Paula Kiger and Father Arthur Kirwin, O.P., at a CFCA weekend presentation in Douglasville, Ga.

Less than five minutes a month.

That’s how long it takes to double my contribution to CFCA by participating in my employer’s charitable matching gifts program.

Many employers match donations made by their employees to approved charitable causes.

The first day of every month, I email verification of my donation to CFCA.

Next, CFCA verifies the donation with my employer, who matches my $30 monthly sponsorship contributions.

The $30 from my employer goes to CFCA’s scholarship fund, which helps youth pursuing secondary, post-secondary or vocational training with their educational costs.

If your workplace has a matching gifts program, and you are already a CFCA donor, I hope you will consider this great opportunity to double your donation.

It truly is “found money,” and this additional extension of the generosity you already demonstrate can make a quite an impact for the young people served by CFCA.

I visited Guatemala in the summer of 2011 on a CFCA mission awareness trip. I was astounded to see how much use the Guatemalan people get out of every item they use:

  • Clothing is passed down through successive siblings.
  • Plastic bottles are used for insulation.
  • Each component of anything edible is consumed by families whose lives rely upon “work a day, eat a day.”

The $30 I pay in sponsorship fees helps 6-year-old Estela and her family of 12 in so many ways.

Paula's family on a mission awareness trip to Guatemala

Tenley, Paula’s daughter, right, with Estela and her family. Paula writes, “We just received a letter from Estela’s family in which her older sister said Estela has started school and ‘wants to be the best in her class!’”

Nutrition, education and improved living conditions are some of the tangible benefits she and her family receive.

Participating in my employer’s charitable matching gift program enables me to do something I always want to when it comes to CFCA, which is to find a way to contribute as much as I possibly can.

If you are not sure whether your employer has a matching gift program, ask your human resources department or use CFCA’s matching gift search tool on their website.

Some additional points about matching gift programs:

  1. Make yourself a simple reminder to send in your matching gift documentation. (Like I said, mine is a first day of the month task.)
  2. Even if you do not have a matching gifts program, you can still help by spreading the word. You might write a brief article in your parish’s newsletter or integrate the matching gifts concept into stewardship sermons or initiatives.
  3. In this time of economic uncertainty, some employers may not offer salary increases. Under these circumstances, you could recommend corporate matching as a perk for their employees.

This is a way that employees can feel that their personal resources are being stretched on their behalf while they are helping causes they care about. Since the employers can define how the program is structured, they can be reassured that the amount given will not exceed a cap they can set.

Although I support quite a few charities, CFCA is the organization to which I give most consistently. I have looked Estela and her parents in the eyes.

Despite financial hardships faced by our family, as my husband went through a long period of unemployment, we committed to find a way to make our $30 contribution every month, and we always will.

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