Help & FAQ

Have more questions about Patronage? You're in the right place.

Common Questions

Why Patronage?

Your employees want to make a difference. Matching support makes their work more rewarding, and helps you attract and retain the best talent

Patronage makes running a program easy for companies of all sizes. The tedious part in running a donation matching program is taking employee match requests, tracking down paperwork and receipts, and fulfilling the match with a company donation to each nonprofit.

Patronage streamlines the submission and approval process so at the end of each month, a company administrator can see a single snapshot of all employee donations that are awaiting matches. A single credit card transaction then fulfills all those matches.

Who is Network for Good?

Network for Good, in technical terms, is a "donor-advised fund," a 501(c)(3) organization that collects contributions from donors and distributes such contributions to 501(c)(3) organizations in good standing with the IRS recommended by you, the donor.

Since their founding in 2001, Network For Good has processed over 1 billion dollars in charitable donations.

Each month, Network for Good sends payments to nonprofits on the 15th of each month that including all donations from the previous month. For example, donations processed in February will be paid on March 15th.

Can employees donate directly to nonprofits via Patronage?

Currently, no. This is something we’re looking to enable in the near future.

Are there any restrictions on organizations an employee can give to?

Patronage can only process matches for US 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.

Beyond that, each company may opt to limit their matching programs based on a criteria of their choosing.

Is my individual donation tax-deductible?

In general, the donation made by the employee is deductible by the individual on their personal tax return, and the match made by the employer is deductible for the employer.

There are some nuances if you receive benefits. For example, if you donate $100 to attend a fundraising dinner, or if you donate to your college as part of a purchase of season tickets, only part of your donation may be eligible for tax-deduction.

Is Patronage a nonprofit?

We’re not.

But we're not a typical company either. Our mission is to make philanthropy a part of everyone's life. We feel that the best way to accomplish that is by working with individuals, companies, and nonprofits directly.

Patronage is our software platform that brings those three groups together.

We also run a small studio that works directly with nonprofits and advocacy organizations to help them better tell their story and fundraise more efficiently.

For Employers

How do employees make donations and submit match requests?

Employees make donations directly to nonprofits. They then identify the nonprofit via Patonage, log their donation's details (amount, when the donation was made, photo of the receipt), then donation is ready for matching.

What nonprofits can employees donate to?

Speaking broadly, we can process matches for any US-based 501(c)(3) in good standing that hasn't requested to be removed from Network For Good's service.

Beyond that, each company can limit matches in Patronage by customizing two options:

  • Filter specific nonprofits out with a blacklist.

  • Opt-out of entire categories of nonprofits using NTEE codes.

Additionally, each company can publish their specific matching policy guidelines which is displayed to all employees within Patronage. The Silicon Valley Community Fund has a great sample matching gifts policy available online.

A company admin will approve donations before they are matched, so the company can craft as broad or as narrow a matching program as they would like.

Is my employer match tax-deductible?

In general, the donation made by the employee is deductible by the individual on their personal tax return, and the match made by the employer is deductible for the employer.

If you're a pass through entity such as an Partnership or an S Corp, donations will pass to shareholders via a Schedule K-1.

For corporations, the IRS allows for up to 10% of a company’s annual income to be tax-deductible.

For an LLC, it will depend on whether you've elected to be treated as a partnership or a corporation.

As always on tax matters, you'll want to consult with an accountant or tax professional.

Can I refund a donation?

Unfortunately, no. Once a monthly match is completed, there is no way to alter the intended recipient.

For Employees

Can I write-off the amount of my employers match off of my taxes?

No. The money your employer submits to fulfill a match is their donation and they are the only ones who can deduct it off their taxes. Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent it follows the IRS’s rules.

Why can't I find my nonprofit?

Our list of nonprofits comes directly from the IRS. If you can't find your nonprofit, one of the following cases may exist:

  • The nonprofit name you entered might not be the same name that the organization filed with the IRS. Your best bet is to contact the nonprofit and ask them for their unique EIN.

  • The organization has not received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Some organizations doing charitable work may not receive this status.

  • The organization has opted to not receive payments from Network for Good, our partner who processes donations from your company.

Can I submit a non-monetary (physical goods) donation to Patronage for a match?

This is up to each company, but most policies require the donation to be a cash donation that doesn’t receive any extra benefits.

Can I use Patronage to keep records of all my annual donations?

Currently, Patronage will only allow you to record donations up until your company limits have been met and you can only access donations while you are actively employed. For those reasons, we recommend you keep track of your donations outside of Patronage.

How do I find a nonprofit to donate to?

Here are some of our favorite resources:

  • Great Nonprofits - Like Yelp for finding nonprofits near you. Individuals rank and review.

  • All for Good and Volunteer Match - Volunteering is a great way to develop a closer relationship to a nonprofit and understand the positive impact they have on the community. These two websites feature upcoming volunteer opportunities near you.

  • Google One Today - An app for your phone with a new nonprofit to learn about every day.

  • Givewell - They make recommendations each year on the nonprofits that utilize donations most effectively.

  • Guidestar - Once you’ve found a nonprofit, you may want to do due diligence on where the money goes, who is behind the organization. Guidestar surfaces this information from nonprofit IRS filings in an easily searchable way.

For Nonprofits

What is a Patronage Partner?

A Patronage Partner is a nonprofit that has signed up to receive donations directly via the Patronage application.

What are you looking for in Patronage Partners?

We're looking for nonprofits that will be attractive to employees and employers. We're especially looking for organizations with active online communications programs.

What is involved in becoming a Patronage Partner?

We need two things from you:

  • To help tell your story via photos, video, and text. We can work with you to display the content in a compelling way, this is a one time effort and not an ongoing content creation commitment.

  • To allow individuals to make one-time or recurring donation directly to your organization via Patronage. There is a one-time setup with Stripe to accept donations.

If you’re interested in becoming a Patronage Partner, let's talk.