Alumni Maximize Impact with Corporate Matching Gifts

Employer matching can double, even triple a donor's gift, adding a record $1M in matching contributions to the Texas Tech system last year.

For Jon Crumley, donating to Texas Tech University came down to two words: responsibility and opportunity.

While studying accounting at the Rawls College of Business, Crumley benefited from scholarships and felt a responsibility to give back.

As a partner at PwC, his employer gave him the opportunity to multiply his gift, so that even more students could pursue a college degree

Crumley used matching gifts to do both. 

And it’s a straightforward giving tool many donors use to increase the impact of their gifts across the Texas Tech University System.

Making a contribution with matching gifts

A matching gift is a benefit many employers offer their employees and retirees to encourage philanthropic giving. When an employee donates to a charity, their company also makes a donation, matching their contribution.

Companies such as ConocoPhillips match contributions dollar for dollar, while others will double or even triple the match, like ExxonMobil who matches $3-to-$1.

Total amounts matched vary for different organizations. For example, the Texas Instruments Foundation — the nonprofit arm of the Dallas-based, global semi-conductor design and manufacturing company — limits annual matching gifts up to $10,000 per employee.

All of these matching gifts add up. Last year, corporate matching gifts to the Texas Tech University System surpassed $1 million for the first time ever.

The record number of matching gifts supported a range of student scholarships, research, graduate fellowships, student programs and faculty support at all four Texas Tech University System institutions.

“This milestone represents the generosity of hundreds of alumni, donors and corporations,” said Joe Dailey, managing director for stewardship services and endowment compliance for Institutional Advancement, who manages the system’s matching gift program. “We’re grateful for the impact these gifts will make on students and faculty at our universities, and we appreciate the ongoing support of donors and employers who value higher education.”

Returning the favor

Crumley, who has worked at PwC for 28 years, acknowledged that the company’s commitment to giving helped him make a difference for his alma mater.

“Somebody took the time to make a difference for me. So if I can do that for somebody else, then it is a good day for me.”

Jon Crumley

Soon after joining the firm, Crumley was encouraged by a fellow Texas Tech alumnus to look into PwC’s matching gift program. Not long after, Crumley started giving back to take advantage of the matching gift opportunity.

A third generation Red Raider, Crumley received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from Texas Tech University and credits his professors for taking an interest in him and preparing him for his career.

At this point in his life, he’s ready to return the favor and give students their own opportunity to make a mark on the world.

“I don’t want any more plaques,” Crumley said. “I don’t want any more stuff. Somebody took the time to make a difference for me. So if I can do that for somebody else, then it is a good day for me.”

Creating a lasting impact

Michael Bodwell, now a partner at Whitley Penn, took advantage of matching gifts early in his career while working at Ernst & Young. His employer’s matching opportunity motivated him to give back to the School of Accounting and help provide a great education to students.

Part of the Rawls College of Business, the School of Accounting is the second separately accredited School of Accounting in Texas. One of only 43 such programs nationwide, it has a strong reputation for preparing students with the technical knowledge and problem-solving skills needed for successful careers.

Bodwell used matching gifts to add to a scholarship endowment he established for high-achieving juniors and seniors majoring in accounting.

When he received the 2017 School of Accounting Distinguished Alumni award, Bodwell used the opportunity to encourage others to create a lasting impact.

“I challenged people to not just contribute back what they received, but to make it a big multiple of what they received,” Bodwell said.

Bodwell continues to use matching gifts to accomplish his philanthropic goals, and as scholarship recipients have shared their stories with him, he is motivated to continue giving.

Both Bodwell and Crumley credit Texas Tech for providing the resources that led to their successful careers. Now that they have an opportunity to give back, matching gifts have enabled both Red Raiders to multiply the impact of their gifts for future Texas Tech students.

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