What Are Volunteer Grant Programs?

Volunteer grants are a valuable source of funding and support for nonprofit organizations. By understanding what volunteer grants are, how to secure them, and how to maximize their impact, nonprofits can tap into this important resource and build strong partnerships with corporate supporters. This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of volunteer grant programs and offer strategies and examples for nonprofits looking to make the most of these opportunities.

Understanding Volunteer Grants

Volunteer grants are a type of corporate giving program that allows companies to support the nonprofits where their employees volunteer. By offering financial incentives and recognition for employee volunteerism, these programs encourage community engagement and social responsibility.

Volunteer grants are a type of funding that companies give to nonprofits when their employees volunteer there. The goal is to encourage employees to get involved in their communities and support the causes they care about. When an employee volunteers a certain number of hours, their company will donate money to that nonprofit.

These grant programs are a way for companies to give back and show they care about making a difference. They also help employees feel good about where they work and can even boost morale and teamwork. For nonprofits, these grants provide much-needed financial support and help create valuable partnerships with businesses.

Benefits of Volunteer Grants

Volunteer grants are great for nonprofits because they provide extra funding and help build relationships with local companies. They also encourage more people to volunteer, which means the nonprofit gets more support. These programs offer a myriad of benefits for nonprofits, including: 

  • Extra funding: Volunteer grants provide additional financial support for nonprofits, allowing them to further their mission and impact.
  • Building relationships with companies: Securing volunteer grants helps nonprofits establish connections and partnerships with local businesses.
  • Increased volunteer engagement: Volunteer grants encourage more people to get involved with the nonprofit, leading to increased support and resources.
  • Exposure to new donors: Participating in volunteer grant programs can introduce the nonprofit to new potential donors and raise awareness about their cause.
  • Improved volunteer retention: Recognizing and rewarding volunteers through grant programs can help improve volunteer satisfaction and retention rates.
  • Enhanced community impact: By leveraging volunteer grants, nonprofits can expand their programs and services, ultimately making a greater difference in their communities.

How to Secure Volunteer Grants

Securing volunteer grants requires research, relationship-building, and a compelling case for support. Nonprofits need to identify companies that offer volunteer grant programs and craft proposals that demonstrate the impact of their work and the value of the partnership. In this section, we’ll provide tips and strategies for researching grant opportunities and creating effective proposals.

1. Identify potential corporate partners 

Start by asking your current volunteers if their employers offer volunteer grant programs. Research companies in your community and look for information on their corporate social responsibility initiatives. Check company websites, social media, and corporate responsibility reports for mentions of volunteer grants or employee volunteer programs.

2. Build relationships with companies

Reach out to companies that align with your nonprofit’s mission and values. Attend local business events and networking opportunities to connect with potential corporate partners. Engage with company representatives on social media and share updates about your nonprofit’s work.

3. Research specific grant opportunities

Once you’ve identified potential corporate partners, research their specific volunteer grant programs. Look for information on eligibility requirements, grant amounts, and application processes. Use online resources like VolunteerMatch or Double the Donation to search for volunteer grant programs.

4. Craft a compelling proposal

Tailor your proposal to the specific company and highlight any connections between your nonprofit’s cause and the company’s values or interests. Clearly explain your mission, the impact of your work, and how the grant money will be used. Emphasize the role of volunteers in your organization and how the grant will support and expand your volunteer program. Include stories or quotes from volunteers to make the proposal more personal and compelling. Use specific metrics, like the number of people served or the expected outcomes of the funded project.

5. Submit your application

Follow the company’s application guidelines and deadlines closely. Make sure to include all required information and attachments. If possible, have someone review your application for clarity and thoroughness before submitting.

6. Follow up and steward the relationship 

After submitting your application, follow up with the company to express your appreciation and inquire about the timeline for decision-making. If your application is successful, thank the company and provide regular updates on how the grant is being used and the impact it’s making. Continue to engage with the company and look for ways to deepen the partnership, such as offering volunteer opportunities or inviting company representatives to events.

Examples of Successful Volunteer Grant Programs

To illustrate the potential impact of volunteer grants, let’s look at some real-world examples of successful programs. These companies have demonstrated a commitment to supporting employee volunteerism and have provided significant funding and resources to nonprofit partners. By studying these examples, nonprofits can gain insight into what makes a successful volunteer grant program and how they can partner with companies to achieve their goals.

Verizon’s Volunteer Incentive Program

Verizon’s Volunteer Grant Program allows employees who have volunteered 50 or more hours in the current calendar year to request a $750 grant from the Verizon Foundation on behalf of the nonprofit organization. The total amount of funding employees can request per year is $1,500. 

Microsoft’s Volunteer Grant Program

Microsoft provides $25 per hour in volunteer grants for employees who volunteer at eligible nonprofits. The company also matches employee donations up to $15,000 per year. In 2023, Microsoft employees volunteered over 1 million hours and the company donated over $250 million in volunteer grants and matching gifts.

ExxonMobil’s Volunteer Involvement Program

ExxonMobil offers volunteer grants of $500 for employees who volunteer 20 hours or more with a nonprofit organization up to $5,000 per employee, per calendar year. The company also provides team volunteer grants of up to $10,000 for groups of employees who volunteer together. 


Volunteer grants are a valuable resource for nonprofit organizations, providing financial support, fostering community engagement, and building strong partnerships with corporate sponsors. By understanding the benefits of volunteer grants and following the steps outlined in this guide, nonprofit founders can successfully secure this type of funding and maximize its impact on their organizations.

Remember that securing volunteer grants is not just about the money—it’s also about building relationships and creating opportunities for employee engagement and community involvement. By partnering with companies that align with your mission and values, you can tap into a network of committed volunteers and advocates who can help advance your cause.

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