Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Matching Gifts Program?
The Alliant Energy Foundation Matching Gifts Program offers eligible participants the opportunity to assist in targeting the Foundation's philanthropic dollars.
The Alliant Energy Foundation partners with eligible employees, retirees or directors who make gifts to qualifying organizations of their choice by matching their gifts on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
This gives your charitable giving an even greater impact and allows the Alliant Energy Foundation to distribute more dollars to more communities and programs than could be accomplished without your help.
2. What are the requirements for making a match request?
- The minimum donation is $50 and the annual limit per eligible donor is $3,500 per year.
- To be eligible, an organization needs to be located within Iowa, Wisconsin or Minnesota. However, we will match donations to colleges and universities in other states if the employee or retiree graduated from the institution.
- Matching Gifts requests must be submitted within 90 days of the original gift date. Depending on the date when the request is received and approved, the Alliant Energy Foundation check to the Matching Gift recipient will paid monthly.
3. What is aegivesback.com?
Alliant Energy Foundation works directly with Cybergrants (formerly The JK Group, Inc.), headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts to administer our Matching Gifts, United Way Campaign, and volunteer programs. Employees and retirees can take advantage of these programs by visiting our site at aegivesback.com.
Some of the features of this site include:
- A dashboard for tracking your annual giving totals
- Easy links to record transactions for your favorite organizations
- Access to the site on the go with your smartphone or tablet
4. How do I look up my giving history?
To review your giving history, you may access it at aegivesback.com. After you log in to the site, select the Giving Summary tab at the top of the page.
- You’ll find all of your past contributions, organized by year, on the Matching Gifts Giving History tab.
- Visit the Matching Gifts Donor Balance tab to see how much of your annual $3,500 match you have taken advantage of and remaining balance for the current year.
5. Can I still use a paper form to make a Matching Gift?
No, we moved to an online request process only in 2015. This will provide a more efficient method for the non-profit organizations to verify and track donations as well as reduce administrative costs for our Foundation.
6. What is the 501(c)(3) mentioned in the Matching Gifts material?
This is the section of the Federal Tax Code that designates an organization as charitable and tax-exempt. Holding a 501(c)(3) makes most organizations eligible for the Matching Gifts program; however, it doesn’t automatically qualify every organization for the program. Please check with the Foundation staff if you’re unsure if your organization qualifies or not.
7. How do I know if an organization has a 501(c)(3)?
Ask your organization if it has this designation. Organizations seek this designation to be eligible for various gifts and grants and are accustomed to being asked to provide it to donors.
If you are not able to get this information, contact the Foundation staff for assistance.
8. Does the Matching Gifts program match any other organizations?
Yes. In addition to 501(c)(3) charities, the Alliant Energy Foundation matches gifts to the following types of organizations:
Organizations or entities such as libraries, volunteer fire departments, emergency medical response teams, community centers or towns may be eligible.
Schools and most educational institutions are eligible for the Matching Gifts program.
Public schools must be an accredited school in order to be matched.
- Private schools must be 501(c)(3) organizations.
Accreditation is required because it is an equitable and cost-effective way for us to ensure that the recipient schools meet and maintain a certain standard of quality.
9. When is a donation to a school or university not eligible?
A donation to a school is not eligible when the donor or a relative receives direct benefit from the gift. This includes tuition, purchase of tickets to events and activities, expenses for trips or activities, or purchase of items (wrapping paper, food, etc.) as part of fundraising efforts.
Seminaries and schools that prepare students for religious careers are not eligible.
10. I purchased materials for a project I’m doing for an eligible organization. Will the Foundation match the money I spent for those materials?
No, your gift has to be a monetary gift. According to Foundation guidelines, the Matching Gifts program will not match “in kind” gifts such as purchases made on behalf of an organization for a project.
11. When is an organization that holds a 501(c)(3) not eligible?
Some examples are as follows: religious institutions, groups that support political parties or advocacy programs, as well as contributions to “third party” charitable groups or United Way organizations.
12. Does the Foundation match gifts to churches?
No, Alliant Energy Foundation does not fund organizations whose sole purpose is to promote a particular faith.
However, many faith-based organizations have taken steps to become eligible for Foundation programs. Gifts may be eligible for a match if the programs operated by faith-based organizations meet certain criteria:
- If the gift supports a particular program that is available and open to all individuals in the community;
- The program is for non-religious purposes (such as a food pantry or domestic abuse shelter);
- The organization does not exclusively use the program to promote any religion; and
- The organization has a 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS.
13. My child participates in a youth sports team. Can contributions to the program be matched?
Contributions made to athletic, arts, or youth organizations can be matched if the organization has a 501(c)(3) designation.
Also, your contribution has to be a donation, not be for the payment of registration fees, purchase of a uniform, equipment, or any merchandise paid for as a part of a fundraiser.
14. Why aren't contributions matched when they are given to organizations that collect and re-distribute funds (“third party” organizations)?
The Alliant Energy Foundation Matching Gifts program only matches charitable gifts made from an eligible donor's personal funds directly to an eligible recipient organization. The program is intended to develop a relationship between the contributor, the Foundation and the organization.
Organizations that solicit funds, become the holder of those funds, take an administrative fee, and then re-distribute to organizations in their name, are "third party" organizations. Funds distributed in this way are not identified as coming from you or the Foundation.
15. Why doesn't the program match all organizations?
The Alliant Energy Foundation and its Board of Directors have carefully determined what can or cannot be funded by Foundation assets - whether through direct grants or through the other programs the Foundation offers. Some organizations may have a 501(c)(3) determination but do not meet the criteria that the Foundation has set.
It may be that the organization is restricted to a specific group of citizens or has a mission that is in conflict with our corporate mission. The Board of Directors reserves the right to determine whether a match should be declined.
16. Can I consider the amount of the match to assist in fulfilling my pledge to an organization?
No. Foundation assets cannot be used to relieve a person of a financial obligation he or she would otherwise have to pay.
17. When is my request matched?
The Alliant Energy Foundation matches approved gifts on a monthly basis.
It is cost-effective to approve and pay these requests in "batches.” Many of the recipient organizations receive donations from several donors within the same period of time. Writing one Foundation check to the recipient organization for these several requests helps both the Foundation and the organization reduce administrative costs.
18. How is the annual donor limit determined?
The Foundation Board of Directors periodically reviews the program guidelines and establishes the limit.
The annual limit for each eligible participant is $3,500. The date you designate for your gift on Cybergrants or your form is the date used to account for your gifts within a calendar year. For example, if you make a donation on January 1, 2017 or December 31, 2017, it will be applied to your 2017 limit.
Matching Gifts requests must be submitted through aegivesback.com within 90 days of the original gift date.
19. I still have a question that wasn’t answered here. What should I do?If you need assistance using the aegivesback.com website, contact the Cybergrants Customer Support team. They are also happy to assist you with the status of your requests or organization nominations.
If you need assistance to log in for the your first time, or you have questions about program guidelines and organization eligibility, please contact Leah Rodenberg at (319) 786-4852 or email@example.com.