Many American Legion Auxiliary members volunteer to serve our nation’s heroes during much of their free time. Or, if free time is scarce, they make financial gifts toward the cause. No matter your schedule or resources, there is always a way to contribute to the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Kathy Wilkerson, an 11-year Auxiliary member from Iowa, turns her volunteer hours into donations through a matching gift program offered by her employer.

“When I found out the program was there, I always tried to take advantage of that for organizations like the ALA so I could double my giving impact,” Wilkerson said. “It was a fairly easy process I could do online.”

For every 30 hours she volunteers, Wilkerson’s employee will give $250 back to the organization. If she teams up with fellow employees, they can raise as much as $1,000 through their volunteer efforts.

Like many companies with matching gift programs, Wilkerson’s employer can give only to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Because her ALA unit and department are 501(c)(19) organizations, that money could have been left on the table.

Instead of letting it go to waste, Wilkerson found an alternative through the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. She learned she could apply for a subgrant, and because of the 501(c)(3), the ALA Foundation could accept the donations, turn the money around, and give it back to Wilkerson’s unit or department in full.

“It’s a small thing for me to do to help facilitate and make things happen for people who are so deserving,” Wilkerson said.

In the past, Wilkerson has donated the money back to her unit or department to put toward a hospitality room at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, or to help fulfill the wish list for a local veteran facility. This year, it will be used to help buy fabric for Quilts of Valor for veterans in her area, and will support the ALA Department of Iowa’s junior camp, which gets young members involved and excited about the mission of the ALA, and increases awareness for ALA Girls State and scholarship opportunities.

“It’s not that difficult, so why would I not take advantage of it?” she said.

Ask your employer if it participates in a matching gift program, and double your impact today. Click here to learn more about subgrants through the ALA Foundation