Higher Education

Multiplying Employees’ Generosity

Wouldn’t you be more inclined to give even a small amount if you knew a matching gift would multiply the financial impact.

That’s how Susan Stocum, communications manager at the Principal Financial Group®, sees it.

Stocum is a strong supporter of her alma mater, Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She’s on the National Alumni Board, serves as a mentor, regularly volunteers for university events, serves on various reunion committees and donates money.

With The Principal® matching gift program, her donations are increased. Employee contributions to higher education, K-12 education and the United Way are all elligible to be matched through the program.

Stocum’s passionate about Drake athletics—she worked in athletics when she was in college—but she can’t ignore the day-to-day costs of running the university. With The Principal matching gift, she can support both of those needs.

Higher Education

Susan Stocum meets Drake University's live mascot, Porterhouse, at a Drake event.

“I can direct my donation to athletics, and the match will go to the university’s general fund,” Stocum says. “This way, I can support both in a very meaningful way.”

Drake attributes the matching gift to Stocum, meaning she’s recognized for the total amount. In her earlier giving years, The Principal match bumped Stocum into recognition levels that allowed her to attend invitation-only events to network with other Drake supporters. Stocum can now attend those events based on her own gifts, and the match is added in to her lifetime giving totals.

Stocum says the development staff at Drake can tell that a matching gift form was included from the thickness of the envelope. “They inevitably comment on how great it is for me to work for a company that will support university donations as The Principal does,” Stocum says. “It speaks to The Principal as a community partner and great employer. I think it also sets an example for employee giving.”

Before working at The Principal in 2001, Stocum says her level of charitable giving was non-existent. That changed after a couple years with the company.

“At an event, I heard Barry Griswell, then chairman, president and CEO, repeat the often-paraphrased quote, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected in return,’” Stocum says. “To see the company continue to live that philosophy and put its financial support behind encouraging employees to do the same is what has inspired and driven me to higher levels of giving.”

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