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Common Questions
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How can I contribute?

There are many options. Use our new epledging system for online payroll pledging or to give by credit card. Or use a paper pledge form to give by cash, check, or manual payroll contribution. Our secure server makes it simple and convenient. You may also contribute a lump sum or in installments. The choice is yours.

How do I obtain a pledge packet?

Your Partners in Giving coordinator should give you a pledge packet during the first few weeks of the campaign. The packet includes a booklet that contains instructions for making a pledge and describes all of the participating umbrellas and charities. The packet also includes a pledge form. If you do not receive a pledge packet or you need a booklet or a pledge form, contact your Partners in Giving coordinator.

If I don't know who my Partners in Giving coordinator is, how do I find out?

Call or email the campaign chair in your state agency or university unit.

What is an umbrella?

An umbrella, sometimes called a federation or association, is an organization that represents groups of nonprofit charities in the Partners in Giving campaign. Some umbrellas bring together charities with common missions, such as health care or environmental conservation. Others are associations of nonprofits with wide-ranging interests.

To participate in this campaign, a charity must belong to an umbrella organization, and both the charity and the umbrella must meet the campaign eligibility requirements set by the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Local/Statewide Umbrellas

National/International Umbrellas

These umbrella organizations represent the charities listed in their sections of your Partners in Giving booklet. They help guarantee their charities' compliance with the campaign's eligibility requirements. They also provide critical support to the volunteers who conduct the campaign.

Like their charities, umbrellas themselves are nonprofit organizations. Many have specific missions and provide services of their own in addition to supporting their members.

If available, a link to the website of each participating umbrella organization is provided above and in the Partners in Giving booklet. However, be aware that not all charities listed on an umbrella's web site are necessarily participants in this year's Partners in Giving campaign.

How much do participating umbrellas and charities spend on administration and/or fund raising?

To learn how much of its budget each umbrella spends on administration and/or fund raising, see Umbrella Administrative/Fundraising and Program Expenses. To learn how much of its budget a specific charity spends in these areas, please contact the charity directly.

Because all charities must file annual financial reports with the Internal Revenue Service (Form IRS 990 or IRS 990EZ), these documents provide a standard way of reporting each charity's program, administrative, and fund raising expenses. Information in the IRS documents is based on the charity's independently audited financial statements. The audits assure that guidelines defining each type of expense are followed. While the guidelines are standard, charities and auditors may interpret them differently. If you have questions about how a specific charity counts its expenses, contact the charity directly.

Where else can I find useful information about umbrellas and charities?

The following independent websites offer financial and other information about charities and umbrella groups, though they do not necessarily cover every organization participating in this campaign.

How are general contributions distributed?

A general contribution under Step IC of the pledge form is distributed to the umbrella groups according to the percentage of money designated to each umbrella group (under Step IA) and its member charities (under Step IB) in the current year's campaign. By this formula, general contributions to the 2014 campaign were distributed as follows:

Access to Community Services  2.20%
America's Charities  2.17%
Community Health Charities of Wisconsin 11.92%
Community Shares of Wisconsin 13.20%
EarthShare Wisconsin   5.09%
Global Impact   7.47%
Hunger Relief Fund of Wisconsin   3.08%
Independent Charities of America   6.15%
Neighbor To Nation   1.20%
United Way of Dane County  46.32%
Wisconsin Environmental Education Foundation   1.20%

Where is my charity?

Perhaps you have a favorite charity that is not listed in the Partners in Giving booklet or in the Participating Charities section of this website. Maybe it was listed last year, but now you can't find it. Here are a few things you should know:

  • Each charity is responsible for maintaining its affiliation with an umbrella organization. Charities occasionally leave or switch umbrellas. Check the index in the back of your campaign booklet. Maybe your charity has moved to another umbrella.
  • Each charity must meet the campaign's eligibility requirements. If a charity does not meet these requirements, it cannot participate in the campaign. The eligibility review takes place annually. If your charity is missing this year, check for it again next year.
  • When all else fails, contact the charity directly. Tell it that, as a donor, you would like to support the charity through the Partners in Giving campaign. Find out if it is working to meet the necessary requirements.

What if I want to give to more charities than the spaces on the pledge form allow?

You may designate gifts to as many charities as you would like. Please ask your campaign coordinator for additional blank pledge forms. Attach all forms together and mark them 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.

Is my contribution tax-deductible?

Yes, as allowed by law. Only umbrella groups and charities that qualify for federal tax-exempt status may participate in the campaign. Please note: The Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires taxpayers who claim deductions for charitable donations to provide proof of all contributions should they be audited. Be sure to keep a copy of your pledge form for tax purposes. In addition, if you choose payroll contribution, keep copies of all pay stubs and/or other documents from your employer that indicate the amounts you have given to charities. If you contribute by cash, check, or credit card, keep all receipts, canceled checks, and/or bank statements that verify the amounts and recipients of your contributions. (The campaign will mail official receipts for cash, check, and credit card gifts of $250 or more. Receipts for gifts of less than $250 are available upon request.) If you have any questions about tax deductions for charitable gifts, consult a tax professional.

Can I make a pre-tax contribution to the campaign?

No. Federal law does not permit pre-tax charitable contributions, but contributions to the campaign are deductible on your income tax return, as allowed by law. For further information on tax-deductible contributions, be sure to contact your personal tax adviser or the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service.

Can I use the pledge form to record a contribution for which I received goods or services in return?

No. The Partners in Giving pledge form includes the wording, "No goods or services were provided in consideration of this gift." This wording is necessary to satisfy Internal Revenue Service conditions under which gifts may be deducted for tax purposes.

If you receive goods or services for any campaign contribution (e.g., for a purchase at a benefit auction), DO NOT record that contribution on your Partners in Giving pledge form. Instead, contact the campaign chair in your state agency or university unit for help in documenting what portion of your contribution (if any) is tax deductible. The chair will work with the donor of the goods or services to determine their estimated market value.

For further information on tax-deductible contributions, be sure to contact your personal tax adviser or the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service.

Contributors who give $250 or more through payroll deduction can use their copy of the pledge form and their check stub(s) as receipts for tax purposes. Cash contributors who give $250 or more will receive an additional receipt for tax purposes.

Can employees who work in Dane County but who live elsewhere give to charities in their local area that are not part of this campaign?

Regardless of where you live, the only charities you may give to through this campaign are the ones listed in the Partners in Giving booklet or in the Participating Charities section of this website. If you wish to support other charities, you must give to them directly. You may even be able to do so through payroll contribution, though it will not count as part of this campaign.

In order to receive funds through payroll contribution, an organization must be deemed eligible by the campaign Eligibility Committee. Several local United Way organizations around the state have been approved for payroll contribution. Your payroll office should be able to tell you if your area’s United Way is one of them.

The following steps must be followed in order to contribute to a United Way outside of Dane County:

  1. Request a local United Way pledge form from the appropriate county or city United Way.
  2. Mail the original pledge form back to the local United Way.
  3. Send a copy of the pledge form to your payroll office with a letter instructing the payroll office to send contributions to a specific United Way location.

What determines the SECC campaign in which I may participate?

State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) is the official legal name of the workplace giving campaign that includes all state employees, University of Wisconsin employees, and UW Hospital and Clinics employees. SECC is divided into three distinct geographic areas: the SECC-Statewide campaign, the SECC-Milwaukee County campaign, and the SECC-Dane County campaign. The SECC-Dane County campaign is also known as the “Partners in Giving” campaign.

Of the three SECC area campaigns, the one in which you may participate is determined by where you work:

  • Partners in Giving (SECC-Dane County) is for state, university, and University Hospital and Clinics employees who work in Dane County.
  • SECC-Milwaukee County is for state and university employees who work in Milwaukee County.
  • SECC-Statewide is for state and university employees who work outside of Dane and Milwaukee counties.

How can I find out more about the two other State Employee Combined Campaigns in Wisconsin?

Contact the following:

Milwaukee SECC (for employees in Milwaukee County)

Mary C. Cayan (Campaign Co-chair)
Public Defender's Office
(414) 222-4764
Terilynn Geissner (Campaign Co-chair)
Department of Corrections
(414) 212-6803

Statewide SECC (for employees not in Dane or Milwaukee counties)

Justin Williams
Community Shares of Wisconsin
612 West Main Street, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 256-1066

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PARTNERS IN GIVING The State, University, and UW Hospital & Clinics Employees Combined Campaign of Dane County
P.O. Box 7548
Madison, Wisconsin  53707-7548