How can I contribute?
You can pledge online at www.seccstatewide.wi.gov. Just click on the link to give as a State employee or a University employee. As always, you can still use a paper pledge form to give by cash, check, or payroll contribution. The choice is yours.
How do I obtain a pledge packet?
Please call 608.256.1066. 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. Or pledge online at www.seccstatewide.wi.gov.
What is an umbrella?
An umbrella, sometimes called a federation or association, is an organization that represents groups of nonprofit charities in the SECC Statewide 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.
Nine umbrella organizations participate in the SECC Statewide campaign:
These umbrella organizations represent the charities listed in their sections of your SECC Statewide booklet and on the online pledging tool. 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 Web site of each participating umbrella organization is provided above, in the SECC Statewide booklet and on the online pledging site. However, be aware that not all charities listed on an umbrella's Web site are necessarily participants in this year's SECC Statewide campaign.
How much do participating charities spend on administration and/or fund raising?
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 is my charity?
Perhaps you have a favorite charity that is not listed in the SECC Statewide booklet. 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. 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 SECC Statewide 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. If using paper materials, please call 608.256.1066 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 SECC Statewide 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.
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 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 SECC Statewide booklet or on the online pledging site. If you wish to support other charities, you must give to them directly.
In order to receive funds through payroll deduction, an organization must be deemed eligible by the campaign Eligibility Committee. Several local United Way organizations around the state have been approved for payroll deduction. 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:
- Request a local United Way pledge form from the appropriate county or city United Way.
- Mail the original pledge form back to the local United Way.
- 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:
Partners in Giving Milwaukee (for employees in Milwaukee County) www.mkegiving.org
Partners in Giving (for employees who work in Dane County)
Each charity participating in the SECC Statewide campaign has been screened by an Eligibility Committee composed of state and university employees to ensure that it:
- is a charitable organization;
- is a member of a participating umbrella organization;
- uses the funds contributed by state employees for the announced purposes;
- submits a copy of an IRS certificate showing that it is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization under Section 501 (c) (3);
- has registered with the Department of Financial Institutions and filed annual reports;
- has a detailed annual budget prepared and approved at the beginning of each fiscal year by its board of directors;
- follows accepted fund-raising practices;
- has a formal policy and procedure of non-discrimination;
- prepares an annual report that is available to the general public, includes a full description of its charities, identifies the types of solicitation it uses to obtain contributions, names its chief administrative personnel, and fully discloses the sources and uses of contributions.
- has furnished information with a certification by an independent certified public accountant showing that it follows standards of accounting and a financial system that is based on generally accepted accounting principles.
The Eligibility Committee is issue-neutral. If you disapprove of a charity, simply specify on the pledge form the charities you wish your gift to support. Your gift will go only to those you choose. If you have questions about the eligibility of charities, please contact Rachel Meek, (608) 270-2535, firstname.lastname@example.org