Workplace Giving FAQs
What is Community Shares of Mid Ohio?
Community Shares of Mid Ohio, started in 1993, is a coalition of more than 60 diverse nonprofits making an impact in Columbus and central Ohio. Through workplace giving campaigns, our donors help member charities complete their missions.
How do charities qualify for Community Shares funding?
Community Shares' member charities must comply with a number of accountability requirements. They must provide programs and services to the community and show that they have a demonstrated base of support and community involvement. Funded charities must be at least two years old; be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization; submit annual financial information, including the IRS 990 and, if applicable, audits; be registered and file annually with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and be governed by a volunteer board of directors.
What are workplace giving campaigns?
A campaign coordinated by Community Shares of Mid Ohio allows employees to make donations to nonprofits through workplace giving, which allows:
- Most people to give more than they could with a one-time gift.
- Everyone to invest in their community.
- People to spread their gift out over a year.
- Donors to choose the nonprofits they want to support.
- Donations to be made to more than one charity.
Why should we introduce a workplace giving campaign?
Workplace giving campaigns make giving easy and offer donors a wide range of charitable choices. Studies show that the average donor contributes three to five times as much through a payroll contribution than through outside individual contributions. Campaigns also offer an opportunity to educate employee donors about local charities and volunteer opportunities. We live and work in a hectic world and workplace campaigns reach out to people who might not have an opportunity to be involved in other ways.
What if we do not have a campaign? How is one started?
Follow our easy Five-Step Process to start a new campaign.
Do we need a minimum number of employees to start a campaign?
Community Shares of Mid Ohio values all workplaces, regardless of the number of employees. We are happy to work with any size company to create a workplace giving campaign at their location.
What if our employees don't like some of your charities?
Community Shares is a diverse community of member charities. Not everyone is going to personally support all the causes represented by any given umbrella organization. This is why we offer and emphasize that donors can chose which organization(s) they specifically wish to support through their payroll contribution or donors can choose to support all charities. We highly encourage employee donors to choose the causes they care about most.
We currently have a campaign with another federation. Can we do both?
Yes! Community Shares of Mid Ohio works with other fundraising federations in many workplaces including The Ohio State University, Columbus State Community College, and more. Conducting a side-by-side campaign that includes Community Shares requires minimal added work.
Won't adding a Community Shares campaign take away funding from other federations?
Studies show that employers who offer choices in workplace giving see an increase in:
- Employee participation
- Total dollars raised
The more your colleagues know about workplace giving, the more they will give to all nonprofits, not just to Community Shares of Mid Ohio's nonprofits.
Why should I give through Community Shares instead of directly to the agency?
We do not want to discourage you from giving to agencies directly. Payroll contribution is another way for you to support your community. Payroll contributions work for many people because: 1) it's an easy system that works; 2) it may allow you to give more money because it is spread over a year's time; 3) it is an automatic process. One reason our agencies like payroll contribution campaigns is because they are a low-cost way to educate and inform the community at-large about programs and services and to recruit donors and volunteers. You support this concept by contributing through Community Shares.
What is your administrative fee?
The percentage of workplace donations retained by Community Shares is 22%. This amount is determined by the Community Shares member charities. We encourage you to call or visit Community Shares or any of our member charities if you have questions or concerns about administrative fees. Community Shares utilizes volunteers from our member agencies to cooperatively manage and govern Community Shares and keep costs as low as possible.
Are my donations tax deductible?
Yes, all donations through payroll contribution are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Community Shares and all of its members MUST be tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Plus there are other advantages to payroll contribution:
- You can track your annual donations using just one form.
- It's a simple way to budget your donations each year.
Can I direct my gift to a member nonprofit? Can I choose more than one?
Yes! The Community Shares of Mid Ohio campaign is "donor driven" — donors choose the organizations they want to support with all or part of their gifts. You may choose one or more of our member charities. If you want to have your gift divided among all of our member charities, choose Community Shares of Mid Ohio and your gift will be spread among all the members.
How often are donations distributed to Community Shares of Mid Ohio member charities?
Community Shares of Mid Ohio distributes allocations quarterly to members based on the actual money that has been sent by workplaces. The amount given to each member charity varies from year to year based on donor designations, and the frequency that workplaces send checks to Community Shares.