Workplace Giving FAQs
Q. What is Community Shares of Mid Ohio?
A. 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.
Q. How do charities qualify for Community Shares funding?
A. 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.
Q. What if our employees don’t like some of your charities?
A. 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.
Q. Won’t adding a Community Shares campaign take away funding from other federations?
A. 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.
Q. Why should I give through Community Shares instead of directly to the agency?
A. We do not want to discourage you from giving to agencies directly. Paycheck contribution is another way for you to support your community. Paycheck 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 charities like workplace giving 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.
Q. What is your administrative fee?
A. The percentage of workplace donations retained by Community Shares is 23%. This amount is determined by the Community Shares Board of Trustees. 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 charities to cooperatively manage and govern Community Shares and keep costs as low as possible.
Q. Are my donations tax deductible?
A. Yes, all donations through paycheck 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.
Q. Is there a minimum donation amount? How much can I give per paycheck?
A. The minimum donation is $1. You can give as much as you like since your total gift is collected over a per pay basis. Below is a list of average donation levels to show how small contributions can add up to larger donations to support Community Shares’ issues or causes. Scale is based on 26 pay periods. You may need to adjust the full donation amount based upon the number of pay periods at your workplace.
|Dollar per pay||X 26 pay periods|
Q. Can I direct my gift to a member charity? Can I choose more than one?
A. Yes! The Community Shares of Mid Ohio campaign is “donor driven” -- donors choose the charities 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, simply check the all charities box on our paper pledge form and your gift will be spread among the members of Community Shares.
Q. How often are donations distributed to Community Shares of Mid Ohio member charities?
A. 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.
Q. What can a charity accomplish with my contribution?
A. Below are just a few examples of what Community Shares member charities are able to accomplish with paycheck contributions through workplace giving campaigns.
- $1 a week will help Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio recognize young high school students who overcome great obstacles in CDF’s “Beat the Odds®” scholarship program.
- $2 per week allows American Council of the Blind of Ohio to send an individual who is blind or visually impaired to the organization’s annual state conference and convention to learn about the latest adaptive technology, employment skills, health tips, etc.
- $3 a week will help Camp Wyandot, Inc. send a child from a low-income family to summer day camp for a week to learn about themselves, nature, outdoor skills, and make new friends.
- $7 per week helps WrightChoice put a student with a disability well on their way to internship employment.
- $7.50 a week will help Deaf Services Center to send a deaf or hard of hearing child to a summer camp.
- $8 a week will enable Compassionate Communication of Central Ohio to dispatch volunteer mediators to conflict hot spots in the community through our Empathy First Responders project.
- $10 a week helps Yay Bikes bring Pedal Instead free valet bike parking to a new local community event.
- Additional information can be found in our brochure and on our website.