Frequently Asked Questions

What code do I use if I do not wish to designate my gift to a specific charity?

The undesignated gift code is: 229999 (Undesignated contributions will be divide by all participating organizations.)

What is the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)?

The SECC is a great opportunity for state employees to contribute toward helping improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of people who need our help.

Legislation made it possible to conduct the SECC in 1994, offering Texas state employees greater giving options with hundreds of charitable choices.

The workplace charity campaign, which provides state employees with a convenient and efficient way to make voluntary, tax-deductible contributions to charities through payroll deduction, cash, check or bank draft.  The SECC encourages you to take advantage of payroll deduction as a convenient method for giving.

In our diverse society, with needs changing rapidly, the SECC is your opportunity to give back to the community.   {top}

Why should I give through the SECC?

There is no better way for state employees to give to a charitable cause of their choice than through the SECC.  Here’s why the SECC is the smart way to give:

Choice!

No other charitable campaign offers so many choices.  There are hundreds of organizations to choose from.  You decide which organizations best address your concerns.

Confidence!

All agencies participating in the SECC have met strict eligibility standards established by state law and screened by the SECC State Policy Committee  and the Local Employee Committee.  Therefore, you can feel confident that your gift is being used efficiently and effectively by your designated charities.

Convenience!

One pledge form and one signature helps your gift last all year long with the convenience of payroll deduction.

Cost-Effectiveness!

By having a combined campaign for many charities, administrative costs for charities decrease dramatically.   Overall, the cost for operating the campaign has been under 15% but as the campaign participation and giving continues to grow, the operating cost will be reduced.   {top}

How are charities selected for inclusion in the SECC?

To participate in the SECC, a charitable organization must meet some strict but fair standards.  These standards were established, by legislation, to protect Texas state employees.  Participating organizations must show that they:

  • are a tax-exempt, nonprofit, charitable organization which provides health and human services to the citizens of Texas or to needy people overseas;
  • are governed by a voluntary board of directors that sets policy and oversees the activities of the organization;
  • are audited or reviewed annually by an accountant to guarantee full and open financial disclosure; and
  • maintain administrative and fund-raising expenses of no more than 25 percent of annual revenue, unless there is a reasonable explanation and a plan to reduce costs.

The State Policy Committee, a group of state employees who oversee the administration of the SECC, sets campaign policy, determines eligibility for applicant charities and monitors the campaign activities.   {top}

What is Payroll Deduction?

Payroll deduction is convenient.  It allows you the ability to have your gift deducted in small amounts from your paycheck each pay period.  Through payroll deduction, you can afford to be more generous because it spreads your contribution out over a year’s time.

Payroll deduction provides nonprofit charities with a steady income over the year.  This is critical in planning and implementing successful  programs and in providing assistance when and where needed.   {top}

Who decides where my money goes?

You decide where your money goes! When you give through the SECC, you make the decision as to where and who you want to help.  All you need to do is write the 6-digit charity code for the charitable organizations you wish to designate in the boxes provided on the pledge form.  All eligible charitable organizations and their codes are listed in the brochure.   {top}

How does my contribution get distributed?

When you designate to a charitable organization, the charities you select will receive your contribution through the charitable group (federation) that represents it.  Contributions made through payroll deduction will be distributed to the charitable organizations using the percentage method required by the Comptroller’s rules.

At the close of the annual campaign, the amount of each employee’s pledge for a designated charitable organization is compared to the total pledges for all charitable organizations for the charitable group.  (A separate percentage calculation is made for each charitable group).

In this manner, a percentage factor is derived for each charity’s proportion of total contributions. The total contributions each pay period are then multiplied against the percentage factor for each designated charitable organization for distribution.  This method eliminates complicated recalculations each time a pledge amount changes for any reason during the year. The percentage distribution method and percentages calculated do not change until the next annual campaign.

Formula to Calculate a Charity’s Portion of Total Contributions

Amount pledged to the designated charitable organization = Contribution

Total $ designated to all charities in campaign area percentage for each organization

Contribution X Total $ Received = Amount distributed to percentage by charitable group charitable organization

Your contributions are being distributed using this method so all charitable organizations represented by a charitable group share pledge loss proportionately. Pledge loss results from retirements, resignations, pledge cancellations and other similar occurrences during the year.  Using the percentage method means that the total amount a state employee pledges to contribute through their payroll deduction to a charitable organization will not match dollar-for-dollar with what is actually distributed.   {top}

What happens if I don’t designate?

All undesignated contributions submitted without a charity code, will be shared by all charitable groups within the local campaign area.

Charitable group’s X Total $ amount of = Amount distributed to contribution percentage undesignated charitable organization contributions   {top}

What will my money provide?

  • $5 can save the lives of 50 babies suffering from life-threatening sickness.
  • $10 delivers a nutritious lunch to three homebound elderly or disabled persons.
  • $20 provides the materials to build one room in a new house for a homeless family.  A $20 gift also furnishes all classes of a high school with charts and guides on alternatives to commonly used hazardous household products.
  • $30 buys diapers for one child for one month or pair of work boots for someone starting a new job.
  • $40 provides one day of job readiness skills training.
  • A $50 donation furnishes a wheel chair for a handicapped child or can provide one Family Kit (agricultural tools, water container, seeds, pots and pans, nails and building materials) for the emergency rehabilitation of a family displaced by war.

    And many more beneficial services within your local community, across the state and around the world!   {top}

The manual pledge form requires my SSN for payroll deduction, do I need to disclose it ?

No. Please use your EID. This form is designed and printed by the SECC for all state instructions of higher education, so we do not have an option of having the forms tailored to our institution’s needs.
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I am involved with a charitable organization and would like it to be listed as part of the SECC. What is the process to make it happen?

Information on how to become an SECC charity is online at:

http://www.secctexas.org/display.php?tid=76

The next application period begins in January 2007. If you will send an email to Greg Bennet, the SECC Manager for the Capital Area, with the organization name, a contact name and e-mail address information she will send you an application automatically at the correct time.

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Why can’t I pledge using a credit card?

The decision regarding credit card pledges is made at the state level. Many state employees have expressed an interest in it, and the State Policy Committee for the SECC has discussed it as well. It is something we hope to see in the coming years as an option, just not yet.    {top}

Why isn’t my favorite charity listed in the directory of charities?

Federations and charities listed in the brochure meet high standards in order to be listed. These standards are intended to protect you.

The Texas Legislature created eligibility criteria by which charities and federations can be listed in the SECC brochure. In some instances, when a charity applies to either the Local Employee Committee or the State Policy Committee, the eligibility criteria is not met. An eligibility appeals process exists to resolve discrepancies.

There are two reasons why you may not see your favorite charity listed in the directory of charities:

1. The charity may not have applied for eligibility to your area’s Local Employee Committee or may not have applied as part of an eligible Statewide Federation in that group’s eligibility application to the State Policy Committee.
2. The charity did apply for eligibility but the application was not approved by either the Local Employee Committee and/or the State Policy Committee.

Across Texas, Local Employee Committees and the State Policy Committee of state employees review eligibility applications. These people are interested in ensuring that charities listed in the directory meet high standards so that your charitable gift is used in the manner you intended.  {top}