How does it work?
Each fall, you have the opportunity to learn about the charities in the FSECC, choose which ones you want to help, and then fill out a pledge form to indicate how much you wish to donate to which charitable organizations. You can make a one-time gift by cash or check. Or, even better, your gift can be deducted from each paycheck beginning at the first of next year.
The campaign runs from September through December. During this time period, you can expect to attend an informational meeting and/or be approached by a co-worker with an agency handbook and a pledge form. The agency handbook provides information on all the charities in the campaign or you can go to FSECC.org and click on the Federation link — both are great resources not only for helping you make your choices, but also for finding help if you need it yourself.
What charities are involved?
One of the great benefits of the FSECC is the wide variety of charities and causes represented — there’s something for everyone. They range from local organizations to national and international groups.
Those charities that wish to participate must meet stringent legal requirements, and then be scrutinized by the FSECC Statewide Steering Committee made up state employees to ensure:
- They are recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and registered with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- They are audited annually by an accountant in accordance with generally-accepted auditing standards.
- They provide direct or indirect health and human services.
- They spend no more than 25 percent of funds raised on administration and fund raising unless they qualify for an exception due to special circumstances.
- They meet other requirements per the application.
Who governs the FSECC?
Committees of state employees govern the FSECC at two levels — statewide and locally.
They ensure the campaign is conducted fairly and equitably under a strict set of guidelines that give donors confidence in both the charities that benefit and the methods used to solicit.
At the state level, a committee of state employees called the Statewide Steering Committee plays a key role in governance and oversight. Seven members are appointed by members of the Cabinet and two members are appointed by the Secretary of Department of Management Services. The Statewide Steering Committee:
- Reviews organizations applying for participation in the FSEC Campaign and makes recommendations to the Department of Management Services regarding their admission
- Recommends policies and guidelines for the Campaign
- Assist the Department of Management Services in the supervision and governance of the Campaign statewide
At the local level, a group of state employees approved annually by the Statewide Steering Committee assist in conducting the local campaign and direct the distribution of a portion of the undesignated funds.
How do I give through the FSECC?
The FSECC is the only state-sanctioned charity drive among state employees in the workplace.
Giving through the FSECC is one of the easiest things to do. Each year, more than 30,000 state employees in the Big Bend have the opportunity to contribute through payroll deduction or a cash/check gift. In 2011, through the generosity of state employees in the Big Bend $1.2 million was contributed to many charities and federations.
The best and easiest way to give is through payroll deduction. You can designate to charities of your choice through the FSECC and have your gift deducted from your paycheck. This spreads your giving over a year and increases the impact you can make to those causes you choose to support. When choosing payroll deduction the minimum deduction is $2.00 for employees paid monthly and $1.00 for employees paid biweekly.
Cash and check giving is also accepted.
Why isn't my favorite charity listed in the directory of charities?
Charitable organizations listed in the brochure meet high standards in order to be listed. These standards are intended to protect you.
The Florida Legislature created eligibility criteria by which these charities can be listed in the FSECC Handbook. In some instances, when a charity applies to the Statewide Steering 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:
- The charity may not have applied for eligibility to the Statewide Steering Committee.
- The charity did apply for eligibility but the application was not recommended for approval by the Statewide Steering Committee.
The Statewide Steering Committee made 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.
Your support is voluntary.
The FSECC strongly discourages coercion. Giving is a personal decision and the FSECC respects your choice to give, to which charities you give as well as your choice not to give.