FAQs

What is workplace giving?

A workplace giving campaign coordinated by Community Shares of Wisconsin (CSW) allows employees to make gifts to nonprofits through payroll contributions. Payroll gifts allow:

  • Many people to give more than they could with a one-time gift
  • All of us to be philanthropists

Why would I use workplace giving rather than give directly to a member nonprofit?

We encourage you to give to your favorite charities in whatever way works best for you. Payroll contributions are one way for you to support your community and may be a good choice for you if:

  • You like the convenience of making your charitable decisions once each year
  • You like the efficiency of making donations from your paycheck
  • You want to be part of a company-wide campaign to give back to the community

Workplace giving campaigns are a low-cost way for our member nonprofits to educate and inform the community about their important work, and to engage donors and volunteers. You support this concept by giving through Community Shares.

How can I start a Community Shares campaign at my workplace?

Take a look at the Starting a Giving Campaign at your Workplace page. Or simply contact Leah Nell Adams, Development Director, at 608-256-1066 or by .

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Do we need a minimum number of employees to start a campaign?

We value all workplaces, regardless of the number of employees. Some of our workplaces have one employee and some have thousands of employees.

If you give 100% of directed (designated) gifts to your member groups, how do you cover your own operating expenses?

Community Shares of Wisconsin receives revenue from a variety of sources:

  • Many gifts are not designated to one of our member groups. CSW receives a share of those gifts, as do all of our member groups.
  • Some companies help support our operations.

Our member nonprofits also help keep our administrative costs low by giving “work hours” to CSW. Each member group puts in a minimum number of volunteer hours based on the amount of CSW funding it receives. This system allows us to have a relatively small staff and keep our costs down.

We currently have a campaign with another federation. Can we do both?

Yes! Community Shares of Wisconsin works with other fundraising federations in many workplaces. Conducting a side-by-side campaign that includes CSW requires minimal added work.

How will adding a Community Shares campaign affect our existing workplace campaign?

Studies show that employers who expand 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.

Are my donations tax deductible?

Yes, all donations through payroll contribution are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Your gifts are deducted after taxes are taken out of your paycheck.

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 specific nonprofit?

Yes! The Community Shares campaign is “donor driven” — donors may direct (or designate) all or part of their gifts to specific CSW member groups which, in turn, receive 100% of those gifts.

How do you decide how much to give to your member groups?

As stated above, our member nonprofits receive 100% of directed (designated) funds. The gifts given to CSW in general go into a pool of funds that support all of our members. Some donors prefer this option, since their gifts support the work of all our member groups.