The State Employee State Employee Charitable Campaign Charitable Campaign is the only statutorily authorized workplace campaign for state agency and higher education employees throughout Texas.
In 2015, the SECC marked its 22nd year by raising more than $8.485 million for charitable organizations throughout the Lone Star state.
What is the SECC?
Thanks to legislation that created the State Employee Charitable Campaign in 1993, employees of state agencies, junior and community colleges, and universities throughout Texas enjoy the benefit of giving to many of their favorite charities through an annual workplace giving campaign which features the convenience of payroll deduction.
How does it work?
Each fall, we get the opportunity to learn about the charities in the SECC, choose which ones we want to help, and then ﬁll out a pledge form to indicate how much we wish to donate to which groups. We can make a one-time gift by cash or check. Or, even better, our gift can be deducted from each paycheck beginning at the ﬁrst of next year.
The campaign runs from September through October. During this time period, you can expect to attend an informational meeting or be approached by a co-worker with information and a pledge form. This directory provides information on all the charities in the campaign — a great resource not only for helping you make your choices, but also for ﬁ nding help if you need it yourself.
What charities are involved?
One of the great beneﬁts of the SECC is the wide variety of charities and causes represented — there’s something for everyone. They range from small local organizations to large and well-known national and international groups.
Those charities that wish to participate must meet stringent legal requirements, and then be scrutinized by teams of state employees to ensure:
- They are recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonproﬁt organizations and registered with the Secretary of State.
- They are audited (or reviewed) 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.
Who governs and runs the SECC?
Committees of state employees govern the SECC 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 State Policy Committee (SPC) provides governance and oversight. Three members are appointed by the Governor and three each by the Lieutenant Governor and the Comptroller of Public Accounts. They are responsible for a campaign plan, a budget and ensuring the eligibility of statewide organizations. The SPC also hires a State Campaign Manager to administer the campaign.
At the local level, Local Employee Committees (LECs) provide similar oversight. The SPC appoints the LEC chair, which then recruits a local committee of up to 10 members. They hire a local campaign manager to administer the campaign locally.
How are funds distributed?
Contributions made by state agency employees are distributed by the State Comptroller to participating federations, who then send the funds along to their members. Each university distributes funds to federations through its own payroll system. At the local level, the Local Campaign Managers distribute the funds the same way.
But because it is almost impossible to account for donations lost through such things as an employee leaving or transferring, a percentage method is used to distribute funds. At the end of each year’s campaign, the percent of funds pledged to each charity is calculated. Each charity then receives that percentage of what is eventually collected. Undesignated pledges are shared with all participating charities using the same percentage.
Each charity also pays its share of the cost of running the campaign (printed materials, etc.) based on the same percentage.
How much should I give?
How much to give is totally up to you; your personal generosity is no one’s business but your own and remains conﬁdential. Still, many of us like to have some idea of what is appropriate to consider as a gift.
SECOND … you might consider one of the standards used in campaigns like this throughout the nation — giving one hour’s pay per month, usually calculated as .006 of your annual salary.
THIRD … give what you feel is appropriate for you and your budget — any gift, no matter how large or small, can make all the difference in the world to the charities in this campaign.