SECC 101: A primer for those new to the campaign
The Big Picture
The State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) was created by legislation in 1993. The first campaign was run in 1994, and raised $2,027,751 statewide. In 2014, the campaign raised and donated more than $9 million for charitable organizations. Of this amount—raised by all Texas public universities, colleges and state agencies—almost $524,000 was raised by the staff from UTMB Health. [see 2014 higher ed results]
The Texas campaign is one of the largest state employee campaigns in the nation — and it’s still growing.
Committees of state employees govern the SECC at two levels — statewide and locally. The committees ensure the campaign is conducted fairly and equitably under a strict set of guidelines which give donors confidence in both the charities that benefit and the methods used to solicit.
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 local organizations to large and well-known national and international groups.
Giving to a favorite charity through the SECC is an easy, effective and cost-efficient way to give. These contributions help improve the quality of life for people in communities locally, across the country and around the world. You can learn more about the campaign, how it is structured and run at the state SECC site.
Why do people give?
Giving feels great. The campaign makes it easy and painless. And it really helps people in the communities where we live and work. At the same time, giving is a personal decision and everyone involved with the SECC respects your choice to give or not give, and which charities you may decide to support.
Here are just a few of the reasons your UTMB colleagues have supported the campaign in the past.
How are charities selected?
To participate in the SECC, a charitable organization must meet strict but fair standards. Those charities that wish to participate must meet specific 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 and fund raising unless they qualify for an exception due to special circumstances.
- They meet other requirements per the application.
Agencies do occasionally drop on and off the lists, so check your choices carefully.
How to give
Each fall, state employees are given the opportunity to learn about the charities in the SECC, choose which ones they wish to help, and then fill out a pledge form to indicate how much they wish to donate to which groups. At UTMB, our campaign usually runs in November and is led by a campaign chair.
1) Review the agencies
You can review the available charities online. There are about 300 groups, from local organizations to large and well-known national and international organization. Charities are identified by unique codes and grouped into "federations." You can support all charities in a federation by selecting the parent federation's code, or donate to individual agencies. Each campaign area also typically has a local federation, made up of charities and agencies that serve that specific community.
2) Make your pledge
AT UTMB, we offer both a printed pledge form and an easy-to-use, secure online pledge form. The online form is preferred as it's quick, very easy and efficient (both as a giver and for processing). However, you can use either method to make your gift, and it will be equally appreciated.
You can make your gift:
- Through payroll deduction (monthly or a single gift); or
- Through a one-time gift via cash or check
If you are making your pledge online, here are some tips:
- Visit the secure online giving part of the SECC site.
- Enter your Username and Password in the appropriate fields and select the 'Submit' button. The system uses your standard UTMB credentials.
- Choose an option: 1x gift (minimum $20) or 12x Payroll Deduction (minimum $2 per agency, or $24) to apply to all contributions on the web page. (If you would like to contribute less than $20, please use a paper form).
- Starting with Gift 1, select the charity you would like to contribute to, then enter a whole dollar amount. You may give up to a maximum of nine charities.
- When you are satisfied with your selection of gifts and amounts, press the button "Review Your Pledge." Look over your gifts.
- Near the bottom of the page you may select how you would like to be acknowledged. You may print this page for your own reference. At any time during the process you may go back and make changes to your gifts.
- Selecting the "Submit" button records your contribution(s) and takes you to a "Thanks" page.
Explanation of Payroll Deduction
For employees paid either monthly or twice monthly, this authorization for payroll deduction begins with the first pay check in January 2016 and expires following the final pay period in calendar year 2016.
Your gift will not "auto renew." Renewal of your pledge using payroll deduction is required annually during the SECC drive.
Give Where You live
UTMB has employees working across the state, and it facilitates their ability to give to agencies and causes in the communities where they live and work. With three campuses, a large network of Correctional Managed Care sites, 30+ clinics in the Regional Maternal and Child Health Program, plus many other community clinics, the local giving initiative is always popular. Get details.
Questions or problems? Want to use a paper pledge form? Need assistance?