What is the SECC?
The State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) was created by legislation in 1993. The first campaign was run in 1994, and raised $2,027,751. In 2013, the campaign celebrated its 20th anniversary and through the efforts and generosity of many state employees, the campaign exceeded $9.041 million in donations to more than 500 charitable organizations. The Texas campaign is one of the largest state employee campaigns in the nation — and it’s still growing! State employees have so generously given to the SECC because:
- It’s an easy, effective, and cost-efficient way to give to charity.
- Our contributions help improve the quality of life for people in communities locally, across the country, and around the world.
- The campaign supports a wide variety of vital health and human services.
- All charities in the campaign must meet strict eligibility criteria.
- The campaign is for state employees and is governed by state employees.
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 1st through October 31st. 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. The directory provides information on all the charities in the campaign — a great resource 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 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 accounting practices.
- They provide direct or indirect health and human services.
- They spend no more than 25 percent of funds raised on administration and fundraising.
How much should I give?
How much to give is completely up to you and remains confidential. Still, many of us like to have some idea of what is appropriate to consider as a gift.
First, you might consider one of the standards used in campaigns by giving one hour of pay per month (calculated as .006 of your annual salary) or one percent of your annual pay (calculated as .01 of your annual salary).
Second, give what you feel is appropriate for you and your budget - any gift, no manner how large or small, can make a difference to the charities in this campaign.
Third, you might consider participating as a leadership giver - one of the many people who like to do a little more by donating $1,000 or more.
Is this mandatory?
Your support of the SECC is voluntary!
If you feel you are being coerced to donate money at any time during this campaign, please submit a written complaint to: The Comptroller of Public Accounts, P.O. Box 13528, Capitol Station, Austin TX 78711-3528.