Employees can give to local and statewide causes through payroll deductions.
Texas Tech University celebrated the beginning of the 2018 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) Wednesday (Sept. 5) with a kickoff event in the Student Union Building. Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec spoke about the campaign to faculty and staff, who gathered for the celebration and an agency fair in the Matador Room.
“Texas Tech is the largest giver in this campaign, and that shouldn't be surprising because we are the largest employer in the South Plains, but it is more than a matter of numbers,” Schovanec said. “I'm very proud of the culture we have on this campus. People are socially minded, we have a strong sense of civic responsibility and though this campus is a big part of our employees' lives, they realize they are part of a larger community. We owe a lot to this community, and anything we can do for it is a noble cause.”
Texas Tech has participated in the SECC for the past 25 years, with employees contributing millions of dollars to more than 1,300 charities statewide. Local nonprofit organizations and agencies in the West Texas campaign area were represented at the campaign kickoff event.
Last year, Texas Tech employees raised $452,972, with the Texas Tech University System raising an additional $38,951 and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) contributing $257,017. The Greater West Texas area raised more than $993,316.
“It's important to be able to give back to your community, and the SECC provides a way to give through payroll deduction or one-time gifts,” said Sammye Sharbutt, SECC local campaign manager and United Way campaign division director. “The best thing about payroll deduction is that it's easy, and it comes out before you even see it. At the end of the month, you're giving up a soda or maybe a couple of coffees.”
This year, the Texas Tech goal is $463,000 and the TTUHSC goal is $262,017, with an additional System goal of $42,000. Pledges can be submitted via an online form or in person on a paper form.
“The university plays such a vital part in the SECC, and it always amazes me how much university employees as a whole come together and really rally and help us meet those goals,” said Texas Tech SECC coordinator Jessica Carrillo. “For a lot of us here on campus, we know these nonprofit organizations we are providing donations to actually do a lot for our community. I hope this year we are able to not only meet, but exceed each of our goals.”
Charities benefiting from the SECC range in size and cause, but all must adhere to strict legal requirements and be reviewed by state employee teams to ensure:
- They are recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and registered with the Texas 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 fundraising unless they qualify for a one-year exception due to special circumstances.
- They meet other requirements, per the application.
“All of the charities are very involved in the community and each gives back to the community in a different way,” Sharbutt said. “They are providing safe after-school care and hot meals to our children, allowing therapy through dogs and other animals, feeding and housing those in need and supporting families to have a better future.”
Donations vary and can be made as one-time gifts, a percentage of the giver's annual salary or as a monthly pledge. Each donor has the opportunity to win a variety of door prizes based on their pledge level, and employees are encouraged to give an amount they feel is appropriate to their budget.
Visit the SECC website for more information.