Employees can donate to local and statewide causes with payroll deductions through the annual campaign.
Today (Sept. 9), Texas Tech University has kicked off the 2020 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) with a video message from President Lawrence Schovanec. This is the 27th year the university has participated in the SECC, contributing millions of dollars through payroll deductions to more than a thousand charities around the state, including several in the Lubbock community.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has tested all of us, and it hasn't erased the needs of our community; it has only intensified them," Schovanec said. "By donating, we offer sustainability to the nonprofits here on the South Plains and across the state. This year, as you're viewing the directory and making your pledge, remember the directory also is a resource to recommend services to those in your life who may need help. Thank you for considering a donation to the SECC. Every gift makes a difference."
Locally, employees are able to contribute to more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations and agencies in the West Texas campaign. Organizations include the Lubbock Area United Way, Meals on Wheels and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
"This campaign has a significant positive impact on local organizations," said Texas Tech SECC coordinator Meredith Imes. "By choosing to support the SECC, you can be assured that you are making a difference for others. Every little bit counts in helping the charities meet the needs of our community, and by giving, we are helping to provide people with a healthier, stronger and happier place to live."
The campaign runs from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. In 2019, Texas Tech raised $444,479, with the Texas Tech University System raising an additional $35,043 and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) contributing $248,101.
The goal this year is to maintain the same level of giving that was reached last year. Employees are encouraged to submit pledges via an online form. Donations also can be made in person through a paper form, available from Imes by request.
"When employees are considering their contribution this year, I would like to encourage giving using our online platform or using our new option of a fillable PDF pledge form," Imes said. "Both options provide a convenient way to contribute, especially now, as we all work to decrease the spread of COVID-19."
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 are 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% of funds raised on administration and fundraising unless they qualify for an exception due to special circumstances.
- They meet other requirements, per the application.
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.