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THE DENVER EMPLOYEES CHARITABLE CAMPAIGN

How it Works

The Denver Employees Charitable Campaign (DECC) is the annual charitable workplace giving campaign for/by City of Denver government employees. The city established the campaign in 1988 as a beneficial way for employees to easily and efficiently donate to a wide array of nonprofits and support their communities. In 2017, city employees made 2,504 donations to 489 nonprofits, totaling $395,244. Since its founding, the DECC has raised $13.2 million for charities and worthy causes. 

As a city employee, you’re in charge of your giving. Each year, you can choose from any 501(c)(3) to give your gift to. You can also decide how to give. Most employees give through payroll contribution (a few dollars each pay period), a longstanding tradition. But you can also make a recurring donation with a credit/debit card or bank payment, or a one-time donation with cash, check or credit/debit card. There is no minimum donation. Signing up is easy, either online or with a paper form. However you participate, you’re a part of a culture of giving that helps our community be even better. 

No problem. Just contact the DECC at 303-861-7507 or decc@cshares.org, and we’ll help adjust your donation. 

It depends on how you give. Recurring payroll gifts start in January and end in December. One-time payroll gifts come out of the first paycheck of the year, in January. One-time credit card and check donations are processed once they are received by the DECC (unless we receive different instructions). Similarly, recurring credit card donations are set up as soon as the DECC gets the donation via a paper pledge form or through the online iPledge system. 

Accountability and Oversight

When you designate your gift, your contribution (less the DECC campaign expense), goes to the nonprofit(s) of your choice. You may request that your charity send you a letter of thanks, information which the DECC passes along. You may also choose to remain anonymous, in which case your information will be not shared with anyone aside from DECC staff. 

Yes. To encourage, process and distribute donations, the DECC incurs operational costs such as rent, phones, computers, staff, printing, bookkeeping, auditing, meetings and events. No campaign expense is born by the city. Rather, the DECC uses a cost-sharing model. To finance their participation, nonprofits allow the DECC to keep 15¢ for every dollar raised to cover essential administrative/management costs. Nonprofits acknowledge the cost-sharing model because they want to be a part of the DECC. It’s an economical way for them to reach a large audience of potential donors that they otherwise might not have access to.

Yes. In comparison to other forms of fundraising such as grant writing (20¢ for every dollar raised), events (50¢), and, direct mail ($1), workplace giving (15¢) is among the most cost-effective. Remember too that the DECC is raising funds for hundreds of charities, not just one.

Because no city funds can be used to cover the cost of reaching Denver’s 11,000+ city employees, it partners with a nonprofit to help manage the campaign for such a low cost. Further, nonprofits like participating in workplace giving campaigns because the costs are lower than other types of fundraising, the reach is much greater and the contributions are consistent.

The DECC is managed by Community Shares of Colorado, an expert in workplace giving campaigns. Community Shares was awarded a contract with the city to run the campaign and works closely with the all-employee DECC Steering Committee to plan and manage operations. The DECC also partners with volunteers from across city government to run the campaign. 

The campaign’s activities are overseen by a committee of city employees (the DECC Steering Committee), which meets nearly every month to set policy, approve plans and guide direction. In addition, the campaign manager, Community Shares of Colorado, is an audited nonprofit organization registered with the Colorado Secretary of State. To learn more about Community Shares and to read its latest annual report and audited financial statements, please visit cshares.org.

Taxes and Documentation

Maybe! Depending on what nonprofit you give to, your gift of $250 or more may make you eligible for a Child Care or Denver Enterprise Zone tax credit. The tax credits are issued by the nonprofits themselves, so you’ll need to reach out to them directly. If we can help with this, please email us at decc@cshares.org. Learn more about these credits from the State of Colorado Department of Revenue, specifically Income 23: Enterprise Zone Contribution Credit and Income 35: Child Care Contribution Credit. (Always consult with a professional tax advisor when filing your taxes. Information offered here is not tax advice.)

Yes. The campaign only allows giving to 501(c)(3) nonprofits as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These groups are eligible for tax deduction on your annual income tax form. DECC donations are post-tax, per IRS guidelines. 

Yes. Early in the year following your donation, you’ll receive a tax acknowledgement letter from Community Shares of Colorado, manager of the DECC. Keep this, a copy of your pledge form and (if giving through payroll contribution) your final pay stub showing the total amount withheld during the calendar year in order to claim your deduction.

Charities and Oranizations

Yes, and in fact nonprofits vie to participate. This is because they have limited resources and cannot fundraise everywhere. Involvement in a workplace giving campaign like the DECC enables nonprofits to cast a wider net and have access to thousands of potential donors. The 15% campaign expense enables the nonprofit to take advantage of the campaign manager’s marketing, fundraising and administrative expertise.

If you ask the DECC to share your contact information, we’ll pass it along to your designated nonprofit. Many will then send a thank-you letter and an update on their efforts in the community.

You can still participate and are invited to! Simply choose the DECC Giving Fund (use charity code number 999999 on your pledge form or enter it online). Your gift will be distributed proportionately to the campaign’s highlighted charities. See the great nonprofits that make up this list at denvergov.org/decc.

Through the DECC, employees can give to the nonprofits of their choice (as long as they’re classified as 501(c)(3) nonprofits by the IRS). Therefore, it wouldn’t be possible or practical to have one single reference list. (There are an estimated 1.5 million registered nonprofits in the U.S.) The annual list published by the campaign includes our area’s most commonly given-to charities, plus city service organizations, nonprofits represented by Team DECC ambassadors and the 2017 write-in choices of employees. These are all presented as helpful giving suggestions. Who you give to is up to you. (To get your favorite nonprofit on “the list” in 2019, be sure to give to it in 2018!)

Workplace Giving

Yes, and we welcome you to do so! The DECC retiree giving program is coordinated with the Denver Employees Retirement Plan (DERP). It enables employees to continue their philanthropic commitment to their charity, cause and community after they retire. Contact DERP at 303-839-5419 or mbrsvs@derp.org to learn more.

Yes. We’re family at work, so why not in giving? In 2018, the DECC is excited to welcome contracted team members into the campaign. They can give too and are invited to participate at: www.ipledgeonline.org/_contractedteamdecc.

To reflect the special considerations for contracted team members, their participation is online only, in a confidential site set up just for them. There, they can make recurring or one-time donations by credit/debit card, check or e-check. Their donations will be added as a group to the totals of the departments or divisions that they work within.

The DECC enables you to donate directly out of your paycheck, in whatever amount you like. This automatic, incremental giving allows most people to give more overall. Plus, nonprofits can keep their administrative costs lower if they are processing a single, large payment from the DECC versus multiple, smaller payments from individual donors. Your contribution through the DECC has a greater impact when it’s combined with the generosity of your coworkers. For these reasons, both donors and nonprofits like the DECC, and workplace giving endures as one of the most common and popular ways to give.

Read a handy infographic on the benefits of workplace giving.

Participation in the DECC is voluntary, so no one assumes because you gave one year that you’ll give the next (or that your donation amount or designation will stay the same).  You do have to sign up again, either online or with a paper pledge form. It’s easy, though, to replicate your online pledge from year to year. Just look for the prompt when you visit your account at ipledgeonline.org/_decc.