About the EGP
The Employee Giving Program is a resource for King County employees regarding philanthropy. We coordinate the Annual Giving Drive, provide year-round service to employees and nonprofits, and organize any special response drives that may occur during the year. Via this Web site, we also provide resources for King County employees seeking to educate themselves about charitable giving.
The purpose of the Employee Giving
Lessen the burden of county government and of local communities in the meeting of charitable needs
Provide a convenient channel through which county employees may contribute to the efforts of qualifying agencies providing services in the community or overseas
Minimize both the disruption to the county workplace and the costs to the taxpayer of multiple charitable fund drives
Ensure that recipient agencies are fiscally responsible in the uses of the monies raised
A 15-member employee committee appointed by the County Council governs the Employee Giving Program and the Annual Giving Drive. During the drive, several Campaign Executives join the program as temporary staff to support the full-time Employee Giving Program Administrator. Over 200 employees generously step forward to serve as coordinators within the various departments and divisions. They collect donation forms and communicate the program details to employees ensuring each King County employee has the opportunity to participate.
Why give through the EGP?
In the 1950s, labor unions across the country began forming community chests as a way of giving back to the community and building employee unity. These were the first workplace giving campaigns. Over the years, charities, philanthropy, and civic engagement have changed. Accordingly, some of the reasons for choosing to participate in a workplace giving campaign have changed, too.
Why not just send a check directly to the non-profit?
- It increases cost to the nonprofit
Even with the best of intentions, people make commitments to donate to a nonprofit and then do not follow through. Or, they follow through in January and February but forget by March. Nonprofit organizations spend valuable resources on mailings and phone calling to prompt donors to fulfill pledges. The set-it-and-forget-it nature of automatic payroll deduction helps people follow through on pledges. By writing a check directly, 100% of your donation makes it to the organization but what portion thereafter must be used to fundraise the remainder of your pledge over the year? Unless you are able to fulfill your annual giving in one lump sum by check, you are likely reducing the power of your gift.
- Planned gifts are bigger gifts
A basic truth of human nature is that most people spend more when using future dollars versus present dollars. (It is also why we use credit cards so much) By participating in the annual charitable campaign and using the automatic payroll deduction option, you are leveraging that basic truth to increase your donation capacity.
Who benefits through the program?
Benefits to King County employees
- Pre-screened nonprofits
The Employee Giving Program screens all nonprofit participants so employees can be assured their donations are going to a legitimate nonprofit. Each participating organization is: registered as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization; registered with the Secretary of State to solicit donations in Washington; in compliance with the non-discrimination policies to the same ordinance standard set by King County; and more. Click here to see the full list
- Plan your giving
Even with the best intentions, people make commitments to donate to a favorite organization and then do not follow through. Nonprofit organizations spend valuable resources on mailings and phone calling to prompt donors to fulfill pledges. The set-it-and-forget-it nature of automatic payroll deduction helps employees follow through on pledges. Moreover, it allows organizations to use more of their valuable resources on programs and services.
- Ability to give time
Not only may employees participate in the employee charitable campaign by setting up automatic payroll deductions or writing a direct check, but you can also can convert available vacation or compensatory hours to cash and donate the net cash value to a participating organization of your choice.
There are so many stories of people writing a check to a nonprofit and suddenly being inundated with solicitation letters from all sorts of nonprofit organizations. The Employee Giving Program is able to serve as a mediator of sorts: employees may remain anonymous to the nonprofit and the Employee Giving Program will ensure employees receive documentation of their donations for tax and other purposes.
Benefits to participating non-profit organizations
- Predictable income
Because organizations receive notification of your payroll deduction pledge for the following year, they can efficiently plan services and programs – maximizing the benefit of your gift. Furthermore, payroll deductions provide a dependable, steady stream of revenue that can be used to leverage other sources of income, such as grants, because the organization can document the support received through the charitable campaign.
- Lower fundraising costs
Workplace giving is more cost-effective and efficient for nonprofit organizations. The cost of participating in a workplace giving campaign is far below the cost that would be incurred if participating organizations had to solicit donations for an equal amount of money. Workplace giving allows organizations to spend more resources on their services rather than fundraising. For example, organizations often lose money gaining new donors through direct mail and then on average spend 20 cents to raise a dollar for renewals (or 20% of funds raised). The cost of the EGP has varied between 8-12%, lower than the national workplace average of 16% and still far below direct mail renewal, the next most cost-effective model. These cost include fundraising, pledge processing, marketing and promotional materials, personnel costs and rent and overhead.
- Unrestricted and Undesignated donations
Workplace giving dollars are highly sought after unrestricted funds, therefore they can be used where needed most. Nonprofit organizations benefit by receiving a portion of "undesignated" campaign funds which are funds that are given to the program in general.
- Other benefits
Participation at workplace giving fairs and events broadens nonprofit organizations’ community outreach, often resulting in new volunteers - and sometimes - new clients. All year long the program is providing referrals and making connections to the employees. Nonprofits in the program also gain access to quality and inexpensive training and development opportunities.
Benefits to King County
- Employee unity
There are few things more empowering than creating social change and building community -together.
- Service to the community
Allows King County to be "good neighbors” and community partners.
- Less disruption
By centralizing charitable giving through the Employee Giving Program, we can give back to the community with minimal disruption to King County business.