Workplace Giving FAQs

 

Q.How does Environmental Fund for Arizona (EFAZ) differ from other workplace giving programs?

We are the only federation of environmental and conservation groups in workplace campaigns in Arizona. Our 28 member organizations represent a wide variety of critical issues that support Arizona’s natural heritage, and affect Arizonans and our overall quality of life.

Q. If we don’t already have a workplace campaign, how can we start one?

The process is simple. If you already deduct payroll taxes for your employees each month, you can easily add a gift deduction component. EFAZ will work with you to make the campaign fun, and most importantly, to fit your corporate culture. You determine how active or low-key you want it to be. We can provide brochures, posters, pledge cards, and other materials, and conduct presentations or host field trips for your employees.

Q. We already have an employee giving campaign in place. Won’t adding an EFAZ campaign take funds away from our current efforts?

Actually, it’s the exact opposite – expanding employee giving choices has proven to increase employee participation and donations across the board. We’ve seen that when employees are given more choice and control over where and how they donate, they are more inclined to give. We have case studies from American Express, Dell, Pitney Bowes, and others that illustrate terrific increases in participation and giving when workplace giving charitable choices are expanded.

Q. Our employees already contribute to United Way. So why should we consider EFAZ?

It’s all about offering a variety of charitable options. People are passionate about different things. While United Way funds a wide array of vital social service agencies, they do not represent our environmental or conservation organizations. Because a healthy environment is a critical part of our quality of life, offering employees a flexible choice through EFAZ is a great way to add a ‘green’ component to your workplace giving campaign.

Q. If we decide to include EFAZ, will we have to set up a whole new campaign?

No. EFAZ successfully participates with many other groups in side-by-side campaigns. We can integrate into your existing campaign, or can provide our own pledge cards or modify existing cards to make the process simpler. Employees appreciate being given more choice – to give to the areas they are passionate about!

Q. How much extra work is involved if we include EFAZ in our campaign?

EFAZ will meet with you and/or your payroll department to discuss how we can enhance your existing campaign without increasing your workload or costs. We’re here to help with every aspect of your campaign – from campaign materials to training the employees who will manage the process. Just like United Way, we have a complete Campaign Toolkit and Orientation available for your campaign coordinators to use. It is our goal to make your EFAZ campaign as easy and hassle-free as possible.

Q. How does EFAZ fit into our guidelines restricting campaigns to “health and human services?”

EFAZ has been accepted into many campaigns where this guideline is used, in both the public and private sector. Human health is dependent upon environmental health. Our agencies protect health and human welfare in the most fundamental way. Clean air and water are vital for every day life. Quality of life is also enhanced through the protection of open space areas and the conservation of species diversity.

Q. Why not utilize the Restricted Contribution option provided by the United Way to allow employees to give to any charity?

There are significant problems with this option.  If you read the fine print, it requires a minimum gift of $25 or more to give to a specific charity rather than a general fund – even a United Way charity. The Northern Arizona United Way charges a minimum $100 gift to give to a specific charity, rather than a United Way designated fund. This obviously sets up a major deterrent to employees from easily giving to the charities of their choice.

Q. What happens if we outsource our campaign management to one charity? How does this affect other charities?

While contracting with a charity to serve as your campaign administrator and fiscal agent may seem like an easy solution, you must be aware that by serving in this role, the contracted charity imposes policies that severely hinder other charities and federations in the campaign. The majority of workplaces are not aware of these implications that put other charities at a severe disadvantage.

First, EFAZ is a legally-recognized federation of nonprofits, just like United Way, Community Health Charities, EarthShare, Global Impact, and others. We are the fiscal agent for our EFAZ nonprofit member groups, meaning we collectively represent them in our campaigns. If, for example, in the Maricopa County Combined Charitable Campaign, an employee wants to donate to Audubon Arizona, the standard protocol would be that their gift is processed by their federation (EFAZ), wherein their gift is sent to Audubon Arizona.

However, in Maricopa County’s campaign, as with the majority of city/county campaigns in Arizona, a leading federation is contracted as the campaign administrator. Because of this, the gift to Audubon Arizona is processed by them, not by EFAZ. The contracted federation deducts their admin fee and sends the rest of the donation directly to Audubon Arizona, bypassing EFAZ. By doing this, EFAZ cut out of the process altogether, and is not made aware of the donations and/or donors to our member charities.

By withholding this data, it is nearly impossible for EFAZ to have an accurate record of our campaign results and more importantly, it doesn’t allow us to thank our donors for their gifts. This is extremely important and should not be restricted by the contracted federation.

Moreover, visibility and equal representation of the variety of choices included in the campaign are often lost in the shadow of a managing federation. Too often the campaign comes to look like a single federation promoting its members, with a footnote about added choices.

Q. Does EFAZ charge an administrative fee for processing its donations?

As of 2013, EFAZ no longer deducts an administrative fee from our donations.

Q. How does EFAZ operate and where do your operating funds come from?

EFAZ has one, full-time paid staff member (Executive Director). Our annual operating budget is $35,000. Operating revenue comes from annual member dues, individual gifts, and corporate gifts.

Q. Can I hold a fundraiser for EFAZ outside of workplace giving?

Absolutely! We value connecting with communities in fun and creative ways. Please contact us at: info@environmentalfundaz.org  for more information.