The Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired is among the 70 nonprofits that benefit from Community Shares of Wisconsin workplace giving campaigns. Workplace giving is a simple and effective way for employees to support area nonprofits by having a specified amount deducted from each paycheck. In most cases, employees can choose to make their gifts in a single payment rather than through payroll deduction if they prefer that method. This fall, workplaces across Dane County will be conducting Community Shares giving campaigns. The Council raises several thousand dollars each year through workplace giving.
Lori Werbeckes, Fund Development Director at the Council, says the benefits of workplace giving go beyond the generous gifts of money. “I believe workplace giving opens up the opportunity to learn about non-profits that many people don’t know about or have never heard of,” Lori says. This is partly because the process itself is an educational exercise. Each employer has a workplace giving coordinator. The coordinator sends employees a list of nonprofits including a description of each organization’s work, as provided by Community Shares. “Employees can learn a lot just from looking at the list,” Lori says.
One of those employees is Angie Trudell Vasquez. In addition to being Madison’s Poet Laureate, Angie is the Director of Human Resources for End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “I have participated in workplace giving since I moved to Wisconsin in 2005,” Angie says. For Angie, part of the beauty of the program is that you set up your giving schedule once, and then forget about it. The payroll deductions are automatic, as is delivery of the contributions to the organizations she designates. “You do the work once and feel good about supporting your community and your neighbors who benefit from your donations,” she says. “Over time, those small amounts add up and make a real difference without you having to remember to make a donation.”
Another workplace giver is retired UW-Madison staff member Hildy Feen, who continues to give through Community Shares in her retirement. “I have continued to donate through workplace giving even in my current retirement years because it is so easy,” Hildy says. “The booklet notes all the vetted and participating charities with descriptions, which helps me decide which organizations I want to donate to. By allowing me to provide a list of the charities and the dollar amounts I’m giving, I just need to write one check.”
“Workers value the opportunity to expand their giving in an easy and convenient way,” Lori says. “Workplace giving makes it so convenient, and it really increases the number of people who are aware of the services the Council offers. It’s also important to know that the Council will receive 100% of your gift.”
If your workplace has a campaign, we hope you will consider supporting the Council by designating us to receive a gift. To find out if your employer runs a Community Shares campaign, contact your Human Services staff. Even if there is not a campaign in your workplace, you can still give online through Community Shares.