What is SECC?
Thanks to legislation that created the State Employee Charitable Campaign in 1993,
employees of state agencies, junior and community colleges, and universities throughout
Texas enjoy the benefit of giving to many of their favorite charities through an annual
workplace giving campaign which features the convenience of payroll deduction. The
SECC is the only statutorily authorized workplace campaign for state agencies and
higher education employees throughout Texas. We can be proud that the campaign has
grown so much in 22 years...donations exceeded $8.485 million for charitable organizations
It's not hard to see why employees of the Friendship State have responded so enthusiastically
to the SECC:
- It's an easy, effective and cost-efficient way to give to charity.
- Our contributions help improve the quality of life for people in communities locally,
across the country and around the world.
- The campaign supports a wide variety of vital health and human services.
- All charities in the campaign must meet strict eligibility criteria.
How does it work?
Each fall, we get the opportunity to learn about the charities in the SECC, choose
which ones we want to help and then fill out a pledge form to indicate how much we
wish to donate to which groups. We can make a one-time gift by cash or check. Or,
even better, our gift can be deducted from each paycheck beginning the first of next
The campaign runs from September through October. During this time period, you can
expect to attend an informational meeting or be approached by a co-worker with information
and a pledge form. The directory provides information on all the charities in the
campaign - a great resource not only for helping you make your choices, but also for
finding help if you need it yourself.
What charities are involved?
One of the great benefits of the SECC is the wide variety of charities and causes
represented - there's something for everyone. They range from small local organizations
to large and well-known national and international groups.
Those charities that wish to participate must meet stringent legal requirements, and
then be scrutinized by teams of state employees to ensure:
- They are recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and registered
with the Secretary of State.
- They are audited (or reviewed) annually by an accountant in accordance with generally-accepted
- They provide direct or indirect health and human services.
- They spend no more than 25 percent of funds raised on administration.
Who governs and runs the SECC?
Committees of state employees govern the SECC at two levels - statewide and locally.
They ensure the campaign is conducted fairly and equitably under a strict set of
guidelines that give donors confidence in both the charities that benefit and the
methods used to solicit.
At the state level, a committee of state employees called the State Policy Committee
(SPC) provides governance and oversight. Three members are appointed by the Governor
and three each by the Lieutenant Governor and the Comptroller of Public Accounts.
They are responsible for a campaign plan, a budget and ensuring the eligibility of
statewide organizations. The SPC also hires a State Campaign Manager to administer
At the local level, Local Employee Committees (LECs) provide similar oversight. The
SPC appoints the LEC chair, which then recruits a local committee of up to 10 members.
They hire a local campaign manager to administer the campaign locally.
How are funds distributed?
Contributions made by state agency employees are distributed by the State Comptroller
to participating federations, who then send the funds along to their members. Each
university distributes funds to federations through its own payroll system. At the
local level, the Local Campaign Managers distribute the funds the same way.
But because it is almost impossible to account for donations lost through such things
as an employee leaving or transferring, a percentage method is used to distribute
funds. At the end of the year's campaign, the percent of funds pledged to each charity
is calculated. Each charity then receives that percentage of what is eventually collected.
Undesignated pledges are shared with all participating charities using the same percentage.
Each charity also pays is share of the cost of running the campaign (printed materials,
etc.) based on the percentage.
How much should I give?
How much to give is totally up to you - your personal generosity is no one's business
but your own and remains confidential. Still, many of us like to have some idea of
what is appropriate to consider as a gift.
First, you might consider participating as a leadership giver - one of the many people
who like to do a little more by donating at the leadership giving levels described
Second, you might consider one of the standards used in campaigns like this throughout
the nation - giving one hour's pay per month, usually calculated as .006 of your annual
Third, give what you feel is appropriate for you and your budget - any gift, no matter
how large or small, can make all the difference in the world to the charities in this
Why should I give?
- To help those who are less fortunate through no fault of their own.
- To support a favorite cause or charity on a regular basis.
- It's the right thing to do.
- It will make you feel great.
- It's tax deductable.
Your support of the SECC is voluntary
If you feel you are being coerced to donate money at any time during this campaign,
please submit a written complaint to: The Comptroller of Public Accounts, 111 E. 17th
Street, Austin, Texas 78774