What are EarthShare New Jersey’s overhead costs?

EarthShare New Jersey’s overhead costs are currently 12.4%.

When I give to EarthShare New Jersey, how is my gift divided?

Sixty percent of the gifts designated to EarthShare New Jersey stay in New Jersey and are distributed amongst the local affiliate members. Forty percent of the gifts are distributed amongst the National members. EarthShare New Jersey does not keep your gift or ask our members to submit funding requests. Your gift is for the environmental agencies we represent and that is where it goes.

When does the pledge go into effect?

Pledges usually take affect on January 1, but there are some campaigns organized in the spring, with deductions taken for a 12 month period starting at the beginning or end of another month.

Can I change my pledge after it has gone to the payroll department?

Yes, a gift can be changed or canceled at your request.

Will donor names be placed on a mailing list?

Only if the donor requests an acknowledgment for their donation. Many public employee campaigns like the CFC restrict charities from releasing donor names and selling or trading donor lists. Charities in violation of this restriction are subject to disqualification from the campaign, or, in the worst case scenario, the entire federation may be disqualified from participating in the campaign. EarthShare encourages its members to accord membership privileges to workplace donors, but not to solicit them for additional gifts by phone or mail.

Are the donations tax deductible?

Yes, if you itemize your deductions.

How can a New Jersey based environmental organization become a member of EarthShare New Jersey?

Any environmental non-profit can contact the EarthShare New Jersey office for membership information. Candidates are identified in February,. Membership applications are distributed in March and returned in April. Qualified candidates are presented to the board for voting in May, and they are welcomed into membership in June. New applicants begin participating in campaigns the following year. This is due to many campaigns requiring applications one year prior to when they occur.

Does my workplace gift automatically confer membership in the organization I have supported?

The membership policy relating to donors in workplace fund drives is determined by each member organization. EarthShare New Jersey cannot guarantee that a donor gift will result in membership. Donors may need to contact organizations directly for this option and should also keep a copy of their pledge form in case it is required to establish the date of the gift or the campaign in which the donor participated. Some national member organizations ask their donors to fax in a copy of their pledge card as soon as they have made their pledge so that their membership may be “renewed” (or started). This method allows the organization to see how much the donor has pledged so it can determine for which membership level, if any, he/she may qualify. It also helps offset the problem of having to wait as long as 6 months following the campaign to receive donors’ names. Please note that membership renewal notices or invoices are not sent to workplace donors. A donor must request that his/her contact information be shared with the charity in order for these types of benefits to be realized.

Does EarthShare New Jersey have individuals as members?

There is not currently an individual membership program. However, individual donors are always welcome to help support our efforts.

What if a company doesn’t currently have a workplace contribution program?

EarthShare New Jersey will work with any company to implement and, if necessary, customize their workplace contribution program. Providing employees with the benefit of seamless, payroll contribution is something that enhances an employer’s ability to meet the need of employees and the community.

Can EarthShare New Jersey be added to a company’s existing workplace contribution program?

EarthShare New Jersey can easily be added to any company’s existing program. All that is needed is the addition of the new charity to their list or payroll service. All payroll service providers are able to do this. Corporations that process their own payroll are also able to support EarthShare campaigns. EarthShare New Jersey will work with any company to help get their program updated. Our philosophy is that more choice leads to more participation. This has also been realized in corporate campaigns across the country.

Can EarthShare New Jersey support campaigns in other states?

EarthShare New Jersey can help a multi-state company operate a campaign in any state in the country. This is already done for corporate campaigns such as American Express, Hewlitt Packard, Walmart and Home Depot.

How is a campaign run?

Internally, most campaigns are headed by an appointed Campaign Chair, who then calls upon all departments to appoint Department Coordinators. In turn, Department Coordinators choose assistants known as Donor Representatives or Key Workers. These “front line” workers directly solicit their fellow employees, encouraging them to donate during the campaign. EarthShare New Jersey, along with other participating federations, coordinates the logistics of the campaign with the Chair and Department Coordinators. In larger campaigns, like the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) or State Employee Campaigns, a lead federation is selected through a contract bidding process in each campaign location around the country to professionally administer the campaign. A campaign will usually run from two to six weeks, depending on the number and location of employees, and usually occurs sometime between early September and late November. However, the planning process begins long before that. Not only does EarthShare New Jersey have to design its own materials, such as a video presentation, brochure, poster, and pledge form, we also help develop joint campaign materials for large combined campaigns. In addition, EarthShare New Jersey assists in training the Coordinators and Donor Representatives on how to run the campaign in their departments, and how to use the campaign materials. When the campaign begins, EarthShare New Jersey, its members and affiliates are often asked to participate in publicity events in the workplace. At the end of the campaign, pledges and donations are picked-up, tallied, and entered into the payroll records. Donor and coordinator thank-you letters and campaign evaluations close out the campaign season in January and February.

What Is a payroll contribution campaign?

A payroll contribution campaign is an opportunity for non-profit federations like EarthShare to go into workplaces and, as part of an internally-organized campaign, ask employees to make a donation. This can be a direct cash or check donation, but most employees authorize a deduction to be made from their paychecks on a regular basis. These donations might be withheld weekly, biweekly, or monthly, depending on the payroll system of the employer. On a monthly or quarterly basis the employer sends EarthShare a check representing all the pledges made to EarthShare and/or its member organizations during the previous campaign year. EarthShare then distributes this money to its member organizations. This is a powerful form of fundraising. It allows the federation to solicit large numbers of people in an organized, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Commonly, people who might write a one-time check for $25.00 may as easily consider a $2.00 donation per pay period. If there are twenty-six annual pay periods that would result in a $52.00 annual gift. Similarly, an individual may have a membership with your organization, but through payroll contribution his/her annual gift will significantly exceed the actual membership cost.

Are there other EarthShares?

There are 14 EarthShare organizations across the country. In addition to the National office in Washington, DC, there are EarthShares in California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New England, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Washington. EarthShares also work very closely with the Environmental Funds for every state in the country.

How can a donor support EarthShare New Jersey?

There are many ways in which a donor can support EarthShare New Jersey. They can do so through payroll contribution, individual donation or gift of time, talent or treasure.

Who makes and enforces the policy of EarthShare New Jersey?

Policy is made and enforced by the EarthShare New Jersey Board of Directors.

How are campaign contributions to EarthShare New Jersey distributed?

Campaign contributions are distributed to members quarterly. Designations to a particular organization are given to that organization. Undesignated money is distributed to Affiliate members in proportion to their involvement in the organization. This is determined by the Membership committee and is based on each organizations efforts on behalf of EarthShare New Jersey in the year that a campaign takes place.

What types of services does EarthShare New Jersey provide for its members?

EarthShare New Jersey members realize the benefit of representation in workplace campaigns across the state. Their organization is listed as a charitable contribution option on campaign literature, EarthShare New Jersey promotional brochures, newsletters and website. Members are physically represented and referenced during speaking engagements, agency fairs, tabling events and corporate meetings with employers. They realize reduced administrative expenses as workplace contribution checks are issued in a lump sum quarterly, eliminating the need to process multiple checks monthly. They are given the opportunity to coordinate corporate volunteer events and participate in corporate activities that are reserved for charities with which they have a relationship. EarthShare New Jersey organizations are in front of more than 500,000 New Jersey citizens annually as a result of their membership.

Are there any fees paid by members to be a part of EarthShare New Jersey?

EarthShare New Jersey local members pay a one-time application fee to be considered for membership. This payment is cashed only if the organization is accepted into membership. The purpose of this fee is to accommodate the inclusion of the member in marketing and promotional material and the processing of their membership application. There are no annual fees paid.

How do member organizations use the donations from EarthShare?

EarthShare New Jersey has no policy regarding how member groups can use their donations except that they are used responsibly and in the best interests of the member group and the environment. Funds are frequently used for program development, research, education, public relations, administration, equipment, or any other way the group chooses. All EarthShare member organizations are tax-exempt because they engage in charitable, scientific or educational activities, and, as such, only engage in very limited amounts of political lobbying or advocacy work.

How is EarthShare New Jersey administered?

The Board of Directors is composed of representatives from each of the Affiliate members. There are currently 17 Affiliate members on the board and one At Large representative. The staff of EarthShare New Jersey is directly responsible to its members (local and national organizations), and the Directors establish the policies under which EarthShare New Jersey operates.

What criteria do organizations have to meet in order to be part of EarthShare New Jersey?

They must be primarily dedicated to protecting the environment, and meet extensive standards set by the Board of Directors as well as Congress for the CFC. One of these requirements is that administrative overheads must be less than 25% of total support and revenue. Additionally, they must demonstrate that they are fiscally responsible and maintain an environmental mission.

What service does EarthShare New Jersey provide to its member groups that these groups cannot do for themselves?

EarthShare New Jersey was formed by its members to coordinate workplace campaigns on their behalf. It is extremely rare that a single agency is allowed to participate in the planning and coordination of workplace campaigns, due to the burden this would create for the employer. Additionally, because EarthShare New Jersey centrally processes all of the checks and pledges from workplace campaigns across the country and distributes the funds and donor information monthly, it eases the administrative burden to individual members thus lowering their expenses.