Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about the 2018 VtSHARES Campaign, please ask your department or agency Campaign Ambassador, or anyone on the Statewide VtSHARES Campaign Coordinating Committee. We’re here to help.

Checks are no longer acceptable.  Please return all pledge cards to your agency/dept Campaign Ambassador.

Questions

How much did I give last year and to which charities?
Where can I get charity information?
How do I search charities to find ones that support the causes I care about?
Can I give to a charity using payroll deduction that is not listed in the charity directory?
Can I give to more organizations than there are spaces on the pledge card I receive?
How much are others giving?
Will my VtSHARES contribution be taken out before taxes?
Where do I send my paper pledge card?
When do payroll deductions start?
What happens when I check the box for an acknowledgment?
If retiring in 2017, how can I donate?
As a temporary employee, can I give to the VtSHARES Campaign?
How do VtSHARES Campaign administration costs get allocated to the eligible charities?
Is VtSHARES audited?
How do I get additional pins and extra blank pledge cards for employees?
How much of my gift is used towards administrative costs?
What is a Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?
Do I qualify for the Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?
How do I find out more about the Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?
How can I benefit from the Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?
Will I receive a receipt for my donation through VtSHARES?

Answers

How much did I give last year and to which charities?

If you choose to give via payroll deduction, the amount you gave is on your earnings statement. It is not logistically feasible to reopen the database from last year to look up the individual charity recipient(s) of your contribution.

Where can I get charity information?

Employees can use the Charities link for a complete listing of eligible charities and other useful information. If you need assistance in navigating the site, you are welcome to contact your agency/department's Campaign Ambassador.  

How do I search charities to find ones that support the causes I care about?

We recommend that you dial 211 to get information about organizations near you that help individuals and families with these particular needs. Please remember that organizations must be listed in the VtSHARES Campaign directory for you to contribute through this program. VtSHARES is a great way to give since you can deduct your giving automatically with each pay check.

Can I give to a charity using payroll deduction that is not listed in the charity directory?

Unfortunately we aren’t able to make additions to the charities for this year as there’s a formal application process each year. To be considered in the future, please ask your contact person at the charity you’d like to see added to call Carrie Stahler at Green Mountain United Way, 802-613-3989, for instructions on how to apply for inclusion in the next year’s VtSHARES Campaign.

Applications are emailed in January to the charities. They are due back to the coordinating umbrella organization by the end of March 31st to make it into that year's directory, assuming the charity meets the appropriate criteria. The charity will then begin receiving donations the following calendar year. VT Charities should email their applications in PDF form to their Umbrella and the Umbrella should email them to Carrie Stahler at cstahler@gmunitedway.org and then they are uploaded to the Sharepoint site to be looked at by the Coordinating Committee for review in April and May.  If a charity doesn’t apply or meet the criteria, they can’t be added.

Can I give to more organizations than there are spaces on the pledge card I receive?

Yes. Ask for a blank card from your Campaign Ambassador, fill it out with all your employee and contributions information, staple the cards together and give them to your Campaign Ambassador.

How much are others giving?

Each gift is confidential. The gift, no matter the amount, should be an amount for which the employee is comfortable.

Will my VtSHARES contribution be taken out before taxes?

No, VtSHARES contributions are deducted after state and federal taxes have been taken out.

Where do I send my paper pledge card?

Send completed cards to your agency/department Campaign Ambassador, not directly to the Agency of Human Services.

When do payroll deductions start?

The first full pay period in 2019.

What happens when I check the box for an acknowledgment?

A listing of employees who checked the box is generated from our VtSHARES Campaign database. The listing is sent to the Umbrella organization containing the charity, who then passes the information along accordingly. Each charity is then required to send a letter of acknowledgment. The State of Vermont does not dictate what the acknowledgment should look like, say, when it should be sent, nor do we get copies.

If retiring in 2019, how can I donate?

Payroll deductions can only be taken as of the date of your last paycheck. You can use the payroll deduction option by calculating how much you want to spend, totaling the weeks you will be paid and dividing the amount by the total number of pay dates you want to spend, as if it was the full 26 weeks. The total expected to be received will then be higher, but the amount given will equal your weeks paid. For example, I plan to retire mid-year, therefore I'll only work 13 pay periods. I'd like to donate $260 total. Your pledge should be $20 per week for an annual donation amount of $520 (26 pay periods x $20/pay period). Due to the fact that you'll only be working for 13 pay periods, you'll only actually donate $260 (13 pay periods x $20/pay period). An alternative would be to make a one-time donation to be taken out of your very first pay check in January 2019.

As a temporary employee, can I give to the VtSHARES Campaign?

Yes, A temporary employee may contribute with a one-time donation that is taken out of your first paycheck in January 2019.  A pledge card would need to be completed making sure the Payroll Government Unit Code, Employee address and Employee ID are written on it, as well as how to distribute to the applicable charity.  Extra blank cards can be requested on this website under “Information for Campaign Ambassadors”.

How do VtSHARES Campaign administration costs get allocated to the eligible charities?

Charities receive funds donated, net of admin costs, which are deducted as a percentage of their total donated dollars to total state dollars donated.

Is VtSHARES audited?

The Department of Finance and Management is responsible for verifying the database entries into which the coordinating agency/department enters the pledge card data and for reconciling the funds deposited by the coordinating agency and tracked in VISION with the account at TD Banknorth. The funds are distributed to the eligible charities quarterly, once the payroll deductions are received, and verified by the department against the monies owed. The last quarter of the calendar year’s payment to the charities is adjusted to reflect the actual cash received in the calendar year, as employees leave, retire, etc. Like other state funds these funds are susceptible to annual audit review. However, this program is not singled out for a separate audit annually but is treated the same as other state funds reported in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). VtSHARES administration costs in 2016 were 3.41% of the total dollars contributed, which is minimal. The eligible charities on your list are allowed to spend no more than 25% on administrative costs. No portion of the state’s coordinating committee’s time spent is charged to the program. The administration costs are reflective of printing, promotion, pins, the kick-off breakfast, and miscellaneous. Each United Way is audited annually and annual audits are a requirement for each charity applying. 

How do I get additional pins and extra blank pledge cards for employees?

Pledge cards and posters can be printed from the website under “Campaign Ambassadors”.   Pins will be mailed to the Campaign Ambassador at the end of the campaign once the amount is determined on the transmittal sheet and returned with the pledge cards.  The pins will be ordered once all cards are turned in and mailed to the Campaign Ambassador for distribution.  

How much of my gift is used towards administrative costs?

Through the outstanding oversight efforts of the VtSHARES Committee, less than 3% of the funds raised are used for fundraising and administrative costs. As this cost is so low compared with other fundraising campaigns, you can be assured that you will be using the most cost-effective method to support the organization(s) you choose to help. Every dollar you pledge goes a very long way towards helping others. 

What is a Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?

The Working Families Taxpayer Protection package was passed during the 2018 legislative session as part of Act 11 and went into effect on July 2, 2018. This act created a nonrefundable charitable contribution tax credit to be deducted from tax owed.

Vermont taxpayers who take advantage of the credit may deduct 5 percent of the first $20,000 in eligible charitable contributions made during the taxable year from that year’s taxes. This law is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

Do I qualify for the Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?

Vermont taxpayers who make eligible charitable contributions qualify to receive this tax credit, regardless of whether they itemize on their federal tax return.

The Department of Taxes encourages taxpayers making eligible charitable contributions in 2018 to save all related documentation as the Department may request it after filing. Vermont’s 2018 individual income tax forms will include easy-to-follow instructions to claim this tax credit.

How do I find out more about the Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?

For more information on this credit, visit one of these websites:

You also may call the Vermont Department of Taxes at (802) 828-2865. The Vermont Department of Taxes recommends that taxpayers consult a tax professional for more individual guidance.

How can I benefit from the Charitable Contribution Tax Credit?

Vermont taxpayers may now deduct 5 percent of the first $20,000 in eligible charitable contributions made during the taxable year from their tax liability for that year. Vermont’s 2018 tax forms will include easy to follow instructions regarding how Vermonters can claim this Tax Credit.

Will I receive a receipt for my donation through VtSHARES?

Yes, you will receive an email confirmation once you complete your online pledge that will serve as your receipt for tax purposes. Please be sure to keep that email for tax filing.

Contact Us

VtSHARES Committee

Email: vtshares@vermont.gov