Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about the 2017 VtSHARES Campaign, please ask your solicitor, your department or agency key person, 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 Key Person.

Questions

How much did I give last year and to which charities?
Where can I get charity information?
I would like to contribute to a program(s) that helps with food, fuel, weatherization, and/or transportation for those in need. Are there organizations that focus on these particular needs?
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 pledge cards?
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 pens, pins and extra blank pledge cards for employees?

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 www.VtSHARES.vermont.gov website for a complete listing of eligible charities and other useful information. There were a limited number of paper listings distributed to agencies/departments to help keep Vermont green and costs down.

I would like to contribute to a program(s) that helps with food, fuel, weatherization, and/or transportation for those in need. Are there organizations that focus on these particular needs?

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?

No, however you may have your contact person at the charity call Laurie Kelty at Green Mountain United Way, 802-613-3989 for instructions on how to apply for inclusion in the next year’s VtSHARES Campaign or refer to “Information for Charities”. Applications must be received by March 31st to make it into that year's directory, assuming the charity meets the appropriate criteria. The charity will begin receiving donations the following calendar year.

If a charity doesn’t apply and meet the criteria, they can’t be added. There is a formal application process. Applications are emailed in January to the charities and are due back to the coordinating umbrella organization by the end of March.  VT Charities should email their applications in PDF form to their Umbrella and the Umbrella should email them to Laurie Kelty at lkelty@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.

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

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

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 pledge cards?

Send completed cards to your agency/department key person or business manager, not directly to the Agency of Human Services. NOTE: Key persons need to make employees aware of where to send their card and should share packet information (folder of materials) with their solicitors in the field.

When do payroll deductions start?

The first full pay period in 2018.

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 2018, 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 will be paid 13 times in that year and I want to donate $260 (26 weeks x $10); the card would read, $20 per week for a total of $520, knowing that it will only be $20 X 13 or $260.  A one-time donation can also be made which is taken out of your very first pay check in January 2018.

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 2018.  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 by contacting Hope Clark via email hope.clark@vermont.gov or on this website under “Information for Key People”.

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, pens, pins, the kick-off breakfast, and miscellaneous.

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

Pledge cards and posters can be printed from the website under “Information For Key Persons”.   You can request more as needed from Hope Clark by e-mailing her at hope.clark@vermont.gov or by telephone 241-0430 and she’ll mail them to you.