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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about the 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 not accepted. Online pledges are encouraged. For those needing paper pledge cards, please contact your agency or department's Campaign Ambassador.

Nonprofits interested in participating in VtSHARES.

Questions

    Pledging

    Nonprofits

    Charitable Contribution Tax Credit

    Answers

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

    If you choose to give via payroll deduction, the total amount you gave is on your yearend W-2 earnings statement. If you pledged to multiple nonprofit organizations, the breakout should be listed in the confirmation email you received upon making your online pledge. It is not logistically feasible to reopen the database from last year to look up the individual nonprofit recipient(s) of your contribution, however you can search your email for no-reply@egov.com to see what you contributed.

    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 or email vtshares@vermont.gov.

    When do payroll deductions start?

    The first full pay period of the calendar year. For years with 27 pay periods, the VtSHARES payroll deductions will be processed for 26 pay periods with either the first pay period in January or the last in December skipped. 

    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 nonprofit organization, who then passes the information along accordingly. Each nonprofit is then requested 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 during the year, how can I pledge?

    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 pledge $260 total. Your pledge should be $20 per week for an annual donation amount of $520 (26 pay periods x $20/pay period). Since you'll only be working for 13 pay periods, you'll only actually pledge $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 paycheck in January.

    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. A paper pledge card would need to be completed and sent via email to AOA.VtSHARES@vermont.gov.

    May I alter or terminate the amount I pledged? 

    Please note that by participating in VtSHARES you commit to fulfill the amount pledged to the nonprofit organization(s) of your choosing. VtSHARES works with Department of Human Resources Commissioner, the payroll division and the United Ways of Vermont to fulfill and process your pledged amount but a small fee may be deducted by the processing United Way to help cover those pledges that are not fulfilled by employees. Should you become unable to fulfill your pledge, please contact the VtSHARES Coordinating Committee at aoa.vtshares@vermont.gov. Thank you for your participation in the VtSHARES Campaign and know that your support goes a long way in helping those in our local communities.

    Will I receive a receipt for my donation through VtSHARES?

    Your W2 will show the total amount you donated to VtSHARES for the year. You will receive an email confirmation once you complete your online pledge that indicate the breakdown of your annual intended donations. For instance, if you donated $100 to the Vermont Food Bank and $100 to the Lund Family Center, your email confirmation will show them as such, however your W2 will show $200 donated. You'll need the email to list the separate donations on your tax return and the W2 as proof of the total donation. Therefore, please retain both for tax purposes.

    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 ordered at the end of the campaign once the total amount of employees who requested pins when pledging is determined. Pins will be mailed to Campaign Ambassadors for distribution sometime in late December/early January.

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

    Employees can use the Nonprofit Organizations link for a complete listing of eligible nonprofits and other useful information. You may use Ctrl F to search using keywords important to you. If you need assistance in navigating the site, you are welcome to contact your agency/department's Campaign Ambassador.  

    You may dial 211 to get information about organizations near you that help individuals and families with the particular needs you're interested in supporting. 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 pledge since you can deduct your giving automatically through payroll deductions.

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

    There is a formal application process each year for nonprofits to be included. To be considered, nonprofits should reach out to Green Mountain United Way at vtshares@gmunitedway.org or call them at 802-613-3989. They'll be happy to send instructions on how to apply for inclusion in VtSHARES. Applications are emailed early in the calendar year to nonprofit organizations. They are to be returned to the coordinating umbrella organization by the due date indicated (typically late winter/early spring) for that year's directory, assuming the nonprofit meets the appropriate criteria. The nonprofit will then begin receiving donations the following calendar year. Instructions for VT nonprofit organizations will be provided with the application for submission. The VtSHARES Coordinating Committee reviews all completed applications each spring. Please note that nonprofits must be 501c3 organizations and have been in existence for two years to be considered. If a nonprofit doesn’t apply or meet the criteria, they can’t be added. Green Mountain United Way follows up with all applications once applications have been reviewed. Those who qualify will be added to the directory for that year's fall Campaign. 

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

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

    How much of my gift is used towards administrative costs?

    Through the outstanding oversight efforts of the VtSHARES Committee, a very small percentage of the funds raised are used for fundraising and administrative costs (in 2021, it was less than 0.75%). 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. 

    Is VtSHARES audited?

    Funds are distributed to the eligible nonprofits 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 nonprofits are 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 2018 were 2.60% of the total dollars contributed, and has been less since, which are minimal. Eligible nonprofit organizations are allowed to spend no more than 25% on administrative costs. No portion of the VtSHARES committee’s time spent is charged to the program. The administration costs are reflective of promotion, pins and miscellaneous. Each United Way is audited annually and annual audits are a requirement for each nonprofit applying. 

    How do nonprofit organizations use funds donated?

    Please note that your pledge provides general funding to nonprofit organizations who use to best support their mission. County listings for nonprofits indicate that a nonprofit serves that county and includes organizations that serve statewide. 

    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 five 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 during the tax year to save all related documentation as the Department may request it after filing. Vermont’s 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:

    The Vermont Department of Taxes may be reached at (802) 828-2865 and 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 five percent of the first $20,000 in eligible charitable contributions made during the taxable year from their tax liability for that year. Vermont tax forms will include easy to follow instructions regarding how Vermonters can claim this Tax Credit.