Workplace Giving Alive and Well in NCW


Denise Sorom

On a Thursday morning last winter, we opened our database system here at the Community Foundation of North Central Washington to discover that one generous soul had made gifts to no less than 26 different funds over our online system. The donor supported 12 local non-profits, 10 scholarships, three of our competitive grant programs as well as our Partners in Giving program.
That donor, Sarah, is an employee with Confluence Health who had used her Workplace Giving Card to make her donations.  All year Sarah had been deducting a modest amount from her paycheck to load onto her charitable giving card and Confluence had matched those deductions dollar for dollar. When it came time to spend her giving card, she used our system to find a variety of causes that were important to her. She told us: “I try to give to programs that provide opportunities for people that may not be able to afford them otherwise. I look at programs that are helping to elevate and support our youth – CASA, Alatheia, YMCA, etc.  I feel strongly that when kids get to experience teams and connection, they grow up to be better people.”  
Sarah’s generosity of spirit was exactly what we were hoping to preserve when we took on Workplace Giving as a service offering a few years ago. At the time, the closure of the United Way of Chelan and Douglas County meant their Workplace Giving program was no longer available to scores of employees who were supporting local charities.
The deductions that local employees made from their paychecks every month amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars of charitable giving to good causes throughout our region.  Here at CFNCW, we did not want to see that loss of the charitable goodwill that those dollars represented. 
When leaders of both Confluence Health and the Chelan County PUD asked if there was any way that we could step up and take over this program for their employees, we didn’t hesitate to say yes.  Thanks to the trust of the community and relationships with the dozens of nonprofits that make up our charitable landscape in North Central Washington, we created the program to make it happen. 
Workplace Giving – as an option for supporting these nonprofits – continues to be a charitable giving option for donors in our community. As of today, the numbers are inspiring:
    Over 200 employees from Confluence Heath and the Chelan County PUD participate in Workplace Giving.
    Since 2017, they have donated $423,676, every penny of which has gone out to charitable causes throughout our region. This is a remarkable difference from most Workplace Giving programs, where the intermediary organization takes a percentage to cover their costs.
    The Workplace Giving Card that we developed gives the donors great flexibility. Donors can choose from more than 70 local nonprofits, over 100 scholarships, and several grant programs.  Donors can also use their cards on Give NCW and Give Methow.  
As Sarah told us: “Thanks for the cool process with our Giving Cards. It was fun!”  Making philanthropy fun and accessible is what gets us up every morning.  Thank you to Sarah and thank you to all our Workplace Giving donors for caring for this place we call home.
For more information about Workplace Giving, visit cfncw.org/workplacegiving or give us a call at 509-663-7716.
 

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