Frequently Asked Questions

Where is my favorite charity?

Perhaps you have a favorite charity that is not listed in the Combined Campaign brochure. Here are a few things you should know:

  • In order to participate in the combined campaign, each charity is responsible for maintaining its affiliation with an umbrella organization. Charities occasionally leave or switch umbrellas. Check the index in the back of your brochure; maybe your charity has moved to another umbrella.
  • Each charity is also responsible for meeting the eligibility requirements set forth by the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration and an eligibility Committee composed of state and university employees. This helps assure the participating charities meet the highest standards in program services and administration.
  • When all else fails, contact the charity directly. Tell them that, as a donor, it is important to you that they be part of the Combined Campaign.

Remember, you cannot contribute through the Combined Campaign to any charity that is not listed in this years brochure.


What if I want to give to more charities than the spaces on the pledge form allow?

You may designate to as many charities as you would like. Please ask your coordinator for additional blank pledge forms. Attach all forms together and mark them 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.


What about the cost of the campaign?

Combined Campaigns are one of the most efficient methods of raising money to support nonprofit charities. A planning committee made up of City of Madison and Dane County employees works to keep the costs of the campaign as low as possible. Bids are obtained for purchases, and many services and items are donated or purchased at a reduced price. Volunteers who serve on the planning committee or coordinate the campaign for each department also help make the campaign very efficient.


Where does my money go?

When you designate a contribution to one or more of the participating charities, your contribution is forwarded to the umbrella organization that represents that charity and then passed on to the charity itself. No other charities benefit from your designated gift.

A general contribution to the Combined Campaign is divided among all the participating umbrella groups based on the percentage of their designations. For example, if Access to Community Services receives 10% of the total designated contributions, they will also receive 10% of the general contributions.

Umbrella organizations distribute the contributions directed to them based on their individual policies (listed below). If you have questions about how an umbrella distributes its funds, please contact them directly.


How does each umbrella group distribute the contributions it receives?

Designations to specific charities go to those charities. The umbrellas distribute their designations and their share of general contributions as follows:

  • Access to Community Services - Fifty percent of undesignated monies are distributed to member charities based on a percentage equal to each charity’s direct designations; remaining monies are distributed equally among the charities.
  • America's Charities - distributed proportionately to member charities that participate in this campaign.
  • Community Health Charities - distributed to member charities based on a percentage equal to each charity’s designations
  • Community Shares of Wisconsin - provides financial support to all of the member organizations that participate in this campaign and supports the services we offer to all our members, including training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities.
  • EarthShare Wisconsin - distributed to the member charities that participate in this campaign based on each member’s participation level in EarthShare and its percentage of designations.
  • Global Impact - distributed proportionally based on each member charity’s designations in the campaign.
  • United Way of Dane County - creates long-lasting solutions to the issues that matter most, identified by our community in the Agenda for Change. With your support and the partnership of our member organizations, we’re helping children succeed in school, reducing homelessness, increasing access to heath care and more.

Combined Campaigns are a very efficient way of fundraising. Working with many volunteers to plan and implement the campaign helps keep the campaign costs very low.

Agencies that receive money from the campaign use those funds to meet their mission. Some funds may be used for administration but the majority is used for programs and services. To find out more about what an agency has accomplished with its donations, please refer to the website for the umbrella group representing that agency. You can locate their web addresses on the back of the campaign brochure.

“You never know whose life you’re touching.”