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Q:  What is Community Health Charities of Connecticut?

A:  Established in 1965 by Greater Hartford business leaders, Community Health Charities is a nonprofit partnership of 34 of Connecticut’s leading health charities.  Our mission is to enhance the health and wellness of people throughout Connecticut by promoting member health charity programs and services and providing financial support through workplace giving.  Community Health Charities of Connecticut raises $5 million each year for member health charities.

Community Health Charities of Connecticut has a total of 12 staff members in offices in Hartford,  East Norwalk, and North Haven.

Community Health Charities’ national office is located in Arlington, VA.  It is a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, including representatives from the member charities and the community at-large.

Q:  How does Community Health Charities raise funds?

A:  Community Health Charities conducts cost efficient workplace giving campaigns in over 700 companies throughout Connecticut.  Employees are encouraged to direct their donation to the specific health charity or charities of their choice or to distribute their gift amongst all 34 member charities.  Designations to specific full member charities are honored 100%. Of the undesignated gifts, approximately 10% is deducted for administrative costs.

Connecticut state employees can contribute to Community Health Charities or any of its member charities through the Connecticut State Employees’ Campaign for Charitable Giving.

Q:  How does Community Health Charities distribute funds?

A:  All designations to specific full member charities are honored 100%.  Remaining undesignated contributions are then distributed among full member agencies according to a predetermined formula, designed and reviewed regularly by volunteers from the community.  The formula ensures that each full member charity receives a basic level of support and recognizes delivery of programs and services to the community.  Associate agencies (there are three) receive designations only.

Q:  How can I be sure my gift is being used to help people in need?

A:  On an annual basis, Community Health Charities carefully reviews and monitors the work and finances of its member and associate charities to ensure your gift is being used effectively and efficiently.  Charities must apply each year to participate in the fundraising campaign and meet stringent eligibility standards.  

Q:  What does Community Health Charities do besides fundraising?

A:  Community Health Charities promotes public health awareness and helps companies design workplace wellness activities, such as Lunch & Learn.  These provide employees with valuable information on numerous health and wellness topics. 

Q:  How is Community Health Charities governed?

A:  Community Health Charities is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Directors either represent a member agency or serve at-large, representing all segments of the community. 

Q:  Is Community Health Charities part of United Way?

A:  No.  Community Health Charities is an independent organization.  Where possible, Community Health Charities does pursue partnerships with the more than 20 United Ways in Connecticut and other charitable federations. These partnerships have been proven to increase overall giving, as they provide donors with choices for their charitable giving.  Partnerships with United Ways currently exist in the Capital Area, Southington, New Haven and Milford.  Where partnerships do not exist, Community Health Charities makes every effort to provide companies with simple “side-by-side” campaigns, providing employees with the choices that they value.

Q: If I already support a health charity, why should I consider giving through a workplace campaign?

A:  There are several advantages to workplace giving:

  1. You can still designate that 100% of your gift go to the charity of your choice
  2. It enables you to spread your gift out over time through payroll deduction, so giving is easy and painless
  3. You can be assured that your gift will help people in need right in your community and that each agency’s programs and expenses are carefully monitored by Community Health Charities

Q: What if my company does not include Community Health Charities in its charitable giving campaign?

A:  Our staff and volunteers are willing to help start a simple workplace giving campaign at your company.  Click here for more information about workplace giving at your company.

Q:  Why should we add Community Health Charities of Connecticut to our fundraising campaign?

A:  An employee campaign is one of the most efficient ways to raise money to help your community.  By including Community Health Charities in your employee workplace giving campaign, you are giving your employees the opportunity to support health charities that they care about – charities that give assistance and hope to family members, co-workers and friends.

Adding Community Health Charities to your workplace giving campaign gives your employees a way to support health charities that are not included in local United Way fund drives.  We represent 34 respected health care groups -- including the Connecticut local chapters of the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Diabetes Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Alzheimer’s Association and United Cerebral Palsy.

Q:  Is Community Health Charities really needed if the United Way offers their “Donor Choice” program to employees?

A:  Some United Way organizations maintain that donors are welcome to “write in” an agency of their choice and that those pledges will be honored.  This option, often known as “Donor Choice” or “Specific Care” can be both difficult and confusing for a donor, rather like expecting people to order apart from the menu at a restaurant.  Frequently, information about other charities is not available.  Therefore, employees are not fully informed about the charities available to them. 

Twenty-six local health charities in Connecticut rely on Community Health Charities to represent them in workplace campaigns. These health charities are not funded by the United Way allocations process.

It is difficult to designate to a charity that is not listed in a brochure and is omitted from the pledge form.  Also it is important for a donor to know whether a specific health charity meets required high standards.  Community Health Charities gives this guarantee.

Q:  What is the difference between Community Health Charities and the United Way?

A:  Actually, the two are very similar.  Both are fundraising organizations representing nonprofit groups in the workplace.  Both raise funds primarily through payroll deduction campaigns.  In fact, here in Connecticut, Community Health Charities maintains four successful partnerships with United Ways: the Capital Area, New Haven, Milford and Southington.

There are differences, however.  United Way’s focus is primarily on social service needs.  Community Health Charities focuses specifically on health issues and represents only nonprofit health agencies that provide local services, research and patient support programs.  In addition, we recognize that employees today welcome and value choice (per numerous workplace surveys).  We encourage donors to choose the charity of their choice and urge them to designate their gift to that charity.  If a donor designates one of our full-member charities, we guarantee that 100% of that gift goes directly to that charity.

Q:  If we add Community Health Charities, will it hurt our existing employee giving campaign?

A:  It will help.  By adding Community Health Charities, a campaign raises more dollars and more people are helped. Surveys continue to show that employee giving rises dramatically when wider choices are presented.

Businesses today offer their employees more choice in their health insurance and retirement benefits; it makes sense to offer employees choice in their giving programs as well.

Q: If we add Community Health Charities, will it increase paperwork, time and cost for my business?

A: We are experts at working with companies in minimizing costs and customizing the workplace campaign to suit both the company’s needs and the employees’ needs.  We have been administering campaigns in Connecticut since 1965. More than 700 Connecticut companies now include Community Health Charities in their campaigns.

Companies continue to have complete control over the workplace campaign – you can decide the campaign schedule and whether it should be side-by-side with your current campaign that supports the United Way. We recognize that it is YOUR workplace campaign and it should reflect YOUR company culture and the causes that are important to YOUR company and employees.

Q:  What other advantages does Community Health Charities offer?

A:  Year-round benefits:

  • Corporate philanthropic recognition in the community
  • Complimentary “Lunch & Learn” wellness seminars for your employees on current health care matters, treatments, and vital resource information
  • Often, employees will embrace a Community Health Charities campaign as a way to show their support to a co-worker, family member or friend who may have been recently diagnosed with a disease or whose family is struggling with a disability
  • Our team of volunteers and staff is available for presentations, to provide posters and campaign videos, and to offer new and exciting ideas designed to energize your campaigns

If you have any other questions, please call us at 1-800-344-6071.
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