FAQ CLICK ON ANY QUESTION BELOW.
Q. What is MaineShare?
MaineShare is a cooperative federation of over 40 statewide non profits that have joined together to raise funds and awareness about the work they do. Through payroll and direct giving, MaineShare provides an easy way to support organizations working every day for the people and environment of Maine. MaineShare was formed in 1989 to provide a means for statewide nonprofits to participate in easy and efficient workplace, payroll-giving campaigns.
Q. How do organizations qualify for funding?
MaineShare member groups must comply with a number of standards. They must be based in Maine, conduct programs and services on a statewide level, and show that they have a demonstrated base of constituency support and involvement. Member groups must be at least two years old; be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization; submit annual financial information, including the IRS 990 and, if applicable, audits and must be governed by a volunteer board of directors. MaineShare accepts applications for membership every other year. Contact the office for more information
Q. What is your administrative fee?
Fifteen percent of campaign contributions are used to cover administrative costs and the future development of MaineShare, the rest going directly to member groups. We aim to keep our overhead low. MaineShare maintains a small office in Augusta, has only two full time employees, and a part time bookkeeper. We recycle and reuse office paper internally, and keep to a tight operating budget.
Q. How is my donation distributed?
You decide how to distribute your gift. On your pledge form or direct giving form, you choose which groups to give to and how much you want to give to each. You may also choose to distribute your gift equally among all MaineShare members. The decision is all yours. Board and staff make no decisions about how campaign contributions are allocated.
Q. What if our employees don’t like some of your members?
MaineShare is a diverse community of organizations. Not everyone is going to personally support all the causes represented by any given umbrella organization. Our fund is structured so that you may contribute to all of the organizations or pick and choose specific agencies. No one has to give to a cause they do not support. We highly encourage donors to designate the member groups they would like to support.
Q. Why should I give to MaineShare instead of giving directly to the organization?
We do not want to discourage you from giving to your favorite groups directly. Payroll contribution is another way for you to support your community. You are encouraged to give to your favorite charities in whatever way works best for you. Payroll contributions are one way for you to support your community and may be the best choice for you if:
- You like the convenience of making your charitable decisions one time each year.
- Having donations deducted from your paycheck will allow you to give more than you normally could.
- You want to participate in a company-wide campaign to give back to the community.
Workplace giving campaigns are a low-cost way for our member groups to educate and inform the community about their important work and to recruit donors and volunteers. You support this concept by contributing through MaineShare.
Q. Are there a minimum number of employees required to conduct a campaign?
MaineShare values all workplaces, regardless of the number of employees. We have campaigns at workplaces with one employee and workplaces with thousands of employees.
Q. Won’t adding MaineShare take away funding from other federations?
Studies show that employers who offer choices in workplace giving see an increase in employee participation and an increase in total contributions raised. The more community awareness there is about workplace giving, the more people will give to all nonprofits, not just MaineShare member agencies.
Q. We currently have a campaign with another fundraising federation. Can we do both?
Absolutely. MaineShare works in association with other fundraising federations in most of our workplaces. Conducting a side-by-side campaign with MaineShare requires minimal additional work and is most efficient when offered at the same time as other fundraising federations.
Q. Are my donations tax deductible?
Yes. All donations through payroll deduction are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Designations are deducted after taxes are taken out of your paycheck. Payroll deduction allows you to track your annual donations on one form and provides a simple way to budget your charitable donations each year.
Q. How often are donations distributed to MaineShare member groups?
MaineShare distributes allocations twice per year to members based on the actual money that has been sent by workplaces. The amount given to each member group varies from year to year based on donor designations, and the rate (monthly, quarterly) workplaces send checks to MaineShare.