Nonprofit FAQs


Find the answer to all of your questions about being a certified nonprofit through Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work. 

How do I become a certified nonprofit under the Our Promise campaign?

Nonprofits apply on an annual basis in January for the Our Promise campaign held each Fall. They can find more information here on how to get started, or can sign up to receive notification on when the application process will become available.

All certified nonprofits must be valid 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and be in good standing with the Registry of Charitable Trusts to operate or to solicit for charitable purposes in California.

Do I have to apply for certification every year?

Yes, you do. Since every nonprofit needs to renew their registration with the Department of Justice every year, we also need to recertify every nonprofit annually to confirm they are still in Current status with the DOJ.

I see my nonprofit listed on your website. Does that mean I’m already approved for this year?

No. The list of nonprofits currently posted is from the participants in last year’s campaign. Every nonprofit still needs to apply to be certified for the 2019 campaign, and the list of approved nonprofits will be posted in mid-2019.

How often do nonprofits get paid out?

United Way makes payments to nonprofits donated to on a quarterly basis (January, April, July, October). We encourage all of our nonprofits to sign up with our accounting department via EFT in order to be paid out monthly. Nonprofits will not be paid out until collected funds reach $100 if being paid by check. Please note: the 14% administrative fee for all donations is taken out of the first nonprofit payout of the calendar year.

Are there any overhead fees?

The total combined administrative fees for the 2018 Our Promise initiative is 14% with an SCO processing fee of $.33 per transaction. Please note: the 14% administrative fee for all donations is taken out of the first nonprofit payout of the calendar year.

As a participating nonprofit, how can we retrieve payout information and donor detail?

Please use the nonprofit portal to track payout information and receive donor detail if your donors have elected to be acknowledged. If you have not signed up for the portal, please contact us.

What are the important dates that nonprofits should be aware of?

Our Promise runs each year from September 1 – October 31. However, nonprofits should be aware of things that happen all year. Here’s a look:

January - Payout to nonprofits for October – December deductions. Nonprofit certification opens for the following Fall campaign.

February – Certification for the Our Promise Campaign closes at the end of the month.

March - Campaign results are announced from previous Fall campaign.

April - Payouts to nonprofits for January – March deductions. Approved nonprofit partners are solidified for the Fall campaign.

June - Sign up to participate in the Our Promise Kick Off event held each August at the State Capitol.

July - Payout to nonprofits for April – June deductions. We’re also preparing for the upcoming campaign season and your nonprofit should now be updated on our website.

August - The annual kick off event is held at the State Capitol giving donors a chance to meet some of the certified nonprofits.

September - The campaign officially begins on September 1. Donors will be filling out their pledge forms – continue to promote your organization to state employees.

October - Payout to nonprofits for July – September deductions. The last day of the campaign is October 31.