Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Community Shares of Minnesota unique?

Community Shares of Minnesota is comprised of diverse groups dedicated to providing essential services and promoting long-term change in the community. We address critical needs by tackling community problems at their core. And because of Community Shares of Minnesota’s unique focus on long-term change, the dollars you invest today will pay community dividends for years to come.

How does Community Shares of Minnesota distribute contributions?

Undesignated contributions are distributed equally among member organizations. Designations are distributed as directed by donors, in addition to the undesignated allocation.

What is Community Shares of Minnesota’s administrative fee?

We generally charge a 15% administrative fee. This fee helps offset the cost of processing donor pledges and unfulfilled pledges, and is similar to the fees charged by other local workplace giving federations.

What happens when you cannot collect pledged money?

In general, a portion of our administrative fee of 15% is used to offset uncollected pledges. Pledges are often uncollected when the donor’s circumstances change and, for example, they no longer work for the company through which they pledged.

Does Community Shares of Minnesota monitor its member organizations?

Yes. Each year Community Shares of Minnesota reviews the finances, programs, management, governance, activities, and accomplishments of the previous year for each member organization. Organizations must meet strict criteria in order to maintain membership.

How can I designate my pledge to a specific organization?

A designated gift goes to a specific organization rather than being divided equally among our member organizations. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee how these funds will be used or ensure measurable results, but we process these gifts as a service to our donors. Designations can be made to legally recognized nonprofits in Minnesota:

• Find out if your organization is a 501(c)(3) organization at www.guidestar.org.
• Designations need to be specified and submitted at the time of the pledge.
• Complete information, including the organization’s name, street address, city and state, is required to ensure that a designated gift goes to the correct organization—many have similar names.
• Designations to our member groups are sent in addition to their share of undesignated funds.
• Donor names and gift details are forwarded to designated organizations. Names will not be forwarded upon request, or if an employer doesn’t provide detailed gift information.

Are contributions tax deductible?

Yes. Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Please note that in 2007 the IRS increased the amount of documentation that you need to retain in order to claim a tax deduction. For further information, please visit the IRS website or check with your tax accountant.