Frequently Asked Questions
A: EarthShare Oregon is a federation of 70 local and national environmental groups that provides a convenient way for Oregonians to support conservation and healthy communities. Through workplace giving, supporters have the option to choose where they would like their money directed.
A: EarthShare Oregon is made up of 70 member conservation groups and 100 business partners. Business partners offer their employees the opportunity to donate a bit each paycheck to environmental groups, that actively work to sustain and improve our natural legacy.
A: Member groups are the carefully chosen non-profit conservation groups that receive the funds administered by EarthShare Oregon. Currently there are 70 dedicated and efficient member groups receiving much-needed funding through EarthShare Oregon. These groups work locally, throughout Oregon, around the nation and around the world.
A: EarthShare Oregon member groups are chosen carefully using a variety of criteria. Each member group must be a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt nonprofit, fiscally accountable and operating under ethical and professional standards. Each member group annually proves that they are wholly dedicated to conservation and a healthy environment. Member groups also annually provide audited financial statements and tax forms to prove fiscal accountability.
In addition, all member groups must meet criteria established by the Federal Government for participation in the Combined Federal Campaign, including a 25% ceiling on overhead expenses.
Every two to four years EarthShare Oregon welcomes applications from prospective members.
A: A business partner is any public or private organization that gives its employees the opportunity to donate to EarthShare Oregon through a workplace campaign and payroll deduction.
A: EarthShare Oregon builds relationship with business partners around the state. We then assist our partners in conducting workplace giving campaigns for their employees. During campaigns we present the vital work of our member conservation groups. When employees choose to give, we distribute those donations to our member groups.
A: EarthShare Oregon is a bridge between the business and environmental communities. We link employees with conservation issues they care about and provide a simple convenient way for them to support groups working to make a difference.
We direct donations to conservation groups working on nearly every environmental issue around the state, nation, and world. Major issues include safe drinking water, breathable air, preservation of ancient forests, protection of rivers and wildlife habitat, conservation of energy and resources, and toxin-free environments for children and families. EarthShare Oregon is dedicated to sharing with member groups who are actively working to improve the health, safety, and quality of life for Oregonians today and for generations to come.
A: EarthShare Oregon was founded in 1989 by 13 of Oregon’s leading non-profit environmental organizations who wanted to make it easy for conscientious Oregon businesses and employees to support the livability and health of our communities.
A: EarthShare Oregon is the only Oregon workplace giving organization dedicated to supporting only conservation and environmental groups.
A: There are several groups that also operate as umbrella organizations representing numerous charities in workplace giving campaigns. Each one has a different focus. In Oregon some of the groups are: United Way, Black United Fund, Community Health Charities, Equity Foundation, Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon, and Work for Art.
Q: Why should I want to be an EarthShare business partner?
A: As an EarthShare business partner, your organization allows employees to contribute to in the improvement of their community and their natural surroundings through the ease of payroll deduction. Adding EarthShare to your charitable giving portfolio shows that you and your organization care about the environment and about the health, well-being, and quality of life of your employees and their families.
If you'd like to start a campaign contact us.
Q: Do you have a newsletter so that I can track EarthShare Oregon successes?
A: EarthShare Oregon news can be viewed at any time on this website. You can also sign up to receive this newsletter, Your Share. Just enter your email in the "Join Our Email List" box on the right side of every page in this site.
A: EarthShare Oregon has four employees in Portland, who cover companies throughout the state. We also rely heavily on community volunteers and member group staff members.
A: EarthShare Oregon’s successes have gotten the word about our member groups out to more than 150,000 employees in Oregon. We rank 4th in the nation in workplace fundraising for environmental groups, just under large population states like California and Texas. In almost every year since inception we’ve raised more money for our groups reaching a total of more than $10 million since 1989. The organization was started by 13 groups -- we now represent 70 local and national groups.
The funds raised allow each member group to carry out their vital work and to achieve their own great success stories.
Q: How do I know my money is making a difference?
A: EarthShare Oregon is proud of our success! You can track our accomplishments by visiting this website and reading the many success stories, or by visiting the websites of our member conservation groups.
A: Any way you like! If your employer has set up a payroll deduction plan, you may pledge to have a donation deducted from your regular paycheck, which will then go to EarthShare for distribution. Or, you may write a check to EarthShare Oregon, or you can give online using our secure donation server. Donate now!
Q: Why is workplace giving a good idea?
A: Workplace giving is easy, efficient, and effective. By allowing employees to automatically deduct a predetermined amount from their paycheck each month, employees can be assured that they are making a difference without concerns about membership renewals, appeals, and paperwork. Also, workplace giving is one of the least costly forms of fundraising. It allows member groups to be collectively represented through EarthShare Oregon and have more time and funds for their important work. Everybody wins with workplace giving.
Q: What percentage of my donation goes to the member groups?
A: A full 89% of donations goes to the member groups, ensuring that your donation is received by a worthy and worth-while organization that is spending your money wisely to improve the quality of life for Oregonians. See our Annual Report for more information.
A: An organization chooses to become a business partner and offers employees the option of payroll deduction to EarthShare Oregon through a workplace campaign. Employees who choose to give to the environmental choice offered by EarthShare Oregon may either give a general gift for EarthShare to distribute to all of our groups or the employee may designate one or more specific conservation group from our list of 70.
Q: Does my EarthShare Oregon contribution affect my United Way contribution?
A: No. EarthShare Oregon is a separate organization. However, employees are free to donate to more than one organization.
Q: Can I designate my gift to a member group of my choice?
A: Yes. Look at the conservation group profiles on this web site to help you decide.
Q: What happens if I don’t designate my gift?
A: EarthShare Oregon divides your gift evenly among all member groups with more staying in Oregon. Seventy percent of your donation is distributed to groups based in Oregon and 30% to national groups.
Q: When does EarthShare Oregon have its annual workplace campaign?
A: Annual workplace campaign usually occurs each fall, but the decision about when to have a campaign is left to individual companies (our business partners) to decide.
Q: What is a campaign?
A: A workplace giving campaign is a roll-out of information to employees about EarthShare Oregon so that employees can become supporters through payroll deductions. Campaign coordinators at each workplace educate and motivate employees to consider choosing EarthShare Oregon as an integral part of their charitable giving.
Q: What makes a successful campaign?
A: Leadership, involvement, and education. A successful campaign is not just measured by the amount of money raised, but also by the number of people who choose to give and the quality of their experience when learning about their charitable choices.
Q: What campaign materials does EarthShare provide?
Q: How are donors acknowledged?
A: Donors who provide their name and contact information receive an acknowledgment from EarthShare. If the donor designates their gift to one or more members groups, we forward their name to the member group which then acknowledges the donor as a member of their organization. Donors can make anonymous gifts also.
Donors who give $500 or more per year are Leadership Donors. These special people are invited to EarthShare events and their names are included in our Annual Report.
Q: How can I volunteer and be more involved?
A: EarthShare Oregon conservation groups make it easy for you to make a difference with a wide range of volunteer activities. Whether you'd like to plant a garden at a community center, research statewide land use policy on the Internet, or take inner-city kids on outings in natural areas, member groups have opportunities to do almost any kind of conservation activity you can think of.