Frequently Asked Questions
Eligibility and Participation
Q. Who may participate in the Our Promise?
To be admitted as a participant of Our Promise, an organization must meet the following criteria:
- Registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and
- Exempt under section 23701(d) of the California Revenue and Taxation Code,
- Must certify under penalty of perjury that they comply with California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Part 2.8, commencing with section 12900. (For more information about the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, visit the Department of Fair Employment and Housing's Fair Employment and Housing Act page.)
Once approved for participation, any organization may be disqualified from Our Promise by the VCGCB for failure to comply with the criteria and procedures outlined in the above or for filing an application which contains false or intentionally misleading information.
Q. When does the Our Promise eligibility process begin?
The process begins in early January of the solicitation year.
Q. What is the general outline of events for Our Promise?
The following is a tentative schedule of events:
- The Our Promise online application periods typical opens in January and end in late February.
- All applications for PCFDs, Affiliate or Non-Affiliates must be submitted on-line by the scheduled deadline.
- All PCFD and Non-Affiliate applications are considered for approval at a VCGCB meeting in late spring of each year.
- A VCGCB designee sends confirming letters to all approved candidates.
- Typically, State employees receive pledge forms and Our Promise brochures September and October.
Q. How can my organization participate in Our Promise?
Your organization may be considered for participation once you have completed an on-line application.
Q. We missed the application deadline. How can we participate in next year's Our Promise?
If your organization wishes to participate, and you have not participated in the previous year's Our Promise, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must include your organization's information, including:
- Name of organization
- Mailing address
- Telephone number
- Primary Contact person and title
- If you desire to submit an application and it is after January, please see above application information for more details
Q. My organization is represented by more than one Federation. May we list both on the application?
No. The VCGCB will only accept one Federation per non-affiliate organization.
Q. May we fax our application to the VCGCB?
No. You must file complete and submit an online application.
Q. Is it necessary for an organization to submit an application annually?
IRS 501(c)(3) Documentation Questions
Q. Do I need to send 501(C)(3) documentation?
While organizations are required to be registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization as of year 2014, organizations no longer have to submit 501(C)(3) documentation. This information will be verified through a third party.
California Revenue and Taxation Code 23701(d) Questions
Q. How can I verify my organization is in compliance with California Revenue and Taxation Code 23701(d)?
Please call or write to the California Franchise Tax Board's Exempt Organizations Unit and request an "Entity Status" form to verify your organization is in good standing. The Franchise Tax Board may charge a fee to obtain this form.
FTB Exempt Organizations Unit: (916) 845-4171
Exempt Organizations Unit MS F120
Franchise Tax Board
PO Box 1286
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-1286
Q. Must an employee designate a specific organization to which his/her funds may be donated?
No. An employee may leave the recipient organization open. His or her funds will then be designated to the organization(s) the Principal Combined Fund Drive chooses.
Q. I have questions about my payroll deductions. Who may I speak to about this?
Please contact your local Principal Combined Fund Drive (PCFD) agency for any employee related questions. If you do not know which local PCFD agency is yours, please see the listing of approved PCFDs.
Q. How do I find the "Organization Code Number" that is requested on my Our Promise Pledge Form?
The "Organization Code Number" requested on the Our Promse Pledge Form can be found in the Our Promise Donor Resource Guide, published annually by the United Way.
Q. Are donor contributions received throughout the year?
Contributions are administered by the local Principal Combined Fund Drive agency (PCFD). Disbursement may be monthly or quarterly. For specific questions, please contact your local PCFD (see listing of approved PCFDs).
Q. Will we receive the names of donors who have contributed to our organization?
It is the responsibility of the local PCFD to forward the names and addresses of donors who wish to have their names released to the recipient organization directly.
Q. What is our "Organization Code Number" that state employees should use on their Our Promise Pledge Form?
The "Organization Code Number" requested on the employee Our Promise Pledge Form can be found in the Our Promise Donor Resource Guide, which is published annually by the United Way.
The Our Promise Donor Resource Guide is traditionally published by the United Way each year and contains organizations that have been approved for participation by the VCGCB. The Our Promise Pledge Form is also traditionally published by the United Way.
Principal Combined Fund Drive Questions
Q. How do we contact State employees in our county/region?
It is the responsibility of the PCFD to determine the state agencies and employees located in their approved region. The VCGCB does not have a roster or directory of all State agencies or employees. Some possible resources:
- Your local telephone book's government listings
- Contact large departments for a roster of office locations within the State through a department's website or Public Information Officer.