Q: Why should I give to Penn's Way?
A: Now more than ever your community needs you to turn your passion into action. It could be a passion for strengthening the stability of families, building a brighter future for children, alleviating hunger for struggling seniors or a host of other worthy causes. No matter what it is, your donation to Penn's Way has a profound impact on the life of someone in need.
Q: When does this year's campaign start and how long does it run?
A: Penn’s Way 2016 launches on Monday October 5, 2015, and runs through to Friday, November 20, 2015, inclusive.
Q: Who can participate in Penn's Way?
A: All University and Health System employees are eligible and encouraged to participate in Penn's Way! Even student workers and contracted employees can use the online pledge system if they have a PennKey and password. Alternatively, they can complete a paper pledge form with their Penn ID. Student workers and contracted employees can only donate via cash, check, or credit card – not payroll deduction.
Q: Who are the charitable partners in the Penn's Way 2016 workplace charitable giving campaign and what role does the Center for Responsible Funding, Penn Medicine, and United Way play?
A: The Penn's Way 2016 campaign enjoys the support of three campaign management organizations: the Center for Responsible Funding (CRF), Penn Medicine, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ). You may donate broadly to any of these organizations or target your contribution to any of the thousands of funds and agencies they represent. The choice is yours. The Center for Responsible Funding (CRF) was the first nonprofit in the Philadelphia area devoted to promoting equity in philanthropic giving in workplace campaigns. CRF's mission is to expand the fundraising capacity of grassroots nonprofit organizations working for social and economic change by opening workplace campaigns to fund federations that represent progressive organizations. Penn Medicine, our very own world-renowned healthcare enterprise, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to three equally valued and interrelated missions: patient care, health education, and medical research. Penn Medicine integrates the School of Medicine with the Health System and shares a common focus with the University of Pennsylvania. Gifts to Penn Medicine organizations support a diverse range of urgent patient care needs. United Way is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. These are the building blocks for a good life — a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family, and the support seniors need for healthy and safe aging at home. Their goal is to create lasting changes and invest in prevention and interventions that break the cycle for generations to come.
Their vision for Greater Philadelphia is bold:
- Preparing Children and Youth to Succeed in School and in Life
- Building Financial Stability and Independence for Families
- Keeping Seniors Healthy and Safe at Home
They invite you to be part of the change. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. That's what it means to LIVE UNITED. Click here for more information on our CRF, Penn Medicine, and United Way charitable partners.
Q: How were the Penn Medicine organizations chosen?
A: Prior to 2006, many of these organizations — such as the Abramson Cancer Center, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Wissahickon Hospice — were agencies available to both Health System and University donors under the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania umbrella. When the University and Health System campaigns combined in 2006, these and other options were reclassified under the Penn Medicine umbrella, although all donations to these organizations are still administered by the United Way.
Q: I don't see my favorite charity listed on the Penn's Way 2016 web site or anywhere on the printed material. How can I donate to them through Penn's Way 2016?
A: On both the website and printed agency list, you will notice thousands of funds and agencies to which you can give. If you do not see a charity of your choice listed, please contact the United Way Donor Choice Hotline at (215) 665-2598. If they are unable to assist you, please contact one of the following organizations to determine if your favorite charity is eligible:
- Penn Medicine at (215) 573-4040
- CRF at (215) 925-6140
- UWGPSNJ at (215) 665-2598
Q: How much should I give?
A: As much as you can afford to give. If you have contributed through Penn's Way in years past, please consider matching your previous gift or increasing it by 2-3% to keep pace with inflation. If this will be your first time contributing through Penn's Way, please consider donating as little as $1 per biweekly pay or $2 per monthly pay. We welcome donations of all sizes.
Q: Can I participate in Penn's Way 2016 without donating money?
A: Yes, we encourage all employees to participate regardless of their planned gift amount. Employees who contribute elsewhere and/or those wishing to participate without giving may do so by checking the appropriate box on the online pledge form or by indicating a $0 gift amount on the paper pledge form. All employees who participate will be eligible for the weekly employee prize raffle as well as the midway prize and grand prize.
Q: How do I contribute and/or participate in Penn's Way 2016?
A: University and Health System employees may contribute and/or participate in Penn's Way 2016 online or by completing a paper pledge form. Online participants may contribute via payroll deduction, cash, check, or credit card. Paper pledge participants may contribute via payroll deduction, cash, or check. Please note that credit cards may only be processed for online participants and that all major credit cards are accepted. See below for details.
Q: Will my contribution via payroll deduction occur pre- or post-tax?
A: All contributions made via payroll deduction will be deducted after taxes.
Q: How do I appropriately deduct my Penn's Way 2016 contribution from my taxes?
A: Penn's Way 2016 contributions made via payroll deduction will occur in 2016 and should, therefore, be considered deductions for your 2016 taxes. Please consult your accountant or tax advisor regarding contributions made via cash, check, or credit card.
Q: How much of my donation actually benefits the work of the organization(s) to which I give?
A: This question addresses the issue of overhead, known in fundraising as the "administrative rate." All charitable organizations are faced with the challenge of having to spend money to raise money. Development and fundraising are critical components of any non-profit's operating budget, and workplace giving (like our Penn's Way 2016 workplace charitable giving campaign) is considered to be the most inexpensive method of raising money because it allows charities to reach large groups of people at the same time. Options such as payroll deduction allow donors to stretch their charitable dollar further than if they made a one-time gift. Nonetheless, there are fees associated with your gift:
- The Center for Responsible Funding (CRF) administers an 8% flat fee to each of the eight funds/federations that receive donations through the Penn’s Way campaign. Four of CRF’s funds/federations (AIDS Fund, Bread & Roses Community Fund, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, and WOMEN’S WAY) do not charge additional fundraising fees. The remaining CRF funds/federations (America’s Charities, Community Health Charities of PA, Environmental Fund for PA, and Global Impact) charge additional membership and/or fundraising fees. These fees are assessed in a variety of ways and their amounts can vary depending on membership status, volume of donations, and additional services provided to individual member agencies. Historically, these four funds/federations have received fees ranging from 4-17%. Each year fees are reviewed and calculated. For more information, or to inquire about a particular fund/federation or member agency, please contact CRF at (215) 925-6140.
- The United Way administrative fee is 12.5% (4.1% administration and 8.4% fundraising). In other words, organizations that receive money through the United Way receive 87.5 cents of every $1.00 donated. United Way does not use any further intermediaries in the fund distribution process (funds go directly to direct service agencies unless the donor designates their funds to an intermediary), so there are no additional administrative fees charged.
- Gifts made to Penn Medicine organizations are administered by the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania (UWSEPA) and, as such, are charged the UWSEPA 12.5% administrative rate. Prior to 2008, Penn Medicine funds were disbursed by the University of Pennsylvania.
Q: What is the United Way Minimum Designation Policy?
A: Gifts of $24 or more can be designated to 501 (c) (3) organizations that are in compliance with the USA Patriot Act. The minimum gift per agency is $24. If the agency you choose is ineligible, United Way will notify you, so that you may redirect your investment. If we do not hear from you, or if your designation is less that $24, or if you have not provided sufficient information for your agency designation, your designation will be directed to United Way’s Impact Fund. If an agency you choose is eligible but becomes ineligible at any point in the distribution schedule – such as when an agency’s nonprofit status is revoked or an agency goes out of business – United Way will direct the remaining portion of your gift amounts to United Way’s Impact Fund. Lastly, no Special Event Dollars may be designated to any agency. They will be automatically directed to United Way’s Impact Fund.
Q: What contribution methods are available using the online pledge form?
A: Employees may contribute via payroll deduction, cash, check, or credit card using the online pledge form. Please follow the instructions on the online confirmation page to ensure all contributions are properly processed.
Q: What credit cards are accepted using the online pledge form and what are the associated processing fees?
A: We accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover using the online pledge form. Unfortunately, due to high processing fees and poor reporting capabilities, we do accept American Express. Penn covers all processing fees associated with credit card contributions to maximize your contribution.
Q: What do I need to contribute and/or participate online?
A: You will need your PennKey and password to login to our online system. Once logged in, you will be prompted for the organization code(s) to direct your gift, or asked to provide a keyword to search for relevant organizations.
Q: What is my PennKey and how do I reset it?
A: Your PennKey is a unique username assigned to you as an employee. You use it to login to various University and Health System information systems (e.g. KnowledgeLink). University employees needing assistance with their PennKey should visit www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey. Health System employees needing assistance with their PennKey should visit www.uphs.upenn.edu/pennkey.
Q: How do I know what organization code(s) to enter?
A: You can find your organization's five-digit code in our printed materials or in our online searchable database. Simply enter the five-digit code in the appropriate field or select it from the online search results and it will automatically populate in the appropriate field.
Please note: If you enter duplicate organization codes with different (or the same) contribution amounts, the online form will combine the amounts into a single contribution for that organization and display the results accordingly on both the contribution and confirmation pages. If you fail to enter a contribution amount for an organization, you will receive an error message.
Q: Why isn't the keyword search working on the online pledge form?
A: You must enter only a single keyword to search our online database. Entering multiple words as search criteria will not return any results.
Q: I have already completed the online pledge form but now wish to change my pledge amount and/or payment method. Can I do that?
A: If you initially elected to give via payroll deduction, you may change the amount or frequency of that deduction at any time prior to November 14, 2015. You may also change your contribution method from payroll deduction to cash, check, or credit card during the same time period. If you initially elected to give via cash or check, please followup with your Coordinator or Captain to inquire about changing your gift amount or payment method. Unfortunately, we are unable to change credit card payments once they are entered and confirmed by the donor.
Q: I contributed online via payroll deduction or credit card. Now what?
A: Please print a copy of the confirmation page and retain it for your records. If you have already closed the online form, simply login again and print the confirmation page.
Q: I contributed online via cash or check. Now what?
A: Please print the confirmation page, attach your cash or check payment, and turn your paperwork into your Penn's Way 2016 Captain or Coordinator. (Please make all checks payable to Penn's Way Campaign.) You will receive a photocopy of your online confirmation page and payment for your records.
Q: Why does my Penn's Way 2016 Captain or Coordinator keep asking me to participate? I am certain that I already filled out the Penn's Way online pledge form.
A: You must click the ACCEPT button on the summary page to record your participation. Failure to select the ACCEPT button, regardless of the payment method chosen, will result in your participation not being recorded.
Q: Why is my phone number wrong on the online pledge form?
A: For University employees, the phone number listed in the Penn's Way online pledge form is the phone number on file with the Payroll Department. If this number is incorrect, please alert your Business Administrator immediately and change it in the appropriate field on the online pledge form. The format to change your telephone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you enter your five-digit campus phone extension (starting with 3, 6, 7 or 8), the application will transform the number into a valid University telephone number. For Health System employees, your phone number is not record by the Payroll Department and, therefore, we not be populated in the online pledge form.
Q: What contribution methods are available using the paper pledge form?
A: Employees may contribute via payroll deduction, cash, or check. Employees may not contribute via credit card using the paper pledge form.
Employees electing for payroll deduction may choose to take an equal deduction from each pay, an equal deduction from a specific number of pays, or a one-time deduction from a single pay. Payroll deductions will begin in January 2016.
Payment by Cash
- University employees contributing cash should return their completed paper pledge form and cash contribution to the Payroll Department (310 Franklin Building).
- Health System employees contributing cash should return their completed paper pledge form and cash contribution to their Coordinator or Captain.
Payment by Check
All checks should be made payable to Penn's Way Campaign.
- University employees contributing by check should return their completed paper pledge form and check to the Payroll Department (310 Franklin Building).
- Health System employees contributing by check should return their completed paper pledge form and check to their Coordinator or Captain.
Q: I am filling out the paper pledge form and don't know my Penn ID. What do I do?
A: University employees can find their Penn ID in two places – (1) the middle eight digits of their Penn Card, or (2) printed on the bottom left corner of their paystub, listed in between their name and federal tax status. Health System employees can find their Penn ID printed in the upper middle portion of their paystub next to the Exemptions/Allowances line, or by contacting their Penn's Way 2016 Captain or Coordinator for assistance.
Q: How can I qualify to win raffle prizes?
A: To qualify for the weekly raffle, you must participate by completing an online pledge form by Friday at 12:00pm, or by returning your completed paper pledge form to your Coordinator or Captain by his/her weekly deadline. Inaccurate, incomplete, or illegible paper pledge forms will not be entered into the raffle. All participants, including weekly raffle winners will be included in the grand prize drawing at the end of the campaign.
Q: Do I have to contribute in order to be eligible for the raffle?
A: No. Employees who contribute elsewhere and/or those wishing to participate without giving may do so by checking the appropriate box on the online pledge form or by indicating a $0 gift amount on the paper pledge form. All employees who participate will be eligible for the weekly employee prize raffle and grand prize drawing.
Q: Once I am entered into the weekly raffle, am I only eligible for that week's raffle or am I eligible for all subsequent weekly raffles?
A: Once you successfully complete your online or paper pledge you are eligible for all subsequent weekly raffles as well as the grand prize drawing.
Q: When are the raffle prizes awarded?
A: Raffle winners will be randomly selected on the Monday following the raffle deadline.
Q: How are winners notified?
A: Winners will be notified by email within one week of the raffle drawing. Additionally, all winners will be published on the Penn's Way 2016 website, in The Almanac, and in other University and Health System publications. Winners have until December 15, 2015 to make arrangements to claim their prize.
Q: How are Penn's Way raffle prizes solicited?
A: We solicit raffle prizes from the Penn community and businesses and organizations throughout the Philadelphia area. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires us to charge income tax on any prize considered easily convertible to cash, or above a de minimis value (usually anything over $100). For this reason, we have tried to keep the value of our raffle prizes this year below $100, excluding a handful of high-profile prizes, including a “mid-campaign” and “grand” prizes. Those prize winners will be notified of the amount of income tax that would have to be deducted from the employee's paycheck (roughly 40%, which includes state, local and federal taxes), when it would be deducted, and be given the option of refusing the prize. In the event that a prize is refused, another winner will be drawn at random, and the same procedure followed!