Frequently Asked Questions
Have you ever had a question and didn’t know where to find the answer? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
This section is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our constituents. Just start by following one of the links below. If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Q. IS MY DONATION TO COMMUNITY SERVICES FUND (CSF) TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
- Q. WHAT MAKES CSF UNIQUE?
- Q. HOW MANY ORGANIZATIONS BELONG TO CSF?
- Q. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CHOICES?
- Q. WHY GIVE THROUGH CSF INSTEAD OF DIRECTLY TO THE AGENCY?
- Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T DESIGNATE MY GIFT TO A SPECIFIC AGENCY?
- Q. HOW DO NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS BECOME MEMBERS OF COMMUNITY SERVICES FUND?
- Q. HOW DOES CSF EVALUATE THE MEMBER AGENCIES?
- Q. DOES CSF DUPLICATE EFFORTS WITH OTHER WORKPLACE GIVING ORGANIZATIONS? HOW IS CSF DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WORKPLACE GIVING OPPORTUNITIES?
- Q. DO ANY CSF AGENCIES RECEIVE MONEY FROM OTHER FEDERATIONS?
Q. IS MY DONATION TO COMMUNITY SERVICES FUND (CSF) TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
A. Yes, CSF is a non-profit 501c3 organization and gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Q. WHAT MAKES CSF UNIQUE?
A. The power of CSF is in its ability to transform our community through donor directed giving. This ability to choose which organization a donor would like to support, through payroll deduction, is CSF’s strength.
Q. HOW MANY ORGANIZATIONS BELONG TO CSF?
A. As of July 2016, 62 member agencies belong to CSF ranging from social service agencies to arts, cultural and humanities based groups to organizations that contribute to the high quality of life in Lincoln.
Q. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CHOICES?
A. CSF’s strength is in donor choice. No single federation could possibly fundraise for all nonprofit choices in our community. Community Services Fund was formed in 1981 in response to donors asking for more and different choices and to nonprofits looking for new sources of funding.
Q. WHY GIVE THROUGH CSF INSTEAD OF DIRECTLY TO THE AGENCY?
A. Community Services Fund does not want to discourage a donor from giving directly to agencies. Payroll deduction is another way, and perhaps a better way, for you to support your community. Payroll deduction could be a better option because: 1) It’s convenient to have donations deducted each pay period; and 2) It may allow the donor to give more money because it is spread over a year’s time. One reason CSF member agencies like payroll deduction campaigns is because they are a low-cost way to educate and inform the community-at-large and to recruit donors and volunteers.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T DESIGNATE MY GIFT TO A SPECIFIC AGENCY?
A. All contributions not designated to a specific agency (or equal distribution) are retained by Community Services Fund for the purpose of operating. CSF uses these contributions to conduct our annual campaign, market the federation, support member agencies, keep agency fees low and promote good philanthropy across Nebraska. In retaining all undesignated contributions, CSF also insures that designated gifts have more impact and no individual donor dollars are passed through to agencies that donors don't personally support. Donor designation is a hallmark to the work Community Services Fund does. We encourage donors to designate all contributions to the causes they care about most!
Q. HOW DO NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS BECOME MEMBERS OF COMMUNITY SERVICES FUND?
A. Non-profit organizations complete an application, which is reviewed by the CSF Membership Committee. The committee recommends to the CSF Member’s Council which organizations to accept for membership. The entire membership of Community Services Fund comprises the Member’s Council and makes the final vote to accept recommended new members.
Q. HOW DOES CSF EVALUATE THE MEMBER AGENCIES?
A. CSF evaluates the member agencies in two ways: agencies must provide updated financial and program information annually; secondly, they must participate in the running of Community Services Fund. It is a community driven fund and CSF expects all agencies to actively participate.
Q. DOES CSF DUPLICATE EFFORTS WITH OTHER WORKPLACE GIVING ORGANIZATIONS? HOW IS CSF DIFFERENT FROM OTHER WORKPLACE GIVING OPPORTUNITIES?
A. Community Services Fund is similar to, but very different from other common workplace giving charities. CSF encourages the use of payroll deduction to raise funds, but it represents different nonprofit agencies and distributes the funds received differently. Community Services Fund offers a diverse choice of agencies. Community Services Fund distributes the majority of the money raised based on donor designation. This is in contrast to the most familiar workplace giving charity who distributes money according to allocation amounts pre-determined by committee.
Q. DO ANY CSF AGENCIES RECEIVE MONEY FROM OTHER FEDERATIONS?
A. Community Services Fund member agencies do not receive money from any other workplace giving federation, other than donor choice designations. Likewise other federation's agencies do not receive money from Community Services Fund. It’s all about community giving.