Thursday, 19 October 2023 11:43

Combined Municipal Campaign encourages giving and 'High Fives'


If it’s October in Houston, it means the start of CMC season. 

The City of Houston once again will sponsor its annual Combined Municipal Campaign, the workplace fundraising drive where employees take part in giving in department fundraisers and donating to local and national nonprofit organizations. 

This year’s theme “High 5 for CMC” set a goal for each employee to donate $5 per paycheck, HR CMC coordinator Jennifer Cobb said. 

“High 5 for CMC is essentially a play on the $5 per paycheck goal. It also doubles as a catchy way to literally illustrate one of the most common – basic – greetings of gratitude during the month of giving: a high five,” she explained. 

CMC continues its partnership with Bright Funds as the charitable giving platform for to support their favorite causes.  

“With the implementation of HROne, we had to find another way for employees to continue their social responsibility with the capability of doing so through payroll, and the Bright Funds platform gave us what we needed, in addition to supplementary components for volunteerism and fundraising,” Cobb said. 

Cobb admitted the transition to Bright Funds had its challenges. “It has been a slow process; we have seen a decline in payroll giving as a result of the transition,” she said. “I am hopeful that this year’s 'High 5 for CMC' theme will help push us in the right direction and honestly, Bright Funds is super easy to maneuver … folks just have to log on and see for themselves.” 

The campaign formally kicked off Oct. 2. Employees can change, start or stop donations throughout the year using the Bright Funds platform. It also includes a volunteer component, where volunteer opportunities are posted, and volunteer hours are tracked.  

And if you’re feeling enterprising, you can also create your own fundraising fund with nonprofits you choose and share with colleagues as well as outside friends and family members. 

Who do your donations impact in the community? It’s up to you to choose. There are more than 1 million nonprofit organizations available on the Bright Funds platform.  

“That can be daunting for employees,” said Cobb. “So, we are working with local organizations to spotlight what they do and share their missions.”  

Take for example Summerhouse Houston, an organization that helps youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities transition into the adult world. Community Relations Associate Brooke Magers said donations helps them continue leveling “the disability cliff.” 

“When young adults with IDD reach the age of 22, they transition out of a system that previously provided guaranteed services and enter a realm of complex adult services that are unmandated, underfunded, and often nonexistent,” Magers said.  

“Donations directly impact the lives of the individuals we serve, empowering them to lead more independent and fulfilling lives. Additionally, your support allows us to reach more young adults in need of vocational exploration, job placement, and community integration.” 

“Ultimately, every donation, regardless of its size, profoundly and positively impacts our community. It fosters inclusivity, empowers individuals with IDD to contribute meaningfully, and strengthens the bonds that connect our community,” she added. 

 Amanda Saunders is the executive director for Texas Paralyzed Veterans of America, a group that has served the needs of paralyzed veterans and work to improve the quality of life for all disabled Americans since 1972. They are another organization directly impacted by CMC donations. 

“From hospital liaisons to emergency assistance, we provide vital programs to veterans and their families. We do not receive any government funding, so the success and longevity of our programs rely on fundraising and the kindness of our community,” she said.  

“Your support will ensure year-round specialized medical care, support life-changing health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation, fight for the benefits Veterans have earned, fund breakthrough research in pursuit of a cure, provide opportunities that lead to meaningful careers, break barriers and advocate for access that paralyzed Veterans need to live independent lives,” Saunders also said.  

Other initiatives associated with the campaign included online auction and the fan-favorite HR talent show with a twist this year, “Do you have the talent to finish the lyrics?” Cobb said they are changing up the format and encouraging all COH employees to open the weekly CMC eblasts for updates and to check out the different fundraisers taking place citywide. 

Cobb said an old favorite is returning. “I am happy to announce the return of the Dunk Your Director fundraiser, led by the Finance department’s CMC team in collaboration with HR and HITS … and hopefully a few more teams and their directors,” she said. 

You learn go to this link to learn about the CMC 2023 Campaign. 


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The CMC has a new partner for managing employee donations, Bright Funds. Employees can access Bright Funds to make donations starting October 2022. The portal is open year-round.

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