If it’s October, it’s CMC time again.
Once again, the City of Houston will sponsor its annual Combined Municipal Campaign, the annual workplace fundraising drive where employees take part in giving department fundraisers and donating to local and national nonprofit organizations.
“This is a major campaign for our city employees to be able to get involved and give back to the community and organizations they are so passionate about,” said COH Human Resources Director Jane Cheeks. “It’s also an opportunity for our newest employees to learn about the many charities and nonprofit groups they can donate to in the Greater Houston Area.”
Coordinating and planning the annual campaign takes a lot of effort, but CMC Citywide Coordinator Jennifer Cobb said it is one of her favorite times of the year.
“I’m excited that this is the first year we’re able to host fundraisers without COVID and too many restrictions,” she said. “This is also a transition year for us as we are implementing a new platform, Bright Funds, which will capture CMC donations and volunteering efforts from our employees.”
Cobb also took a moment to remind everyone about the fun aspect of contributing and volunteering in the campaign.
“I know some things are going to look different from here on out, but we as employees will still get the opportunity to look fly in our CMC shirts – this year’s color scheme is so dope – shop the auction, Oct. 10-21, and fundraise together. All with the same goal, which is to give back,” she said.
CMC has partnered with Bright Funds to be the charitable giving platform for employees and companies to support causes they care greatly for. Employees can change, start or stop donations throughout the whole year, and includes a volunteer component, where volunteer opportunities are posted and volunteer hours are tracked.
You can create your own existing fund with nonprofits you choose to share with colleagues as well as outside friends and family members.
The 2023 theme “Changing Lives, Building Futures” will run through Oct.31. Beginning in January 2023, employees can sign up for payroll giving through Bright Funds. There are still two remaining quarterly payments that will come from the city. After that, payments to nonprofits will be received from Bright Funds.
Amanda Saunders, executive director for the Texas Paralyzed Veterans of America, said the new platform will be a big help for organizations. “The new platform is easy to process and allows non-profit organizations to contribute funds immediately,” she said.
Glenn Urbach, executive director for the Down Syndrome Association of Houston, a non-profit group that provides lifelong education, support and resources to people with Down Syndrome, echoed Saunders’ sentiments, adding these types of new platforms make it easier to track donors.
“It’s so much easier than the old way of phone calls and emails,” he said. “It allows us to interact with our donors. And it’s also a good way to capture data and even reach out to new donor. I would say it’s very user friendly.”
Urbach also said he thinks contributions to the campaign are more like an investment than a donation.
“We invested in their lives from birth to death and providing education and outreach. We’re big on inclusion and getting involved in the community, as well as supporting the families and parents through education workshops,” he said.
“They’re investing their monies into programs that help their friends and neighbors. Their investments are bettering lives and empowering families,” he said.
Saunders agreed, saying her organization serves veterans with spinal cord injury/disease, and individuals with disabilities, by providing programs that build a better future for them so they may be active in the community and live life to its fullest.
“We advocate for veterans getting their benefits established, getting hand control devices installed in their vehicles, and providing sports and recreation events to help get folks back out doing things,” she said.
Sanders said the importance of campaigns like this is it helps us to advocate more for our veteran members and provide services and programs for them.
“For us, the theme means showing everyone just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean it’s the end of life. Any hobby can be adapted. There’s a wide variety of activities we can help them do from a wheelchair,” she said.
To learn more about the CMC 2023 Campaign visit https://cohemployeenews.com/home-cmc.