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September 01, 2016

Fla. State Charity Drive Looks to Rebound From Giving Plunge

Florida’s state workplace fundraising drive begins Thursday with officials looking to bounce back from a dismal 2015 that saw donations plummet and controversy over a for-profit management company’s take from the campaign, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The Florida State Employees’ Charitable Campaign raised millions of dollars a year for nonprofits across the state in its heyday but took in only $546,000 in 2015, the lowest total in three decades. Solix, a New Jersey firm hired by the state as fiscal agent for the drive, was set to receive more than two-thirds of that under a contract that based fees on the company’s costs, regardless of how much money was raised.

The deal prompted an outcry that led state officials to consider scrapping the drive. Instead, they renegotiated the management deal, with Solix lowering its management fee to a third of 2015 giving and $180,000 in future years. The Florida Department of Management Services also instituted a policy of taking donations only by payroll deductions in an effort to cut administrative costs. The campaign runs through November 10.