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November 09, 2015

Florida Legislators Seek Overhaul of State Charity Drive

Florida lawmakers are calling for changes in administration of the state government's workplace charity fundraiser following reports that the for-profit company running the drive received more than half of the money collected last year, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Solix Inc., which took over management of the annual Florida State Employees Charitable Campaign from state United Way chapters in 2013, could get roughly two-thirds of the donations for this year's drive, according to the newspaper. As of Friday, its final day, the 2015 campaign had brought in $604,000, the lowest total in at least 15 years and about a third of the tally in 2012, the Democrat also reported. State Senator Bill Montford said he is crafting a bill to address the state's agreement with Solix, and other legislators called for an investigation.

The New Jersey-based company, which is the campaign's fiscal agent but does not conduct fundraising, said it has "reduc[ed] the program's administrative costs by more than 50 percent over the previous vendor." According to state figures, payments to the United Way for running the drive in past years were higher than Solix's in cash terms but far lower as a percentage of donations, which topped $4 million per year throughout the 2000s.