By Lesley McCaw, InforME
Even during one of the toughest financial years since the 1979 inception of the Maine State Employees Combined Charitable Appeal (MSECCA), State of Maine employees have once again proven how generous they are by donating over $391,000 to the 500 plus charitable organizations represented in this year's campaign. The MSECCA is an annual campaign that is overseen by a committee of state employee volunteers, who recognize the importance of helping out their friends and neighbors who are in need of charitable contributions. The committee has helped raise over $5 million dollars for charitable organizations over the past 30 years.
In 2006, under the direction of Chairperson Matthew Dunlap the Secretary of State, the MSECCA committee decided to take charitable donating to a new level by offering an online service that would allow donors to make their contributions via payroll deduction, credit card or cash/check. This simplified version of the existing service was built by InforME at no cost and was completed in fewer than three months. During its first campaign, the online service saw 19% adoption, accepting over $86,000 in online donations from October to December of 2006.
The following year, the MSECCA committee worked with InforME to make a few enhancements to the service, while they discussed a complete end-to-end solution that would allow the MSECCA volunteers to take a major portion of the campaign administration back into their own hands, while providing a single system for online donations, reporting and campaign management. This total solution launched in the fall of 2008, under direction of the new Chairperson Commissioner Patrick McGowan. With the support and assistance of the 32 team leader volunteers and the campaign administrator, MaineShare, all 1,861 donations, received during the 2008 campaign, were entered through the new web-based system. Approximately 75% of these donations were entered by the donors themselves using the revamped interface originally built in 2006.
The 2008 committee not only unveiled a brand new online donation service, but also rallied their support behind the 2008 “Keep Me Warm” program designed by the United Way of Greater Portland through the Maine Community Action and other reputable organizations, to help Mainers in need of heating oil assistance. By promoting this very significant program, the committee was able to help raise over $17,000 for this program alone.
Additional information about the MSECCA campaign is available online at http://www.maine.gov/msecca .