Campaign Overview


Campaign Overview

Thanks to the generosity of California state employees during the last 65 years, the Our Promise initiative’s impact is truly historic and has been the single largest effort among almost 290,000 state employees to support charitable programs. This is our promise to California. Every day. All year.

Lawfully established in 1957, CA Govt Code §14659.09, Our Promise gives State employees the right to donate to their chosen nonprofits directly through payroll deduction.   

Annually, the Our Promise campaign runs October-December. During this time, agencies and departments run their campaign efforts to ensure that each state employee be given an informed and educated opportunity to donate.

Outside of this campaign window, state employees are able to contact the Donor Hotline at (888) 863-6466 to receive assistance and make any changes to their current deduction or begin a new deduction.

For additional campaign details visit our FAQ’s


Behind the Scenes

Filling  out a pledge form

The Campaign’s Governing Board

The Department of General Services (DGS) is the governing board for the Our Promise Campaign. Annually DGS selects an organization that is responsible for managing the Our Promise initiative for a specific region in California. This is referred to as the Principal Combined Fund Drive (PCFD). DGS contracts with United Way California Capital Region as the PCFO or lead, to run the campaign. Then United Way California Capital Region subcontracts with 20 local United Ways to run the campaign statewide. 

A Closer Look at PCFDs (Local Campaign Support)

For 2022 there are 21 organizations that provide local campaign support. These organizations will work in partnership with their regional department locations to support various aspects of Our Promise for state employees such as:

  • Assist with ePledge within local offices for each department
  • Serve as a liaison to the state department and their employees in that region
  • Assisting campaign volunteers with all Our Promise materials
  • Coordinating campaign events and speakers for meetings
  • Providing volunteer training
  • Assist with year-round donor customer service
  • Pay out the nonprofit designations selected by donors

Find local campaign support

The State Controller’s Office Important Role

Once a state employee completes their payroll pledge, they are authorizing the State Controller’s Office (SCO) to deduct their specific monthly payroll deduction amount, including a $0.39 fee per transaction. The SCO then provides these payments to United Way California Capital Region to pay donor designations to the selected nonprofits. 

The local organization that manages your nonprofit designations on your pledge form does not deduct your pay warrant contribution. Only the SCO has the authority to deduct your contribution from your pay warrant. 

Our Promise is Easy!

Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work is an employee benefit for those who would like to donate to nonprofits through the convenience of payroll deduction. There are thousands of nonprofits listed here, which were vetted and approved by the Department of General Services (DGS) or donors may choose to give to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit by utilizing the “Write-In Nonprofit” feature in the Our Promise ePledge.

Payroll deduction donations start for as little as $5 per month!

General information

Legislative History

Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work is rooted in the legislature and California Statute. It is mandated by law to be administered in accordance with the Department of General Services (DGS) and the State Controllers Office (SCO). DGS is the governing body for Our Promise and their statutes combined with the two below are what make up this wonderful campaign. To visit the official California Legislative Information page, click here.

General information

The Man Behind Our Promise

Black and white photo of a light-skinned man wearing a suit and tie, holding papers at a desk.

Intent on honoring the man who began Our Promise (formerly California State Employees Charitable Campaign or CSEECC), we wandered the halls of the California State Archives in search of the ghost of Our Promise past. With hope and determination, and a little dusting off of the old record books, of course, we were able to re-discover the man who started it all. A man with a long history of charity and community action and involvement. A man by the name of Augustus F. Hawkins.