FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ABOUT COMMUNITY SHARES
What is Community Shares?
Community Shares (CS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Tennessee. CS was established in 1984 by four non-profit organizations with a goal of increasing their revenues from individuals and decrease dependence upon grants. As of May 2021, CS has 33 Member Groups. Our Member Groups consist of progressive social change organizations across the state. CS works to increase funding for our Member Groups and the amazing work that each of them do! To learn more about our Member Groups, click here.
How is Community Shares unique?
The difference between CS and other nonprofit organizations is our focus. While we believe that charity is a good thing, it is even better to change the system so that charity is less necessary. That’s why we fund our Member Groups who tackle issues at the roots. People assume some issues are impossible, but they’re not. We’re ending poverty, protecting the environment, helping animals, fighting discrimination, and working for the equal treatment of all.
Does Community Shares fund organizations outside of Tennessee?
No. Our Member Groups are all located in Tennessee. To locate a CS in a different state, please click here.
Why are there multiple Community Shares across the United States?
Community Shares is an affiliate of Community Shares USA. CS USA is a collaboration of organizations committed to achieving fairness and opportunity for all. To learn more about CS USA, please click here.
ABOUT OUR MEMBER GROUPS
What are Member Groups?
Our Member Groups consist of progressive social change non-profit organizations across the state. CS works to increase funding for our Member Groups and the amazing work that each of them do!
How does a non-profit organization become a Member Group?
Non-profit organizations interested in becoming a Member Group contact the Executive Director of CS and then undergo rigorous screening to ensure they meet all of the qualifications.
How many Member Groups does Community Shares have?
As of May 2021, CS has 33 Member Groups. To see a list of our Member Groups, please click here.
Does Community Shares monitor its Member Groups?
Yes. Each year we review the finances, management, governance, activities, and accomplishments of each member group. Organizations must meet strict criteria to remain members of CS.
Can my non-profit organization become a Member Group?
If your non-profit organization is interested in becoming a Member Group, please email email@example.com or call 865.522.1604 to talk to Shelley Wascom, Executive Director.
Why should I donate to Community Shares rather than directly to an organization?
CS does not discourage you from giving directly to organizations. One of the benefits of donating directly to CS is that you can support multiple progressive social change organizations with one simple payment.The majority of donations come from workplace giving campaigns (click here to learn more about workplace giving campaigns), meaning that donations are deducted each pay period. Payroll deduction is perhaps an easier way for you to support your community for several reasons: 1) It’s more convenient to have donations deducted each pay period; and 2) It may allow the donor to give more money because it is spread over a year’s time. If your workplace does not have a campaign set up, don't worry! Donating to CS is simple and can be done online, over the phone, or via a check in the mail. To learn more about donating, click here. If you have any questions about donating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865.522.1604.
Is my donation to Community Shares tax deductible?
Yes, CS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Are contributions confidential?
Yes, your contribution information remains confidential.
How does Community Shares distribute contributions?
General contributions to CS are distributed equally among Member Groups unless specified otherwise.
My workplace does not have an employee giving campaign with Community Shares. Can I still donate?
Yes! Donating to CS is simple and can be done online, over the phone, or via a check in the mail. To learn more about donating, click here. If you have any questions about donating, please email email@example.com or call 865.522.1604.
I only want my donation given to specific Member Groups. Can I do that?
Yes! Your donation, your choice. To learn more about donating, click here.
How do I get my workplace to set up a giving campaign?
Please click here to learn more about becoming a workplace giving partner.