Cook County Gives FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cook County Gives Campaign?
Cook County Government is featuring two charities for a charitable giving campaign. As part of the campaign, Cook County employees can pledge a financial donation to organizations making a real difference in our communities. Employees can also designate their gift to United Way’s partner agencies or to any 501c3 nonprofit organization of their choosing.

When does the campaign start and end?
2023 Cook County Gives Campaign enrollment period begins on October 11, 2022 and ends on October 31, 2023.

What charities will employees be able to contribute to?
The featured charities are the Cook County Forest Preserve Foundation and the Cook County Health Foundation. Employees may also designate their gift to United Way’s partner agencies or to any 501c3 nonprofit organization of their choosing.

Why should I give through Cook County Gives instead of contributing directly to a charitable organization?
Your donation multiplies when combined with others. As Cook County employees working together, we can create more impact than any one person in achieving a healthier, stronger community! In addition, your donations are deducted automatically from your paycheck. It's easy and efficient.

How do I make a pledge?
You can participate by selecting the personalized link sent to your work email by United Way of Metro Chicago. The link will direct you to your employee giving profile. From the main page, you will then be able to make your pledge by selecting the payroll deduction or credit card option and following the directions.

If you work outside the network and do not receive an email directly from United Way, you can choose to create your own account on the Cook County giving site. The registration link is listed below:

Cook County Charitable Contribution Site (for self-registration)

You will be asked to create a personal profile with your work email address, name and unique password. You will then be able to make your payroll pledge by selecting the payroll deduction option and following the directions. As a reminder, please only set up a new account if you work outside the Cook County network and do not receive a link directly from United Way.

Please contact United Way’s Donor Help Desk at or 312-906-2204, if you have any questions about your pledge or account.

When does my payroll deduction pledge begin?
You have two options to make your payroll contributions: A single contribution or spread over 26 pay periods. Deductions begin with the first check date in January 2023 and conclude with the last check date in December 2023. Your pledged contribution will be spread over 26 pay periods unless you choose the single, one-time contribution option. If you chose one-time contribution, the total deduction will be taken from the 01/20/2023 paycheck. You may also make a one-time contribution with a credit card.

What is the minimum amount I can pledge through payroll deduction?
The minimum is $1.00 per pay period and your support adds up! A pledge of just $4 per pay period = $104/year! And remember, participation is as important as the amount of your donation.

Can I give to more than one charity?
From the charitable giving site, employees may choose to provide a pledge to multiple organizations. The
contribution will be taken as a single amount from your paycheck and then distributed by United Way.

Can I change my annual donation after the campaign is closed?
After the campaign period is closed, you cannot make changes to the amount or type of donations. You may stop your contribution by submitting a written request via email to the Risk Management general mailbox, and you may pledge again during the next campaign period.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, contributions made as a part of the Cook County Gives Campaign are tax-deductible.

How do I get a tax receipt?
Your last pay stub of the year and a copy of your confirmation email serve as proof of donation for tax purposes. Printed tax receipts are not provided for payroll donations. Printed tax receipts for all credit card gifts $250 and above during 2023 are issued in January 2024, if an email or home address is provided. Receipts for credit card payments at any level are available upon request to

When will my chosen charity receive my donation?
Cook County sends United Way donation payments every two weeks following each payroll period. United Way processes the payments and distributes donations 45-60 days after payments are received. Charities are paid monthly if there is a cumulative total of $55 or more directed to them and if they have provided their online banking information to United Way.

Can departments pressure their employees into signing up for Cook County Gives?
No. Cook County believes that giving is a personal decision, free from coercion. Employees are encouraged to support our community however they feel will make the greatest impact and give based on their finances and causes they support.

Will my donation be made public?
As a participant in the giving campaign, you are a donor and therefore your giving information will remain
confidential. United Way’s privacy and donor rights statement is available online.

Will the pledged contribution I signed up for automatically roll over into a future campaign?
Your contribution will be made in 2023, only for this campaign, and will not roll over into future campaigns.

Do I have to designate my pledge?
Because there is more than one charity receiving funds from the Cook County Charitable Giving Campaign, you must indicate which organization(s) you want to support.

What if I have additional questions?
Please contact the United Way help desk at or 312-906-2204.