Frequently Asked Questions

What is the USC Good Neighbors Campaign?

The USC Good Neighbors Campaign is USC’s vehicle for raising money to support USC Good Neighbor grants, United Way and other nonprofit organizations (using United Way as a processing agent).

What is USC Good Neighbors?

USC Good Neighbor grants, created in 1993, provide financial support to university-community partnerships involving collaboration between USC faculty and staff and local nonprofit organizations that have a visible, positive impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences campuses.

I don’t live near either USC campus. Why should I give to the USC Good Neighbors Campaign?

No matter how much time we spend here (8 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours a day), every person who works at USC has a tremendous stake in the surrounding community – financially and morally. Our contributions to the USC Good Neighbors Campaign show our commitment to making a difference. As employees of this university, we want USC as well as its surrounding neighborhoods to be healthy, safe and prosperous.

Since we have USC Good Neighbors, why do we have a relationship with United Way?

Before USC Good Neighbors was created, the university sponsored an annual United Way campaign. USC continues to give faculty and staff the option of giving to United Way, since some employees want to designate their gifts to specific organizations that do not fall under the aegis of USC Good Neighbors. United Way supports more than 300 nonprofit agencies that provide services to children and families throughout Los Angeles.

How can I give to a specific organization funded by USC Good Neighbors?

USC Good Neighbors generally funds programs that change from year to year, and is not designed to process designations. For employees who wish to designate a specific charity, United Way is prepared to process and distribute those gifts. (United Way deducts a 9 percent fee for processing designations.)

Are donations to USC Good Neighbors tax deductible?

Yes! USC (and therefore, USC Good Neighbors) is a nonprofit organization. Your contribution to USC Good Neighbors will be acknowledged by the University with a donation gift receipt for your tax documentation. Additionally, USC underwrites all campaign expenses enabling 100% of all gifts to USC Good Neighbors to be tax deductible.

Can payroll deductions be made for donations to any organization?

No. The university’s payroll system can only process donations to USC Good Neighbors and United Way. You may, however, designate the organization of your choice through United Way.

Can I stop my payroll deduction if I need to?

If necessary, you may discontinue your payroll deduction by sending a written request to the USC Good Neighbors Campaign, MC 7740, or email to

What is the difference between the USC Good Neighbors Campaign pledge form and the United Way form?

Everyone making a contribution to the USC Good Neighbors Campaign must complete a pledge form. This form allows a donor to indicate a gift amount and direct his or her gift to USC Good Neighbors. A United Way form is needed only for donors who wish to give to United Way or to designate their gifts to another nonprofit organization.

If I want to keep giving to the organization that I designated last year (through United Way), do I need to fill out another pledge form and United Way form?

Yes. New pledge and United Way forms should be completed if you wish to designate your gift; however, last year’s United Way payroll deduction will continue (without designation) unless a new form is completed.

If I want to volunteer my time to one of the supported organizations, do I contact them directly or is there a USC Good Neighbors leader I should call?

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the organization directly.

What is a 501(c)(3) organization?

Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code provides tax-exempt status for “corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national and international amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.”