Community Involvement, Our Promise

Our Promise campaign begins September 15

Sign says Our Promise Kick-Off Event while people walk around at the state capitol.
The Our Promise campaign allows state employees to donate directly to charitable organizations from their paycheck. (Photo taken before COVID.) CDCR file photo.

CDCR and CCHCS are gearing up for another successful Our Promise campaign. This year’s campaign runs September 15 through October 15. Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, this year’s campaign will be 100% virtual again, and we are looking forward to another great year. Returning as chair and co-chair this year are Sonia Mercado, Division of Correctional Policy Research and Oversight, and Krissi Khokhobashvili, Office of Public and Employee Communications.

This year’s campaign theme is “Recover – Rebuild – Revive California,” focusing on keeping our promise to support the nonprofits that help Californians from all walks of life.

Through Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work, California state workers can sign up to make a one-time or ongoing donation to a nonprofit of their choice. The campaign was established in 1957 in California’s Government Code, giving state employees the right to donate to their chosen nonprofits directly through payroll deductions. Our Promise is the largest concentrated charitable effort in the state, with more than 23,000 current donors.

Giving is completely voluntary, and the only requirement to support a charity is that it be a registered nonprofit. The contributions made by CDCR and CCHCS staff support causes as diverse as this Department, from Special Olympics and animal rescues to veterans’ organizations and LGBTQ+ centers.

In 2020, CDCR and CCHCS staff raised a whopping $544,185 for good causes. That’s something to be celebrated regardless, but it’s even more impressive considering the year we faced. California met the moment with generosity, raising $5.3 million for nonprofits statewide.

Spotlight your cause

Throughout the campaign, we’ll be highlighting different nonprofit organizations and the amazing staff who support them. This is where we need YOU! If you or someone in your division would like to share information about a nonprofit, please send an email to Sonia Mercado or Kristina Khokhobashvili (emails found in global).

We’ll be sharing stories on Inside CDCR and social media, and we would love to share your pictures, videos, and reasons for giving. Even if you don’t financially support an organization, spreading the word about the good work they do is a major part of the Our Promise campaign.

Help us highlight the good work our community organizations do.

Statewide kickoff

Every Tuesday after Sept. 1, Our Promise will host a Facebook Live event featuring various nonprofits.

More information is available on the website.

CalEmployee Connect

Again this year, the Our Promise portal will be accessible via Cal Employee Connect. There will be no paper forms to sign up for Our Promise donations.

Cal Employee Connect is a secure website where you can view your payroll information, leave balances, and W-2s. If you haven’t signed up already, make sure to check it out. Read the story about Cal Employee Connect.

Stay tuned to Inside CDCR and CDCR’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to learn more about the great work Our Promise helps make possible, and to meet the incredible staff members who make it happen. And don’t forget to email your photos, videos, and testimonials to Sonia or Krissi – we look forward to sharing your important work.


Sonia Mercado and Krissi Khokhobashvili