The federal government’s annual charity drive, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), could be in for major changes should the recommendations from an expert panel be implemented.
The CFC-50 commission was assembled last year by the Obama administration in anticipation of CFC’s 50th anniversary, according to a report in The Federal Times. Since reaching an all-time high in 2009 — $282.6 million — funds have declined each year, bottoming out at $272.7 million last year. While the average federal employee pledge has risen steadily over the past 50 years — reaching $284.27 last year — participation among those individuals declined to 24 percent.
The commission’s last report, released July 27, made a series of recommendations that would overhaul the struggling charity drive. One of the most significant of the changes proposed was shifting CFC campaign costs from donors to participating charities. As it currently stands, administrative expenses are deducted from federal employee donations, one of the main reasons the CFC-50 commission believes these donors are reluctant to participate. If the change is implemented, charities would pay a flat participation fee if they wanted to be involved in the CFC.
Other changes proposed by the commission include:
- Allow retired civilians to donate to the CFC through automatic deductions from their annuities, credit card billing, one-time donations or setting up ongoing donations that continue year-to-year.
- Allow employees to immediately make CFC pledges, even if they begin working outside the normal campaign period.
- The normal campaign period for the CFC should be extended from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15. This would allow employees to consider new pay scales when deciding how much they will donate.
The CFC-50 commission is headed by former Reps. Tom David (R-Va.) and Beverly Byron (D-Md.). It was established by the federal government’s Office of Personal Management (OPM).
You can read the full details in The Federal Times.