After Shutdown, CFC Giving Extended A Month

Federal workers will have more time to complete their charitable giving, due to the federal shutdown. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) giving period will be extended for an extra month.

One of the consequences of the 15-day government shutdown was that federal workers could not complete their charitable giving under the 50-year-old workplace giving program. In a letter to workers, CFC Acting Director Elaine Kaplan wrote that the solicitation period would now run from December 15to January 15.

“In these trying times, it is often our commitment to community and public service that sets us apart as public servants,” wrote Kaplan. “As CFC campaigns fully resume, I encourage all Federal employees to attend campaign events, learn more about specific charities within the CFC, and give to the causes they support most passionately.”

According to a CFC spokesman, there is no estimate about how much money was lost due to the government shutdown, and he did not expect there to ever be any way for them to tell how much damage was done. “Even if there was a loss at the end of the year, we wouldn’t be able to tell if it could be attributed to the government shutdown or if it was just natural attrition,” according to the spokesman.

Vince Micone, chairman of the CFC coordinating committee in the Washington, D.C.-area said via a statement that he is hopeful this year’s CFC campaign will be a success. “I remain convinced that the compassion and dedication of federal workers will shine through a difficult time and that we will have a robust, successful campaign.”

The CFC, which was create by President John. F. Kennedy in 1961 and is oversaw by the Office of Personal Management (OPM), normally begins on September 1 and runs through December 15. After bringing in a high of $283 million in 2009, campaign contributions have declined in recent years, falling to $258 million in 2012.

A special commission – known as the CFC 50 – was formed last year in an effort to come up with ideas to modernize the program, and those recommendations were made in April. Among the more controversial proposals was a plan to charge an application fee for charities that wished to participate. During a July hearing on the CFC’s declining numbers, many members of the nonprofit community opposed the CFC 50’s proposals, saying they would reduce charitable giving.