Washington-area charity drive tries for another record-setting year

On Wednesday, leaders of the National Capital Area Combined Federal Campaign announced plans to solicit $67 million in charitable donations from local feds this year. The goal is $500,000 more than the record-setting $66.5 million federal employees in Washington and the surrounding area raised in 2009.

To meet this tall order, CFCNCA aims to attract younger federal employees and to expand the fundraising drive's digital outreach, Wendy Beach, director of marketing and communications at Global Impact, the nonprofit responsible for managing CFCNCA, said during a leadership conference on Wednesday. Fred Wade, campaign manager at the Internal Revenue Service, noted as older generous donors retire, it's especially important to engage young recent hires.

This year's outreach efforts will include social networking sites such as Facebook and GovLoop, e-mail blasts and four campaign videos. In one of the videos, President Obama notes that nationwide, federal workers have donated more than $6 billion since 1961 through the Combined Federal Campaign. "Each of you should be proud of this achievement," he said.

The campaign also will increase print outreach by running notices in well-read Washington periodicals.

Following the conference on Wednesday, CFCNCA campaign managers returned to their agencies and began soliciting donations from colleagues. Linda Washington, chairwoman of the National Capital Area's Local Federal Coordinating Committee and senior policy adviser for community initiatives at the Transportation Department, applauded agency coordinators' hard work. "You are the lifeblood of this campaign," she said during the event.

The 2010 drive officially began on Sept. 1 and will continue until Dec. 15. Federal employees who want to participate can visit OPM's Combined Federal Campaign site to find out more about their region's drive. Capital Area workers can browse the 2010 Catalog of Caring and choose from more than 4,000 federally approved nonprofit organizations working on causes from disaster relief to youth development and the arts.

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