Annual Federal Charity Drive Launches With Tempered Expectations

elisekurenbina/Shutterstock.com

The Combined Federal Campaign -- the 52nd annual federal employee charity drive -- kicked into gear this week, hoping to reverse the recent trend of decreasing donations and participation. But the fundraiser comes during an ongoing pay freeze and the mandatory furloughs of hundreds of thousands of workers.

Elaine Kaplan, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management -- which administers the CFC -- sent a memorandum to human resources representatives across government, spelling out tips to encourage employees and managers to play their part in making the 2013 campaign a success. Kaplan suggested playing up the ability to spread out donations over the entire year, the ease of giving online and the message CFC sends to Americans about the benevolence of federal employees. Managers should encourage their employees to not just donate but volunteer on the operational side of the campaign, she said.

“The CFC would not be successful without the administrative support of federal employees at each department/agency,” Kaplan wrote in a suggested message for managers to send to the rank-and-file.

At the Defense Department, officials recognized the difficulty of asking the workforce to donate after a majority of civilians -- about 650,000 -- were forced to take six days of unpaid leave.

“This is a funny year,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at a CFC kickoff event at the Pentagon. “I was thinking about, ‘Ash, how can you ask our people once again to make a contribution this year after all you've been through, after all we're put through personally and institutionally at this particular time?’ It's a good, good question. We've had furloughs, which are a terrible thing, terrible thanks for the country to give to people who are giving so much already to the country by what they do all day.”

He added: “But I dare to ask, and I'm confident you'll come through because of what the DoD family is.”

Despite his confidence, the campaign has reduced its goal for the department’s national capital region. In 2012, the Defense personnel in the D.C. area donated $15.3 million; in 2013, the goal is $12.5 million.

“We are hoping to exceed that,” Carter said, “but we thought we need to be realistic about it.”

In 2012, 848,000 federal employees donated $258 million to the CFC, down from the 959,000 feds who gave $272 million in 2011. The 2012 haul was the lowest total since 2004.

OPM in April proposed 13 changes to improve the charity drive, though the suggestions have not yet gone into effect. Proposals included moving the solicitation period back a month to include the holiday period, creating a disaster relief program to allow employees to donate within hours of a catastrophe and building a new oversight structure that will consolidate Local Federal Coordinating Committees into regional ones.

(Image via elisekurenbina/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.