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2017 Combined Federal Campaign

Thursday, August 3, 2017
From: 
KATHLEEN M. MCGETTIGAN, ACTING DIRECTOR

Through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), members of the Federal family demonstrate that our commitment to public service extends far beyond the workplace. Last year, Federal employees voluntarily participating in the CFC contributed more than $167 million to thousands of local, national and international causes.  We, and the people we serve, are all better for it.

We are pleased to announce that the Honorable Benjamin Carson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will serve as Honorary Chairperson of the CFC this year.  The 2017 CFC Open Season, will run from October 2, 2017 through January 12, 2018.  This start time is about a month later than in previous years as was recommended by the CFC-50 Commission in its report of July 2012.  This will allow local campaign zones time to organize their engagement strategies in order to incorporate the beneficial key changes described below.

Key Changes for 2017

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) contracted with The Give Back Foundation (the central campaign administrator or CCA) to develop and deploy a new national CFC donor pledging system.  This new system replaces electronic CFC modules in Employee Express and myPay, as well as a variety of local systems. Beginning with the fall 2017 CFC period, anyone choosing to make an online pledge through the CFC will be directed to one CFC donor pledging system. New rules also help to streamline the process for Federal shared services and payroll providers -- they will disburse funds to one organization instead of over 120 organizations as required by the prior regulations.

In order to strengthen the CFC, capitalize on technology and address the needs and giving patterns of today’s workforce, OPM has expanded the CFC donor pool in two important ways:

  • First, Federal employees will now be able to pledge time to volunteer with CFC charities in addition to pledging funds. Guidance to agencies will be provided.
  • Second, OPM is authorized to solicit Federal annuitants and military retirees to continue to use the CFC for charitable giving after they leave Federal service with recurring gifts from their annuity.

Benefits

This new online CFC donor pledging system is expected to reduce administrative costs, increase transparency and ensure that more of the contributions made by Federal, Postal and military personnel reach the people who need help the most. The government benefits of the new system include:

  1. Universally available electronic giving.  Prior systems only provided truly paperless giving to employees served by certain payroll providers.
  2. Increased transparency and accountability with fees disclosed up front to the donor before they pledge.  The cost of administering the campaign is shared by charities and not just by donors.
  3. A new avenue for recurring gifts by annuitants who could only make one-time pledges in the past; and
  4. The ability to engage employees to give their money and their time.

An additional new feature will enable newly hired employees who start working for the Federal service outside CFC “Open Season” to establish a pledge to their approved local, national or international charities.

Centralized Transactions

Employees using the new CFC donor pledging system will recognize the CFC donation process as similar to the deduction process for their other federal benefits. The new system will continue to allow all employees to give via convenient payroll deduction, credit/debit cards, and eCheck options. Cash donations will not be accepted for CFC at events effective this year.  Instead special events will focus on increasing employee awareness of CFC charities and their mission, not cash fundraising (such as bake sales).

In an effort to reduce cost and in the spirit of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) the CFC will phase out use of paper pledge forms over the next five years. Procedures for handling paper pledges will be released later this summer.  All pledge changes or cancellations will be completed via the CFC donor pledging system rather than through the customer service representative (CSR) network at payroll service providers. 

Your Leadership is Important

With these important changes, I am asking for your support in helping to promote this year’s campaign. 

That is where your leadership comes in.  With your help, we can make sure that campaign workers in your organization reach out to Federal employees everywhere, to let them know how they can make a voluntary contribution and/or pledge volunteer time.  OPM will provide a package of tools that you can use to communicate with your employees and senior executives. 

Encourage Support to Administer the CFC

The CFC’s success can be attributed to the dedication of the employees that administer the campaign within their agencies. Without a personal solicitation from a colleague, employees are less likely to participate in the program.

I recommend allowing your employees to serve as CFC loaned executives, coordinators, and keyworkers to the extent permissible during the campaign period, as well as encouraging employees to serve on their Local Federal Coordinating Committees. These positions are often a great way to develop professional skills, such as public speaking, financial accountability, and expertise in building public-private sector partnerships.  Thank you for your continued support of the Combined Federal Campaign.

For a complete set of the new CFC rules, you can visit the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

We will provide an update later this summer before the campaign gets underway. Please contact cfc@opm.gov with any questions or call 202-606-2564.