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The 2009 Combined Federal Campaign Has Begun

Friday, September 18, 2009
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
From: 
John Berry, Director
Subject: 
The 2009 Combined Federal Campaign Has Begun

The 2009 Combined Federal Campaign is under way.  Federal workers don’t need to be told how important it is to help charities, especially this year.  And I don’t have to tell you how important the CFC is to millions of Americans who benefit from the charities it funds.  With over $6 billion raised, we’re still getting stronger every year.

But there is one more reason why I hope you’ll do all you can to encourage support for the CFC: we need to show the American people who federal workers really are.  For over three decades, federal workers have been denigrated and maligned.  These attacks have hurt recruitment, they’ve hurt retention, and ultimately, they impair our ability to serve the American people.  With all the challenges we face today, we need the best and the brightest in federal government.  We need to bring pride back to Federal service. 

I’ve always said that Feds are big-hearted people.  The CFC is perhaps the best demonstration of this.  Giving is its own reward, and that’s why Federal workers do it.  Showing the American people that their Federal civil service is a dynamic team that they want to join is our responsibility as Executive Branch leaders.  The CFC is a great opportunity to showcase our workforce, so let’s do all we can to beat our previous donation records.

I’ve enclosed materials to help you encourage potential donors and get them to donate more efficiently.  Together, we can help meet the needs of our fellow Americans who are counting on charities, and show the American people what Federal workers are all about.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email Mark Lambert, Director of the Office of CFC Operations at OPM, and his staff at (202) 606-2564 or at cfc@opm.gov with any questions.

CC:  Chief Human Capital Officers

 

 

 


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

Encourage Participation among Newly Hired Employees

Throughout its history, the CFC has received contributions from an average 57 percent of the federal workforce.  In order to counter anticipated trends in donor loss through retirements, I am requesting your assistance in educating employees, and particularly newly hired and younger federal employees, about this important program. 

I encourage Department and Agency Heads to send the following message in an employee email to help educate Federal contributors about the CFC:

Suggested Email to Employees

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the world’s largest workplace giving campaign.  Last year, federal employees raised nearly $276 million on behalf of charitable organizations across the country and overseas.  If you were one of the 1 million plus donors who contributed through the 2008 CFC, I thank you for your generous support.  If you were not part of that special group, I invite you to join it and help continue the government’s proud tradition of giving back to those in need. 

You will be given an opportunity to make a pledge this fall.  You determine how much you can afford to contribute and to which participating organization(s) you would like to direct your contribution.  Even the smallest of donations can go a long way towards improving the lives of others and payroll deduction is the simplest way for you to contribute.  Payroll deduction lets you spread your contribution across the entire year.  For example if you make the minimum required payroll deduction contribution of $26 and are paid twice a month for a total of 26 pay periods during the year, $1 will be deducted from your pay check each pay period.  As you can see, spreading your contribution out over the year, may allow you to contribute a larger amount and increase the benefits you can provide.

I encourage all new employees who have joined us since last year’s campaign to learn more about the CFC by inquiring with the CFC keyworkers who will be distributing the Charity List and pledge forms. 

Through your federal employment, you have already demonstrated your commitment to America.  The CFC is a great opportunity to further extend your public service by supporting charitable organizations which often provide services and benefits beyond what is available through the government.  In the words of President John F. Kennedy, who established the CFC via Presidential Order in 1961, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.”  Through the CFC you can make a difference in your community, our country, and the world.

Encourage Volunteer Support to Administer the CFC

The CFC would not occur at all without the support of each Department and Agency and its employees.  Further, the involvement of federal employees as CFC representatives is a key reason that the CFC has historically been one of the most cost-effective fundraising mechanisms for nonprofit organizations.

I certainly understand that all of us are stretched for resources.  However, I recommend you allow your employees to serve as CFC Loaned Executives, Coordinators, and Keyworkers to the extent possible during the campaign period as well as encourage employees to serve on the Local Federal Coordinating Committee in their area.  These positions can provide professional development opportunities in areas such as public speaking, financial accountability, and public-private sector partnerships, among others. Since the CFC is a recognized Federal program, it is not appropriate to place these employees on leave or make employees take leave to administer the CFC within your agency.

I encourage Department and Agency Heads to send the following message to your senior executives, supervisors and managers located at your headquarters and at regional/field offices in an email to encourage support for the CFC:

Suggested Email to Senior Executives, Supervisors and Managers

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the world’s largest workplace giving campaign.  Last year, federal employees raised nearly $276 million on behalf of charitable organizations across the country and overseas.  The CFC would not be successful without the administrative support of federal employees at each Department/Agency. 

Federal employees may serve as CFC Loaned Executives, Coordinators, and Keyworkers to the extent possible during the campaign period to ensure a smooth campaign is administered with little or no disruption to the business of the Department/Agency.  I encourage you to provide the local non-profit CFC administrator with resources, as available, to assist in a successful CFC at your location.  Please contact [insert contact name and phone number/email] if you can provide staff to help administer the CFC at your location. 

In addition, I encourage you to consider volunteering to serve on the Local Federal Coordinating Committee in your location.  To do so, please go to OPM’s website at www.opm.gov/cfc/Search/Locator.asp, select the drop down State menu and click on your state to find the LFCC contact in your location.  The LFCC contact can provide you with more information on how to volunteer in this role.  These positions can provide professional development opportunities in areas such as public speaking, financial accountability, and public-private sector partnerships, among others.  Since the CFC is a recognized Federal program, it is not appropriate to place these employees on leave or make employees take leave to administer the CFC within your agency. 

Thank you for your cooperation and support of the CFC.

Lower Administrative Expense with Employee Express

I bring to your attention the CFC module available through Employee Express, a convenient, user-friendly Federal human resource automated system that gives employees direct control over key payroll and personnel information without having to use forms or visit a personnel or payroll office.  If your Department/Agency uses Employee Express, I encourage you to look into obtaining the CFC module available through Employee Express.  The CFC option allows your employees to make contributions through the CFC in an automated, secure and convenient fashion.  This option also will help reduce the cost to administer the CFC and to your payroll offices in that CFC data submitted through Employee Express is automatically uploaded into payroll office systems and transmitted to the local CFC administrator, thus eliminating the need for manual entry by the payroll offices and local CFC administrator as well as the manual collection of pledges from employees by Keyworkers and Coordinators.  If your Department/Agency does not already use Employee Express, but might be interested in it, please visit the Employee Express website at www.employeeexpress.gov for information and contacts.

It has been proven your leadership and endorsement of the CFC goes a long way towards ensuring its success within your Departments and Agencies.  Please take the time this year to encourage your employees’ participation in the CFC via monetary contributions and assistance by volunteering to help administer the CFC.  You may also consider periodic reminders to employees throughout the CFC solicitation period and personal participation in special fundraising events, which are designed to draw attention to the CFC within your Departments and Agencies.

CFC Geographic Boundaries

It has come to our attention that some Federal Departments and Agencies are attempting to conduct national campaigns for their employees by having all employees participate in the CFC of the National Capital Area located in Washington, DC, or to conduct regional campaigns by having all employees participate in one designated campaign located within a certain region.  Please note this is contrary to CFC regulations and must not be done.  CFC regulation 5 CFR § 950.103(h) requires “A Federal employee may participate in a particular CFC only if that employee's official duty station is located within the geographic boundaries of that CFC.”  Federal employees can determine their appropriate CFC by visiting OPM’s CFC website at www.opm.gov/cfc/Search/Locator.asp and selecting the State where their official duty station is located.

Each local campaign contains national and international charitable organizations, as well as local charitable organizations which in most cases operate exclusively within that campaign area.  By conducting national and regional campaigns, Departments and Agencies may unintentionally cause a loss of funding to these local charitable organizations.

In addition, each local campaign plans and budgets for the CFC based on the number of Federal employees covered within their geographic boundaries.  This includes the printing of CFC Charity Lists and pledge forms and ordering awards to recognize contributors.  By removing contributors from the local campaigns, the Departments and Agencies unintentionally interfere with the CFC’s ability to plan and budget.

Thank you for your support of the CFC.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact OPM’s Office of CFC Operations at (202) 606-2564 or at cfc@opm.gov.