The 2017 CFC Open Season, now will run from October 2, 2017 through January 12, 2018. This start time is about a month later than in previous years and was recommended by the CFC-50 Commission in 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
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:
- Universally available electronic giving. Prior systems only provided truly paperless giving to employees served by certain payroll providers.
- 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.
- A new avenue for recurring gifts by annuitants who could only make one-time pledges in the past; and
- 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.
Since 1961, the CFC has made an enormous impact on the country, as well as the world. The CFC has raised approximately $8.2 billion for charities local, national, and international charities.
More Information For a complete set of the new CFC rules, you can visit the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations at www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=573ebf5b691a8eb8ee7e0f62e4dcf9ca &mc=true&node=se5.2.950_1106&r gn=div8
What is the CFC?
The CFC is the largest and most successful workplace charity campaign in the entire world. The CFC today is known to be the most inclusive workplace giving campaign in the world. The charities supported through the CFC range from nascent community groups to large, well known charities. Additionally, there are roughly 200 CFC local campaign areas throughout the United States. Each of these areas has local and national nonprofit organizations that work closely with committees of federal employees who volunteer their time to CFC.
How does the CFC support military families and veterans?
Because there are more than 20,000 charitable organizations involved in the CFC, many military families benefit from the CFC’s efforts. Additionally, in 2015, military and Defense department civilians donated more than $80 million to the CFC. Furthermore, the DoD raised $14 million for the CFC in 2015, which is the highest-achieving federal agency in the campaign.
There are a lot of different donation packages to choose from that offer support to struggling military families and veterans. For example, the US Department of Defense explains that $20 provides a struggling military family with a hot meal; $50 gives a wounded service member a comfort kit in the hospital; $75 pays for the technology to keep service members in touch with their families while they’re away; $150 helps provide shelter to a military family; $300 gives veterans access to career guidance; and $500 trains the caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured troops.
Which charities are allowed to participate?
In order for a charity to participate in the CFC, they have to meet the eligibility requirements. First of all, the CFC of the National Capital Area explains that all participating charities must be designated as a tax-exempt non profit under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Additionally, programs participating on a regional level have to show substantial presence within the campaign’s geographical boundaries. “Independent Organizations” and “Federations” are also required to have at least 15 member organizations that meet the CFC eligibility criteria.
What are some of the CFC’s accomplishments today?
In 2016, 33 campaigns saw an increase in participation and 29 campaigns saw a 7.4% increase over their combined 2015 totals. Over the past decade, the CFC has had tremendous success with new technology and web-based philanthropy. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management explains that contributions have increased steadily with technological developments.