The Combined Federal Campaign and You
A webinar presented by the FEW Foundation
for Education and Training
“To empower career achievement through
education and training.”
The Combined Federal Campaign and You
Dawn Nester, President of the FEW
Foundation for Education and Training, and
Valerie Stringer, Regional Manager for the DC
Metro Region of FEW, are your presenters
Dawn will give an overview of the Combined
Federal Campaign that is consistent
throughout all campaigns.
Thank you, Jack.
The official web site for information about the
Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is through
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at
This web site provides the regulations that
governs the CFC, as well as additional
The mission of the CFC is to promote and
support philanthropy through a program that is
employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective
in providing all federal employees the
opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.
The CFC is the ONLY sanctioned charitable
giving program allowed in the federal
While OPM provides oversight, each of the 300
CFC’s nationwide and overseas have their own
Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC).
The LFCC’s are comprised of federal
employees from the agencies represented in
their area. For example, I serve on the LFCC
for the Northern New England CFC.
As a member of the LFCC, I represent my
agency (IRS) and vote on issues such as what
types of recognition items will be offered to
contributors, whether the geographic area will
be expanded to include other areas, whether
the campaign will offer on-line pledging, as well
as sitting on various subgroups.
Federal employees screen local applications
for participation in each year’s campaign.
OPM screens the organizations in the national
and international sections of your catalog.
A charitable organization accepted in one year
will NOT be automatically accepted in
succeeding years. Charitable organizations
must apply and be screened annually.
The screening subgroup follows OPM-
prescribed factors in order to include a
charitable organization, such as completed
audits to ensure the organization is in good
standing with the IRS, that the organization is
actually doing the work it states it does, and
the application is complete and timely.
The LFCC does not process pledges.
However, it does review the applications of
companies that submit bids for consideration to
be a campaign Principal Combined Financial
Organization (PCFO). OPM provides the
guidelines for the review process.
The most well-known PCFO, perhaps, is your
local United Way but they are not the only ones
who offer bids.
Global Impact handles PCFO duties for the
National Capital Area.
The PCFO processes your pledges and
ensures that the charitable organizations
receive your pledges timely and efficiently.
However, no pledge will be processed until the
books are closed for a campaign year and the
resulting audit matches to the penny.
Payroll deductions are generally started with
the first pay period of the new year following
the close of a campaign.
However, the first pay out to a charitable
organization is generally in late April, early
May. The gap is due to the audit that must
take place at the end of the campaign and
determining whether a qualifying charitable
organization will receive a lump-sum payout or
a quarterly distribution.
The amount of the total pledges determines the
type of payout a charitable organization
receives. The minimum for a quarterly
distribution is $5,000 in pledges. Anything less
than $5,000 is paid out in a lump sum one-time
Charitable organizations apply for the CFC
because the funds are a steady, reliable
If you have doubts about the value of pledging
through the CFC to your favorite charitable
organization, call them and ask. Many will tell
you they would prefer you pledge through your
CFC because (1) having a steady, reliable
revenue stream leaves them freer to do the
work of their organization and (2) typically, a
person will give more through payroll deduction
than they will writing a one-time check.
Not too many of us can write a one-time check
of $650 in today’s economy but some of us can
afford $25 per pay period over 26 pay periods,
which equals $650.
Of course, your favorite charitable organization
will be grateful for any amount you choose to
contribute any way you chose to participate.
Federal employees nationwide, as well as
overseas, have contributed over $1 billion
dollars to their favorite organizations over the
past five years.
The most amazing thing about that statistic is
not the dollar amount.
What makes that statistic so amazing is that
participation in the CFC has been gradually
declining over the last several years.
Several factors have contributed to the
declining participation rate, including, but not
retirement by many of the Baby Boomer
tough economic times,
new employees not being introduced to
the CFC unless it is to say, “Tag…you’re
it!” to be an office Keyworker with little to
no experience in campaign management,
employees who aren’t asked to
A survey indicated that over 50 percent of the
respondents didn’t participate because they
weren’t asked to do so.
If you have not received your campaign
material, please consider seeking out your
Keyworker to request the brochure and pledge
card or use your agency’s on-line option, if
You will only be solicited to participate in your
office. If you are handed materials outside
your agency’s building, chances are the
materials represent a specialty group to
encourage you to pledge to their charitable
groups. The people distributing the material
are not representing your official campaign.
If your favorite organization is not listed in your
catalog, contact the organization and ask to
talk to whomever handles marketing for the
organization. Encourage the organization to
visit their local CFC or the OPM web site for
information for charitable organizations and
apply for the next year’s campaign. Chances
are the marketing person (1) hasn’t heard
about CFC or (2) doesn’t know how the
process works. Applications are generally
submitted in January of each year.
The CFC isn’t just about making pledges.
Oftentimes, someone we know has either been
helped by a charitable organization or
volunteers for an organization in the catalog.
Sometimes someone in your family has been
helped and you never knew about it.
As a member of the Northern New England
CFC, I recently attended training. Two of the
participants shared their stories.
One trainee recently learned that her son has
autism and is receiving help.
The other trainee learned that her family
received help from a local food pantry when
she was a child and she never knew it.
Both organizations participate in the CFC.
I shared that my daughter and son-in-law have
been recipients of the services of their local
Visiting Nurses Association when he was
injured in a motorcycle accident earlier this
year. My mother, who has Alzheimers,
participates in the VNA adult day care program
where I live in a different county from my
Personal stories make a campaign “real” for
many potential donors. If you have been a
recipient or volunteer for an organization listed
in your catalog, consider sharing your story
with your co-workers. Your story can positively
influence a campaign’s results.
There is another side to the CFC that isn’t
talked about as much but is also important.
The other aspect of a CFC is how you can
become personally involved:
as a Keyworker,
as a Campaign Manager, or,
as a Loaned Executive.
If you are solicited to be a Keyworker, give it
serious consideration before saying, “I’m too
You can develop work-related skills by being
involved in a campaign including, but not
communication (verbal and written).
A successful Keyworker will develop a plan to
personally contact everyone in her or his area
(project management), encourage participation
(leadership), have an impact on co-workers’
decisions (influence), and may be asked to
make a presentation about the CFC during a
staff meeting (communication).
Campaigns are organized differently from
agency to agency but the above points are
fairly common across the board.
Depending on your agency’s evaluative
process, you may be able to include what you
learn through active participation in the CFC in
your self-assessment under the appropriate
Critical Element or Core Factor, as well.
This will be especially true if your agency
participates in the local Loaned Executive (LE)
An LE is someone who is literally loaned to the
PCFO for the duration of the campaign, usually
from August to December, possibly longer for
larger campaign areas.
An LE assists the PCFO with such facets of the
campaign as Keyworker Training, agency kick-
offs, charity fairs within agencies, and can be
assigned specific agencies within their area for
larger campaign areas, such as in the
Washington metropolitan area.
I was privileged to serve as an LE in 2001
while working in the D.C. metropolitan area. I
was assigned eight agencies, the smallest
having 3 people and the largest having over
By campaign’s end, I had enhanced her
interpersonal relationship, communication,
presentation, and project management skills
that translated well to her day-to-day job when
I returned to my agency.
If your agency doesn’t participate in an LE
program in your area, seek information about
the program from your local PCFO and present
it to your management. Chances are they
haven’t been solicited to provide an LE or don’t
know much about the developmental skills
aspect of the program or don’t know what’s
involved in providing an employee for the
As was observed earlier, the CFC isn’t just
about pledging, as satisfying as it is to know
you’re helping the organizations you support.
I am going to turn this portion of the
presentation over to Valerie Stringer, Regional
Manager for the DC Metro Region.
Thank you, Dawn.
I also serve on the FEW Foundation’s Council
For those of you who are listening in from the
DC Metropolitan area, we are pleased to
announce that the FEW Foundation for
Education and training is listed in your 2009
campaign catalog for the second year in a row.
The Foundation’s Board of Trustees and
Council of Advisors were very grateful to the
contributors of the 2008 campaign who helped
us continue to bring our webinar series to
members and non-members at no cost.
Through the generosity of our contributors in
2008, we were also able to provide
scholarships to FEW’s regions to allow
members to attend local regional training
programs. Joyce Gottlieb from the Women on
the Move Chapter was the DC Metro Region’s
2009 RTP scholarship recipient.
We are currently in conversation with FEW’s
Scholarship Chair to develop an additional
National Training Program scholarship to the
2010 NTP in New Orleans in July.
By now, those of you who are members in the
DC Metro Region should have received a joint
letter from Dawn and I encouraging your
continued support of the FEW Foundation
through your agency’s CFC for 2009.
The FEW Foundation’s CFC number is 83798.
As Dawn noted earlier, any contribution made
either in cash, check, or by payroll deduction
will be greatly appreciated.
The FEW Foundation uses CFC contributions
wisely. I encourage you to review the one-
page handout that shows what we can do with
$1 per pay period as well as higher amounts.
The next FEW Foundation webinar will be held
on December 11th at noon Eastern time. The
topic will be “PowerPoint Tips and Tricks.”
Nikki Follis, a faculty member from Grantham
University, will be our presenter.
You may register for this webinar now by
clicking on the active link in this handout,
posted on our website
Thank you for your participation in today’s
“To empower career achievement through
education and training.”