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CFC board recommends expanding solicitations to retirees, contractors

Dec. 7, 2011 - 08:58PM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
In 2010 CFC experienced its first drop in donations since 2002 - from $282.6 million in 2009 to $281.5 million in 2010.
In 2010 CFC experienced its first drop in donations since 2002 - from $282.6 million in 2009 to $281.5 million in 2010. (File)

The Combined Federal Campaign, whose donor numbers have dropped by 400,000 over the last decade, should expand its solicitations to include federal retirees and contractors, a new commission recommends.

Currently, CFC regional campaigns cannot solicit contractors and civilian and military retirees, nor can these groups make recurring pledges online with their credit cards, Overseas CFC Director Lou Torchia said during a CFC-50 Commission meeting on Tuesday.

Since September, the commission has been crafting recommendations to revitalize the 50-year-old charity drive. The campaign in 2010 experienced its first drop in donations since 2002 from $282.6 million in 2009 to $281.5 million in 2010.

The commission whose members include CFC donors, campaign volunteers, nongovernment administrators of the campaign, participating charities and watchdog groups discussed 22 recommendations that will be fine-tuned for a final report to Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry due March 31.

Some recommendations can be implemented faster than others, such as providing new hires with a CFC brochure during orientation. But others may require legislative action or regulatory changes, such as extending CFC fundraising from the current deadline of Dec. 15 to Jan. 15.

Among other recommendations:

Identify opportunities to merge campaigns.

Create a national CFC website that includes a standard, online giving system for payroll and credit cards and a database with all participating charities.

Evaluate requirements for charities to participate in the CFC. For example, the evaluation could factor in fundraising totals over time, financial health and overhead costs.

Clarify and explain the cost and benefits of the campaign to donors.

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