The way federal employees can participate in the Combined Federal Campaign is about to change.


In an Oct. 14 executive order, the White House said that beginning in 2017, it will allow both federal retirees to contribute to the charity campaign through annuity payments and employees to volunteer for CFC charities, with that time counting toward their agency's goals.  

The move—which actually amends Executive Order 12353, a 1982 provision on charitable giving—is another attempt by the Obama administration to infuse more engagement in the more than 50-year-old workplace giving program, which is managed by the Office of Personnel Management.

"These changes will allow more Federal, Postal, and military personnel to give back to their communities, whether through their checkbooks or with their time," said Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert in a statement.

"And by adding an easy option to allow our more than two million Federal annuitants to participate in the CFC through their annuities, we hope to raise even more money for these worthy causes from employees that choose to donate over the course of their career and into retirement."

Since reaching a decade-best result of $282.6 million in pledges in 2009, CFC contributions have fallen for six consecutive campaigns. Overall, pledges in 2015 were estimated to be $177.8 million, a 37 percent drop from 2009.

OPM said the recent executive order was the result of recommendations of the CFC-50 Commission, which was formed in 2011 to find new ways to modernize and improve the workplace giving program.

Next year’s CFC campaign will already feature a new online giving platform created out of OPM’s partnership with GiveBack.org, a 501(c)(3) donor-advised fund run by Stephen Paletta, to focus on individual donations.

"We are moving forward into using new ways to reach folks and get contributions," Local Federal Coordination Committee chairman Vince Micone said in September. "Frankly, giving has changed overall in the last couple of years. A lot more people are giving directly to organizations they care about online.

"We’ve been seeing that and we’re working closely with [the Office of Personnel Management] on some of the things they are doing to modernize the campaign and it’s pretty exciting. We’re not there yet, but we are taking good steps to make sure we create a platform for federal employees that allows them to give to the charities that they care about at a really low cost."