Josephine K. Olsen, director of the Peace Corps, will serve as the honorary chairperson of the 2018 Combined Federal Campaign, Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon announced Aug. 17.
“I am delighted to serve as the honorary chair of the 2018 Combined Federal Campaign. It is a proud tradition at the Peace Corps and an opportunity for federal government employees to come together and support charities that impact communities across the country and around the world," Olsen said in a statement to Federal Times.
Olsen was nominated to serve as the director by President Donald Trump in January 2018 and was sworn in at the end of March. She was a Peace Corps volunteer herself in Tunisia from 1966 to 1968.
In a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies, Pon called for leadership support to bolster the upcoming campaign, which will run from Sept. 10, 2018, through Jan. 11, 2019.
With declining donations year-over-year and a late start, the 2017 Combined Federal Campaign has a tough road ahead. That hasn’t put a damper on the spirit of this year’s honorary chair, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who believes strongly in Americans’ charitable nature – particularly that of federal employees.
“Your active and visible leadership is critical to a successful campaign. With your help, we can make sure campaign workers in your organization reach every federal employee to let them know how they can make a voluntary contribution and pledge volunteer time to support organizations that help people in need. To help make this easy, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will provide a package of tools that you can use to communicate with your employees and senior executives,” Pon wrote.
He also encouraged agency leadership to allow employees to serve on the Local Federal Coordinating Committee and other CFC leadership positions.
In addition to a new chair, the CFC online donation portal was updated for the 2018 campaign to accommodate changes requested by federal employees and other donors.
According to Pon’s memo, the new system provides a number of benefits to the program:
- Federal, postal and military personnel all have access to one electronic platform that supports all charities
- Donors can see fees upfront before they pledge
- Annuitants can set recurring gifts where before they could only make one-time pledges
- Employees can pledge volunteer time as well as monetary pledges
- Newly hired employees who start their service outside the CFC solicitation period can still establish pledges