Many of us find ourselves on the receiving end of frequent requests to contribute to various charitable causes — whether directly from the organizations themselves or through family or friends. We receive pre-addressed mailing labels in the hopes that we’ll support a charity’s programs. Friends ask us to sponsor a walk to support medical research. Neighborhood kids sell wrapping paper or candy to fund school activities. Even those passionate about helping others may find the nonstop solicitations a bit overwhelming.
In addition to feeling overwhelmed by the constant requests for support, we can also feel like our contributions are not large enough to have an impact. Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds. That statistic seems insurmountable if you’re not a researcher or doctor who is able to work toward finding a cure. But just $30 provides one hour of lab time for a technician conducting groundbreaking research on Alzheimer’s disease — and that hour could make all the difference in the world.
Fortunately, for federal employees and retirees, there is a simple solution to support the causes you care about — the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). As the only authorized charitable solicitation of employees in the federal workplace, the CFC is the official avenue for nonprofits wishing to reach this pool of donors, an arrangement that is beneficial to both the donors and the charities.
The campaign is the perfect opportunity and place for members of the federal community to choose the causes they care about and make a pledge to charities working in those areas. Campaign donors have the option to choose from thousands of charities and give to as many as they would like. They also control whether an organization receives their contact information and can remain anonymous if they prefer.
“The CFC enables me to make the donations to the organizations that matter to me the most,” said Mary Coats, an employee with the National Institutes of Health. “There are [thousands of] charities to choose from, so I know the organizations that are important to me are available. And I can choose multiple organizations to donate to, in one easy deduction.”
Charities also benefit from the program. Imagine trying to reach every single federal employee across the country and around the world. The CFC provides access to a critical source of funding for participating nonprofits and an inexpensive way to attract new donors. U.S. Postal Service employee Deborah Valentine recognizes that “many organizations do not have the ability to fundraise, and the CFC is wonderful avenue for them to do so.”
The 2017 CFC runs from Oct. 2, 2017, through Jan. 12, 2018, and federal employees will only be solicited during that time. However, charities receive these funds all year long, providing a reliable source of revenue to support their programs. Contributions raised through the campaign are also unrestricted, empowering charities to respond effectively to community needs rather than being required to direct funds to a certain program.
Whether you care about veterans services, disaster relief, cancer research, or wildlife preservation, the CFC has a charity for any cause you want to support. So don’t wait — give through the CFC and Show Some Love to a cause you care about. Visit opm.gov/ShowSomeLoveCFC for more information and to make a pledge.