Attention, Combined Federal Campaign charities, PCFOs, participating employees (and anyone else involved in the CFC)


Dear CFC community:

As many of you know, the Office of Personnel Management is seeking public comment on a proposed overhaul of the campaign. As of this morning, almost 160 comments had been submitted; because the deadline for commenting is June 7, Federal Times would like to do a story for our next print issue on reaction to the plan.

But we need your help. OPM isn’t posting the comments online and won’t otherwise release copies without a Freedom of Information Act request (which typically takes months to process).  So, if you’ve weighed in on the plan, we’re asking you to send us your comments directly. If you’re comfortable doing that, please email them to me (Staff Writer Sean Reilly) at With your permission (and please make that clear in your message), we’ll also post as many of the comments on Fed Times’ site as our bandwidth and hard-working web staff can handle.

Thanks in advance for your help!




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  1. Please send me the name and phone number of the reporter working on this. There are massive changes proposed to the CFC by OPM, and they’re lying about it.

    Bill Huddleston
    The CFC Coach
    billhuddleston at verizon dot net

  2. Here’s an idea: Eliminate the CFC altogether. There is no way on Earth I will donate one red cent henceforth. Pay freezes, skyrocketing health insurance premiums and forced furloughs brought this on. Somehow I doubt I am the only one who feels this way.

    This comment may be posted as desired.

  3. Being realistic on

    OPM is attempting at making sweeping changes to the program without taking the comments into consideration. I am unsure when OPM became it’s own legislative body, however it is apparent, ragrdless of what the public comments, OPM will do as it chooses and this is plain wrong. OPM, use the process, let the process work and listen to the people!!

    @ Grumpy, it is evident you miss the entire purpose of CFC. If you choose not to contribute to others that is your choice, however the people who choose to give to others do so at the own will. For you to blame this program for furloughs and pay freezes is ignorant. If you believe CFC is to blame, you should do some research, you will be surprised at what you find.

  4. Here’s another idea: … a question really. If the CFC is eliminated, what do you think will happen to the tens of thousands of people helped by CFC charities each year (more than $250 million dollars worth of help by generous, insightful, compassionate federal employees). I can take a guess, they will go to their government for help with food, shelter, health care, etc. Gee, I wonder if that would put an even further burden on our already distressed fiscal coffers. Then, gee, I wonder if we might have even more pay freezes, furloughs, etc. Stopping the CFC doesn’t stop the NEED for charity work and is not the answer. Administering this amazing program in the most fiscally responsible manner to generate as much donations as possible is the answer.. for the program and for all those a little less fortunate than you, grumpy.

  5. The CFC has been active for over 51 years and due to the generosity of federal employees, has raised over $7 Billion! Bravo Federal Employees for our compassion and dedication to helping/serving others. Sadly, by cutting the CFC, wonderful programs will lose funds. With furloughs, pay freezes and lack of hiring we are all doing our best to remain positive during this trying time. Many federal employees are feeling the affects already and are seeking assistance elsewhere…many seeking help from CFC charities. So imagine needing food from a local food bank (which was funded by federal employee donations (CFC), and the food bank being closed. What will you or I do then? We can’t rely on government to support these missions and we can’t keep raising taxes. Donations, whether through CFC or directly to the charity, are the back bone to their missions. By cutting the CFC, Americans and just shutting the door on hope. CFC is purely optional, but without the option, our charities (large and small) WILL be impacted.

  6. In my agency, they intimate folks into donating $500 with a breakfast that is paid for by the agency – ONLY for those folks who donated $500 or more. If you donate under $500 (a year) you get nothing. I stopped donating to CFC years ago when they started this practice. I would rather donate directly to Best Friends out of Utah or perhaps MercuryOne who 100% of their donations go towards helping folks. It is a joke. But today, so is the government as a whole.

  7. Can’t blame you for being “grumpy” about pay freezes and forced furloughs, but please consider who would be hurt by eliminating the CFC. The government? No. They are *trying* to kill the CFC. Have you seen OPM’s proposed rule changes? It’s a death sentence for the CFC if they move forward. Ultimately it is the charities that will suffer, to the tune of about $260 million annually. Sure, you can always give directly to the charities you like, but without an annual ask (be honest with yourself) will you remember? You might, but most won’t. And feds won’t be able to give by payroll deduction anymore, which is a huge plus both to donors and charities. Let’s not hurt our charities, who need us more than ever, by throwing the CFC under OPM’s guillotine.

  8. To grumpy, yes – “Pay freezes, skyrocketing health insurance premiums and forced furloughs”. So in these times does it not seem that Federal Employees will need even more of the local community support provided by charities empowered by CFC campaign funds!!! I want to hear more about how the local charities that get CFC funds are helping out Federal Employees. Let’s talk about that.

  9. Small nips and tucks are all that’s needed to improve the giving experience for donors and increase dollars raised for charity. The major overhaul OPM is proposing is like getting a face lift when you really only need a makeover.

  10. To all who question my rationale for eliminating CFC: Note that I did not say nor do I agree with eliminating charity. I simply propose eliminating a bloated structure whose overhead is much too high. Why should I support CFC when I can support a charity (which happens to be listed in the CFC) directly, meaning my charity dollars are applied more to the charity itself, absent the bloated overhead.

    And to you “Being Realistic” Thank you Dr. Obvious! Of course CFC did not cause the freezes, furloughs etc! How on earth could you have interpreted my post as such??!!

  11. The CFC is a tool that allows charities to access the largest employer in the United States, the Federal Government. OPM wishes to alter the CFC in such a manner that the gateway that raises hundreds of millions in donations annually will be slammed shut. The resulting constriction in charitable organizations’ budgets will have drastic effects on the nonprofit sector. Even if there was some way to revive charitable giving on a scale equal to that of the CFC, how long would it take? The CFC has been around for over fifty years. Does OPM expect grassroots and local fundraising to replace an organization and network of charitable giving that has spent a half century to nurture? Unless OPM can create such a network overnight, there will be rampant destruction to charitable organizations and the clients they serve across our country. If OPM succeeds in nailing the coffin shut on the CFC, the need for service will not be buried alongside it.

  12. OPM’s decision to revamp the CFC seems to be based upon the good intention of revamping and updating a campaign that was created fifty years ago. Innovation is at the core of every successful continuing endeavor, as long as that innovation is based upon evidence of positive results. OPM has provided no empirical evidence that there will be a reduction in campaign costs, no empirical evidence that federal employees will continue to have access to the CFC, and no empirical evidence that charitable giving will not suffer as a result to the CFC overhaul. OPM is charged with ensuring that its regulations “impose the least burden on society”, “promote predictability and reduce uncertainty”, and “take into account benefits and costs, both quantitative and qualitative”. OPM has not provided evidence in any manner to address these concerns or their own responsibilities. The CFC and its participating charitable organizations should not be subjected to an experiment in innovation without the evident assurance that they will not suffer qualitatively and quantitatively.

  13. Still a giver on

    I stopped giving through the CFC 5 years ago – the overhead costs are too high. As a giver at the Eagle level, I couldnt justify losing that much of my donation so someone could route the money to my charities, when the charities are happy to do a direct deduction from my checking account at no extra cost. I think all the generous federal employees will find ways to donate without paying for a double overhead (CFC and the charity’s own), and the charitable entities will get more money to use.

  14. Grumpy, I can’t fault you for wanting to ensure that the greatest possible amount of your donation goes to charity. That just shows your heart is in the right place. If you have found a great way to maximize your contributions and stay within your budget, that’s awesome. But workplace giving like the CFC works for me and hundreds of thousands of federal employees because payroll deduction allows us to be more generous than we otherwise could be.

    Case in point: Yesterday I really wanted to make a contribution to help survivors of the Moore tornado, but honestly the most I felt I could donate right then was $5. I know that’s not a lot, but it’s something and I was glad to give it. However, through payroll deduction I can (and do) give a little more than that to disaster-response agencies each payday, and it adds up to way more than my one-time gift. Why would you take that away from me? I’ve looked into the CFC overhead and don’t find it bloated at all. On the contrary, the national average for CFC campaigns is 10% overhead, and I find that reasonable knowing that 90% goes to my selected charities and the other 10% pays for the campaign to be offered to me and others each year. And who “gets” that 10%? Not OPM – it reimburses the non-profit agency (PCFO) that administers the campaign and pays for all its costs upfront. For the ease, convenience and recurring value of my gift, I’ll gladly “pay” that 10%. (It’s really the charity that pays and apparently they’re glad to do it for the exposure and value CFC brings them — otherwise they would stop applying.) Even after subtracting the overhead, the CFC allows me to be way more generous than I could be otherwise. I think that’s something worth keeping.

    For more about overhead, I encourage you to take the time to watch this speech by Dan Palotta; it totally changed the way I think about charities and overhead:

    Just offering a different point of view. Have a good weekend.

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