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CFC drive readies annual appeal
(Published September 8, 2003)

By ERIN HENK
Staff Writer

Oct. 1 kicks off this year’s two-month Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) for the National Capital Area, with the theme "You’ve Got the Power to Help."

The annual campaign allows federal employees to donate the amount of money they want to the charity of their choice through payroll deductions.

A new local campaign manager, Global Impact, has been selected for this year’s campaign and has set a goal of $50 million, surpassing last year’s $47 million worth of donations by federal employees.

CFC was established by the government in 1961, when fundraising was first officially permitted in the federal workplace. CFC was originally organized as a way for multiple fundraising efforts to be united in one campaign that ran once a year. It has since become one of the largest giving campaigns in the workplace.

"It allows employees in the federal workforce to make a difference right here where it matters the most," said Tony DeCristofaro, a spokesman for Global Impact.

DeCristofaro said that primary goals for this year’s campaign are to increase the percentage of contributing employees by 2 percent from each department, in addition to increasing the average gift amount by about 5 percent. Global Impact, an organization which previously increased overseas participation for CFC, is optimistic about reaching this year’s campaign goals in the national capital area.

"We bring together federal employees and charities who want to help give to people who need it most," DiCristofaro said.

There are more than 3,000 organizations included in this year’s campaign. The charities, all featured in the campaign’s "Catalog of Caring," are divided into international, national and local categories and span a variety of areas, including human and civil rights, the environment and the arts. Federal employees can select which organizations they want to give to and make their contributions through payroll deductions. Each government employee is given the opportunity to participate and they may designate the amount of their pledge to as many charities as they’d like.

Last year’s top campaign pledgers were the Department of Health and Human Services, Navy and Marine Corps, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Treasury, Department of Justice, Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, the State Department, the Air Force, the U.S. Postal Service, the Army and the Central Intelligence Agency. Each pledged at least $1 million to the CFC in 2002.

Global Impact is working to get the word out by distributing pledge cards, posters and other printed materials.

"If you’re not asked, you won’t give," said DiCristofaro, who added that Global Impact has worked on obtaining additional volunteers to meet with employees and encourage them to pledge.

Federal departments and agencies that pledge the most will be presented with awards. The President’s Award will be given to departments in which 75 percent of employees make donations or per capita gifts total at least $275. The Chairman’s Award will be given to the department with 67 percent employee participation or a $225 per capita gift. The Honor Award will be given to departments with a 60 percent employee participation or a $175 per capita gift, and the Merit Award will be presented to departments with 55 percent participation or a $125 per capita gift. The Most Improved Award goes to any department with a 2 percent increase in participation over last year’s giving and a 5 percent increase in average giving.

Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator