We tend to think of the contributions of American civil servants in terms of the jobs they do, but for decades, many of them have been giving back to our country in another way as well. Over the course of its almost sixty-year history, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has been organizing philanthropic donations from federal employees, their generosity enabling the missions of countless charities across the country. Many of these nonprofits count on both the reliable funding that they receive year after year from the CFC, and the volunteer hours that federal employees are also encouraged to pledge.
Recently, a number of these organizations have been stepping up to give back to the federal employees who have been supporting them. As the government shutdown brought financial insecurity into the lives of many of the 800,000 furloughed federal workers and contractors, the very charities that they had so diligently supported for years saw an opportunity to return the favor.
Nonprofits like Feeding America and Operation Warm Heart, beneficiaries of CFC giving, have made their services available to federal workers impacted by the shutdown, and they are not alone. Other charities associated with the CFC, from food pantries to animal welfare societies, have also stepped up to provide assistance to furloughed or otherwise affected workers.
Ron Vassallo, CEO of Kaptivate, a company that oversees many CFC marketing activities, was moved by the number of charities making an effort to give back to their loyal supporters, saying “It’s great to see the compassionate response from CFC nonprofit organizations to the same Federal employees who have supported them for years,” he said. “In this new year of challenge, we’re witnessing an extraordinary giving legacy come full circle.”
Many of the charities themselves have also been inspired by the generosity and resilience of federal workers. These charities have witnessed federal workers and military personnel volunteering to support their less fortunate colleagues at pantries and other support services. In appreciation of this extraordinary support, those federal workers receiving assistance have pledged to donate their own time and money once they’re back on their feet. In the midst of such uncertainty and tension, one cannot help but be inspired by the dedication to service and charity that has been displayed by federal workers across the country and the charitable organizations who have enabled philanthropy to come full circle.
How You Can Get Involved with the Combined Federal Campaign
Since its inception, the CFC has made possible more than $8.3 billion in donations, all through the generosity and altruism of federal employees. The annual campaign provides a period of time where federal agencies and their employees can come together to rally support for the thousands of charities that participate in the program.
This year’s campaign season, which was originally scheduled to run from September 10, 2018 to January 11, 2019, has been extended to run through February 22, which means there is still time to give in support of those less fortunate. As the effects of the shutdown continue to reverberate, now is an important time to be looking out for those in need, and donations can be made through the CFC’s giving website, which can also be used to pledge volunteer hours to charities.
The CFC has a long and proud history, and the role that it enabled charities to play in assisting federal workers impacted by the shutdown was both inspiring and fitting. Any federal employee considering donating volunteer time or money need only look at its legacy to understand that it is an initiative well worth supporting.