Amid recent scandals regarding inappropriate agency conference spending, this morning’s Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) Kickoff was striking. With neither mimes and commemorative coins – nor coffee and refreshments – the event was marked in its simplicity and clarity of purpose. The almost 600 campaign coordinators and volunteers, from across all Federal departments and organizations, gathered today to celebrate their campaign’s accomplishments from the previous year, and to inspire the relentless dedication, fearless leadership, and hope needed to meet their ambitious goals for giving during this year’s fall campaign.
John F. Kennedy launched the Combined Federal Campaign in 1961 as a means for Federal employees to collectively help people in need within the United States and around the world. The CFCNCA is one of over 200 regional campaigns across the country, serving Federal employees working within the D.C. metropolitan area. Last year, over 121,000 Federal employees from the D.C. metropolitan area pledged over $64 million in donations. Now in its 51st year, the program continues its efforts to support philanthropy through collective action.
Arriving at the plenary session this morning, “bring your own coffee” in hand, Renee Acosta of Global Impact spoke to the impact of the program. As she congratulated attendees, “Each person in the room is volunteering to coordinate the program, donating time and effort to meet this year’s campaign goal of over 62 million dollars.” Looking around the room, she recognized the campaign coordinators present from each Federal organization, noting that most have continued to volunteer year after year to support the Campaign.
Acosta spoke to the continued generosity of Federal employees, noting that each year Federal workers continue to increase their charitable giving cumulatively. She also highlighted the goals for the 2012 Campaign: raising 62 million in donations, increasing participation to 34 percent of all Federal workers, and increasing the utilization of e-giving. Speaking to current financial circumstances, she affirmed, “The economic crisis isn’t a reason or excuse [not to give]; those closest to need are the most generous of spirit.”
During the session, attendees also heard from Mark Bergel of A Wider Circle, one of the many charities that have received funding through the Campaign. He applauded the efforts of the volunteers, explaining that their effort to lift families from poverty is only possible through the generosity of others. He spoke movingly, reminding us, “what seems like a marginal contribution [can collectively] save hundreds of thousands of lives.”
This kickoff event marks the beginning of a new season for giving, raising money for more than 4,400 charities worldwide that provide human services, health care, medical research, disaster relief, housing, youth development, and much more.
For more information about the Combined Federal Campaign, visit CFCNCA.org.