Charities critical of new federal giving rules

The Obama administration will issue new federal employee charitable giving regulations that it says “will mean that more of a Federal worker’s contribution to the CFC will go directly to the charities they want to help.”

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. (Courtesy of OPM).
OPM Director Katherine Archuleta (Courtesy of OPM)

Charitable leaders, however, fear the new rules will  result in fewer donors and lower contributions to the Combined Federal Campaign.

The CFC funnels donations from federal employees to charitable organizations. The new regulations were submitted by the Office of Personnel Management last week and will be published in the Federal Register soon.

The new rules say cash donations will be eliminated, all charities will pay a nonrefundable application fee and, in an effort to streamline operations, the distribution of funds to charities will move from more than 150 CFC financial centers “to one or a few Central Campaign Administrators (CCA).”

Centralization is one of the main concerns of leaders of charitable organizations.

“The way charitable giving works best in the workplace is when a fellow employee asks another employee to give to something that they care about and that they know about,” said Steve Taylor, senior vice president of United Way Worldwide. “With the centralization, with the lack of authority from the local employee committee, you lose that.”

In an OPM blog post, Katherine Archuleta, the agency’s director, acknowledged the criticisms, saying “We understand that some groups have expressed apprehension over these changes. We take these concerns seriously and remain fully committed to working closely with charities and key stakeholders as we implement the final rule.”

federaldiary@washpost.com

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

 

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.

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