The United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign kicked off their annual fund raising efforts this month.

Joseph Danzansky, United Way general campaign chairman and chairman of the board of Giant Food, launched the charitable drive at a luncheon attended by about 1,200 volunteers at the Washington Hilton. United Way hopes to surpass its 1977 record-breaking total of $19,288,559 in contributions, but has not set a specific monetary goal.

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has set a goal of $12.5 million in contributions from the 400,000 federal employes in the national capital area. Joseph Califano, Jr., CFC chairman and secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, opened this year's campaign before 1,200 CFC leaders and workers at the Kennedy Center.

The largest single fundraising effort in the Washington area, the United Way Campaign consolidates the charitable appeals of 163 local service agenices.

Fifty of those agencies receive their funds from the United Way's campaign partner, the United Black Fund. The United Black Fund is an autonomous organization representing many health, welfare and social service agencies with programs focused on serving inner-city groups.

The Combined Federal Campaign is an annual charitable drive for federal government employes, with 75 percent of the donations sent to the United Way. A quarter of the CFC funds go to 13 national health agencies, such as the Heart Association and the March of Dimes, and six international service agencies, such as Project Hope and Save the Children.

More than 1 million adults and children - one out of every three people in the national capital area - are served by United Way and United Black Fund agencies. Only seven cents of every dollar is spent on fundraising costs.

Agencies applying for membership must have tax-exempt status, submit to a yearly independent audit and have a board of directors representative of the total community they serve. They must demonstrate the need for their services and their organizational efficiency.

Agencies are not restricted to those that help the poor. Everyone in the community is eligible to receive agency service, regardless of age, color, religion, nationality or economic status.

Persons contributing to the United Way campaign may earmark their donations for the service or agency of their choice. However, most contributors do not designate their donations for any particular agency. In this case, allocations are decided by panels of United Way community volunteers.

The District's regional campaign chairwoman is Flaxie Pinkett, president of John R. Pinkett, Inc.

The United Way recruits more than 100 executives from local firms and organizations for participation in the three-month fundraising effort. Following a four-day training program, these executives are responsible for requesting corporate gifts and for training and coordinating the activities of people involved in soliciting company employe campaigns.