In the wake of a slumping economy, a government-wide charitable giving campaign fell just short last year of matching records set in 2009.

The Combined Federal Campaign, considered the largest workplace giving campaign in the world, collected $281.5 million in 2010 from federal civilian, military and postal employees, down from the record $282.6 million collected the year before.

Last year’s CFC included 209 giving regions across the U.S. and overseas, benefiting about 25,000 charities, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Regions with the largest percentage increases in giving included South Puget Sound in Washington State, a region comprising parts of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee and a region in South Carolina.

Now in its 50th year, the CFC giving season runs annually from September through mid-December. Workers may select from thousands of charities and nonprofit organizations that meet strict accountability and eligibility standards. OPM said federal employees have donated about $7 billion through the program since it began in 1961.

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