The Office of Personnel Management has told federal agencies to encourage their employees to participate in the upcoming annual federal charity drive and allow them to use working time for related activities, within limits.


The Combined Federal Campaign’s solicitation period begins Sept. 1, with the ending dates and the participating charities varying among 184 local campaigns. Last year, the CFC raised $272 million, and over the program’s 50 years, more than $7 billion has been donated.

In a memo sent to agencies Friday, OPM suggested that agencies stress to employees the convenience of payroll deduction, the program’s relatively low overhead costs, and that donating “shows all Americans that Federal employees care about our communities.”

OPM Director John Berry recommended that agency heads allow employees to serve as loaned executives, coordinators, key workers and local coordinating committee members. “These positions are often a great way to develop professional skills such as public speaking, financial accountability and building public-private sector partnerships, among others. Since the CFC is a recognized Federal program, it is not appropriate to place these employees on leave or make employees take leave to administer the CFC within your agency,” he wrote.

Berry further suggested that agencies send an e-mail to senior executives, supervisors and managers urging them to make employees available for CFC-related purposes “to the extent possible during the campaign period to ensure a smooth campaign is administered with little or no disruption to the business of the Department/Agency.”

The memo added that OPM is considering changes recommended recently by a commission that studied the program. They included shifting more of CFC costs to the participating charities and consolidating offices that provide administrative services to local campaigns such as processing receipts and distributions.

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