Federal employees in the D.C. metro area will have an extra month to give to their favorite charities through the Combined Federal Campaign, according to a recent announcement.

(Courtesy of Combined Federal Contribution) (Courtesy of Combined Federal Contribution)

The Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the contribution program, has extended the deadline to Jan. 15 of next year, in part because the 16-day government shutdown brought the effort to a virtual standstill this month.

Many agencies canceled CFC fundraising events during the closure, which resulted in furloughs for the federal officials who oversee the program.

Vince Micone, chairman of the coordinating committee for the D.C. area, said in a statement Monday: “I remain convinced that the compassion and dedication of federal workers will shine through a difficult time and that we will have a robust, successful campaign.”

The CFC, created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, normally begins Sept. 1 and lasts through Dec. 15. It has brought in more than $7 billion to charities during the past 50-plus years, placing it among the world’s largest workplace giving programs.

Contributions toward the CFC have declined in recent years, dropping from $283 million in 2009 to $258 million in 2012, according to congressional aides who have studied the matter.

A special commission last year recommended changes for the program, and OPM proposed new guidelines in April based on those suggestions.

The proposals could affect a wide range of CFC policies, from how the government admits charities to when and how federal employees can make contributions.

During a July hearing to discuss how to reverse the declining numbers, leaders of several charitable organizations opposed the OPM recommendations, saying they would further reduce giving.

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