Longstanding campaign, $8.2 billion raised

Longstanding campaign, $8.2 billion raised

(courtesy graphic)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Since 1971, after a national implementation, one campaign has been able to give $8.2 billion to a variety of different charitable organizations.

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is a means that is allowing federal employees and retirees to donate to a choice of one or multiple charities through a single electronic transaction online. 

“This campaign is different because of the amount of people we are able to reach,” said Master Sgt. Christina Hollis, Barksdale’s CFC coordinator and 2nd Munitions Squadron Cruise Missile Flight support section chief. “If just one charity representative was trying to contact the whole base for support, imagine how lucrative would that be? Through the CFC we are able to have a point of contact in every squadron allowing the impact to be much broader.”

The CFC provides a direct connection to over 20,000 charities. In 2016, 400,000 people utilized the CFC to donate $167 million to those charities.

All donations are tax deductible as of January 2018 and all of the money is fiscally controlled and audited.

“Sometimes when you donate there isn’t a follow through to show how your donation is helping,” Hollis said. “The auditing process for the CFC gives you that comfort to know your donation is secure and is going to be used for its intended purpose.”

New to this year is an online portal that allows all of the functions of the CFC to be centrally located.

“It is basically like a bank,” Hollis said. “You go online to the donation website and create an account. Then you are able to select different options such as the donation amount, reoccurrence, how many charities you would like your donation to be split up for, and payment options. There is even a search option that allows you to look up charities by cause or by state.”

This is the first year retirees are able to donate. Another addition is the option to donate time, which opens up opportunities for people who would rather be hands-on than give monetarily.

“When online, you just prompt to donate time and enter your contact information,” Hollis said. “The organization will be able to contact you directly to set up a time best for you both.”

This campaign allows people an easier way to support a specific organization that means something to them.

Hollis is a CFC donor because of a past experience where she was personally impacted by CFC charities.

In 2011, she and her family were affected by a natural disaster in Minot, North Dakota. A flood left them without a home. Thanks to a few CFC charities, the weight of that situation was made lighter.

“We were given emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, money for food, and even offered a temporary home to stay in,” Hollis said. “We were provided with great disaster relief assistance from many organizations not only after the flood but also during the rebuilding of our home. It was truly a blessing.”

Now Hollis and her family are able to contribute donations that allow these charities to help others just as they helped her and her family. 

Reasons to donate aren’t always correlated with a direct impact from a charity, but sometimes from a personal experience. This is true for Tech. Sgt. Daniel Wallace, CFC’s 8th Air Force headquarters representative and 608th Air Operations Center target development supervisor.

“The reason I decided to get involved was because I have had a number of family members who have dealt with cancer,” Wallace said.

In February 2017, Wallace lost his mother after a battle with cancer.

“My family and I have always given to different cancer research organizations, but having had that experience hit so close to home it means even more now,” Wallace said.

No matter the reason, cause, amount of money or time, giving through the CFC allows a correlation to be made from a federal employee to the surrounding communities.

“The CFC gives us that opportunity to really focus our contributions back to where we want to see them go,” Wallace said. “It’s great to be able to give to something that has impacted or is impacting your life as opposed to just throwing cash somewhere and hoping it gets utilized correctly.”

To donate through the CFC, visit cfcgiving.opm.gov. Due to changes they are not looking for cash donations or fundraising at this point in time. Checks are permitted but need to be routed through each squadron’s POC.