The Combined Federal Campaign, CFC, is in full swing. You can show some love by donating to support your favorite charities through the program. The CFC is the world’s largest workplace giving campaign providing federal employees the opportunity to make donations to charities locally, nationally and internationally.
What is the CFC and why is it needed?
Charitable donation requests in the workplace were unregulated prior to 1961. Some offices pressured employees into making donations while others did not allow it at all. That changed when President John Kennedy officially mandated the U.S. Civil Service Commission create and regulate fundraising in the federal service sector. Formal authority was then given to allow fundraising at federal offices.
Over the years, the program has evolved. The CFC is now the world’s largest annual workplace charity campaign with more than 200 CFC campaigns each year. The giving season runs from September 1 to December 15. Last year alone, federal employees donated more than $177 million to charities through the CFC.
The CFC is open to all federal employees, which includes military service members. Individuals can choose the charity or multiple nonprofit organizations to make tax deductible donations to.
There are over 18,000 charitable organizations on the CFC’s approved list. These include local charities, national nonprofits and international organizations.
You choose the amount you would like to donate and when you would like to have it deducted from payroll or if you want to make a one-time donation.
The goal of the CFC is to provide monetary support to non-profit organizations that support health and human services. The program is designed to help federal employees find efficient ways to make a difference.
Why should you give through the CFC?
If you plan on making a donation to a charitable organization during the year, using the CFC can make it quick and easy. They can spread your donation out over time so that your charity has a steady income throughout the year.
Unfortunately, dishonest people create elaborate scams to get your money. The CFC checks each nonprofit that applies to be on their approved list of charitable donations for authenticity. You can also do your own research through Charity Navigator. They evaluate charities sighting the actual money that is used for their purpose vs how much is spent on other things so that you can make an informed decision on which to donate to.
Who should you give to?
It is up to you and your family to decide which group to donate to. Military families tend to give to nonprofit military-related causes.
More than $2.5 billion annually is donated to the over 40,000 American charities with military-related missions.
Most of these organizations do wonderful work, but some are not very transparent, are not financially stable, are not accountable and do not help service members and veterans as much as they claim. Do your research to make sure your money is well spent.
Here are 6 military related charities you can trust to use donations appropriately.
The American Red Cross: Their goal is to respond to emergencies nationally and internationally. 90.1% of their donations go directly to the program. This includes providing food and shelter to people affected by disasters, collecting blood through blood drives, supporting troops and their families and training people in first aid.
Fisher House Foundation: 91.7% of their profits go directly to providing comfort homes to military and veterans’ families, at no cost to them, when they need to be close to a treatment facility for a family member. Amazingly, there is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center in America.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service Trust: 95.8% of their donations go directly to their program to help physically and psychologically injured veterans. They provide food, shelter and necessities to homeless and at-risk veterans. They also provide accessibility and mobility items to veterans with vision or hearing impairments.
Southeastern Guide Dogs: They received a 97.34 rating, out of 100, on Charity Navigator. One of their programs is Paws for Patriots. This provides veterans with visual impairments guide dogs, veteran assistance dogs to veterans with PTSD, and facility therapy dogs to major military medical centers.
Hope For The Warriors®: Receiving a 94.18 rating, this group offers comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans, and military families that help them with transition, health and wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources.
Our Military Kids: 94.1% of funds go directly to provide support through grants to the children of National Guard and Military Reserve personnel who are deployed, as well as to children of injured service members in all branches. Funds can go toward extracurricular activities, tutoring, and to programs that help nurture children while a parent is deployed or recovering from injury.