Donna Gillis | March 31, 2016

Census CFC Donations Reach $582,062

This article is a reprint, posted with permission from the Public Information Office, U.S. Census Bureau.

Jeff Brown — the outreach and engagement manager for America’s Charities — shared a personal story at the Census Bureau’s Combined Federal Campaign award ceremony on March 1. He spoke of how his adoption as a baby to a loving family was made possible by a nonprofit in the Washington, D.C., area. 

“My good fortune can be attributed to people just like you,” Brown said. “When you give to the CFC, more than likely you are never going to meet the people who benefitted from your generosity. But, believe me, they’re out there and they’re thankful.” 

The Census Bureau celebrated another successful Combined Federal Campaign during the ceremony, with agency leaders and CFC beneficiaries thanking Census Bureau staff for their generous $582,062 in contributions during the 2015-2016 campaign.

“I know that we are very engaged in our mission and very engaged in public service,” Census Bureau Deputy Director Nancy Potok said in the headquarters auditorium, with staff from the National Processing Center and regional offices watching via teleconference. “Knowing that in striving to reach our CFC goal, we contribute to the well-being of the public, not only in our nation but around the world, is an important goal that we share.” 

The Office of the Associate Director for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer received the 100 Percent Participation Award, an honor recognizing that every member of the unit contributed. It is the first office to receive the award in this century. 

Census Bureau Director John Thompson pointed out that the Census Bureau had impressive participation overall as well. 

“Our staff earned 11 President’s Awards, four Chairman’s Awards, six Honor Awards, and six Merit Awards,” he said at the ceremony. The President’s Award recognizes reporting units with 75 percent employee participation or $275 per capita gift; the Chairman’s Award recognizes 67 percent participation or $225 per capita gift; the Honor Award, 60 percent or $175 per capita; and the Merit Award, 50 percent or $125 per capita. 

Thompson also stated that for this campaign, he had the privilege of serving as CFC vice chair for the Department of Commerce, and the Census Bureau had the privilege of leading the effort for the department. The department reached its goal — a notable achievement — and Thompson acknowledged the team that helped. 

Leaders and charity representatives expressed gratitude throughout the ceremony toward Census CFC key workers and organizers. 

“I want to give a special thanks to all the key workers,” Local 2782 Union President Johnny Zuagar said. “I want to give a special thanks to all the people who come up with these [fundraising] ideas.” 

He noted his amazement at seeing participation rates go up throughout the campaign. 

“You look at the participation charts the first couple of weeks and you’re like, are we going to do it this year?” Zuagar said. “And then all of a sudden, I don’t know how it happens, you start seeing the 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent. It’s just something that we do.” 

Beth Gunter of the CFC-funded environmental federation EarthShare reminded the audience about the direct assistance that CFC contributions provide. 

The Question-Aires (Lou Barletta, Francis Anderson, Edward Hull, Mark Pulling, Bill Lloyd and Robert Struble) perform at the CFC ceremony.

“Everyone in the audience at some point has had to use a charity or knows someone who has needed to use a nonprofit,” she said. “If you know someone who has rescued a dog, they’ve benefitted from a nonprofit. If you know someone who’s needed help with cancer treatment, they’ve used a nonprofit. Someone who’s lost their house in a flood or fire, the nonprofits will be there to help.” 

Gunter also said that for charities, CFC is especially important because it allows them to budget and use these unrestricted funds. 

“That gives them the chance, when they get that call at midnight saying, for example, that Hurricane Katrina just happened, to have the money and unrestricted funds to help people,” Gunter said. 

Brown represents Chantilly, Va.-based America’s Charities. It’s a federation of approximately 180 charitable organizations. America’s Charities organizes workplace giving campaigns in the United States administered through the federal government, state and local government, and private sector corporations and provides the proceeds to its member charities. 

Brown noted his delight at speaking at an awards ceremony happening at the end of the CFC campaign instead of the beginning. 

“I’ve never spoken at a finale, and I jumped at the chance because it’s my opportunity to say thank you,” he said. “Being able to thank you now for your generosity means a lot to me, and I know it means a lot to people out there who are getting help.” 

He thanked Census CFC manager Stephanie Zanelotti and all who worked on the campaign. 

“Every year you do a great job at Census, and from my heart, the charities I represent, and all the charities in the CFC, thank you very much for all you’ve done,” Brown said. 

The ceremony proceeded with groups of team leaders and key workers coming on stage to accept thanks and awards. 

The Combined Federal Campaign is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign. Its mission is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee-focused, cost-efficient and effective in providing federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all. Since its creation in 1961, it has raised more than $7 billion for the charities designated by federal employees. 

The Census Bureau’s single-year record donation came in 2010 with a total of $812,718. 

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