New CFC Regulations Are a Blueprint for a Charitable Future

Controversial CFC Regs Approved by OPM; Both Parties Protest

By Anthony DeCristofaro
Department of Defense Voluntary Campaign Management Office

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2014 – Like every employer from IBM and ExxonMobil to Microsoft and Amazon, the government tries to offer the best employee benefit programs for its workers -- military, civilian or postal -- while maintaining vigilant oversight to ensure the programs are operated within and appropriate legal and security demands.

Charitable giving is no exception to this. In keeping with that aim, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management office has just released new regulations which -- starting in 2016 -- will lead the way for increased charitable giving across all departments and govern the future growth and vitality of the Combined Federal Campaign.

The CFC as a national philanthropic phenomenon has been remarkably successful over the past five decades, channeling more than $7 billion from federal employees to their favorite local, national and international charities. OPM continuously strives to optimize the CFC program for donors and beneficiaries alike. These new regulations do exactly that. The revised 5 CFR §950 incorporates new technologies and processes for the CFC that will lower the administrative campaign costs, improve employee engagement, and chart a positive trajectory for this campaign for years to come.

After reaching a peak in 2010, recent years have seen a decline in both CFC proceeds and participation with another drop expected when the 2013 official results are announced. This cannot be seen in isolation. In fact it is consistent with the charitable giving trend in the private sector. After falling some 15 percent during the depths of the recession in 2008-09, overall charitable giving is getting back on track, albeit slowly, according to Giving USA.

The CFC-50 Commission, completed in early 2012, provided a comprehensive blueprint with specific recommendations to lower costs, increase transparency, and take other measures to improve participation in the campaign.

These new rules will help engineer a much-needed boost to the CFC at the same time that giving in the private sector is starting to show signs of growth after the drop-off by:

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