Feds give to CFC despite pay freeze

Tuesday - 12/6/2011, 10:34am EST

Kalman Stein, Chairman, Combined Federal Campaign

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By Jolie Lee
Web Editor
Federal News Radio

Pay freezes haven't stopped federal employees from giving money to good causes. The Combined Federal Campaign is in full swing, and CFC Chairman Kalman Stein said the coming weeks are the most important for giving with the Dec. 31 deadline.

Now in its 50th year, the CFC is a charity campaign run by federal volunteers across the world. Since it was created under John F. Kennedy's administration, the campaign has raised $7 billion, "making it the largest charity campaign in the history of the world," Stein said in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris..

Two years ago, federal employees set an all-time CFC record by giving $287 million, and last year feds were half a percent off from reaching that goal, Stein said.

"We're hoping to get back on top of that this year," he added.

The charities part of CFC include all types, including homelessness, services for veterans, the environment and more. Feds can also give to local, national or international charities.

Small donations add up

Although some feds make four-figure donations, most just have a few dollars taken out of their paycheck each week, Stein said.

"The average gift is five dollars a week, the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks," Stein said.

Currently, a quarter of federal employees are making that average donation amount, he said.

In the past couple of years, CFC has learned the value of electronic giving. Generally, donors who give electronically give "quite a bit more," Stein said. It's also a way to reach out to younger donors "so they start establishing a tradition of giving," he said.

Frequently asked questions about the CFC.

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