Feds get more time to give, as OPM extends CFC deadline

Friday - 10/25/2013, 1:16pm EDT

Tony DeCristofaro, Voluntary Campaign Management Office, DoD

Download mp3

Federal employees, postal workers and military personnel are getting an extra month to contribute to their favorite causes this year.

Typically, the Combined Federal Campaign wraps up its annual, three-month solicitation period in December.

But on Thursday, the Office of Personnel Management released a memo from Acting Director Elaine Kaplan announcing that the 2013 campaign was being extended one month — from Dec. 15, 2013, to Jan. 15, 2014.

"As the nation's political leaders worked to resolve the budget crisis, many CFC events were put on hold or canceled because of the government shutdown," Kaplan wrote. "During this time, many federal employees were not allowed to work, or reported to duty without knowledge of when or if they would receive pay."

Kaplan encouraged feds to take the extra time to support specific charities through the CFC. In 2012, federal employees pledged $258.3 million via the CFC.

"Giving to the CFC shows the compassionate values of federal employees, the American people and our great country," she said.

Even before the announcement, the Department of Defense was doing all it could to encourage returning employees to hop back on the charity bandwagon.

"There's an awful lot of charities, locally, nationally and internationally, that depend on the generosity of and sensitivity of the federal workforce," Tony DeCristofaro, director of the DoD's Voluntary Campaign Management Office, told In Depth with Francis Rose on Wednesday. "They're very happy to know that we're going to continue this campaign."

DeCristofaro doesn't anticipate a long-term effect from the partial government shutdown. But in the short-term, he and his office had to scramble a bit to get back on track. The biggest impact of the shutdown on DoD's CFC efforts was that many planned events had to be canceled.

"Even though a lot of people were at work in the Department of Defense, we had things like charity fairs and training for campaign workers that we had to cancel until we could resume those kinds of activities," he said. "So, the good news is, that was suspended then. We have a charity fair for three days in the Pentagon next week, we have one at the Mark Center [Alexandria, Va.] and more to come. Those events that had to be postponed are now back on the calendar."

DoD kicked off its 2013 campaign on Sept. 5, with an event in the Pentagon courtyard. Even with the eight days lost to the shutdown, DoD employees have already pledged more than $725,000.

"We have plenty of time to get to our $12.5 million goal for DoD," he said.

More than 35 percent of DoD employees, both uniformed and civilian, participated in the 2012 campaign and DeCristofaro would like to see that percentage increase.

"DoD personnel and all federal employees have felt a particular squeeze in recent years," he said. "But we also know that the CFC is really an extension of their committment to pubic service. So, they may be on the frontline of defending the nation, but they're also on the frontline of whatever their favorite charities are."

RELATED STORIES:

For 2013, CFC focusing on the people behind the money