NEWS | Nov. 3, 2015

Fundraising Within the Air Force

By 628 ABW / 315 AW Judge Advocate

Anyone who is an active participant in a registered private organization with the 628 Force Support Squadron is aware that POs are permitted to have 2 fundraising events per quarter, that the fundraiser cannot occur in the workplace, and that PO members participating in the fundraiser must be on leave and out of uniform.  When it comes to advertising PO fundraisers, PO members are permitted to place pre-approved advertising material in public areas in accordance with the facility manager and are permitted to advertise the fundraiser in the base bulletin and on the base's Facebook page.  Use of government email is not authorized to advertise fundraisers. 

The Air Force conducts two annual fundraisers every year, where fundraising is allowed in the workplace:  Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF).  Key workers are identified within every unit, and the goal is to contact 100% of personnel, notifying them of the opportunity to contribute to approved organizations and charities.  We are currently in the middle of the CFC campaign.  The legal office often receives questions as to what is permitted during the CFC and AFAF.  This article will provide guidance to address frequently asked questions.

1.  CFC and AFAF project officers are permitted to conduct promotional events during the campaign period.  The event needs to be routed through the legal office for a review and needs to be approved by the installation commander.

2. During the promotional events, the project officer must allow donors to designate their money to any of the approved organizations or to advise donors that their donation will be counted as an "undesignated contribution."

3. Project officers are not permitted to conduct special events for specific organizations or charities.

4. PO fundraisers in the workplace for local internal programs are not allowed during CFC or AFAF (i.e., unit Christmas party, benefit for a fellow employee, going away gift fundraiser).

5. PO fundraisers away from the workplace for local internal programs are allowed during the CFC or AFAF as long as the installation commander determines the fundraiser will not detract from the CFC or AFAF.

6. Soliciting for a local external organization (i.e., fundraisers or collection boxes for a local community organization) is not authorized during the CFC or AFAF. 

7. If a PO wants to raise money for a specific organization that is named in the CFC brochure, the PO can seek authorization after the CFC has concluded.
As the adage goes, "It's better to give than receive."  However, when donating to a charity, it is recommended that donors look at the operating costs of each charity to discover how much of the donation is being used for the charitable purpose versus salaries, etc.  That information is located in the CFC Guidebook after each organizational name and is listed as a percentage.

For more information on fundraising within the Air Force, see AFI 34-223, AFI 36-3101, and the Joint Ethics Regulation.  As always, this article is not intended to replace legal advice or further legal review by the legal office.