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NEWS | Sept. 28, 2010

The quick Q & A of the Combined Federal Campaign

By Thomas Kistler Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Combined Federal Campaign has been in progress for a few weeks now. To ensure all of Team Charleston completely understands what CFC is, this informative question and answer synopsis will tell everything needed to know.

Q: What is CFC?
A: C, F and C are three letters from the standard English alphabet, the third, sixth and third letters to be exact. They are pronounced, "see," "eff" and "see."

Q: No. I mean what is the CFC on the sign by the gate with the giant thermometer?
A: Oh, sorry. That stands for the Combined Federal Campaign.

Q: Um, okay. Then what is the Combined Federal Campaign?
A: The Combined Federal Campaign is the only authorized solicitation of federal employees in their workplaces on behalf of approved charitable organizations.

The CFC began in the early 1960s to coordinate the fundraising efforts of various charitable organizations so that the federal donor would only be solicited once in the workplace and have the opportunity to make charitable contributions through payroll deduction.

Federal employees continue to make the CFC the largest and most successful workplace philanthropic fundraiser in the world. Continuing a long-standing tradition of selfless giving, in 2009, federal employees raised more than $282 million for charitable causes around the world.

Q: That sounds great. Can I get in on that?
A: Sure. What's the problem? I'm sure there's a CFC non-profit agency that can help you.

Q: Oh no. I mean can I contribute to CFC?
A: Yes. Which charity do you wish to help?

Q: I'm not sure. Do you have a list?
A: Of course. Your unit representative has guidebooks that list all of the charities in the CFC. You can also go online to view the list at

Q: Some of these charities seem interesting. How can I know they're legit?
A: The Office of Personnel Management has vetted all of the charities in the CFC. They maintain strict eligibility and public accountability criteria that all participating CFC charities must meet. For details, see CFC Regulations in 5 CFR Part 950 at A local committee checks out and clears the local charities.

In addition, each entry shows the percentage of donations that go to administrative costs rather than to helping people.

Q: Wow! That's a lot of charities. Did you say there were local ones?
A: Yes. There are over 70 local Charleston charities. They're on pages 85-87 of the guidebook.

Q: Okay. I'm ready to contribute, but I'm a little short of cash right now. What should I do?
A: That's alright. I can loan you a few dollars.

Q: Um, no offense, but is there another way to contribute?
A: I suppose. Your unit POC has the sign up form that allows you to give a one-time donation or designate a certain amount to be deducted from your pay every month.

Q: That's a great idea. Who's my unit representative?
A: Don't worry. Your unit representative will hunt you down . . . actually, I mean your unit representative will contact you individually in the very near future and will be glad to help and answer any additional questions.

Q: Thanks very much. You've been very informative. This CFC is really something, isn't it?
A: You're welcome, but are you sure I can't loan you some money? I charge very low interest.