Each fall, organizers of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) plan an array of activities to encourage federal employees to support more than 24,000 organizations. At NIEHS, the Sept. 22 campaign kick-off featured a presentation from a local charity and the sale of donated baked goods and other treats. The annual Fall Fest and charity fair followed on Oct. 19, with the second year of several food trucks visiting the institute.
This year’s drive features the theme Hope, Share, Love, and organizers at NIEHS set a goal of raising more than $100,000 in charitable pledges by Dec. 15.
“Donating to CFC strikes at the heart of our mission as federal employees to serve the American people,” said NIEHS Administrative Specialist Shannon Duncan, one of this year’s co-chairs. “Even a few dollars per donation really adds up.”
A celebration of giving
NIEHS hosts a rich variety of events throughout the fall to raise awareness and promote giving. These include bake sales, a silent auction, a virtual charity fair, and a raffle for the director’s parking space close to the Rall building.
Among the biggest of these events is the annual NIEHS Fall Fest. This daylong festival offers employees the chance to meet representatives from dozens of charities they can support, while enjoying food and fellowship with co-workers over food truck offerings and other activities.
“Picking a charity to pledge to can be a little overwhelming for some, because there are so many to choose from,” said Claire Long, a management specialist with the Administrative Services and Analysis Branch and a lead Fall Fest organizer. “That’s why events like Fall Fest are so important, because they put employees face-to-face with the causes they’re supporting.”
The evolution of CFC
The CFC mission is to support philanthropy through an employee-focused program that is cost-efficient and effective in providing federal workers the chance to improve life for others. In the beginning, much of that giving was locally-oriented. Now, however, employees can pledge to any cause they wish through a national database of affiliated charities.
“The joy of opening up pledge options to charities nationwide is that it allows our employees to find causes they relate to on a personal level,” said CFC co-chair David Bullard, from the institute’s procurement office. “Whether devoted to animals, veterans’ health, or sustainable living, there’s something there for everyone.”
Since its 1961 beginning, CFC has become the leading employee giving program in the country, raising more than $5 billion in total for charity.
(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist with the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)