The Combined Federal Campaign

July 1, 2017

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(This article first appeared in the July-August 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

By Human Relations Director Sue Carney

Your Participation Matters. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the largest and most successful annual, workplace charity campaign in the world. CFC donations made by postal workers, federal public servants and military men and women help millions of Americans and others around the world.

Over the years, we raised nearly $5 billion and sustained more than 20,000 participating non-profits that offer a cadre of diverse services. Together, we have fed the hungry and provided safe drinking water, afforded services to children and the elderly, aided the blind and disabled, employed and housed veterans, helped protect the environment and wildlife, shown compassion to abandoned animals, found cures and provided medical care to people afflicted by illness, prevented suicide, combatted domestic violence, responded to natural disasters, and so much more. Our work is important. Many depend on us.

How It Works. Every Postal District is granted a six-week period to host its annual fundraising campaign between Oct. 2 and Jan. 12, 2018. Fundraising periods usually coincide with the District’s respective Local CFC. Search “OPM Campaign Locator” online to find yours.

Employees must be granted the opportunity to voluntarily participate on-the-clock, review the list of charities and make selections. We can donate as little as one dollar per pay period to the charities of our choice. Our donations are made bi-weekly through payroll deduction for one year.

What’s New? PSEs can now give through payroll allotment. They will however, have to contact the Postal Accounting Service Center, 877-477-3273 option 1, to resume deductions after their 5-day break.

This season, retirees will also be able to make allotments from their monthly annuity payment for the first time in CFC history. Hopefully, this will give a big boost to the total contributions that have otherwise been steadily declining since 2009. The logistics for retiree giving are still being processed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

But it’s not all good. This year OPM is going paperless despite receiving a crushing number of objections from non-profits, benefactors and labor organizations who cited the cost-saving measures could be catastrophic to charities, especially smaller ones, like the Postal Employees Relief Fund that depend heavily on CFC contributions to survive. The USPS, the APWU, other postal unions and management associations are working together to confront this challenge.

Additional Ways You Can Help. Plan ahead. Find out who your Postal District Campaign Manager is and know when your district’s fundraising period will occur so you can promote it. Volunteer to be a keyworker in your office. Locals should submit designee names and their contact information for consideration to the campaign manager - one per office, several per tour for larger facilities. Ensure your District is hosting a kick-off and that information is communicated to all employees, e.g. stand-up talks, USPS CFC video, PostalVision, signs visibly posted on workroom floors and in break areas, and LiteBlue postings. Locals should use union bulletin boards, websites, newsletters and meetings to inform members, and make sure opportunities are afforded to members to review charities and make donations on-the-clock. Make it fun and encourage participation.

The Postal Employees Relief Fund is our non-profit organization. It belongs to all postal workers. It is equally administrated by union representatives and postal officials. PERF depends on your generosity, overwhelmingly through the CFC, to help coworkers rebuild their lives after natural disasters and home fires strike. The USPS cannot promote any one particular charity during the CFC but locals can. Promote PERF.

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