Combined Federal Campaign Pledges Dramatically Plummet by 19% in 2013

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March 25, 2014; Federal Times

The Combined Federal Campaign, the workplace-giving program for federal workers, has finally released the numbers for its most recent campaign. It has announced a decrease in giving of 19 percent, or $49 million, between 2012 when $258.3 million was raised, and 2013 when the total was $209 million. Furthermore, 2012 had shown a 5.3 percent drop from 2011. The 2013 total pledged is the lowest level in 15 years, since 1998, when CFC raised $206.4 million.

Marshall Strauss of the Workplace Giving Alliance attributed the drop to a “perfect storm” of problems last year, including sequestration, pay freezes, and the partial government shutdown. All in all, he said “It’s a great surprise that so many federal employees still pledged.” Additionally, he commented that he did not know whether this new low level would carry over to future years.

According to this chart from Government Executive, we have every reason to believe that this year was not an anomaly:



A full $10 million of the drop in donations came from the National Capital Area alone, but in terms of proportionate reductions, the Central Ohio and West Virginia CFC appeared to take the cake, with a frightening 60 percent drop from $1,469,693 in 2012 to $582,938 in 2013.—Ruth McCambridge


  • charice cammon

    Would like information. Especially, the book that is published outlining what percentage of the donations goes where. For example, when I use to participate in CFC there was a book I used to determine the code of my choice and the charity was broken down into a small but brief description of the charity as well as operating expenses and so forth.
    thank you

  • Mr. Laborman

    My own reason for dropping my contributions to the Combined Federal Campaign last year is much simpler than the “perfect storm” of big problems that included sequestration, pay freezes, and the government shutdown, I found out from one of the non-profits to which I donated, that my contribution to them was some 30% less than the actual amount I contributed to the CFC. When I asked the CFC executive why, they explained that the shortfall went to administrative costs of the CFC itself. If it were 5% or so I would have accepted that, but why in the world would anyone want to have their donation reduced by some 30%, when you could contribute 100% directly to the non-profit.