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