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FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 26, 2017) -- The installation’s 2017 Combined Federal Campaign has kicked off and will run through Jan. 12.

Last year, federal employees worldwide donated more than $167 million to thousands of local, national and international causes.

Master Sgt. Verna F. Bellamy, the operations sergeant major for the Soldier Support Center, is the installation CFC Agency Campaign manager.

A training session being held today is where unit representatives will receive CFC materials to pass out across the installation. In those materials, people interested in donating can read about the organizations involved in the campaign.

“We should think of those in need and renew our commitment by pledging to support one or more charitable agencies in this year’s campaign,” said Bellamy. “Each donation will improve quality of life, provide hope and help those less fortunate in our local area, nationally, and around the world. The act of giving promotes cohesion.

Employees can donate through payroll deduction, a bank transfer method, or with a one-time gift using credit cards after accessing the CFC Pledging System at www.opm.gov/showsomelovecfc, said Bellamy.

There are several recent rule changes aimed at making donating easier, according to Kathleen McGettigan, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.

“OPM has contracted with The Give Back Foundation to develop and deploy a new national CFC donor pledging system,” said McGettingan. “This new system replaces electronic CFC modules in Employee Express and myPay, as well as a variety of local systems. Now, anyone choosing to make an online pledge through the CFC will be directed to the donor pledging system.”

She continued, “New rules also help to streamline the process for federal shared services and payroll providers – they will disburse funds to one organization instead of over 120 organizations as required by the prior regulations.”

OPM also has made several improvements to expand the CFC donor pool.

The first improvement will allow federal retirees to participate in CFC, including allowing donations through monthly annuity payments.

The second improvement allows Federal employees to volunteer with charitable organizations, and for those hours to count toward CFC goals.

For example, many campaigns and federal agencies set fundraising goals. Instead of being allowed to only contribute money, volunteer hours will be monetized and will count toward the total amount raised.

In order to monetize volunteer hours, an estimated value will be given to one hour of volunteer time, which will be used to calculate the total value of volunteer time given by a donor.

By expanding giving options to federal employees and allowing federal retirees to contribute, the CFC program is expected to improve donor engagement and strengthen the government’s workplace giving program.

Bellamy said she’s excited to get the CFC program going this year and noted information about events will be coming soon.

“I support the CFC because its a good cause that gives back to the less fortunate in the world. I want to spread awareness across the installations about our mission,” she said. “The aforementioned can be accomplished through word of mouth, social media participation and coworker encouragement.”

The mission of the CFC is to support and promote philanthropy through a program that is employee-focused, cost efficient and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all, said Bellamy.

“Through generous donations, CFC is known to be the most inclusive workplace giving campaign in the world with the number of participants estimated at over 20,000 nonprofit charitable organizations worldwide,” said Bellamy.

“Those supported through the CFC range from hopeful community groups to large well-known charities. Federal retirees will be able to participate in the campaign and can make donations in the form of monthly annuitant payments.”