Over the years, the CFC has grown tremendously. The number of charities admitted to the program, the number of employees pledging, and the amount being raised have all vastly increased.
The CFC’s administrative structure has also grown over the decades. Today, the CFC is administered across the country and overseas in hundreds of zones – each one called a “campaign.” Here is a map of these zones or campaigns as published by OPM:
Over the decades, federal employees have been wonderfully generous, donating about $7 billion to thousands of eligible charities. The system has clearly worked. The CFC has screened charities and ensured that donations pledged to specific groups reached the intended beneficiaries. The program’s success has placed the CFC in the forefront of American philanthropy.
But the Internet, proliferating systems of electronic payment, and other technologies are leading many to question the future value of the CFC.
As we wrote in the inaugural post, we believe in the CFC. We believe in its almost magical ability to allow individuals of even modest means to become what we call payroll philanthropists.
We believe, moreover, that philanthropy has a special power when it is combined with community. At a time when technology dismantles institutions, the workplace remains one of those places where we come together and share purpose. The CFC is embedded in the workplace and allows employees to act as donors in the context of their community.
To observe the obvious, digital technologies are here to stay, and the CFC will have to adapt. We suggest, however, that we do more than adjust. Let us rather embrace these technologies as a new way for the CFC to engage employees and allow them, as donors, to discover and support America’s extraordinary charities, large and small.