Yet, the advent of new technologies, competing fundraising systems, and turmoil within the federal government itself are combining to reduce the percentage of government employees who participate each year. In the 2011 CFC, that rate of participation dropped below 25% for the first time. And, for the last two years, the total raised has declined. The drop has been modest, but the worrisome implications are clear.
Last year, OPM formed the CFC-50 Commission to review the CFC and recommend reforms. They issued their report this summer.
OPM has been considering the Commission’s recommendations; agency staff indicate that new regulations are likely in 2013. The changes may be substantial as the government seeks to lower the costs of the program and increase the participation rate and amount raised.
We would like these changes to be based on what is known or can be known about the CFC. So, we’re going to add data. We will base our posts on what OPM has published and on our ongoing Million Donors Choose study which, to date, has led to reports on the 2009, 2010, and 2011 CFCs.
As we offer our own observations, we invite everyone else to offer their own thoughts, and questions. We have data that tells us what federal employees care about when they pledge, and we will try to answer questions that you pose.
Most important, if your experience as a donor, a local CFC administrator, or a benefiting charity speaks to the issues we are all discussing, please jump in.
In sum, over the next few weeks, we will discuss how the government may try to cut CFC costs – and how these changes may help or harm the program. We will also discuss how the program is paid for, and how the government may shift this burden from the donors to the benefiting charities.
With your help, we will try to offer the government ideas on what might work as everyone seeks to reform the program. We also wish to alert people to the inevitable unintended consequences.
So, if you have not yet registered to be alerted to our blog posts, please do so today.
And, to repeat: Don’t be shy. Join the conversation. Because this is your program, and an awful lot of charities depend on its continued health.