For a longer answer, see Joe Davidson’s January 14 article in the Washington Post. I was a source for the article, as were several other key CFC players. (There was no comment from the government because, naturally, the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the campaign, is shut down.)
OPM recently announced an extension of the campaign until February 8, four weeks beyond the original closing date of January 11. That will certainly help, but just how much is anybody’s guess.
We can’t know when all Federal employees will be back at their jobs, and it’s safe to assume that weeks without pay will not bolster charitable impulses. In the meantime, however, 75% of federal workforce is still working and getting paid, and activity in the CFC’s online pledging system has continued during the shutdown. Maybe stories of CFC charities helping federal workers whose income is on hiatus will even spur some additional pledges. On the other hand, as the Post article reports, some employees are cancelling their pledges, for understandable reasons.
The bottom line: it’s a big mess. And we’ll never know how much of the mess to attribute to the shutdown because so many other challenges face the CFC, depressing pledging and employee participation. I’ve written extensively about those problems in this blog and elsewhere.
Not much more to say. I shake my head a lot these days.