Generosity snapshot of local federal employees

The Combined Federal Campaign wrapped up its annual effort with a Finale & Awards Ceremony. It signifies another year of volunteering for charitable causes.

The Combined Federal Campaign recently wrapped up its annual effort with a Finale & Awards Ceremony. It signifies another year of giving monetary pledges or volunteering for charitable causes. To get a sense of how much was given last year, Federal News Network’s Eric White spoke on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with Vince Micone, co-chair of the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Region.

Interview Transcript: 

Vince Micone Eric, thank you. And to all of the listeners, we really appreciate your support of the Combined Federal Campaign. I have some good news to share. Across the nation, Combined Federal Campaign, we raised about $68 million in monetary gifts and had over 81,000 hours of volunteer service registered and pledged by federal employees. So we’re very excited about how the campaign went last year. Just so you know, we raised about the same amount of money, give or take, as we did last year. So we hold steady. Here in the District, Maryland and Virginia. We had a phenomenal year. We raised 33 million. So if you look at the 68 minus 33, gives you a sense of how generous our employees are in the National Capital Region, because that’s about half of the nation’s total. And actually also in our region, 45,475 volunteer hours were pledged to CFC charities by federal employees here in 2023. It’s a little bit more than last year, give or take, but we’re very, very excited with that. And this represents contributions by 25,000 employees in our region. So this is phenomenal. Will have a huge impact on those organizations that are serving unmet needs in our communities.

Eric White On those stats and milestones that you mentioned, what were some of the main causes in speaking with those who donated their time or money that they were mostly passionate about, ensuring that their help got to?

Vince Micone One of the things that I enjoy about our theme with the micro campaign is it focuses on causes every week during the campaign. One week we may focus on global health, another week on environmental protection, military and veterans service. So what we try to do is really identify for federal employees that those 5,000 charities that are in the campaign of 5,000 organizations represent a wide range of interests in causes that are a deep concern and care by federal employees. So during the campaign, we spent time going through those 14 broad categories and help inform employees about ways that they can get involved, not only during the fall, but that the CFC is always a resource list of organizations that are involved in causes that are most important to people.

Eric White Were there any part3icular famous events or disasters that the CFC wanted to make sure they were on top of? I can think of a couple off the top of my head, but I’ll let you do that.

Vince Micone So we were very engaged in reminding individuals about the importance of responding to the devastating wildfires in Maui. And that happened at a time when it really hit in terms of campaign activity. But I can tell you right now, CFC charities are active and engaged in Baltimore in response to the collapse of the Key Bridge. That’s a great thing about our contributions to CFC. They don’t just end in the fall, and they don’t just focus on one particular incident or tragedy or disaster or storm. The dollars that go to those charities work 24/7, year round, hitting whatever the most current needs are, which sort of sets the combined federal campaign away from charity drives that you may get by email or through social media. The dollars that we provide through the CFC are flexible, so those nonprofits can figure out the best time to use those charitable contributions to make a deep impact on whatever is happening within the community that those charities serve across the country for national incidents that may occur or things that are happening around the globe.

Eric White Yeah, and that really does speak to the uniqueness of CFC set up. Whereas it’s not just the people see something on the news and they feel bad and they give one time. This is a thing that continues to go on and on, even though when there are these long slog efforts to recover, like in Maui and like we’re going to see what the key bridge.

Vince Micone You’re exactly right. Those are two really good examples of where we remain at the beginning steps of long term recovery. One of the things I’m concerned about is all the workers whose lives are being impacted. In addition to those lives lost, there is just an entire set of community members that are going to be impacted by the Key Bridge incident that we’re going to need to be working with for short, medium and long term. And also, of course, our hearts go out to those workers that lost their lives. And there are many organizations that are standing ready to work with the families to support them in this time. Both those who have perhaps seen their jobs put on hold and those who lost their lives, and the families of those folks. It takes the community to solve community issues. And these are two examples of where the CFC and those organizations in the CFC will have a big impact.

Eric White We’re speaking with Vince Micone, he is the chairperson of the local Federal Coordinating Committee of the National Capital Region. But you divulge to me that that may not be the case. Let’s talk 2024. What’s on the docket for the Combined Federal Campaign next year?

Vince Micone So, sometimes it helps when you work with your neighbors to solve problems, building bridges to your neighbors to deal with profoundly important issues. And what we found is we have two extraordinarily strong combined federal campaign activities, one in Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore and one here in Washington, DC. Baltimore and DC and our metro areas were neighbors. So we are going to combine our efforts, combine our energy, combine our staff, combine our leadership, and we hope to have the largest combined federal campaign and a much more significant outreach in the Mid-Atlantic with a brand new market CFC called the Mid-Atlantic Area Combined Federal Campaign, a work combining the leadership of the two local federal coordinating committees, which is our fancy way of saying the board of directors and really looking at how we can get a better bang for the investment we have with the staff and the world executives and the volunteers who make the CFC happen. We are very excited about this, we’ve worked all year on pulling together a framework that we’re going to start when our campaign kicks off this fall, so we’re very excited about that. We’re very excited for the synergies, and we’re really excited about how we can communicate impact to employees because of course, Baltimore and DC, there’s no clear dividing line. We have family, friends, relatives and loved ones, colleagues throughout this entire metropolitan area. And my federal campaign is going to start speaking with one voice to the needs that we can meet through our efforts across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Eric White Yeah. As somebody who lives equidistance between DC and Baltimore, I can attest that you do feel a pull towards both cities. How did that all come together? Was it your stepping on each other’s toes a little, or are you just trying to support each other? I know that this is all for charity, so there’s not a rivalry or anything there.

Vince Micone We’ve worked together for a few years. We’ve actually talked about how if we combined efforts, we could probably have a bigger impact. And so we worked with OPM to figure out how to make that happen. And now that we figured out a good way we’re going to implement it. Everyone is supportive of this, and we think it’s just going to be an incredible add value to what we do. Now to employees, they’re not going to see some of the stuff that we’re doing. It’s not going to be obvious to them, which is exactly what we want. But behind the scenes, we’re going to be doing everything we can to make sure that employees have an informed opportunity to contribute.

Eric White And for those interested who are not involved yet, how can they do so?

Vince Micone Can I leave everyone with two points. National Volunteer Week is coming up. So those of you who have pledged not pledge volunteer hours, go ahead and find time during National Volunteer Week to get involved in your community. Two, if you’re a new federal employee, you don’t need to wait till fall. You can contribute now. Go to our website, see what information might be on Eric’s website, and make sure that you get involved.

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