PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- Officials from the Presidio of Monterey Combined Federal Campaign said its 2014 campaign wrapped up with $166,478 in donations, thanks to new features that made donating easier for participants.

From Oct. 15 to Dec. 15, federal employees gave to more than 21,000 charities nationwide. Local organizations include, Monterey Peninsula Children's Groups, the Monterey Chapter of the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA), United Way of California-Monterey County, and the Veteran's Transition Center of Monterey County located near the Ord Military community.

Ted Lee, CFC coordinator for the Presidio of Monterey, said the use of MyPay electronic giving has increased since it was implemented in 2013. Service members and DOD employees can give either by filling out a paper form, which is available from unit key personnel or electronically by logging in to MyPay.

The CFC Program gave participants the option to donate to any charity of their choice, regardless of where they are stationed. Lee said that for many of the Presidio's young service members studying at the Defense Language School Foreign Language Center it was the first time they had made donations through the CFC program.

"We had a very active group of CFC representatives this year, and they made a big difference in donations. They did a great job of explaining the program and getting the word out to everyone in the community," he said. "We could not have been such a success without their hard work and ability to explain the importance of the CFC program on a person-to-person level."

Lee singled out three CFC representatives who were particularly instrumental to the increased turnout of the POM's 2014 CFC program: Courtney Shingleton an employee at the garrison resource management office; Margarita Nguyen from the continuing education office; and Sgt. Anna Navarro, a lab technician at the Presidio of Monterey Army Health Clinic.

"All our local CFC representatives worked hard, but these three really went above and beyond the call of duty to help people understand and donate." Lee said.

"The Presidio population has always been very giving, very community oriented. And the CFC program is something that both military service members and the federal civilian work force take very seriously," he said. "Total military donations this year came to $72,492, and that was topped by our civilian participants who made a total of $93,986 in donations."

The CFC began in the early 1960s and is one of only two fund drives allowed on Army installations during work hours. It affords all employees an opportunity to contribute to one or more charitable, humanitarian or medical research organizations at a local or national level.

Federal employees continue to make the CFC the largest and most successful workplace philanthropic fundraiser in the world. Federal employees have raised more than $28.1 million dollars for charitable causes around the world.

Lee said that the "generosity of service members and federal employees is tremendous. I appreciate that these are uncertain and tough times for many of us and I'm always amazed at how people are so willing to help others in this community."

THE HISTORY OF THE COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN

Prior to the 1950s, on-the-job fund raising in the federal workplace was an "uncontrolled free-for-all," and designations of charities were not allowed, according to a CFC release. Even with the frequency of on-the-job solicitations, total receipts for charitable causes that were worthy of employee support were minor. In many cases, employees donated their pocket change.

In 1964 the first "combined" campaigns, officially called "Combined Federal Campaigns," or "CFC" were conducted as experiments in six cities, consolidating all drives into one. The result was a substantial increase in contributions, ranging from 20 percent to 125 percent, and a highly favorable response within the federal community: agency managers were pleased with having to deal only with a once-a-year effort; federal employees responded with favor to the single solicitation.

The evolution of this is that now, charity solicitations in federal work places follow strict guidance and are under the control of the annual event.

Because the CFC is the only authorized charity payroll deduction, people may choose to spread out their donations throughout the year if they don't want to or cannot pay by check immediately.