By Brandon BieltzOctober 13, 2011
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - This year, Fort Meade coordinators plan to add $400,000 through the Chesapeake Bay Area Combined Federal Campaign before the Dec. 15 deadline. The program officially began Oct. 1, marking the CFC's three-month campaign of solicitation.
Local coordinators hope to raise an additional $50,000 in donations after the installation successfully reached last year's goal of $350,000. The CBACFC has increased its goal by $100,000, with its sights on raising $6.7 million.
Over the past five years, the CBACFC, which coordinates campaigns in the Chesapeake Bay Area, has raised more than $6 million annually.
"We have unbelievably generous folks in this community," said Linda Seagle, chair of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee at Chesapeake Bay Area Combined Federal Campaign.
The CFC is the largest workplace-giving campaign in the world, raising more than $250 million campaign-wide every year since 2002. The campaign raises money through one-time donations and payroll deductions from service members and federal civilian employees.
"It's absolutely a choice -- this is available to folks to be able to support the local, national and international community if they choose to do so," Seagle said.
Individuals can donate to a wide variety of charities ranging from the local Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter to international organizations such as Aid for Africa and Friends Without a Border.
Of the 4,000 charitable organizations in this year's CFC Giving Guide, 1,500 are local charities and 2,500 are national and international charities. Donors can contribute to as many charities as they like.
"There's no limit to how many charities you can designate," Seagle said. "Wherever they want their money to go, that's where it's going to go. That's the whole crux of the CFC."
Donations can also be made to the CFC without an exact charity designation. The campaign will then take those donations and distribute them to charities.
Many charities depend on CFC donations to keep their doors open, Seagle said. The CFC pays the organizations quarterly after collecting donations through payroll deductions.
"Without support to those charities, those folks aren't there," she said. "It's really an investment in the community."
Donations may be made through a paper pledge form or the CBACFC website. One-time donations made with cash or check must be made with a paper pledge form. Individuals can set up payroll deductions through both the Internet and pledge forms.
The Internet donation system is the easier way to contribute to the CFC, Seagle said. Online, individuals can search for charities by keywords, as opposed to digging through a 160-page giving guide.
In honor of the campaign's 50th anniversary, those who donate more than $750 throughout the year will receive a membership to the Kennedy Society for Leadership Giving. Individuals who donate more than $50 will receive a $25 gift certificate to Restaurant.com.
In addition to raising money through individual donations, the CFC will raise awareness and funds by sponsoring community events, such as a pumpkin carving contest this month.
Last year, Fort Meade won the Spirit of the Community Award for creativity in raising community awareness of the campaign.
Sgt. 1st Class Bryant Maude, the CFC coordinator, said the events are an effective way to promote the campaign and they encourage people to get involved.
"If people get excited about what they believe in, and show it by having fun, others will gravitate to that group of people and take a listen to what they are saying," he said. "There are a lot of negatives in the world so when something positive comes along, it's refreshing to see and people will be a part of that."