CFC Innovation Awards

Each year, OPM recognizes innovative campaign efforts that contribute to CFC success. The various CFC zone LFCCs nominate innovations, and an awards committee determines the award winners. 

2022 Innovations

Read the summaries of the 15 innovations nominated in 2022. The three winners are denoted with (Winner!).

Hawaii-Pacific CFC
To garner support during Giving Tuesday and encourage maximum participation, the Hawaii – Pacific CFC collaborated with thirteen other CFC zones to spearhead a Giving Tuesday Live Telethon initiative. This four-session live telethon event was developed to build excitement amongst campaign workers, leadership, and potential donors alike for this traditional and impactful day of charitable giving, which was especially helpful for Hawaii-Pacific as a region where there are more isolated locations that do not have the same support infrastructure as readily available. These four sessions allowed viewers to take part at any point in their day, tuning into the appropriate channel at the time most convenient to them. The telethons were streamed all over the world and the impact of having the CFC shine a spotlight on Giving Tuesday had a very clear result, leading to not only attaining the overall pledge goal of $1.5 million, but far exceeding that with a total of $2.3 million and over $3.4 million throughout the week – making it the CFC’s most historic Giving Tuesday in its ten years.

Indiana, Kentucky & Southwestern Ohio CFC
Brenda Mathias, Paula Herendeen and the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center have continued to run a successful campaign that continues to lead the IKSO zone. This year they were able to raise $102, 041 from 123 employees representing 3.41% base participation post COVID. They also exceeded their
$90,000 goal by 13.4% with $853 as the average amount pledged per contributing employee. They collaborated well as coordinators, working closely with leadership on promotions and marketing and building competition with the employees to raise their contributions.

Michigan CFC
The Aleda E Lutz VA Medical Center met and exceeded their campaign goals for the 2022 Combined Federal Campaign. They were one of few Michigan accounts that chose to hold an in-person event that turned into a weeklong event called Holiday Fun and Giving Week. Their collaboration as a Co- coordinating team, buy-in from leadership and employees and their stellar marketing made all the difference for a successful and abundant campaign. Contributions met and exceeded 2021 with $11, 700 raised in 2022.

Midwestern CFC
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region III office utilizes a team approach to CFC coordination. This year, one of the coordinators on this NRC CFC team, Desiree Smith, spearheaded the first of its kind national Nuclear Regulatory Commission end of campaign CFC event. The event included remarks from leadership, deeply moving personal testimonials from NRC coordinators about how CFC charities have impacted their lives, and a fun and engaging CFC and NRC themed trivia game. The event was highly successful and brought together NRC employees from across the country in the spirit of the CFC. The agency plans to expand on the event next year and turn it into an annual tradition!

Mississippi Delta/Gulf Coast CFC
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Inter-Airport CFC Challenge started when long-time CFC leader at the DFW Airport reached out to his colleague in Louisiana with the idea of a friendly CFC Challenge for bragging rights between the two. DFW challenged the Louisiana TSA at Shreveport (SHV), New Orleans (MSY) and Baton Rouge (BTR) Airports. This new and innovative approach to reaching across CFC zones builds comradery and momentum for this historic tradition in the Federal workplace of supporting the charity of your choice through the convenience of payroll deduction.

Mountain States CFC (Winner!)
In 2022, Mountain States CFC planned and spearheaded a creative new style of CFC Kickoff designed to maximize attendance and enthusiasm for the campaign—especially for campaign coordinators and keyworkers. Taking a cue from an LFCC member suggestion to implement a gameshow-style event, our Mountain States campaign leaders energized the crowd by conceiving a competition we playfully dubbed “The Federal Feud” (patterned loosely after the popular gameshow “The Family Feud.”) The Kickoff event was designed to be interactive and entertaining while incorporating the traditional elements of inspiration typically featured during a CFC Kickoff. The event attracted close to 550 attendees (our largest-ever CFC Kickoff event) and helped Mountain States raise more than $2.4 million in 2022.

National Capital Area CFC
In the 2022 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which ushered in an era of hybrid events and engagement, the demand for innovative strategies and tactics increased. With marketing support, training, and communication from the Outreach Coordinator (OC), participation from Federal department and agency leadership was strategically utilized, resulting in higher engagement with the Federal community overall. There were approximately 342,000 federal employee potential donors who are part of the NCA. The highest-performing department/agency year-over-year was US Agency for Global Media with over a 40% increase over its 2021 totals, led by Amanda Bennett, CEO.

North Texas CFC
The North Texas CFC and Mississippi Delta CFC along with the Campaign Co-Coordinators Carl Glusick and Robert Nunnery with the Transportation Security Administration - DFW Airport worked together to gain contacts and engage the TSA in Mississippi Delta in the 2022 CFC. They started a first ever, friendly competition between one agency in different CFC zones. This challenge, initiated by Carl and Robert, engaged the TSA at all airports in the state of Louisiana, against the TSA at DFW Airport, in a competition of bragging rights over dollars raised for the CFC! This helped to revitalize and educate many more TSA officers in both zones and resulted in an increase of 62% in pledges in the Mississippi Delta CFC!

Northern California CFC (Winner!)
The employees of the Sacramento United State Postal Service (USPS) Processing and Distribution Center in the California CFC zone exceeded these expectations by effectively implementing an innovative strategy that motivated and sparked generosity. To help promote the #High5Challenge, the distribution center spread holiday cheer by riding around on a decorated tricycle offering high fives, snacks, and morale boosts to colleagues and changemakers. As a result, the Northern California Combined Federal Campaign Zone and USPS saw a 66% of giving occur following the #High5Challenge promotion, raising a total of $8,575 for the 2022 campaign.

Ohio CFC
The Zone 028 Dayton District CFC convened a half-day facilitated Compression Planning session that resulted in several strategies to improve the 2023 CFC. The local charity community proactively reached out to the Dayton District CFC to pay for staff to help contact deferral retirees to donate in the 2023 CFC. The base will map out it’s 32,000 personnel to better reach them in 2023 with updated Unit Codes. A recommendation was made for the Ohio OC to convene a meeting with all agencies in the Dayton District CFC to educate, share “Best Practices” and to encourage partnerships. It was recommended that the OPM update the online and “text to donate” donor giving technology to improve the donor experience to encourage giving; and bring back paper pledge forms where applicable.

Oklahoma & North Texas CFC
A two-week intensive campaign helped Lea Giaudrone lead the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant to raise 189% more in 2022 than in 2021. By focusing communications in a short period of time, Ms. Giaudrone created a sense of urgency to give that drove employee donations. Ms.
Giaudrone gave all McAlester Army Ammunition Plant employees the opportunity to give by utilizing both digital and print communications pieces.

Southeast TriState CFC (Winner!)
SE Tristate LFCC Chair and Maxwell AFB Keyworker, Dr. Michael Herrick, went above and beyond for the 2022 CFC, developing an innovative approach in 2022 to bring more visibility to the campaign over the holidays, the CFC Holiday Giving Tree, leading to increased participation not only by contributors on Maxwell AFB, but by the zone's charities as well. SE Tristate charities had an opportunity for participation in local campaign activities by providing artwork that was made into ornaments (by students at a school on Maxwell AFB) to hang on the tree. This helped charities feel more connected to the CFC at a time when events are still down in the zone. Of course, Dr. Herrick did this and so much more for the SE Tristate CFC. We hope to see CFC Holiday Giving Trees in all offices in 2023!

South Central Texas CFC
This year we introduced the 1st Annual Lone Star Cup event. It was wonderful to stir up some friendly competition between our federal employees in the South Central Texas CFC and our colleagues in the Texas Gulf Coast CFC and the North Texas CFC. This competition was open to agencies that have offices in all three zones and when all the agency winners were added up, one of the three zones was named the winner and will get to keep the traveling trophy until the next winner is named.

Sunshine CFC
One of the most important roles of the Outreach Coordinators (OC) is the recruitment of charities to participate in the upcoming Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) campaign year. Each year, a team holds a series of Charity Briefings – presentations to speak to the benefits of being part of the CFC – and this year, our Charity Relations Team (CRT), held a select series of briefings in Spanish to broaden the range and inclusion of even more charity partners. As a result of this effort, 165 Charities in the Sunshine CFC zone have applied or reapplied to the 2023 CFC; approximately 80 of which primarily operate or use Spanish in their services.

Texas Gulf Coast CFC
The Loaned Executives from USPS Texas 2, Darrell Mitchell and Sheronda Brantley contacted the managers of each station and made appointments to visit their facilities. These appointments were used as kick-off events where employees were informed about the CFC and the “ask” was made. This strategy eliminated the need to have an employee away from their duties to do the majority of the solicitations and collections and thereby minimized loss of production during the high-volume workload of peak season. USPS Texas 2 led the nation in donations with $445,348 and saw a 323% increase in number of donors.

2021 Innovations

Read the summaries of the 15 innovations nominated in 2021. The five winners are denoted with (Winner!).

Chesapeake Bay Area CFC (Winner!)
The Chesapeake Bay Area CFC developed and executed an hour-long, interactive virtual event entitled ‘The All-Creatures Showcase’ that spanned three zones and hundreds of federal agencies. An intense marketing blitz for the two weeks ahead of the event, which included CFC branding as well as content from employees across the zones ensured a wide audience, which included 150+ attendees, and 1,700 Facebook views. Focusing specifically on one CFC Cause (animal welfare), the event incorporated pre-recorded and live activities to include a charity panel discussion and a game of trivia, as well as incorporating questions and pet photos received from employees prior to the event. Utilizing audience engagement prior to and during the event increased the interest and investment by employees. Rehearsing and planning for potential technical glitches resulted in a smoothly executed event, and a pledge bump of 250% the week of the event as compared to the previous weeks totals, as well as propelling pledge totals to more than $100K over the same timeframe in the two previous campaigns.

  • For more information, contact LFCC member Linda Siegle

Gateway CFC
The Gateway Zone used collaborative efforts to share leadership responsibilities in current and future years, as well as utilize the bench strength of a joint brain trust to overcome barriers that continued to surface during the second CFC amidst pandemic. By becoming more efficient in approach, a more effective campaign was executed, resulting in campaign totals that were higher than the national average due to the team’s ability to sustain efforts and finish strong in the final weeks.

  • For more information, contact LFCC member Andy Kaiser

Greater Tennessee Valley CFC (Winner!)
The Greater Tennessee Valley’s comprehensive Giving Tuesday initiative included several activities that provided a cohesive effort resulting in a 21.2% increase in pledges on the single highest pledging day in the country – Giving Tuesday. The zone used virtual-friendly competition, technology, and videos to provide a forum for charities to say thank you and allowed federal employees to truly be the Face of Change by sharing the causes that they support.

  • For more information, contact LFCC member Lisa Correia

Heart of the Midlands CFC
Kristin Hotopp / USCIS: With a remote work force and 100% virtual campaign Kristin created a strategic plan to reach them all. Including weekly lunch/learn events involving charities, testimonials, and local staff to share experiences. 3 lunch/learns, Virtual Haunted House, Pie Face event, Lunch Raffle w/ leadership and Art/Photo contest all reaching over 900 attendee’s total. Her impressive, detailed campaign plan brought in almost 40k in pledges and involved most all her office employees with educational events. Kristin has a brother with a disability and has worked with many of the local CFC charities firsthand. She also coordinated the USCIS Office to create 3 amazing personal video testimonials of actual employees and shared during their virtual events.

Heartland CFC
The Kansas City VAMC and Marcus Rhodes planned and hosted the 1st ever CFC Regional Kickoff Dance Party. Marcus Rhodes wanted to bring not only awareness but fun to the kickoff and he wanted to reach as many people as he could doing it. This led to a hugely successful event of more than 200 attendees. Attendees were able to let loose dancing to music by DJ Marcus all while also learning more on the CFC. The event led to other agencies holding their own dance party kickoffs with DJ Marcus Rhodes.

Indiana, Kentucky & Southwestern Ohio CFC
The DFAS Indianapolis team went all out to ensure the 2021 CFC was a success. They utilized their newsletter to reach military retirees who may have otherwise been unaware they could participate in the CFC, boosting retiree giving this year. DFAS Indianapolis collaborated with 7 other locations to host creative pumpkin carving events to spread awareness around the CFC, learn about several CFC charities and have fun. Their efforts helped raise DFAS pledge totals not only in Indianapolis but across the globe.

Michigan CFC (Winner!)
This year the USPS Michigan 1 CFC District Coordinating team created and organized the 2021 CFC Video that paid homage to the CFC’s 60th Anniversary and it also displayed a vast amount of support and participation from the US Postal Service employees in the Michigan 1 District. The team was able to coordinate with various Post offices throughout the District, ensuring that almost every position in the Postal Service was represented in the video. The video footage included Letter Carriers, Clerks, Custodians, Vehicle Mechanics, Truck Drivers and Supervisors. Everyone who participated in the video played a pivotal role by displaying that they are the Face of Change. The team created a link that allowed the video to be accessible and viewed by over 9,000 employees in the Michigan 1 District. The video was also made available to the employees who were home-bound due to COVID reasons. The video was also played at every Kick-off event to start off the festivities and to promote a sense of esprit de corps. 

Midwestern CFC
The Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Midwestern Zone 015, led by Christa Holland and Robin Goff, had a truly innovative campaign strategy this year. With gatherings restricted by the pandemic, they planned traveling and on-the-go style events to increase event participation safely. Placing wooden nickels featuring the CFC logo on one side and the QR code on the other in the hospital store and coffee shop, they reached busy employees with a small reminder of the campaign and a quick way to access the campaign site from their phones. Keyworkers wore CFC t-shirts to provide a visual reminder of the campaign. This year, despite the limitations, they were able to come up with out of the box ideas for events and communication strategies.

National Capital Area CFC
To commemorate the sixty years of impact made by the federal community through the CFC, the NCA team developed the “Do 60, Give 60” challenge that invited employees and retirees to volunteer or participate in an activity for an hour, and then consider pledging $60 to the charity of their choice. Military and Civilian departments and agencies throughout the zone participated in individual and group activities, each uniquely choosing how they participate and challenge one another – running 6 miles, baking 60 cakes, volunteering for 60 minutes – and how they gave back through the CFC. This engagement activity successfully coincided with both the nationwide 60 year celebration by providing awareness to the historic milestone of the campaign, and gave each participate the opportunity to be a changemaker.

New England CFC
The Zone 37 New England Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC) identified that CFC imagery, marketing and advertisements would likely be more effective if they contained more localization. At a board meeting the ideal to create a short homemade CFC promotional video with local imagery was brought up, voted on and approved. The LFCC planned, executed and published two short videos that promoted the CFC with a local flair. The LFCC members, at their own expense, planned a date to meet up and film at iconic locations throughout Boston, a widely recognized and historic city within the New England area. During the day of filming, various members of the LFCC (Active Duty, Reservist, Civilian, Retired, and Kaptivate) posed in front of captivating backdrops and spoke about the CFC. Additionally, active duty military personnel onsite also participated and gave recorded testimonials. The raw film collected during the day of shooting was then meticulously reviewed by LFCC members and the best sections were used for the final compilation. The final assembly resulted in two short videos showcasing the Combined Federal Campaign specific to New England and included personnel from a wide array of different federal backgrounds. Additionally, numerous shots were taken of LFCC members promoting different key events of the campaign (i.e. Giving Tuesday, Finish strong week, etc…) in order to allow for future editing of the raw video footage to promote future campaigns and events. The two short videos were published and/or promoted through the New England CFC OC, Kaptivate Group and LFCC members. The LFCC received positive verbal feedback on the video from various agencies and in one known instance was used on a power point presentation for an agency’s CFC event. It was even on YouTube!

  • For more information, contact LFCC member Matt Braiotta

Northern California CFC
The Northern California CFC zone LFCC wanted to create a CFC volunteer program to encourage all federal employees to volunteer their time and talents to charities. They not only shared the volunteer opportunities with employees during meetings and trainings, they also incorporated learning opportunities in other events, such as the Cause Talks series. The “Volunteer of Week of Giving” initiative was launched to encourage people to embrace volunteering through the CFC as their New Year’s resolution.

Northern Lights CFC
Capt Walker and SMSgt Fleschner were assigned as the new coordinators for Grand Forks Air Force Base for the 2021 campaign. After receiving the appointment, they began planning. They recruited their team and held several in-person training sessions on base. They then created a campaign plan and met with base leadership to set a goal. They were passionate about the campaign; SMSgt made a video about how easy it is to give through the CFC and posted it on Facebook. They met with base leadership and their team regularly leading up to and throughout the campaign. Overall, this campaign was greatly increased from the last 4 years. Their leadership and encouraging attitude were appreciated.

  • For more information, contact LFCC member CARMEN M. SOWERS, Maj, USAF

Oklahoma & North TX Panhandle CFC
The CFC leadership team at Sheppard Air Force Base used a strategy of community connectedness to engage more employees than ever before to give to the CFC. Led by Capt. Naomi Villalobos and MSgt Christopher Maquilon, the CFC volunteers capitalized on Sheppard AFB’s community events to raise awareness and funds for the CFC. Pairing the CFC with these beloved Sheppard AFB events created a positive connection between employees and the campaign. It proved that the CFC helps to build community not only through funds raised, but also through engaging with one another as peers.

South Central Virginia & Albemarle Bay CFC
NASA Langley Research Center employs approximately 3200 employees and, with the entire workforce teleworking for over two years, NASA Langley Research Center Leadership and Campaign Managers have embraced technology to enhance CFC communication and events among employees. The Campaign team built a Channel in Microsoft Teams for all things CFC that quickly became a great forum for discussing campaign strategies, sharing My Cause stories, campaign ideas, photos, and for doing virtual contests. In 2021 they have increased their donations by 8% over 2020: raising a whopping $282,426 with an average gift of $1,260.83 from just 224 employees! Their embracement of technology coupled with a comprehensive communications plan and leadership engagement strategy has helped NASA Langley Research Center once again raise the bar in the CFCVAB Zone.

  • For more information, contact LFCC member CDR John Neuhart and  CAPT John Hewitt

Texas Gulf Coast CFC (Winner!)
The US Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston played an innovative and integral part in the Texas Gulf Coast CFC this year. Capt. Jason Smith issued multiple participation challenges to help engage federal employees in the area. There was a challenge among all sector units, a challenge between the two USCG sectors in the zone and a challenge between USCG and other Houston area federal employers. The winning leadership selected a volunteer activity with a local CFC charity for the leadership from all of the agencies in the challenge to participate in. It was a great way to bring together federal employees from different agencies and most importantly give back to the CFC charities.

2020 Innovations

Read the summaries of the 25 innovations nominated in 2020. The six winners are denoted with (Winner!).

Alaska CFC
The NPS hosted 3 Charity Fairs that each boasted a contest for participants to win prizes. The Charity Fair in October held a costume contest, November’s Charity Fair hosted a face-covering contest and December’s Charity Fair was an Ugly Sweater Contest. Each fair had a short introduction to the CFC, a 3–5 minute presentation by each charity, Q&A session and then the contest. NPS employees and the charity representatives joined the contests which were facilitated by an NPS employee. All participants on the call (employees and charity representatives then voted using a link in the Teams chat window. The Charity Fairs were festive and fun.The NPS crushed its goal of $60,000 and finished strong with over $70,000 in pledges which was a 40% increase from the previous year. They were the top agency in all of Alaska for 2020, to include the military.

Cascadia CFC (Winner!)
The 15 Minutes of Inspiration speaker event series was created to be a quick, feel-good, and motivating event to encourage campaign workers to continue their important CFC outreach, spur donor
interest in pledging, and to inspire overall good will. In total to date, the 15 Minutes of Inspiration series has been viewed 1,185 times, both live and on YouTube.There was a greater buzz and interest in the series than other virtual events that were organized during the campaign. It was extremely well received and popular, particularly for its briefness and effectiveness. Many phone calls and emails were exchanged about how moving and powerful the stories were.

Chesapeake Bay CFC
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) CFC team came up with a plan that would still motivate staff to donate during the pandemic and transition to a virtual environment. CMS examined and revamped every aspect of campaign administration, marketing, and fundraising to make it more fun, engaging, and inclusive of the entire CMS community. The approach incorporated a “ONE CMS” initiative of collaboration, which expanded to inspire the nine regional offices across the country to share aspects of the campaign by adopting cause weeks, promoting events, and hosting fun competitions. Baltimore headquarters continued to lead in coordinating communications, and all CFC messaging went out through four streams: (1) Keyworkers sent messages to components, (2) Administrator’s “Things To Know” broadcasts announced weekly events, (3) This Just In (an internal news publication) published monthly CFC news, and (4) tech support created a new, more engaging CFC intranet site. 

Garden Empire CFC
For years, the CFC community had known that federal retirees were an untapped source of potential philanthropic revenue for the campaign. The United States has well over 2 million living federal retirees, many of whom supported their favorite charities through the CFC for their entire careers. The 2020 Direct Response Campaign to federal retirees was a resounding success. By working with a well-known data provider, our Outreach Coordinator was able to secure curated data for the Garden Empire zone to identify and target 20,881 individuals with eight email cycles running from September through December. Non-responsive retirees were sent repeated messages with a variety of subject lines enticing them to open the email. With each cycle, we culleddonors, identified engaged and non-responsive retirees, and removed “opt outs” to avoid harassing anyone who wasn’t interested. Of the 20,881 emails sent, 319 were opened for a response rate of 1.5%, which exceeds national benchmarks for a direct email marketing campaign. The conversion rate (click through and donate) of those who clicked on the links within the email was 25%, which is exceptionally strong.

Gateway CFC
The Gateway CFC and Greater St. Louis Federal Executive Board hosted a "first of its kind" Battle of the FEBs Event. The event pitted the Greater St. Louis FEB and the Greater Kansas City FEB live via Zoom. The event included a tutorial on how to create a pledge profile and pledge using the Online Giving System. FEB directors shared WHY they give through the CFC. The FEB Director that generated the least amount during the hour took a pie in the face. The Battle resulted in Heartland Zone raising $10,065 and Gateway raising $4,860. In the end, BOTH FEB Directors took pies in the face!

Heart of the Midlands CFC
The HOTM LFCC and the M/M OC Team planned a first-of-its-kind event - Santa Claus is Zooming to Town! The team decided to go multi-zone and spread as much cheer as possible. The team was able to recruit a Preschool/kindergarten-age children’s choir and a youth symphony, both 2020 CFC participating charities to provide holiday entertainment. Five charities (local and nationals) including Toys for Tots, Operation Breakthrough, Gods Storehouse, Youth Symphony of KC, and Trees for Troops presented educational information. The Heart of the Midlands LFCC, Co-chair, Terry Morgan volunteered to portray Santa Claus, and the M/M OC Team members were dressed up as his elves. There were 468 attendees registered for Santa Claus is Zooming to town. This event not only generated awareness for the campaign and the importance of giving, it brought Federal employees and their children from all around the country together.

Heartland CFC (Winner!)
The Gateway CFC and Greater St. Louis Federal Executive Board hosted a "first of its kind" Battle of the FEBs Event. The event pitted the Greater St. Louis FEB and the Greater Kansas City FEB live via Zoom. The event included a tutorial on how to create a pledge profile and pledge using the Online Giving System. FEB directors shared WHY they give through the CFC. The FEB Director that generated the least amount during the hour took a pie in the face. The Battle resulted in Heartland Zone raising $10,065 and Gateway raising $4,860. In the end, BOTH FEB Directors took pies in the face!

Indiana, Kentucky and Southwest Ohio CFC
DFAS Indianapolis has over 4000 employees that were all working remotely in 2020. DFAS Coordinators and leadership embraced the virtual nature of the 2020 CFC. They decided to hold several virtual events and even spread this out to other DFAS locations around the globe. DFAS decided to hold their virtual events just before Halloween. To engage their leadership and employees, they decided to have their local leadership have a pumpkin carving contest during the virtual events. Attendees were also encouraged to wear costumes if able to share in the fun. Leadership welcomed attendees to
the meeting and then while the employees listened to a group of CFC charities discuss the work they do, the leadership carved pumpkins. At the end of the meeting the pumpkins were revealed to all attendees.

Michigan CFC
The Michigan CFC revised the traditional campaign strategy to include events via a virtual platform. Lunch & Learn events were planned and held which featured both local and national charities and employees were able to attend to learn about the charities in the campaign, while also gaining an opportunity to engage with other federal employees around the zone. From these Zone Wide virtual events, specific agencies were inspired to engage their own employees despite the virtual nature of the 2020 CFC. The Transportation Security Administration, led by coordinator Tanisha Robinson teamed up with local Zone Managers to host TSA Thankful Tuesdays, using the same virtual format. Employees had the chance to win gift cards and CFC promotional items while they learned more about the charities participating in the campaign.

Midwestern CFC
the Michigan CFC revised the traditional campaign strategy which would have included more in-person events to a virtual platform. Lunch & Learn events were planned and held which featured both local and national charities and employees were able to attend to learn about the charities in the campaign, while also gaining an opportunity to engage with other federal employees around the zone. From these Zone Wide virtual events, specific agencies were inspired to engage their own employees despite the virtual nature of the 2020 CFC. The Transportation Security Administration, led by coordinator Tanisha Robinson teamed up with the local Zone Managers to host TSA Thankful Tuesdays, using the same virtual format. Employees had a chance to win gift cards and CFC promotional items while they
learned more about the charities participating in the campaign.

Mountain States CFC
A technology-driven virtual campaign spearheaded by the efforts of Mr. Richard Essary was imperative to Hill AFB CFC campaign during the pandemic. Since the Kickoff event, Mid Campaign and Closing
events could not be in person this year, his innovation to motivate and build continuity across all three wings included:|

  • Leadership/Keyworker video marketing on social media Hill Air Force Base pages.
  • “Be the Face of Change” kickoff event selfie uploads to web page to establish the selfie promotion todrive personnel to the platform and encourage online giving.
  • Hilltop Times (base newspaper) articles and extended graphics to promote Hill AFB CFC campaign
  • Continual virtual campaign reminders and event promotions


National Capital Area CFC
The CFCNCA implemented a transformative digital campaign. The team implemented several building blocks that will become staples in the campaigns to come: video conferencing, virtual kickoff event, short videos for causes, virtual charity fairs, selfie submissions, Lemon Face Challenge, and virtual volunteer opportunities. The flexibility through innovation exhibited by staff and leadership speaks to the heart of the campaign: when people care deeply for their causes, they will find a way to come together, wherever they are, and make a difference in the lives of those who need it.

North Texas CFC (Winner!)
A “first of its kind” CFC Leadership Training Program has been established. The Emerging Leaders Civic Advancement Training (ELCA) was developed as a no-cost leadership training program aligned with the Employee Core Qualification Standards (ECQ’s), as a pathway for recruiting CFC volunteers to serve in CFC leadership roles. The ELCA training program ensures volunteers who serve for the CFC are returned to their agencies with added leadership skills, and credentials necessary for advancing their government career.

Northern California CFC
The beginning of the 2020 CFC required innovation in getting messaging across to federal employees, the majority of which were working remotely, and ensuring CFC local, national, and international charities had the opportunity to share their stories and messaging to this vital group of potential donors. The Northern California CFC jumped into the “virtual pool” of the campaign with the following activities available to over 121,000 federal employees in the zone: CFC Coordinator Chit Chat, Local and National/International CFC Cause Talk, Charity Spotlight, and Facebook Live Events.

Oklahoma and North Texas CFC (Winner!)
The team organized an eight-hour Telethon event using the Zoom platform. In tune with the nostalgic television events, the MMAC and Outreach Coordinator team planned a full day of entertainment. At the center of the event was CFC charities and employees telling their stories about why giving to CFC is important. In total, nine charities presented throughout the event, sharing videos, personal testimonials, and even providing demonstrations of their services. The creativity of the MMAC employees and their families was on full display throughout the Telethon. Employees created videos of an art demonstration, musical performances, and even a cooking demonstration to share with their colleagues. MMAC leadership shared messages about why they give to the CFC and the causes that are important to them. The event also featured a special veterans cause conversation with representatives speaking about veterans benefits, healthcare, education, employment, and services provided by United Service Organizations (USO).

Ohio CFC

  • For more information, contact LFCC member Anna Vedouras

Overseas CFC
The CFC-O created and implemented a virtual engagement activity, the CFC Lemon Face Challenge, and brought a viral element of fun to the CFC in a year filled with challenges. The Lemon Face Challenge engaged the local community, built excitement around the campaign, and encouraged donor giving, while meeting recommended social distancing guidelines. Here's how it worked: DoD personnel were challenged to bite into a lemon and attempt to maintain a neutral face. This activity took place in offices, during teleconferences, and by video and added  a fun competitive element to activities. The initial launch video and Facebook post reached more than 11,000 people and had 785 engagements. 

Pacific Northwest CFC
CFC MarketingU is an educational initiative to help independent charities and federations/federation members learn more about the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and how to better market themselves and connect with federal employees. The training was supported by a leading, cloud-based learning management system (LMS) and offered as a free, efficient, value-added service for charities. Six different visual and interactive online courses were offered when the program launched at the end of September. A combination of different educational modalities was used to enhance learner engagement and encompass different learning preferences. These included: visual infographics; PowerPoint presentations with recorded voice-overs; interactive visual educational slides; step-by-step instructional videos; and the traditional written learning style. Modules included: 1) All Things CFC 2) Digital Marketing for CFC 3) Tried & True CFC Marketing 4) Project Management Basics 5) Nonprofits in the Virtual World 6) All Things Federations.

Peachbelt CFC
After weeks of careful planning, the first of three virtual charity bus tours began on December 3, complete with an itinerary, map, a holiday light show, and sound effects as we took a “virtual ride” to each charity stop. Adrienne Jones aka Our Tour Guide pulled out all the stops and did not disappoint. Our employees that look forward to the lottery every year to get the golden ticket a “Charity Bus Tour ticket” loved all the additions our virtual version offered this year and some even said it was more fun than the “real deal.” We rounded out our campaign with the first ever “Festival of Giving” on January 13, an all day (9am-5pm) “telethon” that included 34 charities and 14 guest speakers. Each charity had one more chance to share their mission and thank the federal employees for their service & support
before the campaign came to a close. The event hosted more than 200 attendees throughout the day, not including campaign staff. Online giving for the day was more than $38,000 and 66 volunteer hours pledged.

South Central Texas CFC
This zone developed the One Dollar 10 Minutes challenge to create excitement and competition among agencies and campaign teams, attract lapsed and new donors, and maintain existing donors. Messaging for these events addressed the belief that donations might be too small to make a difference and giving online is too difficult or time-consuming. 

South Central Virginia & Albemarle Bay CFC
with the entire NASA Langley workforce teleworking, the complexities in ensuring information was provided to all employees in such a way to engage them in the campaign turned the NASA Campaign Manager to technology. To extend the teleworking posture, the NASA Campaign Team adopted and quickly adapted to the roll out of Microsoft Teams early in the year as their primary campaign platform. Leveraging Teams allowed NASA the ability to invite employees to participate in numerous photo contest activities. These included Pumpkins, Pets & Pee-Wees costume contest in the fall and Holiday Pics in November and December as well as a theme for My Cause Is photos throughout the campaign. Employees joined the fun by sending in images and/or visiting the Teams site to view what their coworkers had shared. 

  • For more information, contact LFCC member Captain Brad Rosen, USN ([email protected])

Sunshine CFC
Enlisting the help of senior leadership, NASA's Kennedy Space Center created an informative and heartfelt CFC Kickoff video to start the 2020 campaign that was emailed to all staff, posted on the NASA CFC intranet website and on our Sunshine zone CFC Facebook page.  The video featured Kennedy Space Center leadership, KSC CFC campaign team and CFC charities sharing campaign dates/events and how the CFC benefits the local, national and global communities. As part of their virtual engagement, the CFC team also hosted several virtual panel discussions about community impact and the campaign and featured the KSC Director sharing live campaign results update.  This level of engagement had a positive boost to the campaign’s bottom line and resulted in NASA being one of the top 10 agencies in terms of dollars pledged. KSC implemented several other creative and innovative ideas. One was this year’s campaign slogan, “KSC Unites to Show Some Love”. This expansion on the national CFC theme customized and localized the feel of the CFC for KSC personnel while retaining the national branding the CFC has worked to create. To illustrate and coordinate with this theme, KSC designed a graphic, hands of KSC reaching up with hearts in hand to the world, for use in internal CFC communications, social media, and their intranet page.

Texas Gulf Coast CFC
The EPA Houston Office, partnered with the Dallas office and her counterpart, Stephanie Cheaney, in creating games to remind and educate their coworkers of the purpose and benefits of the CFC. The intent was to encourage their participation and have a little fun in the process. For Giving Tuesday (and the week before Thanksgiving), employees were asked to participate in a “hand-turkey design competition” where they traced and decorated a copy of their hand to look like a turkey. These masterpieces were submitted and voted on by the staff from both offices.They also created a “Bracketology” game, similar to March Madness in college basketball. They called it “Donate-ology.” The players were broken down by agency sections (i.e., the Houston Lab was one player) and the players were paired off until they were down to the final two. The Houston Lab won with the highest % participation. The winners were presented with unique trophies that were created & designed by the staff.

Upstate New York CFC
Upstate NY CFC provided the LFCC, local federal office managers, and CFC Coordinators access to its cloud-based, interactive CFC Analytics Platform. The platform provided comprehensive analytics on fundraising, and charity & unit performance against the context of the national campaign. Updated daily, this platform provided accurate, insightful views into the Upstate NY CFC 2020 campaign to all stakeholders.With our CFC Analytics tool, we provided an overall campaign management plan, localized as needed, for top accounts and each department and agency in the zone. The LFCC had access to the Analytics solution to monitor how the campaign was doing against the largest accounts (the Top 20-25 accounts that represent 80% of the campaign pledge transaction volume), top counties, and top zip codes. The LFCC was also able to gauge how charitable beneficiaries were progressing by viewing charity and cause performance.

Western PA & West Virginia CFC (Winner!)
Knowing how important virtual events would be for the 2020 campaign, Zone 29 developed a virtual event strategy to unite efforts across zone and bring everyone together as a CFC Community. The strategy included hosting one major event each month. One of the most popular events, The Music Fest, quickly grew from a zone-wide virtual event to the first multi-zone event, partnered with agencies in six other zones and aired nationwide, and ran for 4 hours virtually. In early November after the event was shared locally, several other zones wanted to join in, and it quickly expanded from the original 10 Zone 29 artists to become the first multi-zone initiative. Zone 29 staff shared the event invitation with CFC representatives in agencies and asked them to send out a call for artists and share the event through their own social media and communication channels. The Music Fest was designed to help kickoff Giving Tuesday for all federal agencies and ran on Nov. 30 from 3-7 PM. It was a virtual music festival featuring special guest bands from a variety of music backgrounds, including those in the charity and federal agency communities. Each half hour segment included at least one live performance, a special message from leadership about the CFC and/or more information about how to participate, and presentations and videos from charities that participate in the 2020 campaign.