Chapters Participate in CFC Campaigns

The NASW Foundation is expanding its participation in workplace giving campaigns and NASW chapters will have the opportunity to benefit from the change.

The Foundation has been a participant in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) since 2007. The CFC promotes philanthropy by allowing federal employees to sign up for a pretax payroll deduction that supports eligible charities throughout the world. The CFC is the largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, raising millions of dollars each year for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

Last year, the NASW Foundation was listed among independent national charities in the CFC catalog. For fall 2009, the Foundation has joined the Independent Charities of America federation. It will appear in the 2009 CFC catalogs under “Women, Children and Family Services Charities” as “NASW Foundation: Social Workers Helping Communities.” This will help federal employees find and choose the Foundation from among other agencies working to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities.

This past year, the Foundation invited NASW chapters to participate by promoting it in the CFC in their home states to both social workers and non-social workers. For example, social workers provide critical services to members of the military. Because of this, those in the armed forces may wish to designate the NASW Foundation when selecting CFC charities to support. A chapter that helps to raise awareness of the CFC opportunity will share the donations equally with the Foundation, which is based at NASW’s national office in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the CFC, which reaches federal employees, the Foundation has also applied to join 13 State Employee Charitable Campaigns for 2009. These campaigns allow state employees in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and the city of Boston to donate to the NASW Foundation through pretax payroll deductions. The Foundation will work with chapters in those states to find ways to encourage state employees to contribute, said NASW Foundation Assistant Director Jennifer Watt.

She said the CFC and other workplace giving programs are a simple and efficient way for chapters to earn funding for their charitable and educational projects.

“We’re still relatively new in these campaigns, so the total donations aren’t significant yet,” Watt said.

“But as more federal and state government employees become aware of NASW’s involvement, we see workplace giving as having great potential to help fund the charitable and educational projects of our chapters as well as the Foundation,” Watt said.

Sue Fort, executive director of the Georgia Chapter, said she is glad to participate in the program.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for members to help other members,” she said. “We plan to use most of our money for scholarships so it can be used to help members attend functions. This can definitely help our members by covering the cost of registration fees for conferences and other educational events.”

Fort said the chapter announced the CFC campaign in its newsletter. “At least a couple of people have told me they plan to take advantage of it,” Fort said. “We have a lot of Veterans Affairs regional offices as well as military bases here, so we’re hoping any federal employee will take advantage of this and help social workers in the process.”

Daphne McClellan, executive director of the Maryland Chapter, said the CFC campaign was also announced through its newsletter as well as through fliers.

“We’re excited about it,” she said. “There are federal employees all over the country, but Maryland is fortunate in having more federal employees than the typical state average.”

McClellan said the CFC funds will benefit member educational activities at the chapter’s five branches.

The NASW Foundation works to ensure that the social workers who address critical individual, family, community and societal needs are thoroughly trained and highly qualified.

The Foundation offers educational resources to the general public; administers charitable gifts for specific social work objectives; and supports the educational and charitable activities of the association’s 56 chapters and their affiliates.