By Jessica Barnett
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center was recently awarded for raising more funds than any other large federal agency in the Greater Tennessee Valley Zone during the 2022 CFC (Combined Federal Campaign).
The CFC serves as the federal government’s only sanctioned charity fundraiser event, with civilian, military, contract, and postal employees all encouraged to contribute to the charity of their choice during the annual campaign.
Marshall kicked off the 2022 campaign last October with a charity fair, giving potential donors a chance to learn about some of the charities that benefit from CFC donations. Erin Richardson, a materials science manager at Marshall who served as chair of the 2022 campaign, said the goal was more than just raising funds – it was about raising awareness of CFC and increasing participation in the campaign.
“We ended up contributing the most out of any large agency in the Greater Tennessee Valley, which is our CFC zone,” Richardson said, adding the win came as a surprise given some of the obstacles they faced.
Those obstacles included inflation and economic concerns among potential donors, balancing virtual and in-person campaigning after the pandemic, and it being the first time Richardson and many of her co-campaigners had served as CFC leaders at Marshall.
Looking back on it now, she said, there were certainly some lessons learned. Richardson said she’s optimistic for the 2023 campaign, which will be chaired by Angela Lovelady, a lead budget analyst at Marshall.
“Angela is a step above,” Richardson said. “She has an intense passion and heart for it, and I think she’ll be a great lead for CFC.”
Marshall team members who wish to match that enthusiasm will have plenty of ways to do so when the 2023 campaign kicks off Oct. 17. Donors can contribute financially via credit or debit card payment or PayPal, with some team members able to donate a portion of their paycheck during the campaign period. Donors can also contribute their time at a participating charity, with each volunteer hour counted toward the overall fundraising goal.
All campaigns start after Sept. 1 and end before mid-January of the following year. Each donation must be designated for a specific participating charity. In the Greater Tennessee Valley Zone, there are 69 charities currently listed as active CFC participants, from community health clinics and animal rescues to veteran and social justice groups.
By participating in CFC each year, Marshall can show its support to the people all over the world, including the millions of U.S. taxpayers who make NASA’s mission possible, Richardson said.
“We benefit so much as federal employees from taxpayers,” she said. “Some people will never get the opportunity to come through Gate 9 or see a launch or understand what we do, but we wouldn’t be able to do the job we are doing without them.”
Learn more about CFC and see the list of participating charities in your community by visiting https://cfcgiving.opm.gov.
Barnett, a Media Fusion employee, supports the Marshall Office of Communications.