Combined Federal Campaign kicks off with impressive goal of $1.73 million

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) raises charitable funds from federal civilian and military employees to help nonprofits in our community and around the world.

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) kicked off its 2011-12 fundraising drive with help from a youth choir with joy, laughter and a few emotional moments.

The CFC is the federal government’s largest and most successful annual employee workplace charity campaign. Many nonprofit agency booths lined the auditorium at the Holiday Inn hotel at the University of Memphis. The Combined Federal Campaign runs jointly with United Way’s fundraising campaign, and CFC has its own team of Loaned Executives that work in the same building as United Way employees throughout our regional fundraising drive.

George Edwards is a retired United States Postal Service employee who has been a champion of the CFC drive for more than 17 years. Edwards opened the kickoff with a speech containing humor alongside a serious message about the CFC goal for the year: $1,730,000!

Many nonprofits had booths at this year's CFC campaign kickoff

“This event is a salute to all of you,” Edwards said. “You have done so great in the past, and we know you are going to do even better in the future.”

Edwards noted that this year’s goal is very impressive given the uncertainty about the current economy. The Memphis Black Arts Alliance youth choir entertained the crowd with excellent singing during the luncheon.

After recognizing Edwards’ years of service to our community with a special recognition and thanking this year’s group of CFC Loaned Executives, United Way President Bryce Haugsdahl gave a moving speech about the work that volunteers do, and the importance of giving. At one point, he directed the crowd’s attention to the agency booths surrounding the room.

United Way President Bryce Haugsdahl (right) speaks to the CFC crowd about the value nonprofits add to our community. Seated at left are CFC Loaned Executive George Edwards and United Way Sr. VP of Fundraising Faye Carter.

“Look at how important and how dramatic each one of these organizations are,” he said. “The economy is what it is. There are always going to be things that happen. We have two choices basically to make: what benefits us or what benefits others.”

Mary Ray, program analyst manager with IRS was also on the program, representing Carolyn Chapman, the chairperson of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee.

“I hope the campaign leaders of these federal agencies felt empowered to support educating and training their CFC committee workers,” Ray said. “Workers and committee people must be trained and engaged, and they must feel the compassion in order to be effective in asking others to give.”

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