At this time of year, many of you think about how you can make life a little better for those less fortunate than you. Some of you may think about enlisting the support of others when taking an action to help a charitable cause. Before acting on such generous thoughts, please keep the following in mind.
The Combined Federal Campaign is the only authorized solicitation of employee in the Federal workplace on behalf of charitable organizations. See 5 C.F.R. § § 950.102, 2635.808(a). However, as is almost always the case regarding rules of conduct for Federal employees, there are a few exceptions:
First, upon written request, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management may grant permission for solicitations of Federal employees, outside the CFC, in support of victims in cases of emergencies and disasters. However, no such permissions will be granted during the period of September 1 through December 15, except at the discretion of the OPM Director upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances.
Second, the general prohibition of non-CFC- related solicitations does not apply to the collection of gifts-in-kind, such as food, clothing, and toys.
Third, the general prohibition does not apply to the solicitation of Federal employees outside of the Federal workforce “as defined by the applicable Agency Head consistent with General Services Administration regulations and any other applicable laws or regulations.”
In any event, those soliciting donations must make it clear to prospective donors that their donations are entirely voluntary.