Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Everyone Loves The CFC

Here's a video of President Obama urging all Federal employees to contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign:

It looks like this year's campaign is kicking off again for the Navy; I'm sure most commands have goals like "100% contact". Did you ever get stuck with the thankless job of being CFC Coordinator? Did you think it was punishment for something you'd done? I remember back in the days when you pretty much had to contribute (since goals were based on "percent of command contributing" vice "contacted"); did you ever donate to a completely off-the-wall organization as a kind of protest against the whole process?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was furious when one of my Chiefs donated $10.00 in my name just so the command could get 100 % when I steadfastly refused to contribute to the CFC. I always felt that only part the money was getting to the charity I chose and that most was being siphoned off by administration. I give to organizations because I wanted to and not to be a statistic for the Navy. And then there was the fact that there were groups on the list that I was very opposed to for political, ethical and religious reasons.
I give on a continuous basis because they need money all the time, not just during CFC and I always felt better going straight to Father Joe or the Boy Scouts and giving them the money directly.

That Damn Good Looking Aganger From Iowa

10/09/2009 2:32 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

I sure as heck did. I felt the entire process was too political as it even threatened your evals.

I donated a year's allotment to Greenpeace. This was right after they were sloshing red paint on some of our ships.

10/09/2009 2:50 PM

Anonymous STSC said...

I sure like the current system way better than how it was on my first boat.

Then: Pressure to contribute.
Now: Pressure to fill out the form, nobody cares if you give or not.

Then: Never knew how much of your dough went to your cause.
Now: The pamphlet spells out how much of your donation goes to overhead (which varies by cause from as low as zero overhead to upwards of 2/3 going to keep the lights on vice to the recipient).

Then: Stupid gifts that got more stupid the more you gave - go go triple eagle giver!
Now: Oh wait, never mind.

10/09/2009 3:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I donate exactly "e" dollars (2.72) to Helping Hands, and organization that provides trained monkeys to assist blind people.

10/09/2009 3:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back when I was going through the pipeline the first time, me and one of my classmates were put in one of the checkout cubes at D1G for most of a midwatch. We were told by the CFC coordinator (a wonderful E-7 (not a chief) that we could come out after we donated. I think we were the only two who wouldn't submit to the extortion. That soured me on the CFC for the next 19 years. Much better when the goal changed to 100% contact.

10/09/2009 3:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My division (A-Gang) all contributed one year to the Tidewater Home for Unwed Mothers.


10/09/2009 4:20 PM

Blogger David said...

You guys got off light! I was screwed into being the SUBRON 8 CFC coordinator. I had three days of training in downtown Norfolk, including fieldtrips to local charities, to train me how to squeeze blood from all of the squadron boats.
I have never, ever wanted anyone to tell me how, when or why to give money. If I give money to charity, it is on my own.
CFC, United Way, etc. are all a scam!

10/09/2009 4:53 PM

Blogger Ozy said...

I don't contribute to the CFC; I've never responded well to altar calls. Instead, I do my own research and donate a thousand dollars at a time when I find an organization that needs the money and can use it effectively.

10/09/2009 5:36 PM

Blogger Squidward said...

Nothing better than getting threatened with no leave for refusing to do CFC. When I got that particular threat, I told the khakipants involved that they were making a serious mistake. He backed off mighty fast...

10/09/2009 7:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes yes, I'm sure the "khakipants" backed off quite quickly.

Or maybe he figured you were cheap.

10/09/2009 7:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only remember CFC Campaigns in my last three years. The first one we got a non-duty day off of our choice. Good COB and a large participation. Next year in shipyard we had a different COB and negative tactics. Field day until there is a 100% participation. Of course that wasn't the official statement. Still got less than 50% participation from we nukes. We were getting too much pleasure from the coners having to stay onboard.

The next year a Chief was under investigation and eventually court martialed for a Ponzi scheme. When the same tactics as the year before were mentioned at muster someone yelled out "Extortion". Many of us had interviews pending with NIS in the next few days. No pressure was put on us and we had a greater than 90% participation.

10/09/2009 8:07 PM

Blogger beebs said...

I was Navy Relief coordinator as a junior ensign and couldn't get two people to donate.

I explained to them that I could donate for them in their name, but could they rethink it? No dice.

I respected their decisions, but was I glad when "the new guy" had it the following year.

A couple of years before I got to the boat the CFC campaign really caught fire on the Pearl waterfront when everyone decided to direct their contributions to a home for unwed mothers. It turned into a contest between the boats. The main CFC coordinators were pissed because of all the "directed" contributions.

I get a great deal of pleasure deciding for myself if I will donate to a charity or not. I figure the government will end up taking fifty percent of my wealth, anyhow.

10/09/2009 8:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I donated to Greenpeace back in '87 or '88. I was impressed that they were trading paint with the Russkies way up north.

I am glad to see it was learned that negative reinforcement doesn't work in every military situation.


10/09/2009 10:24 PM

Anonymous Hampton Plankowner said...

Broadside blog caption contest from last year my winning entry

10/09/2009 10:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 21 years of uniformed service, and now entering my 10th year of civilian DoD service, few things make me cringe as much as CFC season.

First of all: I'm already losing a third of my salary to taxes, some of which is providing federal and state funding of a variety of worthwhile social services echoed in many (but bot all: anybody ever spent a slow mid highlighting some of the more marginal potential CFC recipients).

Second: I got my own soft spots for some charities, and I give to them already. I don't need my philanthropy coaxed out by my employer.

Third: the big federal three-letter agency I work for "donates" about six months of labor by a senior civilian (typically a GS-15) to managing our participation in CFC. As a taxpayer myself (have I mentioned this already), I find this not to be the most inspiring use of taxpayer money.

CFC pains me on many levels. And doesn't it appear shortly before or after the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society donation season?

I'm all for charity, and giving as much as you can afford to worthwhile causes. But the execution of CFC manages to do nothing but piss me off.

10/10/2009 2:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it makes y'all feel any better, the same stuff goes on in civilian firms. I worked for a newspaper that spent a lot of time and money promoting United Way and pushing employees to donate so the company would look good. They could never figure out why the newsroom had the smallest percentage of donors. Maybe it's because they're the ones writing the stories about waste and fraud by charities.

10/10/2009 7:16 AM

Blogger SJV said...

Good to see most here have pointed out the toothpicks in CFC's eye. They are pretty hard to see through the LOG!

10/10/2009 7:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pearl S. Buck Foundation for those I left behind!

Now that is America!

Jim C.

10/10/2009 9:50 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

In early 2004, the CFC required all of its funding recipients to screen their employees against databases of people involved in "terrorist activities". This resulted in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and 12 other non-profits bailing from the CFC July 2004.

By November 2004, the ACLU and other organizations filed a lawsuit challenging the CFC's anti-terrorist policy. In Nov 2005, the Office of CFC Operations accomodated.

CFC regulations were relaxed. Funding recipients merely certify those they support are not considered terrorist organizations by the US Government. By 2007, the ACLU again received CFC funding.

These are the same lawyers who regularly object to national ID cards for voters. We can certainly trust them, can't we!

10/10/2009 12:57 PM

Blogger Gary said...

"I donate exactly "e" dollars (2.72) to Helping Hands, and organization that provides trained monkeys to assist blind people."
Sounds like my boat, "trained monkeys" = Enlisted, "Blind" = Officers!

10/10/2009 2:18 PM

Blogger DDM said...

I was CFC Coordinator for NNPTC one year. As part of the job I got to go out and meet other civilians who worked with the Charleston, SC area United Way. They were a good bunch of people. Just like those who make their underlings give, we had whole sections of students not give anything. That was disappointing. I used CFC as the answer to anyone collecting for charities. I just say, "I give through the CFC. If you'd like to give me a brochure about your agency, I'd be happy to consider them for next year's campaign." Besides spending many hours fixing forms that I failed to provide proper training for, it was a good experience.

10/10/2009 2:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always hated the arm-twisting aspect of CFC, AER, and the alphabet soup of all the organizations they wanted us to contribute to. I didn't really mind supporting them, mind you, just being compelled to.

At my civilian job, United Way was the big thing. I found a loophole, and directed the UW to forward my contribution to my church (which they were happy to do, 100%). Made the company happy, made the church happy, made the IRS happy, since I could show the contribution. And I never had to dig in my wallet when the collection plate came by.

10/10/2009 4:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pearl S. Buck Foundation for those I left behind!"

Oh man, I used to give to them too!

In my later career I started giving to whoever I noticed was catching the most crap from liberals. Groups like the Boy Scouts and the Salvation Army got my money.

10/10/2009 7:41 PM

Blogger Patty Wayne said...

In the late 90s I worked for a company in the Bay Area who would match dollar for dollar on any contribution up to $1000, to any 503c charity. Massive participation from the employees.

10/10/2009 8:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

best thing heard on lower base this week (SubBase NLon)...
"how do i fill this thing out without contributing?"


10/11/2009 9:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't mind my command spending labor on CFC—there are a lot of good causes. But I did mind the required training session when being forced to work 9+ hours every day.

10/12/2009 5:37 PM

Blogger John said...

1983, Goeppingen, Germany.

Only hold out for 100% of our rifle company donating was our company XO, a confirmed bachelor and hard party kind of guy. He told the Company Commander and 1st Sergeant he would donate only if he could name where the entire comapny's worth of contributions went to. In order to meet that goal, both agreed.

Which is why for as long as I can remember a wonderfully framed thank you letter from the Washington DC Home OF UnWed Mothers was posted in our Day Room!

10/14/2009 11:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our CFC Coordinator on Ustafish got a NAM for 100% participation two years in a row. After a pretty good sell-job, he put a dollar or two in the envelope for everybody who didn't want to contribute. The CO found out about it after that, but didn't really do much except to pick a new CFC Coordinator the next year. He looked pretty good for those two years also.

10/20/2009 6:56 PM

Anonymous гид в барселоне said...

Thank you for the article, very worthwhile material.

3/16/2012 4:32 AM

Anonymous SCPO said...

We never harrassed shippies over CFC. Most of the money donated by suck upswent to charity admin fees, charity execs getting bonus $$ and other scams where the charity owed back payroll taxes. Instead we all contributed to help single moms at the local strip bar.

12/06/2013 7:01 AM


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