Ten years ago it was $3 million. Five years ago it was $4 million. Last year, the Washington State Combined Fund Drive, CFD, had its highest level of contributions in the program’s history with more than $5 million going to about 1,900 charities last year. Washington State University employees gave $165,473 of it.

This year, CFD will celebrate its 20th year in service and will host the 2004 WSU Campaign Kickoff, 10 a.m.-noon, Tuesday, Sept. 14 , at the Lewis Alumni Centre. The activity will include speeches by President V. Lane Rawlins, Executive Director of Alumni Relations Tim Pavish, and representatives of the CFD.

“Many WSU administrators, as well as President Rawlins, have made this program something they not only support, but also seek support for,” said Theresa MacNaughton, WSU CFD Campaign co-coordinator.

Charities also will be at the event to share information and answer questions. A training session for WSU departmental representatives will follow the kickoff. It will focus on teaching how to donate to the CFD by online deduction.

CFD began in Washington State in 1984 as a means of streamlining the numerous fundraising campaigns occurring throughout the year. The program allows state employees to use payroll deduction to donate money from each paycheck to a charity of their choice. The employees decide the donation amount and duration.

“There is no minimum or maximum donation amount,” said Karee Boone, WSU CFD Campaign co-coordinator. “People can give as much as they can afford.”

Another benefit of using payroll deduction is it allows more money to be donated to the charity, since all of the money received is placed in a single account to gain interest. When the money is ready to be distributed, about 105 percent of peoples’ contributions are actually going to their chosen charity, MacNaughton said.

But, donations don’t have to be made through payroll deduction on each paycheck.  Employees also can choose a one-time payroll deduction, write a personal check, or volunteer to help with the CFD campaign or any charity.

“Since volunteers conduct the annual drive, the charities usually don’t have to,” Boone said.  “This means more of the contribution helps the causes people believe in.”Based on the number of state employees in Washington, the CFD is the number one charity campaign in the nation. So far, state employees have contributed more than $51 million to communities in Washington and around the world.

How to give: 
* Monthly Payroll deduction– The contribution is deducted equally from each payroll or pension check received during the months of January through December.
* One-time Payroll deduction– The deduction will be taken from the first check in January
* Personal Check– Checks may be written to individual charities or to the CFD.
* Volunteer. Help with the CFD campaign and give time to any charities.  For payroll deduction, select the preferred charity from more than 1,900 listed in the CFD Charity Guide. The guide is available online at http://hr.dop.wa.gov/cfd or from your department representative. Charities not listed can be written in.

Key why people donate through the CFD:

Ease and efficiency — Volunteers at each state agency/institution conduct the drive so more of every dollar reaches charity. Since the volunteers conduct the annual drive, your favorite charities in many cases, do not have to. This means more of your contribution helps the causes you believe in.

Your dollar goes farther — When you give through payroll deduction, accrued interest along with donations made to the CFD program in general, are shared with the member charities meaning approximately 105% of your contribution reaches your charity.