NDTA Joins Ranks of the Combined Federal Campaign Charities
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) initiative, is one of the largest and most successful workplace fundraising campaigns in the world. Through the CFC, members of the Military and Federal community go beyond their call to public service by contributing to thousands of vetted charities that work to improve the quality of life for all.
NDTA is honored to now be included among the CFC’s list of vetted charities.
Since its founding, one of the missions of NDTA has been “to support, conduct and assist programs of transportation education, science, research, and development, among private, industrial, educational and governmental agencies…”
The Association needed funding to accomplish this mission, so in 1961, it established the NDTA Foundation to support educational endeavors.
THE NDTA FOUNDATION THEN AND NOW
During its first twenty years, the Foundation sponsored many different activities. Among others, it funded research projects driven by specific requests from US Government partners, published industry reports, and underwrote administrative costs of Industry Advisory Committees (IACs) set up to advise military commanders on transportation issues or challenges.
In 1983, a new focus emerged for the Foundation with the establishment of an academic scholarship program. Initially, scholarships were awarded to enrolled college students studying or majoring in the field of transportation. Qualifying fields of study were later expanded to include logistics, supply chain, physical distribution, and passenger travel services. The program was then opened to college-bound high school graduates interested in careers in these fields. In recent years, to address the needs of deployed personnel, the program was further expanded to include students enrolled in distance-learning college programs. And, in 2022, NDTA added the Denny Edwards Graduate Scholarship for those seeking graduate degrees in logistics, transportation, supply chain, physical distri- bution, and passenger travel services.
In its first year, the awards consisted of two $500 scholarships. As a result of generous contributions, judicious investments, surplus operating funds, and fundraising activities the value and number of scholarships steadily increased. The amount available for annual scholarships increased from $20,000 in 2007 to $68,000 this year. Likewise, the aver-age annual scholarship award went up from $870-which today might cover, at most, one semester’s worth of textbooks and a couple of fees-to $4,500. These larger scholarships have enabled the Foundation to achieve its goal of making a significant, rather than just a token, contribution toward making college affordable for students. Furthermore, 100% of all donations go directly to the scholarships.
But NDTA’s ability to continue giving at this level is not a given. Reductions in Defense spending that began in the early 2010s have affected the Foundation. The Association has seen a reduction in donations, as well as reduced proceeds from its events and fundraising activities. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated the situation and of course, we are not the only ones who have experienced financial challenges.
STUDENTS IN CRISIS
As the cost of attending college has risen astronomically in the past 10-15 years, so has the amount of debt students have had to take on to earn a degree. In 2021, student loan debt surpassed $1.7 trillion, making it greater than credit card and auto loan debt in the US. The Class of 2021 graduated with an average debt of $36,900, which has been increasing at an annual rate of 7.8%.
Student loan debt at graduation has grown 76% since the Class of 2000, a rate of increase that outpaces the rate of inflation by 41%. Furthermore, a 2020 survey by the educational company OneClass of 10,839 college students attending 255 schools across the US, found that a staggering 56% of the students are no longer able to afford tuition. This is an unsustainable trend. Easing the burden of a college education for the future leaders of our profession is now a major priority for the Foundation.
It is clear that now, more than ever, the Foun dation and the Scholarship Program are going to need much support from our members. This is a very important program that helps our next generation of leaders afford a college education without having to mortgage their future with debt. We are hopeful that NDTA’s partnership with the CFC will make it even easier for those wishing to support the future of the transpor tation and logistics community.
CFC–GIVING FOR GREATER IMPACT
It’s amazing to see how giving even a little out of each paycheck or a few hours a month adds up as part of a collective effort. In 2022 alone, the Federal community pledged $72.6 million in monetary gifts and volunteer time for local, national, and international charities. That includes monetary pledges totaling more than $70.5 million and volunteer hours valued at $2.1 million.
Federal and military retirees contributed more than $4.2 million in 2022, about 13.6% more than they gave the prior year. Retirees now make up 6% of overall donations.
And, all of these amounts do not include more than $600,000 pledged earlier in the year as a part of the Special Solicitation for the humanitarian needs arising from the war in Ukraine.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A VETTED CHARITY?
CFC Charities are organizations with status as tax-exempt charities as determined by the Internal Revenue Service, under 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code, that provide services determined to be eligible for participation in the CFC.
Organizations may apply and be listed in the CFC Charity List as either a local, national or an international independent organization or as a member of a local, national or international federation.
Charities that apply to receive funds through the CFC are required to submit to an extensive review of their financial and gover- nance practices prior to acceptance. This eligibility review has helped set standards for participation in giving initiatives that transcend the community.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the CFC, here’s how Federal employees and retirees can make a difference for their favorite causes:
- Choose your cause. Whether you care about finding cures for diseases, supporting military families, or promoting equality for all, the CFC has vetted charities for any cause you are passionate about. You can even give to multiple charities with one pledge. To donate to NDTA, you can search for National Defense Transportation Association or enter our CFC number 94212.
- Make your pledge. GIVE HAPPY by donating a little from each paycheck or pledging a few volunteer hours a month. It adds up to so much happiness when we give together.
The online pledge portal allows you to easily renew your pledge each year and offers the full range of pledge options:
- Payroll deduction (the most popu lar!)
- Credit/debit card
- E-check/bank transfer
- Volunteer hours (Federal employees only)
Other options include paper pledge forms, the CFC Giving Mobile App. and Text-to-Donate.
- Get happy. Studies show that when you GIVE HAPPY, you get happy too!
Thank you to each of you who have already or will now help support the NDTA Founda- tion. It is our great honor to be chosen to participate with the CFC and we take very seri- ously both the stewardship of your donations, as well as the duty to encourage, develop, and enable the future of the greater transportation and logistics community. DTJ