Which Atheist Groups Can You Donate to via the Combined Federal Campaign?

What’s the Combined Federal Campaign? Here’s Wikipedia:

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is a program allowing certain charitable organizations to solicit contributions from employees of the Federal Government of the United States.

The mission of the CFC is to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.

Reader Nick had a question about the CFC and I’m hoping some of you can help him answer it:

I am a Sailor currently stationed on board the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, currently on its maiden deployment to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility. Recently, my chain of command approached my division with the opportunity to contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign…

In the past, I have contributed to SETI, Planned Parenthood, and the Girl Scouts, but this year I am wanting more so to donate to causes that advance atheism, freethought, and freedom from religion, especially in the military. Could I ask you to pass this message along to your readers? I could use a few ideas on where to donate to, and maybe you or one of your readers know of a worthy cause. Thanks in advance.

I know the Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Humanist Association, and Atheists United (a Los Angeles-based group) are all options.

The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers has a great review of CFC charities that deserve (and don’t deserve) your contributions.

MAAF also goes into depth about how many charities have a Christian bent — turns out a whole hell of a lot of them.

Are there other groups we should be aware of?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve just gone through the list of charities associated with my state’s State Employees Charitable Campaign. Some are explicitly religious, see Catholic Charities and the interfaith men’s shelter, and the Boy Scouts aren’t exactly friendly to atheists, and there’s a Jewish community center that looks like it’s intended mostly if not only for Jews, and there’s a crisis pregnancy center. Not a single atheist/humanist charity in the lot, but the crisis pregnancy center looks like the only one that evangelizes, and I suspect that if I make a fuss about the crisis pregnancy center, it’ll come off the list if and only if the local Planned Parenthood does too. And I want to continue supporting Planned Parenthood through the SECC.

  • Anonymous

    I love the CFC. It’s very comprehensive; they give you a thick booklet with thousands of charities. They all have number codes, so your command would have to be extremely nosy to check your form and cross-reference with the list. During my brief tenure in the Navy I had a small portion of every paycheck going to Planned Parenthood and LGBT charities; considering the military’s issues with women and gays, it seemed appropriate. 

    Of course, the book always had its share of religious charities, some of which had thinly veiled right wing agendas, but I expected that as a counter-balance. I didn’t begrudge my fellow servicemembers the right to waste their money. 

  • Cd1809

    Might want to repost this article next year in late september or first of october… PSNS in Bremerton, WA finished our cfc campaign for 10k civilians and another 6k sailors a couple weeks ago…

  • Gedeyenite

    I have been giving through CFC to the FFRF. My monthly donations are counting towards a lifetime membership. :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the reference.  MAAF has reviewed the entire CFC list and put all charities specifically referencing nontheists.  This is only for the national list, and there may be some additional charities on the regional lists (like AU).   If there are any secular charities on regional lists, send them along to MAAF and we’ll add them for reference.

  • Epicskeptic

    This hits close to home. Just before I retired from the Navy I was on the approval board at NARAL for the CFC in Seattle for all Military bases in the Northwest. I made sure I grabbed all the secular charities, including Planned Parenthood so I could personally approve them. When I found a discrepancy, instead of just dis-approving, I would call them and ask to fax the required info asap. For anyone in the pacific Northwest, you can volunteer on the board. Just call one of the people on the front cover of the CFC booklet and inquire.     

  • Nicoline

    You may want to reconsider donating to the Girl Scouts via the CFC on account of their homophobia.

    • Anonymous

      The Girl Scouts aren’t the Boy Scouts. Two completely different organizations. They aren’t affirming, but they don’t have an overarching exclusive policy either.

      They aren’t as heavy on religion either. The Boy Scouts have been taken over the Catholic and Mormon churches. That’s the main reason they are so fanatical

  • Seabounatheist

    Thanks for the post, Hemant, although it is a few weeks too late.  For the record, I choose the FFRF and Planned Parenthood, as well as the MAAF getting a new member and a humanist group starting up here onboard the GEORGE H. W. BUSH.

  • Buster

    The flaw with the CFC in the US army is that the leadership tells you its optional, with an undertone of this activity being mandatory, which turns people off to donating, or to donate the bare minimum.


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