Frequently Asked Questions:
Can civilians contribute to the AFAF?
Yes, with a cash or check contribution. The Air Force understands that many civilian employees may have a personal reason to support the AFAF campaign. These contributions are unsolicited but accepted and appreciated.
Why can’t civilians (non-military retirees) participate via PDP?
Civilians cannot donate to AFAF via PDP, due to the long-standing Executive Orders (EO) signed by President Reagan, authorizing the Air Force Assistance Fund. The EOs allow each uniformed Service to hold fundraising in the workplace “among their own members for organizational support or for the benefit of welfare funds for their members.” This wording excludes civilian employees (non-military retirees), since they are not members of the uniformed Services. If the Air Force were to allow civilians to contribute via PDP, it could be seen as an attempt to circumvent the EOs. Over the years, succeeding Presidents have reissued the EOs, and Air Force senior leadership has maintained the policy that the AFAF Campaign may actively solicit only persons who may benefit from the four official AFAF charities.
As recently as 1997, this policy was staffed to General Council, CSAF and SECAF, who upheld this interpretation of the EOs. While we appear to be losing contributions from civilian employees, they are prohibited from being in the AFAF’s target audience since the charities exclude them from benefiting from their programs.
If CFC is supposed to be the only fundraising campaign per year, why is AFAF separate?
The original Air Force Emergency Relief Drive became the Air Force Assistance Fund (AFAF) Campaign in 1971 when the original Air Force Aid Society was joined by the officers and enlisted homes. These AFAF Charities were different from the CFC charities in that they provided services exclusively to military (active/retired/guard/reserves and their families)–and denied service to the general public. The CFC was created in 1957 to provide a single fundraising campaign where Federal/military employees could combine all fundraising for the civilian community into a single annual campaign. Although the CFC rules allowed the military services to continue internal fundraising–that is raising money among our own for the exclusive use of our own–the idea of combining the AFAF campaign with the CFC campaign was tried in 1972 – 73. The result was that both the CFC and AFAF policy makers were unhappy. CFC policy makers objected to including the AFAF charities that discriminated by providing service only to Air Force Members–they felt it violated the core reason for the CFC which was to open federal / military doors to the outside charities. Contributions to the internal AFAF charities plummeted as their mission became lost in the larger CFC campaign. As a result, the first totally independent AFAF Campaign was held in 1974 and has continued as a single annual separate internal campaign since. The decision to separate the two annual events is supported by laws enacted subsequent to that decision. EO 12353 of March 23, 1982, EO 12404, 10 Feb 83 and 5 CFR Part 950 allow for AFAF to be run separately from CFC.