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USPS Product Development Specialist Tam Cordes

Tam Cordes knows the challenges that Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) volunteers face when trying to meet their agency’s contribution goals.

Cordes, a product development specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, is a longtime donor to the CFC, the federal government’s annual workplace charity drive. Last year, she served as a “loaned executive” for the campaign, helping nine federal agencies meet their contribution goals.

“You have to take your job as a CFC volunteer seriously. You have folks in need relying on you,” she says. “Think about all the charities that need campaign workers to have the tools they need to encourage maximum donations.”

To help the Postal Service’s CFC volunteers during this year’s campaign, which began Sept. 9, Cordes offers these tips:

• Share meaningful stories. Tell stories of those who were helped by CFC charities.

“I talk about my mother, who is a breast cancer survivor,” she says. “Without contributions to breast cancer research, survival rates may not be what they are today.”

• Make it easy to donate. While you can’t solicit cash donations at events due to ethics restrictions, you can make it easier to donate in other ways.

For example, you can use mobile devices at your events to show attendees how to pledge online.

“I created a QR code that led to the donor site and encouraged [volunteers] to demonstrate to employees how to scan it and make donations on their own personal devices when it’s convenient for them,” Cordes says.

• Know the rules. Read the latest CFC rules and guidelines offered by the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the campaign, so you’re giving out accurate information and planning events that are in compliance.

• Believe you can do it. If you don’t believe your agency can meet its goals, it can undermine your kickoff, awareness events and how you promote the campaign to employees.

Says Cordes: “When promoting CFC, find what resonates with each person and talk with him or her on a personal level.”

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