97th AMW provides fundraising initiatives

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Randi Stine
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Judge Advocate

This year's Combined Federal Campaign is well underway and it's time to start thinking about the organization(s) that you want to donate to. This year's Altus Air Force Base campaign is currently selected to run through November 13, 2020.

It is also the time of the year when many private organizations and unit booster clubs start planning for unit holiday parties, raising numerous questions about fundraisers on the installation during the CFC. Fundraising on the installation is reduced significantly during this time of year to comply with the rules associated with the CFC and Air Force Assistance Fund.

The CFC and AFAF are the world’s largest and most successful annual federal charity campaigns, and the only campaigns authorized to solicit and collect contributions from federal employees in the workplace.

Air Force Instruction 36-3101, Fundraising, dated October 9, 2018, provides an overview of these rules. For those of you who did not go to law school or do not publish AFIs for a living, we at the Altus AFB Legal Office, have translated the legal lingo for you.

The CFC and AFAF are the only campaigns allowed to be endorsed by the installation and unit commanders, and are the only campaigns that are allowed military members to solicit donations in uniform, during duty time. However, donations may not be mandated by a CFC or AFAF representative or a commander.

Ad hoc fundraising efforts should generally not interfere with, or detract from, the CFC or AFAF campaigns. However, because of the annual timing of the campaign, ad hoc fundraising to support unit holiday parities is allowed during the CFC. What does this mean?  Limited workplace (desk-to-desk) fundraising is allowed by unit unofficial activities/social funds with approval from the installation commander via 97 FSS and JA.

For example, Booster Club X, an organization supporting social or charitable needs of their squadron members and families, may want to hold a bake sale fundraiser in a building, but outside of the workplace. These non-work areas include the lobby, break room and heritage room. This sale is intended to directly benefit Air Force members. This fundraising bake sale is permissible with prior approval.  

In another example, Booster Club Y wants to host a golf tournament benefiting the local women’s shelter. This type of fundraising activity is not authorized, nor is it appropriate, at any time because it is not intended to benefit Air Force members or their families directly.

Clubs cannot solicit for "outside programs.” For example, a private organization cannot hold a fundraiser for the Red Cross or the American Cancer Society, even though many people would agree that these are important and respectable causes.

Generally, military personnel may participate in approved fundraisers in their personal capacity during off-duty time, but they may not wear their uniform or utilize government resources while participating in fundraisers supporting Non-Federal Entities, such as the Red Cross or American Cancer Society. Civilian personnel may participate in fundraisers on base, but only when off duty.

Military and civilian personnel may not use their official title, position or organization name in connection with the fundraising event, and the fundraising may not imply Department of Defense or Air Force endorsement.

It is the installation commander's responsibility to ensure that any ad hoc activities do not detract from the CFC or AFAF campaign when they are in progress.

Requests to fundraise must be received by the 97th Force Support Squadron well in advance of the proposed event to ensure 97 FSS and JA have had sufficient time to review the request and provide legal guidance where needed.  

For more information on Altus’ CFC drive this year, email 2d Lt Erica Smiler at erica.smiler@us.af.mil or TSgt Randi Stine at randi.stine.1@us.af.mil.