Marines attend a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) event on Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. (Cpl. Matthew P. Troye / Marine Corps)
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Donors who want to support military charities in the Combined Federal Campaign now have two military federations to check out.
The new Military Support Groups of America has joined the Military Family and Veterans Service Organizations of America on the CFC scene.
Charities join these federations to make it easier for donors to find a specific type of charity among the many thousands on the national and local CFC lists.
Some MFVSOA charities have migrated to the Military Support Groups of America. Donors should check each federation, because each lists varied charities with varied missions. The MFVSOA has 73 charities; the MSGA has 36.
The appearance of a second military-affiliated federation is the result of normal growth in the number of participating charities, said Mike May, chief operating officer of Maguire/Maguire Inc., a firm specializing in helping CFC federation groups, including the two military federations.
The CFC campaign runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15, with local campaigns choosing their own window within that time frame.
May said it's impossible to predict the level of charitable giving this year, but conservative expectations probably are prudent, considering the National Capital Area CFC has set its goal below last year's.
Military charities had outpaced the rest of the CFC since 2001 until last year, May said. The MFVSOA's donations declined by 6.9 percent, while overall CFC donations declined by about 3.4 percent. Most of the MFVSOA charities shared in the decline, with notable exceptions, such as the Navy SEAL Foundation.
That charity's increased donations were attributed to the August 2011 helicopter crash that killed 22 SEALs, as well as the success of the May SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
Three military charities have joined the MFVSOA this year: Armed Forces Foundation; Operation: Care and Comfort; and Operation Second Chance.
Cindy McGrew, founder and president of Operation Second Chance, said that group has been part of the general CFC for about six years. She hopes being part of a military federation "will give us more visibility."
OSC helps wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Md., and around the nation, working mostly with those who have a disability rating of 70 percent or higher. It provides emergency assistance for everything from utilities to diapers, as well as recreational opportunities.
Since McGrew founded the group in 2005, it has provided about $1 million in financial assistance. In 2012, the total will be close to $200,000, she said.