Federal program funnels charity donations to special interest groups

The Combined Federal Campaign
Some of the nation’s most controversial public policy groups receive checks from Uncle Sam about this time each year, and the relatively little known practice is perfectly legal.

The Combined Federal Campaign, founded in the 1950s to regulate fundraising among federal employees, has long been expanded to allow government workers to give to virtually any nonprofit groups via payroll deduction—even those with overt political engagement or those advocating religious beliefs.

Analysts say that because the initiative raises funds for groups that range from the most liberal to the most conservative politically, both secular and religious, it is not an example of government engagement in partisan favoritism.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a longtime opponent of religious engagement in government, is one of the program’s recipients.


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