Fundraising for Your Favorite Cause? Know the Ethics Rules Before You Do

Last edited 11/15/2023
Person holding a sign in a field that says "Give. Thanks."

With the holiday season right around the corner, many Department of the Interior employees might be inclined to engage in fundraising for their favorite charity, and such fundraising activities may include raffles, lotteries, bake sales and hoagie sales.  Before engaging in these activities, please be aware of the ethics rules concerning fundraising in the Federal workplace.

First of all, please know that the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and special disaster relief solicitations approved by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management are generally the only authorized solicitation of employees for charitable fundraising in the Federal workplace.

Beyond the CFC and approved disaster relief efforts, Federal employees who wish to engage in fundraising in a personal capacity outside the Federal workplace must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct, which state:

(1) Federal employees may not solicit funds or other support from a subordinate or prohibited source of his or her agency at any time for a favorite charity or cause;

(2) Federal employees also may not use or permit the use of their official title, position or authority to further any fundraising effort; and

(3) Employees may not use Government resources such as email and photocopier equipment, or Government time, in support of a private fundraising effort.

Additionally, please also know that all forms of gambling activities, which includes raffles and lotteries, are prohibited at all times in facilities owned or leased by the Government, unless authorized by statute or regulation.  Please also know that Federal employees may not engage in these gambling activities while on duty, even if they are off premises teleworking.

If you have any questions concerning this guidance or any other ethics topic, you are encouraged to contact an ethics official.  Contact information for the Department of the Interior’s Departmental Ethics Office and bureau ethics counselors is available at

Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment