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Holiday gift guidance

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Kaitlin Cashin
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

As the holidays approach, Dyess sees an increase in activities put on by Air Force units and agencies. Below is a summary of the general rules:

Office Parties:

  • Contributions to office parties must be voluntary.
  • Personnel generally may voluntarily attend holiday parties outside of the office that are hosted personally by their superiors or subordinates.
  • There is not a “holiday party exception” to the ethics rules for accepting free attendance at events hosted by contractors and other non-federal organizations.
  • As a general rule, participation at holiday social events is personal, not official and therefore use of government vehicles to/from such events is not authorized.


  • Gifts include all forms of personal property and include monetary donations given as assistance in putting on a base-wide event or activity.

Gift Exchanges Between Supervisors and Subordinates:

  • Absent an applicable exception, supervisors may not accept gifts from subordinates or federal personnel who receive less pay.

Below are some exceptions that may apply for holiday gifts and events:

  • Exception 1: On an occasional basis, including any occasion on which gifts are traditionally given or exchanged, supervisors may accept gifts (other than cash) valued at $10 or less from a subordinate. A good example of this would be a “Secret Santa” gift exchange. Compared to a “White elephant” gift exchange where the recipient is unknown and where the gift value rules would be loosened, although the “$20/$50” rule should serve as a general guideline.
  • Exception 2: Supervisors may accept food and refreshments shared in the office and may share in the expenses of an office party.
  • Exception 3: When a supervisor invites a subordinate to a social event at the supervisor’s residence, the subordinate may give the supervisor a hospitality gift of the type and value customarily given on such an occasion.

Fundraising and Solicitation:

As a general rule, federal personnel may not engage in fundraising in an official capacity, unless authorized by statute, executive order, regulation or agency determination. One such exception is “by our own, from our own, for our own” internal fundraisers. Under this exception, you may have a fundraising event (i.e., bake sale) within the workplace to raise funds for the holiday party. You may only hold such a sale in your office area, or areas primarily occupied by the members of the group who will benefit (e.g. prospective holiday party invitees/attendees). Everyone who is working in the bake sale must be in a non-duty status (leave or pass, lunch break, etc.). You must also comply with any local policies pertaining to fundraising, which may limit where you may hold the fundraising event, how you may publicize it and who may authorize it. You may not solicit outside sources for contributions for your unit party.

Private organizations, such as spouses' clubs or unit booster clubs, may not solicit donations on base. However, AFI 34-223 Private Organizations Program allows private organizations to accept gifts and donations that they do not solicit.

Private organizations may also hold occasional fundraisers on base so long as they meet the legal requirements and have their event approved by the required agencies, including approval by the 7th Force Support Squadron.

However, it is important to note that private organizations and individuals are still able to donate or give money to the Air Force to be used for these events as long as the organizers do not solicit them.

Anyone with any questions or concerns regarding donations or gifts is encouraged to contact the 7th Bomb Wing Legal Office at 325-696-2033.

For those interested in sponsoring programs at Dyess, 7th FSS Commercial Sponsorship point of contact is 325-696-4132.