The Biggest Mistake that Nonprofits Make…

Sections of this topic

    … in the Combined Federal Campaign…

    is to run a stealth CFC campaign. If a nonprofit has done all the work to become admitted to the CFC, and then they keep it a secret, it shouldn’t be a “surprise” when the results are not as good as they hoped.

    With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, You Might Be Running A Stealth Campaign If:

    1. The CFC logo and 5-digit code are not on your nonprofit’s home page.
    2. Your email “signatures” do not include the fact that the nonprofit participates in the CFC, and they omit the CFC code.

    3. There is no section on the website describing what workplace giving is, and the benefits to the nonprofit for donations made through workplace giving.

    4. You don’t have a communications plan for reaching anonymous donors.

    5. You don’t have a communications plan for reaching current supporters that have a Federal “connection,” meaning that in addition to current Federal employees, your current supporters may have children, parents, friends, spouses, etc. who are Federal employees and thus able to give via the CFC.

    6. Your nonprofit’s buildings, windows, and/or real estate that are visible from the street, don’t have signage with the CFC logo and your CFC 5-digit code.

    7. There is no mention of the CFC in any of your nonprofit’s materials: newsletters, annual reports, special reports, etc.

    8. At your recognition events, the CFC donors and volunteers are not recognized or thanked.

    9. Your nonprofit’s fundraising database has no code for CFC donors.

    10. You don’t ask current supporters who are Federal employees to give via the CFC through payroll deduction. (Payroll deduction often dramatically increases the size of a gift, even from the same person).

    There are five stages in a CFC campaign, and the solicitation period is just one of the stages. It’s important to have a communication plan in place that allows you to develop relationships with your current CFC donor pool, as well as with potential donors.

    In the next post in the series, we’ll take a look at the unique aspects of the CFC and some specific ways to increase your nonprofit’s visibility.


    During his 25-year career in the Federal sector, Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach, served in many CFC roles. If you want to get involved in the Combined Federal Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions, this is the guy to contact …
    Bill .