The CFC: Choosing Your Leadership Development Team

Sections of this topic

    Choosing Your Leadership Development Team: The CFC

    It’s almost spring, and now’s the time to start planning your non-profit’s CFC campaign for the 2012 campaign season.

    The best-selling author, Jim Collins, who wrote Good to Great, has five key principles for organizational success; and, in his own words, the single most important principle is to “Get the right people on the bus.”

    That means that selecting the right people for your organization or project team is one of the most important tasks of a leader. This, most certainly, applies to your CFC action team, whether they are all paid staff or some combination of paid staff and volunteers.

    There are several factors to consider when forming your CFC action team, and in particular, deciding who is going to become the project leader. One key question I have my consulting clients’ executive directors ask themselves, as they consider who should be the CFC Team Leader, is:
    “If I need to send one person to a CFC charity fair, who do I
    want to represent our non-profit and its mission to the public?”

    In addition to deciding upon a team leader for your non-profit’s CFC program, plan on having at least two others involved on a regular basis (and more if warranted):

    • A second person that can also staff the CFC special events including campaign kick-offs and charity fairs.
    • Someone who can answer basic questions about your non-profit’s participation in the CFC, while others are away from the office.
    • Depending up on the nature of your non-profit, it can be very valuable to have someone as part of the program staff as one of the key members of the CFC action team.

    While it’s important to have at least one person who is in the office on a regular basis as the lead on your CFC action team, it’s often quite successful to have volunteers who are able to staff the charity fairs as well.

    A few years ago the Chesapeake Bay Foundation had one volunteer whose sole activity was to staff charity fairs. As she once quipped to me, “I love helping the environment, but I don’t like getting muddy!”

    Planning & Organizing

    The team leader will be responsible for the overall planning for the non-profit’s CFC campaign, including deciding what campaign giveaways should be ordered (described in the previous post), as well as planning the communication and awareness generation strategies for the entire year, not just during the solicitation period.

    The planning process includes both deciding what tasks need to be accomplished, by what date, as well as a review of what worked well in the 2011 campaign (for non-profits already in the CFC), and what areas need improvement or updating for the 2012 campaign.

    One item that needs to be periodically updated is your non-profit’s display board which has highlights about what your organization accomplishes. If the pictures haven’t been updated in several years, it’s time!

    Annual Reports

    Of the 7 Keys to CFC Success, the most important one is Number Seven, “Say Thank You Early and Often!” And, one of the places where you should say thank you is in your printed materials, including annual reports and newsletters.

    Since many non-profits are now working on the content of their 2011 annual report, make sure that you include at least a simple thank you to both your CFC donors and to the CFC volunteers who helped raise funds for all of the CFC charities.

    In the next post, we’ll take a look at one specific action that you can take in April to increase the awareness of your non-profit in your community.


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

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