I’d like to share with you why, from my perspective, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the most donor friendly means for a Federal public servant to contribute to the charities they care about. Most of us play multiple roles, and this applies to our charitable donation world as well.
In a CFC campaign, each Federal employee gets a pledge card with space for five charities on it, and many designate more than one charity. Most of the donations are by designation, and the vast majorities are made through payroll deduction. CFC campaigns are conducted each fall; payroll deductions begin in January; and at the end of the year, the Federal employee’s year-end payroll statement lists how much he or she has donated to charity.
The Federal public servant donor, with one pledge card and one transaction:
● Can donate to multiple charities with just one pledge.
● Gives money to the non-profit before it ever hits their checkbook.
● Accrues no interest charges from credit card donations.
● Feels secure—their personal information is never on the Web, and government payroll
systems are secure.
● May remain anonymous if they wish. Anonymous donors are some of a non-profit’s
best supporters, because they already know what the non-profit is doing and do not
want the charity to waste money telling them what they already know.
So those are some of the benefits to Federal donors, for using the CFC as the mechanism to fund their favorite non-profits. What are some of the benefits for non-profits to become one of their revenue generation vehicles? Here’s one:
What’s the True Value of an Unrestricted Dollar? — Three Dollars!
Another fact about CFC funds (and workplace giving in general) is that the funds are unrestricted. When I talk to non-profit leaders, I’ll ask them how much more valuable is an unrestricted dollar than a restricted dollar, and the answer I get most often is “Three times as valuable.”
Using that multiplier, one could make the case that the impact that the CFC gifts generate is more than $800,000,000 million dollars annually; but I think it’s better to stick with the reportable numbers.
As interesting as these numbers are, the question that all non-profits in the CFC want to know is “How much can we generate through the CFC?” and while the honest answer is anywhere from zero to $5.5 million, that’s not usually what they want to hear.
When I ask executive directors who do participate in the CFC, “What’s the biggest benefit they get from being in the CFC?”, the answer I often get is “It keeps our doors open.” For non-profits that have done the work to develop a significant CFC revenue stream, it is reliable and the fact that the monies are unrestricted is a huge benefit.
Campaign Application Periods Coming Up Fast
For non-profits that want to enroll in the CFC, the CFC application periods come up quickly after the end of the calendar year. National and International charities have a January deadline, as do some of the larger regional CFCs. Most of the regional CFC applications are due between February and March. If you’re not sure which regional CFC office is the one that your non-profit would apply to, please send me an e-mail at Bill Huddleston @ Verizon.net and I’ll be glad to help you out.
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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