Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

Is CFC-focused Promotion Still Worth It? What the Data Shows for Two Charities that Have Taken Different Paths


With the federal charity drive declining since 2010, is it worth it to promote your charity’s work among potential CFC donors? 

Two similar charities have answered this question in different ways since 2010, one continuing and expanding its CFC-focused promotion, the second cutting back to the point where it now appears to do little CFC promotion. 

The two are Food For The Poor and World Vision. Both are large Christian charities with strong brands that work internationally. 

Here is their data since 2010.  (This data comes from the annual reports of the Workplace Giving Alliance, which estimates how much individual charities receive through the CFC based on reports from most local CFC campaigns. It only provided charities’ ranking in 2010. It hasn’t released data for 2017.)

World Vision was part of Charitable Choices Guides with two listings and a large display ad through 2010, in addition to doing other CFC promotion.  It dropped out of the Charitable Choices guides in 2011.  It stopped doing other promotion over time.  In 2015, it joined Global Impact, which includes many large international charities. 

In contrast, Food For The Poor has been part of Charitable Choices Guides and its other options throughout this period except for one year, 2013, when its CFC donations dropped more than $100,000. It has also actively worked to get volunteers from its supporting churches to participate in local CFC events. Interestingly, it has not been part of a CFC federation, instead participating as an independent charity.

In 2011, World Vision raised nearly $400,000 more than Food for the Poor.  In 2016, Food for the Poor raised more than World Vision.  Food for the Poor went from #61 to #48.  World Vision went from #26 to #50.

Since 2011, World Vision’s CFC donations declined 62%, vs. only 29% for Food for the Poor. Had World Vision’s donations declined only 29%, it would have raised $270,000 more in 2016.

We know it’s hard to keep investing in CFC-focused advertising when your CFC donations keep going down.  But based on a lot of data, we know CFC promotion still pays off over time. 

Here is more data that shows the impact that being part of Charitable Choices – or dropping out of Charitable Choices -- has had on a variety of charities over time. We are constantly analyzing data since we know it’s critical for charities, who need to know the impact of their investments in promotion.