Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

CFC releases list of eligible charities much earlier than last year. Hundreds of charities drop out, reducing competition.

            This fall's CFC Campaign keeps moving forward, a big contrast to last year's Campaign, which started extremely late. 

            The list of eligible charities was issued August 2. Among other things, this allows the website consultants to start testing the online giving portal, which should take about a month. The materials for this fall's campaign were made available online this week.

            All this points to a more normal start date for this year's campaign, perhaps as early as mid-September on military bases. Last year, the new online giving portal wasn't open until October 16 and the campaign started well after this date in many places, a major reason last year's campaign did so poorly. 

More Charities Drop Out of the CFC

            Like last year, the CFC's new application and listing fees caused many charities to stop participating in the campaign. Nationally, there will be 1,795 charities, a drop of more than 250 from 2017. (More than 500 national charities dropped out in 2017.)

            Ten national and international CFC federations closed, a decline of nearly 25%.

How did your charity do in the CFC lottery?

            The CFC also released the order in which federations will be listed, which can make a big difference in how individual charities fare in the CFC. The printed CFC catalogs follow this order. Just as important, the online search engine takes it into account when displaying the results of a search. If your charity has a lot of competition, the list order can be especially important.  

            List order seems to impact health charities in particular, probably because of the number of charities focused on, say, cancer or diabetes. There are eight health federations in the CFC, by far the most of any category. Nationally, the first national health federation listed will be Health First - America's Charities. Second will be Medical Research Charities.  

            Two factors determine list order. First, there are three broad categories of charities: in essence, local, national and international. The order of these categories rotates every year. This year, international is first, followed by local, then national.  

            Within each category, a lottery determines the order of federations. The very first federation this year is International Independent Charities (which is actually a grouping of independent charities, not a federation). The first federation in the large National/International category is Military Support Groups of America.