Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

For Charities

Charitable Choices emerged out of the effort in the 1980s to open up the world's largest workplace charity drive (the Combined Federal Campaign) to a much greater range of charities.  We've always worked to give all charities -- large and small, well-known and unknown, national and local, old and new -- an opportunity to communicate to donors why their work is important.  Our website -- which we began in the 1990s -- is an extension of that commitment. 

Our charity guides are very engaging and easy to use, being organized by the type of work charities do (animal protection, medical research, etc.).  We have a unique system for distributing our guides, handing out many of them to federal and military employees as they enter their workplace. 

We offer all charities very low-cost ways to communicate with potential donors, especially CFC donors.  We allow small charities (annual budgets under $500,000) to be part of our website for free. We also offer charities in-depth information about the Combined Federal Campaign.

Learn about How to become part of our guides and website.

Learn about our 2019 options for promoting your charity in the CFC. Here are our options for local DC-area charities.

Learn about how we distribute our charity guides. Here you'll also find invoices documenting our printing and distribution

Does being in our guides and website work?  We just published a report on data for more than two dozen charities that documents the impact that our guides can have for many charities.  This report builds on data from earlier this decade that looked at what happened when several carities that had long been part of our guides dropped out, then came back the next year. 

Ill-timed government shutdown -- plus continuing impact of 2017 changes -- results in another disappointing CFC campaign.

                Donations through the Combined Federal Campaign declined again in 2018, though not nearly as much as they did the previous year, when the CFC rolled out its massive overhaul of the federal government’s fund-raising drive. 

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.

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. 

As the CFC works to fix the many problems with last year’s campaign, it appears to be on schedule to get this fall’s campaign started on time


           The 2018 CFC fall campaign is far ahead of last year’s campaign schedule, a good sign that this year’s CFC will be much more successful.  Last year’s campaign plummeted nearly 40%, a loss of more than $65 million for charities.  One key reason: the campaign started far later than normal. 

2017 CFC: What happened? What’s being done to make 2018 better?

         There are times when you wish you hadn’t been right.  Unfortunately, those who predicted the negative impact of many of the federal charity drive’s changes could not have been more right. 

          Last fall -- the year these changes were finally implemented – saw the CFC experience by far its biggest decline ever, both in total dollars given and number of donors. 

Why are many CFC charities receiving less of the money pledged to them this year?

                Several charities have told us that they are receiving significantly less of the donations pledged to them during the 2016 campaign.  One charity reported receiving just 57% of their pledged amount, far less than normal. Why is this? 

                Charities have never received all the CFC donations they are pledged, for two reasons. 

CFC Campaign will start and end later, as big changes get implemented

                This fall’s CFC campaign will be starting about a month later than normal and run into early January for the first time. The official start date is October 2.  The actual start date in at least some of the CFC’s 37 regions may be later than this.  Normally the campaign starts right after Labor Day. 

Two superb ways to reach people who can give through the federal charity drive….ways that most CFC charities don’t know about

Over the years we’ve tried many ways to reach Combined Federal Campaign donors, by far the biggest challenge of raising money through the federal charity drive.  Besides our own CFC charity guides, two ways have stood out.

One is a great way to reach federal employees: Recreation News, a monthly that focuses on things to do in the mid-Atlantic region.