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 -- 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 also offer in-depth information and guidance about the Combined Federal Campaign.

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

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.  

Why our hand-to-hand distribution is a great way to reach potential CFC donors

It’s the federal government’s diversity that makes it so hard for charities to reach the people who can give through the government’s workplace fund-raising drive.

Federal and military employees are spread across the world.  They do all kinds of tasks and have all kinds of interests – military policy, agriculture, weather, health research, medical care – the list is long.

            As a result, it’s very hard to find ways to reach very many of these people, especially federal employees.

Comparing Charitable Choices Combined Federal Campaign promotion with the Post’s Express

            A good way to reach Combined Federal Campaign donors in the DC area is the Post’s Express daily newspaper.  We’ve used it ourselves.

            A better way to reach many more DC-area CFC donors is through Charitable Choices. If you can do both, that’s great.  If you can’t, please consider becoming part of Charitable Choices’ CFC charity guides, website and our other CFC promotional options.

How to document your charity's services and benefits for a Combined Federal Campaign application

            In the past, the most difficult part of the CFC application process has always been documenting a charity’s services and benefits, especially for a national organization, which had to document its services in at least 15 states. At the CFC’s 2017 application training, the CFC’s Marcus Glasgow talked a lot about how a charity should document its services, responding to many questions.

How to apply to the Combined Federal Campaign

CFC Charity Home Page

One of the biggest changes in the 2017 Combined Federal Campaign involved the application process.  Most of the changes will help CFC charities. 

Charities that are already part of the CFC will only have to do a full application once every three years.  In the other two years, they submit a “verification application,” which is much simpler. 

If your charity is new to the CFC, you must file a complete application your first year, then you won’t have to file another full application for three years.