Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

About the CFC

How to make sure your charity comes up in an online Combined Federal Campaign search

Now is the time to review your CFC description    

          As CFC charities are getting their 2023 campaign acceptances, now is the time to look closely at your CFC description. You can change your description when you pay the CFC’s “listing fee,” after you receive your acceptance. 

          In the past, you wanted to write as compelling a case as you could about your work and why it’s important…in 25 words. 

Why is the DC CFC doing so much better?

          Since 2016, the Combined Federal Campaign has declined by 58% (not counting inflation) and lost more than 80% of its donors. 

          In contrast, the DC-area CFC has gone down much less since 2016, just 31.8%. In 2022, it raised $2 million more than it did in 2018, while the CFC overall is down $20 million since 2018.  As a result, the DC CFC now accounts for nearly half the dollars raised through the CFC (46.6%, vs. 28.8% in 2016). 

CFC giving down in 2022, but not in DC

                Last fall’s CFC campaign was a mixed bag.  Overall giving was $70.6 million, a decrease of 9.5%, the first significant decline since 2019.  Overall charitable giving also declined in 2022, but by much less, just 3.4% (both percentages are before inflation).

                But the DC CFC campaign went up 9.6%.  It raised nearly $3 million more in 2022.  The number of DC-area CFC donors also went up by about 3%.  This increase in donors is big news. The overall number of CFC donors has plummeted more than 80% since the CFC’s big changes in 2017.

CFC giving down slightly in 2021, but the average gift goes up to $808

                After a small increase in 2020, the Combined Federal Campaign went down about 4% in 2021, raising just over $78 million.  After the big declines between 2017 and 2019, this relative stability the past two years is welcome news. 

                CFC donors increased the average amount they give, up to $808. Donors in DC give even more, an estimated $1,043.* These amounts shows why workplace campaigns continue to be important.  Most people give more when they can give throughout the year by using payroll deduction.   

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. 

How to navigate the Combined Federal Campaign’s new online giving portal

The Combined Federal Campaign underwent major changes last year designed to streamline the government’s charity drive and make giving easier and more efficient.  As with any major change, implementation wasn’t smooth, which hurt many charities.  Overall giving declined sharply, which has made this year’s campaign even more important for charities.

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.