Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

How Charitable Choices Guides Are Distributed

 Two things are at the heart of our work to promote charities in the Combined Federal Campaign and among other individual donors:

     Our attractive guides that function as guides, not collections of ads.

     Our complex and very effective system for distributing our guides.

We print and distribute a lot of guides: nearly 270,000 in 2018. In addition, we distributed 557,600 of our Military Inserts at 240 bases across the world and more than 100,000 of our Special CFC Section in Recreation News. Altogether we distributed more than 927,000 print impressions -- guides or inserts. 

It’s the creative ways we distribute our guides that really sets Charitable Choices apart.

  • Our own distributors handed out more than 41,500 guides, an increase of 4,000 from 2017.  No one else does this. It’s expensive and labor intensive.  But it gets our guides directly into the hands of potential donors, usually as they enter their workplaces in the early morning.  We targeted employees of 121 federal and military offices in the DC area.  We distributed at or near 42 Metro stations.

We had another 89,600 handed out at commissaries on 99 U.S. military bases.

  • We reach a huge number of potential CFC donors, especially federal employees.   No one else reaches nearly as many federal employees as we reach – more than 179,000 last fall. Using its most recent published numbers (2017), the Post's Express daily tabloid goes to about 33,000 federal or military employees (23% of average daily circulation of 145,000). Both these figures (179,000 and 33,000) are the actual number of copies distributed, not "readership," a figure that projects that each copy is read by more than one person. 
  • We reach donors who aren’t inundated with CFC charity ads. Because there aren’t a lot of ways to reach CFC donors, some publications get a lot of CFC ads. 

In DC, for example, we use Recreation News, the official publication of Government Employee Associations. This is important because it gets this publication inside nearly 200 federal government and military offices in the DC area.  This monthly’s subject matter is very engaging – articles about places to go and things to do on weekends in the Mid-Atlantic.  It is packed with ads for recreation destinations, which tells you it is well read…these advertisers know what works for them. Just as important, it is not packed with ads for CFC charities, with just a handful of other charity ads.

We carefully report on and document all our distribution

Because our distribution system is so complex, we spend a lot of time carefully reporting how we distribute our guides and Military Insert.

We also document our distribution by posting invoices for our printing and distribution: 

More Content...

For the fifth straight year, donations to the Combined Federal Campaign declined last fall, to $177.8 million, an 8% decrease. Since 2010,...
To be eligible for the Combined Federal Campaign and thus for this website, charities must meet 10 accountability standards. They must:...