One of the best ways for charities to raise money short of the church collection plate is workplace fundraising. By far the biggest workplace fundraising drive in the country is the federal government’s Combined Federal Campaign, which raised more than $177 million in 2015.
Through the "CFC," federal employees, military personnel and postal employees can give to a broad range of international, national and local charities. The Campaign takes place each fall, from mid-September until December.
What makes workplace fund raising so effective is the magic of payroll deduction, which allows people to make large gifts by having a little deducted from every paycheck. A gift of $5 a week – one fancy coffee -- adds up to an annual donation of $260. In the DC CFC, for example, the average gift in 2014 was more than $662.
Unfortunately, after raising more than $282 million in 2009, the amount raised by the CFC has been declining, especially since 2012. It raised nearly a third less in 2014 than in 2010. The reason? Fewer employees are donating through the CFC. Since 2009, the CFC has lost nearly half its donors -- more than a half million.