Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

About the CFC

One of the best ways for charities to raise money short of the church collection plate is workplace fundraising.  The biggest workplace fundraising drive in the country is the federal government’s Combined Federal Campaign, which raised more than $100 million in 2017. 

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, usually from mid-September until late 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.  The 2017 campaign had the biggest drop ever, to $101 million, a 40% decline.  There are several reasons for this decline.  One is the struggles of many federal and military employees, who have faced shutdowns, sequesters, no cost of living increase for several years, etc. 

The main reason for the big decline in 2017 however is major changes implemented this year by the CFC.  Among other things, the local organizations that ran the local federal campaigns (mainly United Ways) were dropped, in favor of regional "outreach coordinators" and a central web portal to facilitate online giving.  In addition, the portal was delayed and then didn't work well, excluding many CFC charities from searches.

How to navigate the new CFC giving website

How did your charity do in the 2018 CFC list order lottery?

What's being done to make the 2018 campaign more successful?

 2017 CFC: What happened?

Is CFC-focused Promotion Still Worth It? What the Data Shows for Two Charities that Have Taken Different Paths

Big changes in the CFC expected to lower costs and make giving easier

Campaigns Are Finally Underway as the New CFC Giving Website Opens

CFC website for processing online donations won't be available until "late October"

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

How the CFC's changes are being implemented for the fall 2017 campaign

How will the CFC's big changes impact giving this fall?

Should you apply to this year's Combined Federal Campaign?

How do you apply to the Combined Federal Campaign?

How do you document your charity's services and benefits?

Big changes in the federal charity drive start this year

New CFC rules will finally be implemented in 2017

Analysis of CFC's 2013 proposed rules for the campaign

How does the CFC work?

The CFC's 10 accountability standards for charities.

Should you give through the CFC?

How has the CFC changed over the years?

How will the new CFC rules change the campaign?

The CFC went down in 2014, but not for local charities.

CFC pledges down 8% in 2015

New Search Engine in DC Campaign Should Help Many CFC Charities

How promotion impacts the CFC: the "Wounded Warrior" Phenomenon

How does promotion impact what charities receive through the CFC?

More Content...

One of the most noteworthy developments in the CFC during the past few years has been the rise of the Wounded Warrior Project, which has...
Prior to the 1950s, fund raising in the federal workplace was "an uncontrolled free-for-all," according to the official history of the...