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 $90 million in 2018.
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 that 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.
Ill-timed government shutdown -- plus continuing impact of 2017 changes -- results in another disappointing Combined Federal Campaign
How to navigate the new Combined Federal Campaign giving website
How did your charity do in the 2018 Combined Federal Campaign list order lottery?
What's being done to make the 2018 Combined Federal Campaign more successful?
2017 Combined Federal Campaign: What happened?
Is Combined Federal Campaign-focused Promotion Still Worth It? What the Data Shows for Two Charities that Have Taken Different Paths
Big changes in the Combined Federal Campaign expected to lower costs and make giving easier
Campaigns Are Finally Underway as the New Combined Federal Campaign Giving Website Opens
Combined Federal Campaign website for processing online donations won't be available until "late October"
Why are many Combined Federal Campaign charities receiving less of the money pledged to them this year?
How the Combined Federal Campaign's changes are being implemented for the fall 2017 campaign
How will the Combined Federal Campaign'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?