Since 2009, when the amount raised by the CFC started to go down, the average national charity has lost almost half of its CFC support, dropping from about $75,000 to $41,000.
For large charities, this isn’t a huge hit. But it’s been very hard for the many smaller charities that have relied on the CFC for years to get steady and unrestricted support for their work. This is the kind of support that helps keep a charity going.
This decline has resulted entirely from a huge fall-off in the number of federal, military and postal employees who give through the CFC. Since 2009, the CFC has lost more than a half million donors (1.1 million to 568,000).
Just since 2010 – after the recession ended – the CFC lost 450,000 donors.
The biggest reason that so many people no longer give through the CFC is the series of challenges faced by federal, military and postal workers. Cost of living raises for federal employees were stopped shortly after the 2010 election. Then there were the sequesters that began in 2012 (which led to many employees experiencing layoffs), followed by the government shutdown in 2013.
By reading the online comments about articles reporting on the declines in CFC giving, it’s clear that uncertainty and anger motivated many people to stop giving through the CFC.
Some believe that more could have been done to counter this “take-it-out-on-the-CFC” reaction as well as other, longer-term causes of the steep decline in donors.
CFC leaders have been working for years to write and implement new rules that they believe will help the CFC and greatly lower its costs. But those changes have been extremely controversial with most CFC charities. Many believe the new rules, to be implemented in 2017, will lead to even more giving declines. We have summarized the many changes the new rules will make in the CFC.
The impact that the decline of the CFC since 2009 has had on the average national CFC charity is shown by this chart.