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: more than 300,000 in 2017. In addition, we distributed 564,900 of our Military Inserts at nearly 250 bases across the world and more than 100,000 of our Special CFC Supplement in Recreation News. Altogether we distributed nearly a million guides and inserts -- 967,000. 

It’s the creative ways we distribute our guides that really sets Charitable Choices apart from other ways of promoting charities in the CFC.

  • Our own distributors handed out more than 37,500 guides.  No one else does this. It’s very expensive and labor intensive.  But it gets our guides directly into the hands of potential donors, usually as they enter their workplaces.

In the DC area last year, our eight distributors handed out more than 80,000 guides last fall in the very early morning, when federal and military employees go to work.  We reached employees of 121 federal and military offices in the DC area.  We distributed at or near 53 Metro stations.

We had another 97,000 handed out at commissaries on 107 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 192,000 last fall.  In contrast, the Federal Times goes to about 40,000 “government executives and industry contractors.” The Post's Express daily tabloid goes to about 33,000 federal or military employees (23% of average daily circulation of 145,000).
  • 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.  For example, three issues of the Times publications (Federal Times, Army Times, etc.) each had nearly 250 display ads for charities

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 all the places to go 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. 

  • Our Distribution Overview summarizes how we distributed our guides and other promotional options and it explains why hand-to -hand distribution is such a valuable way to reach potential CFC donors.  It also highlights the research and organizing that goes into our hand distribution.
  • Our Distribution Summary and Detailed Distribution Report shows the total number of guides distributed by hand or that go to federal employees or military personnel.  This document also lists where and how we distributed each of our guides and our Military Insert. It includes a list of the 121 federal and military offices and 53 Metro stations where we distributed by hand. 
  • We also document our distribution by posting invoices for our printing and distribution:

National Guide - Printing & Distribution Invoices

DC Guide - Printing & Distribution Invoices

Washington Post Guide - Printing & Distribution Invoices

Holiday Guide - Printing & Mailing Invoice

Military Free-Standing Insert - Printing & Distribution Invoice


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