The Combined Federal Campaign: Debunking The Myths

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    This is the first in (what’s likely to be) a long series of postings about the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).

    Workplace giving, with the CFC, is the only type of non-profit fundraising that is subsidized, low-risk and high leverage. If you’re not familiar with the CFC, let me share a few facts and debunk a few myths.

    1. Myth   It’s hard to get into to the CFC.
       Fact    94% of nonprofits that apply are accepted.
    The CFC actually has an “open admissions” program. If you meet the criteria, you’re in. And, in general, the 6% that don’t get in are the ones that don’t follow the instructions.

    2. Myth  The CFC doesn’t raise significant money.
       Fact    One billion dollars of unrestricted funds in the past 5 years.
    CFC donors have contributed more than $200 million to thousands of local, national, and international non-profits. CFC monies are unrestricted, reliable and predictable. In terms of actual giving, if the CFC were a foundation, it would be the 10th largest foundation in the United States.

    3. Myth  The only place that has Federal employees is Washington, D.C.
       Fact    89% of Federal employees live outside of the DC region.

    4. Myth  The CFC is only for the “big guys” (National Nonprofits).
       Fact    40% of the funds raised go to local nonprofits – the “little guys.”

    5. Myth  There’s a lot of red tape.
       Fact    No more than any grant application, much less on the “back end.”
    The regulations were substantially streamlined in 2006, so even if this was the case before, things have changed. There is zero red tape for the non-profit after the funds are received — (not bad for a government program!)

    6. Myth  Some “expert” is going to decide if our non-profit gets any money.
       Fact    Donors designate more than 90% of CFC dollarsto specific nonprofits.

    7. Myth  CFC Donors are fickle
       Fact    Most CFC donors are multi-year donors to the same nonprofits.
    How many ten year grants have you gotten from foundations that support your organization? CFC donors are consistent !!

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    My next posting on the CFC … “What is the CFC and Where to Apply”

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    During his 25-year career in the Federal sector, Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach, served in many CFC roles. If you want to get involved in the Combined Federal Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions, this is the guy to contact: Bill Huddleston1@gmail.com .