It’s now spring, which is an interesting time for charities in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), because this is when the overlap of getting the results from the fall campaign and preparing for this fall’s solicitation period occurs. Even though the CFC solicitation periods occur each fall, the books on one year’s campaign don’t close until March 31st of the following year; and, since the CFC takes place everywhere in the world where there is a Federal installation (including all military installations and embassies), it takes a while to compile all the information.
Anonymous Donors Are Strong Supporters
The non-profits in the CFC first get the overall results of the amount of gifts that have been pledged to them, and then they will receive the names of the individual donors that have chosen to release their contact information.
One attitude change that many CFC charities need to undergo is to be thankful, not irritated, that they have a large pool of anonymous donors. What they don’t realize is that CFC anonymous donors are some of a nonprofit’s best supporters, and that a majority of CFC donors choose to be anonymous.
These donors care enough about your organization and its mission that they chose to donate to it. You’ll never know exactly why they chose to remain anonymous; and, even though they’re anonymous, they do deserve to be thanked in public forums – including your website, newsletters, and at recognition events.
Now is a good time to consider what messages will resonate the best with your Federal supporters, including, but not limited to your donors. Obviously, one of the messages should simply be, “Thank you for your gift.” Include what their gift means to your organization and what their gift can help you accomplish.
What comes next will vary depending upon what type of charity yours is (local, national or international) and the strategies you’ve chosen that best match the strengths of your non-profit.
If, for example, yours is a local non-profit that’s well known in your community, and you’ve chosen to pursue participating in charity fairs as one of your tactics, you should include mention of that practice in the thank you letters to your CFC donors … and ask them to let you know about charity fair opportunities. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask who will be the CFC campaign manager in their agency.
CFC Donors are Multi-Year Donors
One fact that is easily overlooked is that with the Combined Federal Campaign, your non-profit can-and-does develop multi-year donors.
The reality is that most CFC donors are multiple year donors, and once they start donating to their favorite CFC charities they become loyal supporters who support their favorite charities every year.
I have seen thousands of CFC pledge cards during my Federal career, and I’ve seen that most of donors make minimal changes from year to year – CFC donors are “loyal” to the charities they care about and support.
What are Your 7 Messages between now and the Fall?
Marketing experts will tell you that before anyone makes a decision about a purchase or a gift, they need to be reached at least 7 times before they will decide to buy or, for non-profits, give.
What are your messages and how are you going to deliver them to your Federal supporters by the time the fall solicitation period begins? Now is the time to start planting these seeds, don’t wait to do it all in September and October.
During his 25-year career in the Federal sector, Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach, served in many CFC roles. If you want to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions, contact … Bill Huddleston
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