Having just finished the enjoying the spectacle that is the Summer Olympics, it’s now time to turn our attention to the CFC solicitation period, which began on September 1 and runs to December 15th.
The CFC is a Mandatory, Voluntary Program — That’s Not A Contradiction
The government requires that CFC campaigns be conducted in every Federal agency/office/location world-wide, but all participation and giving is voluntary.
We’re now in the CFC Solicitation Period. If your nonprofit is in the CFC, and you’ve taken the steps outlined in previous posts, this will be the busiest time of the year for your CFC Action Team.
What Matters – Communication and Teamwork
By now, you should have named your CFC Team Leader, a staff person who is responsible for organizing and getting the word out about your nonprofit’s participation in the CFC.
The biggest mistake made by CFC charities is that some go through the application process to enroll, and then they run a stealth campaign!
7 Tips To Help Ensure A Successful CFC Campaign
1. Website: Homepage: Make sure your homepage has the CFC logo with your charity’s
five-digit code number under the logo. This will answer 95% of the questions that
potential Federal donors will have when they come to your website. The logo itself
is a million dollar benefit made available to charities in the CFC, and just like the
Coca-Cola and Nike logos, it is recognized by millions of potential CFC donors.
Website: Workplace Giving Section– In addition to the homepage, in your donor
section, include info about workplace giving, thank people in advance, and ask them
for a payroll deduction pledge. It is also helpful to have examples of how a periodic
pledge will be used by your nonprofit, e.g. “Twenty dollars per pay period will pay for
food for a rescued puppy for a month,” etc.
2. Teamwork Leadership Exercise #1: Make sure every board member, staff member
and volunteer know that you’re in the CFC and what your code number is.
Note: To see how well this has been learned, have someone unknown to the staff call
your organization, and ask, “Are you in the CFC?” The answer from whomever they
reach should be “Yes we are, and this is our CFC code number. May I provide any
This is a good test of how well your staff members are acting as part of your CFC team.
3. E-mail signature: Add to your e-mail signature that you participate in the CFC, and
thank any CFC donor in advance for their payroll deduction gift. This should be part
of every staff person’s e-mail signature block, and ask
your board members if they can include it on their e-mails as well.
4. CFC Special Events – Kickoffs and Charity Fairs: Register with your local
CFC office to let them know that you’re interested and able to participate in either
kickoffs or charity fairs. If you have a leader or board member who is a compelling
speaker, let them know that you’re able to provide a keynote speaker as well.
5. Location, Location, Location – If you have one, use it! If your charity is in a
location where there is drive-by or pedestrian traffic, put a sign up in your window,
or along the roadway with your name, the CFC logo, and your CFC 5 digit code. The
American Red Cross hangs a banner off the roof of its headquarters building, proving
that 18th century tools still work.
6. Teamwork Exercise # 2: Ask your constituents (e.g., donors, volunteers, staff, board
members, friends, etc.) if they have any “Federal Connections;” and, if so, ask them
to let those “connections” know that you’re in the CFC, and that their support in the
current CFC campaign would help a lot of people/kids/animals. They could even carry
a couple of your brochures to give to their “connections.”
7. Say Thank You Early & Often! With a CFC campaign you won’t get the names of your
donors released to you until next spring, so at any contact you have, let your potential
Federal donors know that you appreciate their gifts. If you are invited to charity fairs,
make sure to thank the charity fair organizer and the CFC Campaign manager. If you’re
invited to be a keynote speaker, thank the agency head in addition to the CFC volunteers
These tips, however, can only help if you’re in the CFC campaign. If you’re not, yet, now is the time to begin thinking about applying for next year’s campaign. For a special free guide to help you make that decision, send me (Bill Huddleston) an email with “Guide” in the subject line, and I’ll be glad to send it to you.
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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