Selected Unique Factors about CFC Fundraising
The CFC charity itself does not make the direct solicitation. It’s the federal CFC campaign volunteers who do this, and the ones who are making the direct solicitation are called “keyworkers.”
- By law, every U.S. Federal agency holds a CFC campaign each fall, including at overseas facilities.
- More than 89% of the Federal workforce is outside of the Washington, DC region, so it is likely that you already have Federal employees who are your supporters.
- If your non-profit is truly “donor-centric”, for donors and potential donors who are Federal employees, the most user-friendly means for them to donate is through the Combined Federal Campaign.
- CFC Donors may remain anonymous if they wish, and many donors choose this option. The reaction of many CFC charities is to be irritated by this fact, instead of recognizing that anonymous donors are some of your strongest supporters.
So why do these unique factors matter?
- Because you know that every Federal employee – uniformed, civilian, and postal service is a potential donor. Your staff is off the hook for making a direct solicitation, you can say “please consider us” but no one is bringing back checks or pledges directly.
- You know when the solicitation period will be held – in the fall, sometime between September 1st and December 15th of each year.
- You have the opportunity to build relationships through your non-profit’s Federal connections, even if the staff doesn’t yet know who the connections are.
- The single biggest mistake made by CFC charities is to run a stealth campaign. They go through the process of applying and getting enrolled in the CFC, and then they keep a secret.
Tasks for the CFC Action Plan
There are obvious communication actions that every CFC charity should take – such as having the CFC logo and your 5-digit code on your website’s homepage. That simple step will answer 90% of the questions that potential CFC donors will have when they visit your website.
The second type of action is personal … to task every person on your staff to identify three Federal connections that they have, and make contact with them.
Run a newsletter article announcing that you’re now in the CFC and that you would appreciate the support of any current Federal employees.
What I mean by “Federal connection” is this: Do your current supporters
have parents, children, neighbors, sports buddies, colleagues, etc. who
in some way have a connection to a Federal employee? If they do, the
message is that your organization (and one they may care about because
they care about you) is in the CFC, and will they consider supporting
your CFC charity in this fall’s campaign.
Have the staffer who wants to learn how to fundraise draft several messages that say why your non-profit is worthy of support by CFC donors. Have her conduct a training session on why these messages matter, and after they are used in talking to people, evaluate their effectiveness. How did people respond? Hint – stories are better than statistics.
If you’re going to participate in charity fairs, you may want to order some “give-a-ways” – marketing items with your Name, CFC code, and Website URL on them – e.g., pens, pencils, and rulers.
In my August 22nd post I will discuss the additional ways to increase the awareness of your CFC charity as I continue the discussion of Outreach for the CFC.
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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