Seven Myths About the CFC

Posted on June 17, 2008. Filed under: Fundraising, Non-profits |

Seven Myths about the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)
by Bill Huddleston, CFC Expert

There are a number of myths and misconceptions about the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) in the non-profit world. In a time when many non-profits are worried about their fundraising efforts in a troubled economy, it can hurt to learn a little bit about the world’s largest workplace giving campaign.

Here’s a list of the first seven myths:

1. Myth It is hard to get into to the CFC.
Fact 94% of nonprofits that apply are admitted.

The CFC actually has an “open admissions” program. If you meet the criteria, your non-profit is in. The acceptance rate is 94%, and in general the 6% that don’t get in are the ones that don’t follow the directions. There are exceptions to this, and for non-profits that don’t get in, but believe that they should, there is an appeals process.

What is the appeals process at the foundations where you’ve applied for grants, if you are unsuccessful?

2. Myth The CFC doesn’t raise significant money.
Fact $1 Billion Dollars of Unrestricted funds in the past 5 years.

In the past five years, CFC donors have contributed more than $5 billion dollars to thousands of local, national, and international non-profits. CFC monies are unrestricted, reliable and predictable.

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

The National Capital area CFC is the largest CFC, but there more than 250 regional CFCs, and 40 of these raise more than $1 million annually in their region.

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

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 More than 90% of the funds are designated to specific charities.

The ones deciding who receives the funds are your supporters who are Federal employees who choose to donate through the CFC.

7. Myth CFC Donors are fickle
Fact Most CFC donors are multi-year donors.

How many ten year grants have you gotten from foundations that support your organization?


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    Fundraising and Leadership Development through workplace giving, CFC = Combined Federal Campaign


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