Archive for July 21st, 2008

“Low Hanging Fruit” and the CFC

Posted on July 21, 2008. Filed under: Fundraising, Leadership, Non-profits |

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and “Low Hanging Fruit”

On Seth Godin’s blog, he talks about the magic of “low-hanging fruit,” namely don’t miss out on the “easy pickings” while developing your latest, complicated multi-pronged, strategy. In the non-profit sector there is a tremendous opportunity to benefit from the “low-hanging” fruit of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).

The CFC is the Federal government’s workplace giving program, and it is the largest and most successful workplace giving program in the world. Through the CFC, Federal public servants give more than $250 million every year to thousands of local, national and international non-profits.

CFC Benefits
The CFC is first and foremost a vehicle for non-profit fundraising, and there are many other benefits to including it as one of the tools in your non-profit’s “Toolbox.” These benefits include:
● Generates a reliable, twelve month income stream of unrestricted revenue.
● More leverage and less risk than any other means of fund-raising.
● Leadership Development – organizing, planning, managing, etc.
● Public Speaking
● Market Research about your non-profit
● Development of multiple year income streams
● Increase of public awareness of your non-profit

Where the “low-hanging” fruit comparison comes in is that all of these benefits are generated by approximately 32% of the Federal workforce. With some attention to “basics,” and a little effort it is possible to increase this participation rate to at least 50%, if not 60%. This could double the amount raised to $500 million annually.

What basics? How about saying thank you?

The non-profit sector does a lousy job of saying “Thank you” to all the people who make the CFC successful, (and in terms of actual giving, if the CFC were a foundation, it would be the 10th largest in the USA).

There are three categories of people who deserve a “thank you” and in general, the CFC non-profits only thank one category – the identified donor.

The two other categories that deserve a thank you are the “anonymous donors” – this is a very popular feature for CFC donors, and the fundraising volunteers who plan, organize, manage and conduct the CFC campaigns each year. And yes, in the latter two categories the non-profit will not have the list of individual names, but it still possible to thank people in the following ways:
● On your website
● In your printed material (annual reports, special event programs, newsletters (electronic or print).
● In person at special events – “Thank Yous” from the Chair of the Event.


Bill Huddleston, CFC Expert

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


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