Archive for September 20th, 2009

Feds Ahead of Leading Edge Foundations by 48 Years – CFC

Posted on September 20, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

On the Harvard blog there’s an interesting post about the steps the Boston Foundation and the Greater Atlanta Foundation have taken to grant – making. They’re making the monies unrestricted, and are removing articificial time limits. Kudos on both steps, here’s my comment from that blog:

Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) News Flash
Federal Govermment 48 Years Ahead of the Boston Foundation & the Greater Atlanta Community Foundation!

Kudos to them for switching to unrestricted grants without artificial time limits. In the interest of historical accuracy, I would like to point out that the Federal Government’s workplace giving program, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the largest source of unrestricted monies for non-profits in the world — $1 billion over the past five years. The original Executive Order that created the CFC was signed by President John F. Kennedy in March, 1961.

Here are some other myths about the CFC:

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, DC 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?

Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach
Dedicated to helping non-profits make the world a better place.


– Posted by Bill Huddleston
September 20, 2009 7:24 PM

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


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