Every(Re)Action | CFC’s Online Giving Grows, But Total Revenue Dips: NonProfit Times

May 3, 2021  |  Grace Duginski

The NonProfit Times has reported that the Combined Federal Campaign, often abbreviated as CFC, announced in March a total of almost $83.6 million raised during their 2020 campaign—nearly 90 percent of which was raised online.

According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM,) which administers the CFC program, that figure “represents monetary contributions of nearly $81.6 million and a value of $2 million in volunteer hours.”

Other details from OPM included:

  • Federal employees pledged more than 86,700 hours of volunteer service at CFC-approved charities, and participating non-profits value those hours as worth more than an additional $2 million to their organizations.
  • This dollar figure is in addition to the $2.5 million federal employees pledged as a part of the Special Solicitation for COVID-19 from April through June 2020.
  • For the fourth year in a row, all CFC donors had the option to pledge online, which generated $70 million (86 percent of overall pledges).
  • Pledges made by federal civilian, postal and military donors as well as retirees during the campaign season support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.
  • Since its inception, the CFC program has raised more than $8.5 billion in pledges to local, national, and international charities.

In spite of this massive wave of generosity, NonProfit Times points out, the 2020 figures continue an overall pattern of CFC donation decline “since a high of $282.6 million in 2009,” and they note that “new regulations[…] implemented in 2017” in particular marked a downturn:

  • 2020 – $83.6 million
  • 2019 – $83.8 million
  • 2018 – $92.9 million
  • 2017 – $101.4 million
  • 2016 – $167.3 million

However, federal employees have recently had additional opportunities to increase their giving. The CFC in March announced an additional nationwide special solicitation “to support charities serving and affected by Winter Storm Shirley,” which ran through April 9. The results have not yet been announced.

Our Take:

To us, these CFC results reinforce that nonprofits can get the best results from a campaign by:

  • Engaging with supporters in multiple ways. A donor is rarely just a donor; they could also be a really valuable and engaged volunteer, advocate, or member. And engaged supporters are more likely to feel connected to your mission and your organization for the long term.
  • Continually optimizing online giving methods. With mobile-ready donation pages, prefilled donation forms, and other tactics, you can create an easier and more efficient giving experience for donors.
  • Communicating your needs related to current events. Don’t be afraid to let your supporters know you’re meeting an urgent need in support of your mission.