America's Charities | July 10, 2017

2017 CFC C.A.R.E. Program: Letter due July 28th

The Office of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is continuing the program called the Charity Auto-Response Element (C.A.R.E.) for the 2017 campaign. This program is designed to connect charities to donors by generating automatic notification thanking donors that give online to your organization. The program is intended for all CFC regions with a compatible online giving system.

OPM is once again requesting donor acknowledgement language from those organizations wishing to participate. We also strongly encourage your participation. If you choose to send a note, America’s Charities will proof, provide feedback/recommended edits as needed and submit it to OPM on your behalf.

If you are interested in participating: please submit your “thank you” note via email to Emily Bernhards at EBernhards@charities.org by COB Friday, July 28th, 2017.

America’s Charities has provided draft language for you to use and has also included OPM’s tips for completion below. The language must not exceed 1,000 characters in length – this limit includes spaces, line breaks, line feeds, and carriage returns. Moreover, in some cases line feeds count as more than one character.

Here is OPM’s most recent description of the program:

A growing number of CFC donors now pledge online. This fall, all eligible CFCs will use one of their e-Giving platforms to help you begin connecting with these online donors, regardless of whether they choose to remain anonymous. If you elect to participate in this program, when donors pledge online they automatically will receive an email message with a one-paragraph “thank you” statement and summary of  your organization’s plans for using donor contributions. Please note that currently this is still a one-way communication from you to the donor. Campaigns will NOT release any information about these donors unless they (the donors) specifically authorize the campaign to do so.

This action will give CFC donors a better understanding of your cause and how you intend to use their contributions. We trust this will result in a better giving experience and lead donors to feel more comfortable with releasing their contact information in future campaigns.

Do’s and Don’ts for your C.A.R.E. Paragraph:

DO:

  • Thank the donor right away.
  • Express your enthusiasm for being part of the Combined Federal Campaign.
  • Make it personal—the message should come from your CEO, Board Chair or equivalent, not from “the organization.”
  • Briefly describe recent accomplishments.
  • Briefly describe plans for using the donor’s contribution in the upcoming year.
  • Use concrete examples.
  • You may also wish to thank the donor for being a public servant to our nation.
  • CAREFULLY PROOFREAD your statement for spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. Remember, this statement will reflect the professionalism of your organization. CFC officials may not be able to edit every statement.

DO NOT:

  • Insert electronic signatures. These are considered images and cannot be loaded into the system.
  • Use the exact same message as last year (2016), verbatim. Be original and use fresh content.
  • Use the exact words/phrases of the example paragraph below. Remember, many donors will be receiving C.A.R.E. statements from multiple CFC nonprofits, and they don’t want to read the same message from every organization. You should be original and use your own words!
  • Solicit additional donations or encourage the donor to give outside of the CFC. If such solicitations are found, they will be removed.
  • Ask the donor to provide his/her contact information.
  • Ask the donor to contact you.
  • Exceed the 1,000 character limit. Any characters after that limit has been met will not be included in your C.A.R.E. paragraph.
  • Submit statements that include HTML tags, photos, videos, or any hyperlinks.
  • Include your website address (URL). We have that information on file and will automatically include it for you, so donors can visit your website to learn more.

 

Example C.A.R.E. Paragraph:

Dear Donor,

Thank you so much for your generous donation to [name of charity]. Your contribution will help us provide [type of service] that will result in [impact statement].

Over the past year, [name of charity] has accomplished [statement about the results of your work and its impact]. With your gift and those of other Federal workers, we will continue our dedicated work to do [purpose].

On behalf of all of us at [name of charity], we thank you for your contribution and we thank you for your continued public service.

Sincerely,

[Name of person at charity]

[Title]

 

Please feel free to contact Emily Bernhards with any questions or for assistance at ebernhards@charities.org. Again, the deadline to submit the C.A.R.E. “thank you” note via email is COB Friday, July 28th, 2017.

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