However we sort out the budgetary impact of mergers, the reduction of zones may be affecting CFC operations in a second important way. Campaign statistics suggest a correlation between the number of zones and the participation rate of federal employees. The numbers are disturbing.
Here are two charts using government data:
As with other forms of charity fundraising, giving in the workplace is tied to person-to-person contact. When we consolidate zones, we may be undercutting the efforts of paid staff and volunteers to engage federal employees. We have heard that donors drop off when the CFC office down the street disappears and a new team, possibly many miles away, takes over. The data certainly suggests as much.
So, we’re interested: Are those of you who are actually running the program across the country seeing the same thing? If you have been involved in a merger of zones, have you seen the costs drop? Have you seen a loss of donors?
Is anyone else worried that the law of unintended consequences may be in control? Or, put another way, if the CFC were a business, would we really be closing our sales offices?