We know this due to a system of classification employed by the CFC. The CFC application form asks each charity to pick up to three categories “which most closely identify the type of mission, services, and activities” provided by the group. The government provides a list of 26 such categories, ranging from the arts to youth development.
Each category has a letter code: Medical Research, for example, is H. When the CFC publishes its Charity List, the codes picked by each group are printed in that list, after other descriptive information. It is not clear whether donors use the letter codes to find charities that might interest them, but the system does allow us to know which topics draw the highest level of donor support.
To see all 26 topical categories and the amounts pledged to each one in the 2011 Campaigns, please visit:
2011 CFC Pledges Organized by Topical Code