Event Planning

Why have campaign events?

Taking the time to plan well-organized, interesting campaign events will pay off in the overall success of the CFC in your department, agency, or installation. Campaign events help educate donors about the CFC and its participating charities, promote federal employee engagement, and encourage participation in the campaign. Campaign events can be powerful. Donors are motivated when hearing directly from charities about the incredible impact CFC donations have on the lives of people in need.  


  • FEED THEM AND THEY WILL COME. Who doesn’t love a good snack at the office or starting the workday with a great breakfast? CFC donations are for charities, so you need to think of another way to get food to the event. Plan a potluck or ask leadership to donate snacks. Maybe even make it a contest – people love to enter their special chili or homemade cookies in a friendly competition. Need some guidance on food at CFC events? See what OPM has to say.
  • ENCOURAGE DONATIONS. While it is true your event can’t be a cash fundraiser, you can still encourage event attendees to pledge through the CFC. Distribute our event donor cards to encourage online pledging when attendees return to their desks – they’ll have all of the directions needed to guide them. Have paper pledge forms printed and available. Your colleagues will snatch those up and can donate on their own time back at their desk. Consider posting signs with suggested CFC donation amounts that tie into the event. For example, “Was this the best chili you’ve ever had? Consider donating $3 through the CFC to show your appreciation.”
  • GET LEADERSHIP ENDORSEMENT. Aim to get your leadership’s endorsement for the event. Use one of our communication templates to get you started on crafting the perfect invite and ask someone from leadership to send it along. Encourage them to attend and participate in the event themselves. We even have speech templates to pass on to them, too! People are more likely to attend an event when they know the boss will be there, which turns into higher donation potential – it’s a win-win!
  • CHOOSE YOUR TIMING WISELY. Increase event attendance by scheduling at least two weeks in advance to avoid busy work periods, schedule charities to participate, and lock in time on your colleague’s calendars. Coordinating with another event, such as a scheduled all-call, is an easy way to capture more participants.
  • PUBLICIZE. PUBLICIZE. PUBLICIZE. Promote the event through announcements, flyers, emails, newsletters, splash screens, social media, website, intranet, bulletin boards, and word of mouth. Contact your local public affairs office or radio station for event coverage.
  • CAPTURE THE MOMENT. Don’t forget your camera! Pictures of CFC events are a great way to promote the creative ways your agency is implementing the campaign.

Types of Events

From kickoff to closing out the campaign, events are critical to encourage participation and increase awareness. Events can be part of something already scheduled, like inviting a charity speaker to weekly staff meetings, or they can be a stand-alone, like a chili cook-off. See the Event Planning Guide for more event ideas.

  • AWARENESS EVENTS These events educate your community on the options and benefits of supporting charities through the CFC. Invite guest speakers such as leaders at your agency or installation and representatives from CFC-supported charities. These events are a great way to spread the word about the campaign and build motivation to support charities through the CFC. Awareness events can be held at the beginning of the campaign (e.g., a kickoff event) or throughout the campaign (e.g., a charity fair).

  • SPECIAL EVENTS These events are often held in conjunction with an event that is already taking place at your agency or installation (e.g., leadership calls and staff meetings, farewell parties, bazaars, training/safety days, etc.). Hosting a friendly CFC competitive event can boost energy around the campaign and add a fun element to an existing event (e.g., push up contest) and provide bragging rights to the winning office or unit. This year, consider planning special events in support of the Cause of the Week, #GivingTuesday (Dec. 3), International Volunteer Day (Dec. 5), or the last five days of the campaign. 

  • RECOGNITION EVENTS Recognition events allow department, agency, or installation leaders to publicly recognize and thank campaign workers for their dedication and thank all employees for their generosity through the CFC. These are usually held toward the end of the campaign, as a finale event, or even a few weeks after the completion of the campaign.


    How to Plan a Successful Event

    1. Establish an active event planning committee. Recruit committee members from all areas and include a variety of ranks/pay grades. Assign each committee member a specific task and deadline. Encourage creativity!
    2. Request leadership support. Ask leadership to send an email invitation to CFC events. Invite leadership to speak at and/or participate in CFC events. Publicize leadership participation via your website, intranet, newsletter, social media, etc.
    3. Motivate your co-workers to attend. Ensure there is a "draw" (e.g., a prize, a competition, free food). Make it fun! Publicize, publicize, publicize: be sure everyone knows about the event and is reminded to attend.
    4. Utilize the Event Planning Checklist. See the Event Planning Guide for more tips on how to plan a successful CFC event.