Frequently Asked Questions


How does Competing for a Cause (CFAC) work?

At the beginning of every year CFAC chooses a cause to support for the year. We raise funds from individuals all year round, and at the end of the year donations are pooled and given to a charity in support of that cause.

How do you select a charity?

We look for effectiveness and transparency when choosing charities. We consider programs and organizations that support our chosen cause for the year, and then pick one or more of them that we find to be credible, and who use their funds efficiently so that our donations are likely to have the most impact.

How do you verify that a charity is credible?

There are three major national charity watchdogs, namely, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.  They rate charities based on how they spend their money, protect donor privacy, govern themselves, and more. While these watchdogs don’t always rate the same charities, they cover most of the major charities. We look at the ratings of our selected charities by all of the three watchdogs, and make sure that the charities have high ratings by at least two of them (i.e., given a grade of A+/ A / A- or is “top-rated” by the watchdogs). Charity Watch suggests that a top-rated charity is one that will “generally spend 75% or more of its budgets on programs."

If our selected charity is a smaller, local charity which is not rated by the major watchdogs, then we refer to the regional watchdogs to check ratings. Regional BBBs evaluate about 10,000 local groups; these reports are available through the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

Can I evaluate the charity myself?

Yes, you can evaluate a charity yourself by looking at its annual report, audited financial statements, and IRS Form 990, which includes, among other things, the salaries of the group's highest paid employees. You might find those documents on an organization's website, or you can ask the charity to send them to you. You also can find a group's IRS Form 990 at

The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), a charity watchdog outfit, recommends supporting a charity in which at least 60% of your donation goes to the charitable endeavor itself. Keep in mind, of course, that if a charity is young and less established, it may need to use more of your dollar for start-up expenses.

In fact, when we consider charities that are not rated by the watchdogs (such as some international charities), we evaluate them using the data to calculate efficiency ratios from the IRS Form 990 audited financial statement or an annual report.

How can I get involved?

Make a donation and celebrate your achievements by helping others realize their dreams.

How much of my donation goes to charity?

100% of your contributions go directly to the chosen charity. All of CFAC's operating costs are paid by the founder.

What are some example donations?

Donate your prize money from competitions (include friends and family by having them match your donations!)

Donate $5 per competition.

Donate $10 every time you achieve a personal goal.

Any donation is helpful, even a small amount can go a long way!

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes, as we are a 501c3 nonprofit organization.