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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Canvass for a Cause

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: Canvass for a Cause is incorporated as a 501c4 working to build support for the progressive movement. Staff and volunteers have worked on a projects ranging from marriage equality, DADT, to cannabis reform, as well as international relief efforts.

Geographic areas served: California

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

Client Served

Rating: 1

THEY ARE A COMPLETE SCAM,
I'M ALL UP FOR THE MOVEMENT OF GAY RIGHTS AND TO STOP BULLYING HOWEVER I REFUSE TO BE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF MYSELF, SOME GIRL STOPPED ME, AND OF COURSE MY HEART WAS IN THE RIGHT PLACE WHEN I VOLUNTEERED, I'M NO MILLIONAIRE I'M JUST AN AVERAGE HUMAN WITH AN AVERAGE JOB BUT I STILL DECIDED TO DONATE 5.00 DOLLARS EVERY MONTH TO HELP THIS MOVEMENT, ONCE I LEFT THE GIRL MUST HAVE HAD SOME TYPE OF QUOTA TO MEET, BECAUSE SINCE OCTOBER THEY HAVE BEEN TAKING 15.00 OUT EVERY MONTH, I HAD'NT NOTICED THE PRICE BECAUSE LETS BE HONEST MOST PEOPLE DON'T CHECK EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE THEY MAKE ON THERE STATEMENTS, AND I'M USUALLY PRETTY GOOD ON WHO I GIVE THAT INFORMATION TOO, SO I NOTICED TODAY AND CALLED JUST TO CXL, NOTHING MORE BUT THE LADY THEN TOLD ME I HAD ONE MORE DONATION, FIRST OF ALL THIS IS A (DONATION) ARE YOU REALLY GIVING PEOPLE A CONTRACT ON WHEN THEY HAVE TO PAY?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? SO THEN I WENT INTO DETAIL ON HOW I ALREADY FELT SCAMMED BY THERE COMPANY. THEY HAD BEEN TAKING 10.00 MORE THEN WHAT I EVEN AGREED TO OFFERING THE LADY SHARON OR SHANNON WAS SO DISRESPECTFUL AND RUDE. YOUR REPRESENTING THIS CHARITY, AND THIS MOVEMENT SORRY CUSTOMER SERVICE IS REQUIRED CHARITY OR NOT. BUT TO MAKE MATTER WORST SHE THEN HUNG UP ON ME, WOAH LADY YOU SERIOUSLY SHOULD BE OUT OF A JOB WITH AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT. ANYWAY I NEVER EVER WRITE REVIEWS BUT AFTER THAT CONVERSATION I WANT TO AWARE ANYONE I CAN TO NOT DONATE TO THIS CHARITY THERE'S PLENTY OUT THERE WITH BETTER ATTITUDES AND DON'T SCAM INNOCENT PEOPLE

4 Anne86

Donor

Rating: 1

I support the HRC, UFW, Southern Poverty Law , Heifer with monthly donations and 3 African groups where I volunteer for a few months yearly. I was approached by CFC street worker while entering a shop in Hillcrest. I immediately needed to walk away. I felt like the street canvasser was doing a drug deal , no info packets, no table with info....and I being a bleeding heart gave him my credit card info!!
Pure stupidity on my part. At home I called and emailed to cancel monthly donations. Them I did some research and was not wanting to donate. I still have not had a response to email or phone calls.
I advise best to support reputable groups ...HRC does amazing work. Anyone can hang a shingle ask for $$$ and line their pockets.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Cfac is an organization full of hypocrites!!! they owe us a public disclosure of their budget and leadership salaries…..

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I would like to take a moment to explain these reviews. Though I am a donor with Canvass for a Cause, I am also an independent contractor with the organization. I am both of these things because I believe in the values of CFAC and the impact we have on the community.

We are not perfect.

The recent explosion of reviews on this site are unfortunately not from our donors, coalition partners or high school students whose GSA's we visit but from former employees, who are also not perfect. I personally wish them the best in their futures and hope that soon they can let go of the past and continue to enjoy their lives as the happy people they once were.

I ask only that we treat each other with respect. Here, in person, and forever. We are all better than this as people and as an organization.

Please call if you have any questions about the activism at Canvass for a Cause and we hope you have a great day!

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a Cfac employee for three years, I have repeatedly witnessed acts of vengeful retaliation, by leadership. to shame, mock or humiliate ANYONE from asking obvious and innocent questions reguarding Cfacs methods. Weather at storefronts with supporters, during staff meetings with leadership. or on this website, ALL perfect examples of how this organizations top leadership attempts to absolutely reject and deny any form of accountabilty... The bottom line is simple....Cfac claims it raised over $600,000 last year, BUT..., spent well over that amount......Prove it Cfac!!!..... Prove it with a public accounting....The leadership of this organization touts its policy of total transpareny however launches smear campaigns against ANYONE who asks them to deliver on that boast.. All of us wunder...Why must that be??????

anarchynow

Advisor

Rating: 5

I currently work for CFAC and have for over a year. I can say WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING that this is one of the most organized, structured, and passionate non profits I have EVER encountered. Leadership CONSISTENTLY gives support and education to all employees. Where else can you work that is concerned for your emotional AND physical well being? I can tell you: NOWHERE. Every employee is able to discuss ANY problems, concerns, complaints, etc with ANYBODY, providing they do ask for consent from the other individual. These FEW former employees on this site that keep howling about "safe space" obviously don't understand the definition of SAFE SPACE. It goes both ways. You may feel comfortable in the safe space enough to open up about issues YOU DEEM as problematic, but that DOES NOT give you the right to force those emotions onto others in said safe space. You MUST ask for consent. Otherwise, you are violating the OTHER person's SAFE SPACE. The sword cuts both ways. I can say WITH CONVICTION, that no job is all lavender and roses. EVERYONE and EVERY ORGANIZATION has it's bad days. That being said, here is some advice: If you are SOOOOO unhappy EVERYDAY with what you do for a living, and continually come into work sowing that negative energy and throwing it onto others like a giant sprinkler system, MAYBE you are in the wrong line of
work. This job isn't for everyone. Be a mature adult and bow out gracefully and with some DIGNITY. ALSO, instead of holding onto anger over one little organization and writing scathing and defaming, derogatory reviews about that organization, shouldn't you do something for YOU? Like look for other means of employment. Rent and food ain't free people. No matter what, we all have to make a living. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, wipe away your tears, and MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE. You are only hurting yourself by holding onto all this anger. Let it go. Get a job. Live.

3

Advisor

Rating: 1

Canvass for a cause it's a shameful organization. Let me preface this was saying the reason that no one has come out until now is that anybody who is fighting against the executive director who is also a lawyer and many of the board members who are best friends with the Executive Director are lawyers, have been blackmailed into silence. The sad thing is even though the brand itself is dead unsuspecting, caring individuals will be manipulated by their canvassers day in and day out into giving them at least small amounts of cash to sustain themselves until all the money is stolen and gone by the Corrupt leaders And unethical people that support them, run the organization Into the ground. Anybody who gives this organization a positive review is somebody that has invested their own money or profits from the success and continued corruption of this organization. You will see you on this website countless ex-employees and some anonymous current employees that explain how things really are there. The sad fact is this organization could've been great. The problem is trust was put into the wrong hands and those hands failed us. Many ex-employees have walked away burnt tired and pained and want nothing to do With bringing these Shameful "activists" to justice, they just want to walk away because they're so sick and tired of it. But more and more people that have had their hopes and dreams smashed by this organization are coming together to make sure that they don't hurt anyone else. That means anyone that They hold to the standard of an employee yet pay as an independent contractor, no sick time, no vacation time, no holiday pay and certainly no help with taxes. Do your research, cfac is the only canvasaing organization in San Diego that does not count their fundraisers as employees. I've been in leadership, I know exactly why they do it and it's to save money. Less money paid To IRS in taxes for employees, more money in the directors and executive directors pockets. With that you're on your own and that also includes employees that they have denied and fought hard to prevent Any ex-employee unemployment. Truth is contagious. and the truth is out there Cfac. you hurt good people. you believed liars. you screwed over "friends" and coworkers who supported you no matter what, even when it might have been YOU that were fired. Is minimum wage or a little more than that worth your integrity? it ended up not being worth mine.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 1

ugh tired of this place taking advantage of good, kind, hard working people i seen a lot of change happen in this place and i can say its not for good. i have seen many great people try to speak out against the corruption and one by one they were fired. its so sad to see all the good ppl there who are scared to speak out they call that a "safe space" ha!!! i was once afraid of them myself afraid to lose my job they are bullies isn't that ironic since they claim to work against that ha if only people could see what goes on in that place they claim also to be workers rights oriented well i can say from experience that they are not. i will NEVER go back to CFAC EVER unless one day people decide to push the bad out.

6

Advisor

Rating: 1

i agree with the reviews that state that this organization is sketchy and the money does not go to wha the fundraisers in the field say that it goes to. I worked for this organization since it was only six months old, I've been in all positions of leadership, and I have never seen them work on a real campaign. The board members are not active in the governing of the organization and nobody has control over the budget but the top three directors. Their salaries are inflated, meanwhile employees get paid the bare minimum that you can pay someone to call somebody them an employee by law. Anybody that tries to voice dissent against the corrupt and manipulative behavior of the leadership gets fired. Including people that have built the organization into what it is today. No one is exempt from getting fired except the people that suck up to the current leadership. and work to keep the status quo. As early as last night, employees tried to get together to make change and fight against the opressive nature of their bosses and this morning at least one of those employees were fired. Do not give money to this organization!

6 pudge

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was a staff manager at Cfac for several years and as such, was privy to much of the design structure and development of each campaign during my tenure.This organizations primary function is to guarentee the continued employment of its upper management leadership through its daily fundraising initiative. The rhetoric deployed at storefronts by canvassers is crafted in order to compel supporters to donate as generously as possible, alledgedly, to provide the staffing and tools required to successfully protect the Student Non Discrimination Act, and or facilitate its safe passage and integration.

The money raised by Cfac, through that enterprise , in no way, lends direct support to anti bullying legislation!!! ...The donations instead go predominately, to pet projects launched by top leadership. Initiatives like marches and protests against marijuanna bans, rallies to "free Bradley Manning".and and a host of other projects that have traditionally been undertaken by a staff of UNPAID volunteers. The revenue garnered by canvassing largely goes to justifying inflated payrolls of largely inactive leadership and to fund the payroll of the canvass staff that solicites the donations of well meaning supporters

The organization expends great energy constructing,destributing and protecting its manipulative and deceitful practices and has caused great harm to way of live and reputation to those who attempt to evoke reform of those whose methods betray the community and those who support it

khadarlis-change

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Khadarlis For Sierra Leone is like a first baby to me. This is an organisation that was founded to champion the cause of the victims of the Blood Diamond Conflict in Sierra Leone; a conflict that devastated the socio-economic and humanitarian condition of the entire West African region culminating in the indictment of Charles Taylor in at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. That is not the amazing aspect of it. What attracts me and hundreds of other volunteers towards working tirelessly with this organisation is the aspect of lifting the cause of our courageous womenfolk who are rising to the occasion to serve as Development Partners in our 21st century. As a champion of female female empowerment and a staunch believer in the fortitude and outright nature of women, I am ready to stand by Khadarlis for Sierra Leone in order to contribute to the US Strategy in engaging the African market and knowledge and skills exchange relevant to globalization and economic growth.

Terrie B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful organization of driven social change professionals. Canvass for a Cause works tirelessly for change. I have been privileged to work with these great folks at Occupy San Diego. They risk their personal safety to drive change .

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an organization designed to advance a cause with a boots on the ground field canvassing effort.

If you like to jump right in and do good in your community, this is the organization to get involved in. Currently, I'm working on the Stop the Ban on medical cannabis effort in San Diego but other examples of what the great folks here work on are marriage equality and aid to Hatti.

Tres Watson, the Executive Director is a super smart, high energy professional who takes a cause, applies his canvass model and gets it covered.

I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment I've spent in this office. Tres makes the job fun and exciting, fresh and new and very hip!

Its the place to be if you like to whistle while you work!

3

Donor

Rating: 2

I am still unclear about this organization. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and after having a conversation with two canvassers yesterday, I agreed to make a one time donation. They were very informative and seemed well-meaning, BUT when I went home and tried to go to their website, found it was no longer up. Now, that might be a question of underfunding, but it rubs me the wrong way. There's plenty of ways to get free web hosting, and I feel mislead.

1

Donor

Rating: 1

I went through the process that they told me to do in order to cancel and they are STILL charging me two months later. Going to try to go to my bank and despute the charge, I hope it works. I wish I could give this Org 0 stars. :[[[[[[

8

Donor

Rating: 1

I was approached by a canvasser outside a store and gave what I thought was a one time contribution because I support gay rights. I made sure to tell the canvasser, Holly, this was one time only because I am a student and could only afford that. Then come to find out my credit card was being charged monthly, and they produced a monthly contribution form with my signature on it... getting the money back is impossible and canceling also complicated, can't just cancel over the phone. When I started researching the organization after this sour experience, I found out that they are actually don't send any of the contributions to Equality California (the t-shirt canvasser was wearing!!), but keep it all for themselves! So instead of legitimate canvassing organizations like Grassroots Campaigns that are hired by EQ or HRC or the ACLU to do fundraising, these guys at CFAC pocket all the money, and pretend that the very act of hitting people for money outside stores is in and of itself a charitable cause, what a scam!!! Most people donating are sympathetic to gay rights already, and besides their whole pitch is all about the $, so they do nothing to advance gay rights, but just leach off the credulity of a well meaning public. I guess they have only been in business since 2010 and were started by an ex- GCI employee who was fired for embezzlement (obviously facts I was NOT aware of when I decided to make a donation..) , so it's only a matter of time until they are hopefully busted by the Feds, but in the meantime other well meaning people like myself get taken advantage of. It's really a despicable business model, can't believe I was so gullible, I just thought they were like GCI, to whom I have also donated in the past. BIg mistake, don't make it...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity to intern at Canvass for a Cause for the past few months working in the media department, and I find myself constantly impressed and empowered by the work being done there.

CFAC employs a group of inspired and effective activists who are steadfast advocates for equality at a time when our country's legislation unfortunately does not protect all of its citizens. By engaging supportive and unsupportive voters in face-to-face conversations, CFAC is doing the necessary and time-consuming work of holding people accountable for their individual vote and ability to say no to social injustice.

I consider myself lucky to be able to associate myself with Canvass for a Cause.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I totally appreciate the efforts of this organization, but I think Target has a right to prevent solicitation in front of their stores. I don't go to target to be confronted, nicely, or otherwise, by someone taking a poll or soliciting for volunteers or donations. I resent this as much as I do when someone soliciting for ecological organizations at my front door.
I think CFAC needs to identify their supporters by other means. There's a time and a place for this. Putting people on the spot is off-putting to say the least.
I'm gay and a San Diego taxpayer, and will side with Target and every other retailer who does not want the religious right, GLBT, save the seals, or any other organization interfering with their customers shopping experience.

1 queer_power

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As anyone viewing this site knows, there are an overwhelming number of nonprofit organizations out there and it can be difficult to distinguish the really great ones from all the rest. CFAC is truly one of the great ones. CFAC served and empowered thousands LGBT folk and thier families in the San Diego are by being a voice for those who are unable to spend all day talking to voters. I think one of the greatest testaments to CFAC's success is the number of people who have been persuaded by their efforts in the field, and I was one of them. This shows just how much CFAC has made a difference in their lives. At every level of the organization, the CFAC staff goes above and beyond the call of duty. I feel lucky to have met the CFAC family at a critical point in my own life.
My parents do not support gay marriage, and I am gay. Three weeks ago a woman came to my door, and my mother spoke with her. My mom is pretty adamant about her support, and she doesn't know I am gay. The woman she spoke to was very nice, and asked her why my mom got married. After 10 min, my mother was not persuaded but trust me no one could persuade her...

But the fact that this woman knocked on my door and took on my mother... it was amazing. I've been to afraid to ever talk with heard about it, and this was the first time I heard someone who wasnt part of our church or whatever. I hope she knocks on my door again.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

LeT me start by saying, I was a bit a concerned by some fo the stuff I read on this website. I really wonders myself about why people would get involved with a group that has bad reviews. That was until I actually met one of the staffers, and boy couldn't I be wrong. I met one of the staff, Nico, out in front of Target, and I had my suspicions, who wouldn't after reading all this. But we had an epic conversations about the issue of gay marriage, and how to change the average persons mind. He asked me for money, which I understand since the group is mostly funded bynthier efforts in the field. I said no, at first, then watched him. Conversations after conversation he poured out his heart to the people he was talking to. Not a single person donated, but clearly that wasn't his aim because he kept on preaching and passionately making the case for me, and my equality; the case I had never made myself.
One woman he talked with was a super religious type. She went off about the bible, and he just smiled. 5 min later she told him how sorry she was... That was amazing, I've never seen anything like it. I became a monthly donor that very day, and every day I am so happy there is someone out there fighting for me.

Over read the negative, and I was persuaded until I actually met someone who understands what this group really does. They all make very little like 500 a week, and even the head of the group doesn't make much compared to most people who have his job. 25,000 is not something to get rich by (they have their financial disclosure one ther website, the IRS form 990, read it before you believe the hype). Obviously they have pissed off a lot of people, and who doesn't that is doing things so different than the rest. Ive participated in a lot of gay , , groups, hrc, eqca, but none that I see every week out there in the streets trying so hard just to persuade people. It's a true inspiration

1 Eugene D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for Canvass during the Prop 19 campaign and must say this is the most best run, honest, and most dedicated group of advocates that I have ever worked with. Their executive director Tres Watson along with Ben and Rachel who ran the campaign provided great leadership and direction to everyone, while fulfilling their promises to all the canvasers.

This is a great place to volunteer, work, and be involved with!