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Combined Federal Campaign Reference Materials

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CFC Memorandum 2001-09

Memorandum for Local Federal Coordinating Committees (LFCCs) and Principal Combined Fund Organizations (PCFOs)

FROM: MARA T. PATERMASTER, DIRECTOR
OFFICE OF CFC OPERATIONS
SUBJECT: Guidance on Campaign Mergers Campaign Geographic Boundaries

The purpose of this guidance is to clarify the procedures to follow when a campaign wishes to merge its operations with another. As stated in CFC Regulations 950.103(a) "The Director establishes and maintains the official list of local campaigns and the geographic area each covers. There is no prerequisite regarding the Federal employee population needed to establish or maintain a CFC. However, rather than establishing or maintaining small campaigns, OPM encourages mergers and expansions of campaigns to promote efficiency and economy."

Campaign Mergers

An increasing number of campaigns each year are consolidating their operations with other campaigns. Overall, between 1998 and 2000 the number of campaigns nationally was reduced by eighteen CFCs.

The Office of CFC Operations continues to promote mergers whenever appropriate and expects that there is potential, especially among smaller campaigns, to centralize certain functions. This can save on the costs of operating a campaign, thus making the campaign more efficient and yielding greater contributions to participating charities. For your reference, the following percentages represent average administrative expenses based on a sampling of campaigns at three different contribution levels. This may serve as benchmark information to assess your own campaign's costs. For more details on the average costs of campaigns please refer to the CFC website section on 2000 CFC results report, titled "Costs of Campaigns."

  • Campaigns over $2 million - 9.1%
  • Campaigns between $500k and $1.9 mil - 10.2%
  • Campaigns under $500K - 15.7%
  • 2000 National Average for all CFCs - 8.7%

In some areas, campaigns may decide it is not practical to consider a total merger. Instead, merging certain components of an operation may be more feasible, such as the production of the brochure and other campaign materials. Whatever the arrangement, the pros and cons of a merger should be carefully considered by all parties involved and agreements reached well in advance to the beginning of the CFC season.

The Office of CFC Operations recommends that the process of merging CFC operations take place between September 1 and April 15 ( for the subsequent campaign year).

The Office of CFC Operations maintains the official listing of campaign boundaries and will not recognize mergers or expansions that have not been approved by this office.

  • Explain the reason(s) for the merger.
  • Secure written agreements from the respective LFCCs.
  • Certify the desire and capacity of the "new" PCFO fiscal agent to manage the newly merged campaign.
  • Certify that there will be no gaps in outreach to Federal employees as a result of the merger.
  • Submit a plan and timeline for completing the proposed merger.
  • Outline the new geographic boundaries, and notify our office of any campaign name changes and new contact information. 
  • Provide a brief report on the results of the merger following completion of the first merged campaign.

In order to approve a campaign expansion, OCFCO requires that you:

    • Submit a written agreement from the LFCC and PCFO to manage the additional area.
    • Outline the new geographic boundaries, and notify our office of any campaign name change and new contact information.

Changes to Geographic Boundaries

The Office of CFC Operations recently created a series of campaign area maps. This information can be found on our website. Campaign areas are illustrated by state, and are updated regularly based on information we receive from the field. If you believe that the maps do not accurately reflect the boundaries of your campaign, please email Lisa at eabarber@opm.gov.

Your campaign will find the maps useful in educating your potential donors, locating other CFC campaigns within your state, pursuing a merger or identifying potential gaps in campaign coverage. Please advise OCFCO as soon as possible in the case of a change in your geographic boundaries.

If you are interested in merging your campaign operations, either in whole or in part, contact the Office of CFC Operations for further guidance.

Thank you for your attention.

Address questions or comments to cfc@opm.gov

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