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Frequently Asked Questions Combined Federal Campaign

  • While tax deductible, CFC deductions are not pre-tax. Federal law does not allow for charitable donations through payroll deduction (CFC or any other payroll deduction program) to be done pre-tax. Donors who are eligible to itemize charitable contributions on income tax returns may include contributions made through the CFC. Donors should contact a tax advisor for more information.
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  • Members of federations must submit their applications to the federation. Federations and independent organizations submit their applications directly to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (if applying as a national/international organization) or the local CFC office (if applying as a local organization). Charities can find contact information for local CFC offices via our Campaign Locator (http://www.opm.gov/cfc/Search/Locator.asp). See the application instructions for more information.  The CFC application form can be downloaded at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/Charities/ModelCharityApp.asp.
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  • To be eligible to participate in the CFC each charitable organization must be designated as a tax-exempt non-profit organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. An application to participate in the CFC must provide specific information about their auditing, governance and program functions, as specified in the CFC regulations at 5 C.F.R § 950. Applicants must also provide a completed and signed copy of their IRS Form 990 for their most recent fiscal year. To participate in one of the 200 plus local CFC campaign areas, as opposed to being nationally eligible and participating in every campaign area, a charitable organization must be able to demonstrate that it has a "substantial" program presence within the campaign's (or an adjacent campaign's) geographical boundaries or within the state of the campaign. Charities may apply to participate in the CFC individually (as an "independent organization"), or they may be represented by a "federation." A federation is a coalition of individual charities with similar missions that align to minimize administrative costs and coordinate activities. All CFC application and participation requirements that apply to individual charities also apply to federations. In addition, federations must demonstrate that they have at least 15 CFC member organizations that meet the CFC eligibility criteria.
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  • Your local CFC office can provide a copy of your CFC pledge form documenting your pledge.  (Contact information can be found at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/Search/Locator.asp).  If you made a payroll deduction pledge, you will also need to obtain a copy of your final pay slip for the year, which documents the total amount deducted for the CFC.
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  • Historically, campaign costs nation-wide have averaged ten percent. These funds were spent on printing materials, training volunteers, auditing contributions, and other administrative expenses. All local campaign costs are reviewed and approved by the LFCC governing the local campaign. On average, this cost is low compared with other fundraising campaigns; therefore, every dollar you pledge goes a very long way toward helping others.
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  • CFC payroll deduction allotments cover the first pay period that begins in the calendar year and ends with the last pay period that begins in that same calendar year.  Charities that participate in the CFC must submit annual applications demonstrating continued compliance with the CFC regulations.  Due to changes in charity participation, donors must complete a new pledge form each year to indicate the charities to which they wish to designate a contribution.
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  • Yes, all CFC applicants are required to submit a new application annually. (Please visit Charity Application section.)
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  • Travel on CFC business should be budgeted for when the LFCC approves the PCFO annual budget. However, some Federal agencies will cover the costs for such travel. LFCC members are encouraged to consult with their agency prior to charging the expenses to the CFC.
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  • OPM will accept a "dba" issued by the IRS or the State. If a nonprofit organization elects to do business under a name different from the one on their IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter, they must obtain a "dba" through either the IRS or the State and submit it with their application. While a charitable organization's eligibility status will not be decided based on the name, the name by which it is listed in the CFC Charity List, should it be found eligible, will depend on official documentation from the IRS or State sources. Additionally, ALL charitable organizations are required to include their Employee Identification Number (EIN) in their 25-word statement regardless of whether they are listed under their legal name or a "dba".
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  • 5 CFR Part 950.901(e)(1) states, "The minimum amount of the allotment will be determined by the LFCC but will not be less than $1 per payday, with no restriction in the size of the increment above that minimum." OPM does not plan to change the regulatory minimum since the LFCC can determine its own minimum for their specific CFC.
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