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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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