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Frequently Asked Questions Combined Federal Campaign

Charity Eligibility & Participation

  • Donors can designate any amount they wish to a charitable organization. There is no limit to the amount a charitable organization can receive.
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  • The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) does not require that participating organizations be in existence for a minimum of three years. Organizations that apply to participate as national/international charities may submit examples of services provided within the previous three years to demonstrate a national or international presence. There is no requirement that services were provided in each of those years, however.
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  • To be eligible to participate in the CFC, a charitable organization must be recognized as a tax-exempt non-profit organization under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. An application to participate in the CFC must provide specific information about the organization's accounting, governance, and program functions, as specified in the CFC regulations at 5 CFR §950. The organization must also provide a completed and signed copy of its IRS Form 990 for the most recent fiscal year.

    Organizations must demonstrate that they provide services in the service area to which they are applying:

    • National/International organizations provide services in 15 different U.S. states and/or one foreign country over the three year period immediately preceding the start of the campaign’s application year.
    • International organizations are defined in regulation as charitable organizations that provide services either exclusively or in a substantial preponderance to persons in areas outside of the United States. These organizations must provide evidence of services in at least one foreign country over the three year period immediately preceding the start of the campaign’s application year.
    • Local organizations are those that (1) have a substantial local presence in; and (2) provide services in the local campaign zone to which they apply. The services must be provided during the calendar year immediately preceding the start of the campaign’s application year.
    Charities may apply to participate in the CFC individually (as an unaffiliated, or "independent", organization) or they may be represented by a federation. A federation is a coalition of individual charities that align to minimize administrative costs and to 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 no fewer than 15 CFC member organizations that meet the CFC eligibility criteria.

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  • In accordance with 5 CFR §950.601(a)(1), the application period is during a period between December and January, as determined by the Director. Please look at the CFC Calendar of Events.
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  • Members of federations must submit their applications as instructed by the federation. Federations and independent organizations submit their applications directly to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management through the CFC application module at CFCcharities.opm.gov.
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  • It is difficult to estimate how much an organization will receive in any given year of the CFC. Like any workplace giving program, it is subject to influences that may affect giving (e.g. fluctuations in the Federal labor force). After participating for a number of years, it may be possible to establish an estimated range for the amount to be received. We suggest that charitable organizations contact similar charities which participate in the CFC to inquire about their experiences. Please note that participation in the CFC is not a guarantee that the organization will receive designations from donors.
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  • Contact the Central Campaign Administrator (CCA) Customer Care Center via telephone (Mon.-Fri. 8am-6pm CST)
    • Toll Free — (888)232-4935
    • Local/Int — (608)237-4935
    • TTY Toll Free — (800)203-6280
    • TTY Local/Int — (608)268-7740

    or via email at support@cfccharities.org.

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  • Contributions are administered by the Central Campaign Administrator (CCA). The CCA will disburse funds on a monthly starting April 1 immediately following the campaign period.
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  • It is the responsibility of the Central Campaign Administrator (CCA) to provide the names, home addresses, and personal (i.e. not federal) email addresses of donors who wish to have their names and contact information released to the designated charitable organizations or their federations, where applicable. The CCA and the federation may not make any other use of donors' names and contact information.
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  • Yes, all CFC applicants are required to submit a new application annually. However, in accordance with 5 CFR §950.201(c), the full application is required once every three years with an abbreviated “verification application”—consisting of only the certification statements and the IRS Form 990 or pro forma IRS Form 990—required in the intervening years.
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