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Frequently Asked Questions Combined Federal Campaign

  • The March 2012 Directive from OPM prohibited the use of CFC funds to pay for food or entertainment expenses.  Federal employees who wish to donate food for a CFC event may do so.  However, these individuals cannot be reimbursed for any expenses related to the preparation or transportation of the food.
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  • Yes.  This decision applies to all Federal agencies. 
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  • Federal retirees may make a one-time (i.e., cash, check or credit card) contribution to the CFC.  Please contact your local CFC office to obtain a pledge form and learn more about how you can support a participating CFC charity (http://www.opm.gov/combined-federal-campaign/find-local-campaigns/locator/).
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  • You can retrieve your OPM Form 1654 (CFC Pledge Form) online on the CFC Pledging System. If you made a payroll deduction pledge, you will also need to obtain a copy of your final pay slip for the tax 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 campaign promotion, printed materials, employee training, and other administrative expenses. All local campaign costs are reviewed and approved by the Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC) governing the local campaign. On average, this cost is low compared with other fundraising campaigns. Charitable organizations pay for these expenses when they apply to participate in the CFC.
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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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  • Yes. One-time gifts using credit/debit cards can be made on the CFC Pledging System.
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  • 5 CFR Part §950.701(e)(1) states, "The minimum amount of the allotment will not be less than $1 per payday per charitable organization, with no restriction on the size of the increment above that minimum." As the purpose of the CFC is not to “increase revenue”, OPM does not plan to change the regulatory minimum.
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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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  • Yes. 5 CFR §950.102(a)(1) states new federal employees must be provided information about the CFC at their orientation and must be allowed to make a pledge within 30 days of starting duty. While provision of CFC information applies currently, the requirement to allow immediate pledging will apply to new hires hired after September 1, 2017.
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