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Combined Federal Campaign Information for Charities

 

Overview

Charitable organizations wishing to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) must complete an annual application form via the online CFC Application System. Organizations that provided services in 15 or more different states or a foreign country within the three-year period preceding the application year may apply to be listed in the National/International or International sections of the CFC Charity List (e.g. 2014-2016 for the 2017 application year). Organizations that do not meet this criterion may be eligible to participate in the Local section of the CFC Charity List.  Local organizations must demonstrate they provided services in the previous calendar year in the local CFC zone to which they are applying.

CFC Application Process

The only method for applying to the CFC is through the online CFC Application System. Paper applications will not be processed.

Organizations are required to apply each year, but a complete application is required only every third year for organizations that were approved for participation in the prior campaign.  The intervening years require a verification application which consist of only certifications of all applicable statements required by 5 CFR §950.202 and §950.203 and an IRS Form 990 or “pro forma” IRS Form 990.  An organization that did not apply or was not approved for participation in the preceding campaign must submit a complete application. Organizations can contact the Customer Care Center to inquire if a full or verification application is due for the current application year.

If you have questions regarding the CFC application process or the CFC Application System, please contact the Customer Care Center:

  • Toll Free — (888)232-4935
  • Local/Int — (608)237-4935
  • TTY Toll Free — (800)203-6280
  • TTY Local/Int — (608)268-7740

Qualifications & Materials

CFC Charities are organizations with status as tax-exempt charities as determined by the Internal Revenue Service, under 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code, that provide health and human services and are determined to be eligible for participation in the CFC. Organizations may apply and be listed in the CFC Charity List as either a local, national or an international independent organization or as a member of a local, national or international federation.

Charities that apply to receive funds through the CFC are required to submit to extensive review of their financial and governance practices prior to acceptance. This eligibility review has helped set standards for participation in giving initiatives that transcend the community.

To see the required documentation, fees and timeline for the new application process, please consult the information and tables below. If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Care Center:

  • Toll Free — (888)232-4935
  • Local/Int — (608)237-4935
  • TTY Toll Free — (800)203-6280
  • TTY Local/Int — (608)268-7740

Required Documentation

Attachment A

This is a single service description that is comprised of four fields:

  • location of service;
  • service description;
  • number of beneficiaries; and
  • monetary value of the service provided.

The service description is a text field with a limit of 256 characters for services rendered.  The system will not accept service listings that exceed the 256 character limit.  This field must indicate who provided the service and the date(s) the service was provided.  You may include multiple services or service descriptions, for a given location (locality, state, or country); however, the service must be completely described within only one attachment.  OPM will not consider services rendered that are listed in more than one attachment.  For each service, you must provide either the number of beneficiaries or the monetary value of the service provided.

EXAMPLE OF ACCEPTABLE MULTIPLE SERVICES RENDERED WITHIN A STATE:

Attachment A (1) – Illinois – Chicago – Provided cancer screenings to 256 residents on March 15, 2016.  Provided referrals when necessary.

Attachment A (2) – Illinois – Springfield – Provided workshop for 50 caregivers on May 15, 2016.  Provided information on local resources.

EXAMPLE OF UNACCEPTABLE SINGLE SERVICE RENDERED WITHIN A STATE: 

Attachment A (1) – Illinois – Chicago – Our organization was founded in 1995 and is dedicated to eradicating cancer.  Our founder, Mr. John Doe, was passionate about this cause and devoted his life to this cause.  He lost his mother to cancer and it affected him profoundly. Provided cancer screenings

Attachment A (2) – Illinois – Chicago – CONTINUED –to 256 residents on March 15, 2016.  Provided referrals when necessary.

OPM recommends that you prepare your Attachment A information in such a way that enables you to easily copy and paste the information into the application system.

IRS Determination Letter

The online application system will perform an automatic verification against the IRS Business Master File (BMF) when you enter your Employer Identification Number.  If your organization is found in the BMF, you will not need to upload the IRS Determination Letter.  If it is not found in the BMF, you will need to upload the appropriate, currently dated documentation to support the certification that your organization is tax exempt  under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Audited Financial Statements

The threshold for requiring an audit has been changed and is the same whether you are applying as a national, international or local organization.  The new thresholds are:

  • Organizations with revenues of $250,000 or greater are required to have their financial statements audited annually by an Independent Public Accountant.  The audited must be in accordance with either U. S. GAAP or International Auditing Standards and must be presented using the accrual basis of accounting.  The complete audited financial statements must be uploaded into the application system in PDF format.  The audit report must clearly show the name of the firm that performed the audit as well as their contact information.
  • Organizations with revenues of at least $100,000 and less than $250,000 may still choose to have an audit, but are only required to have a review performed by an Independent Public Accountant.  The statements must be presented using the accrual basis of accounting.  The complete reviewed financial statements must be uploaded into the application system in PDF format.  The review report must clearly show the name of the firm that performed the review as well as their contact information.
  • Organizations with revenues less than $100,000 are not required to have an audit or review.  The organization must certify in the application that it has controls in place to ensure that funds are properly accounted for and that it can provide accurate and timely financial information to interested parties.

IRS Form 990

Your organization’s most recent IRS Form 990, for the same fiscal period covered by the audited financial statements, must be uploaded to the application system in PDF format.  Please ensure the PDF copy uploaded includes the signature of an officer of the organization.  The signature of the accountant preparing the form is not sufficient (nor is it required if the form was not prepared by an outside accounting firm).  The uploaded document must include all schedules that were filed with the IRS with the exception of the list of donors.

If your organization is not required to file an IRS Form 990 (either exempt from filing or files a different form such as the 990EZ or 990PF), you will need to prepare a “pro forma” IRS Form 990.  This involves downloading a blank IRS Form 990 from the IRS website (www.irs.gov) and completing the following sections:

  • Page 1, Items A-M;
  • Part I, Summary, Lines 1-4 only;
  • Part II, Signature Block;
  • Part VII, Compensation –Section A only;
  • Part VIII, Statement of Revenues;
  • Part IX, Statement of Functional Expenses; and
  • Part XII, Financial Statements and Reporting.

All the above must be completed in accordance with the instructions for the IRS Form 990.

If you have questions regarding the CFC application process, please contact the Charity Help Desk at contact info.

Application and Listing Fees

The CFC rules, as noted in 5 CFR §950.107, allow for upfront application fees and listing fees as well as distribution fees to be assessed against pledges received.  Listing fees are paid only by organizations approved to participate in the campaign. OPM will not grant waivers of any of the fees.

The application fee is based on the type of application used by the organization to apply to the CFC program and the listing fee is determined by organization revenue. Tiers refer to the size of the applicant organization in terms of total revenue as reported on the submitted IRS Form 990 or the pro forma IRS Form 990.  Total revenue may be found on page 9, line 12, column A of the required IRS forms. 

Application Fees

National/International Federation $1,575
National/International Federation Member Organization $400
National/International Independent Organization $570
Local Federation $630
Local Federation Member Organization $255
Local Independent Organization $340

Listing Fees

Tier I National/International and Local Organizations: Tier I organizations are those that report $1 million or more in revenue

Tier II National/International and Local Organizations: Tier II organizations are those that report $250 thousand or more in revenue, but less than $1 million

Tier III National/International and Local Organizations: Tier III organizations are those that report less than $250 thousand in revenue

Tier I National/International Organization $2,270
Tier II National/International Organization $555
Tier III National/International Organization $370
Tier I Local Organization $635
Tier II Local Organization $135
Tier III Local Organization $20

Deadline

In accordance with 5 CFR §950.601(a)(1), the online application system will be open from December 26, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

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