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Frequently Asked Questions Combined Federal Campaign

  • OPM published CFC regulations in April 2014 to streamline many of the program's operations, including how charitable organizations apply to become part of the program. The regulations, which go into effect on January 1, 2017, were issued to ensure the continued growth and success of the program by improving donor participation, CFC infrastructure, and standards of transparency and accountability.

     

    The cost of the campaign will be recovered primarily through application fees paid by the charitable organizations that apply for participation in the CFC. Additionally, upfront application fees will require that charities properly adjust for campaign costs in their own accounting, something that the current process of cost deduction does not reflect.

    Prior to 2017, the overhead administrative costs of much of the CFC program were paid out of donor contributions through the campaign. OPM maintains that more transparency with respect to administrative overhead would be beneficial to the program, to the donors, and to the charitable organizations that receive donations through the CFC.

    In addition to defraying costs, an application fee will discourage those organization that receive no benefit from the campaign from applying, thereby reducing administrative costs, and increasing the number of dollars that reaches participating charities. It is in the spirit of these recommendations that OPM proposed to restructure CFC cost recovery.

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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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  • 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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  • Federal regulations state that the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the only authorized solicitation of employees in the Federal workplace on behalf of charitable organizations. Under an exception in this regulation at 5 CFR §950.102(a)(2), the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may grant permission for special solicitations of Federal employees, outside of the CFC, in support of victims in cases of emergencies and disasters. All requests must be made in writing and sent to:

    Director, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

    1900 E Street, NW, Room 5450

    Washington, DC 20415

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  • The Central Campaign Administrator (CCA) is required to provide summaries to charitable organizations of the amount of pledges they received by a date determined by OPM. These summaries will be available on the CCA website.
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  • No. The CFC is the only authorized solicitation of employees in the Federal workplace on behalf of charitable organizations. As such, no other fundraiser for charitable organizations is permitted on federal property.
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  • Local organizations must certify that the organization address submitted with the application is the primary location from which the organization's services are rendered and/or its records are maintained. A local organization may apply to as many campaign zones for which this certification can be made. A different five-digit CFC Universal Code, i.e. CFC Code, will be issued for each campaign zone to which an organization applies.
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  • This is not required by the IRS. Please see IRS Publication 526 (page 18) for the required documentation. If using take preparation software that should happen to require an address in order for it to accept the information, please use the address for the local campaign in your area. The address may be found using the Campaign Locator.
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  • Yes. CFC Charity Lists include a 256-character statement that is crafted by the applicant and submitted to OPM.
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  • The CFC regulations do not cover workplace solicitations made on behalf of individuals or their families. As a result, your department or agency does not need OPM's authorization for a solicitation to permit collection of funds for this purpose. However, Federal employees may only solicit funds for fellow employees in need subject to established ethics requirements and non-CFC solicitation requests affecting Federal buildings. A request for donations under either the CFC or a special solicitation is made on behalf of charitable organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of Internal Revenue Code. We strongly encourage you to contact your agency's ethics counsel or General Counsel if you are planning such an activity.
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