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Frequently Asked Questions Combined Federal Campaign

Charity Eligibility & Participation

  • The fee structure is based on tiers for different types of organizations. 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.

    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.

    Tier I Organizations are those that report $1 million or more in revenue.

    Tier II Organizations are those that report $250 thousand or more in revenue, but less than $1 million.

    Tier III Organizations are those that report less than $250 thousand in revenue.

     

    APPLICATION FEES

    Nat'l/Int'l Federation $1,575 Nat'l/Int'l Federation Member Org. $400 Nat'l/Int'l Independent Org. $570 Local Federation $630 Local Federation Member Org. $255 Local Independent Org. $340

     

    LISTING FEES

    Tier I Nat'l/Int'l Organizations $2,270 Tier II Nat'l/Int'l Organizations $555 Tier III Nat'l/Int'l Organizations $370 Tier I Local Organizations $635 Tier II Local Organizations $135 Tier III Local Organizations $20
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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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  • 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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  • Organizations receiving designations in the 2015 and 2016 CFCs will continue to receive disbursements in the same way they do currently. Beginning with the 2017 CFC, the CCA will send payments via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer). EFT disbursements are required for participating charitable organizations.
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  • Application fees are due at the time of the filing of the application or the application deadline, whichever occurs last. An organization that has not paid the full application fee at that time may not participate in the CFC that campaign year.

    Listing fees will be applied to all organizations approved for participation. If the listing fee is not submitted prior to the annual date set by OPM, the approved charity will not be listed in the paper or electronic Charity Lists and CFC contributions will not be processed on their behalf.

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  • 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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  • Starting with the 2017 application period, organizations that choose to apply to the CFC program must pay the application fee when submitting an application via the online application system. Listing fees are only paid by organizations approved to participate in the campaign.
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  • Organizations that are not required to file IRS Form 990 with the IRS or that file some other form—such as the IRS Forms 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF—must submit a pro forma IRS Form 990. This includes subordinates to group exemptions and bonafide chapters or affiliates, which are required to submit pro forma IRS Forms 990 specific to the entity and service location named in the CFC application.

    The pro forma IRS Form 990 is not a separate form. Rather it is a partially completed IRS Form 990 that is used for CFC purposes only. The following items must be completed on the pro forma IRS Form 990:

    • 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
    • Part XII, Financial Statements and Reporting

    Please note that the CFC cannot accept other forms, such as IRS Forms 990-EZ, 990-N, 990-PF, or other comparable forms.

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  • The application fee is charged to the organization to process the application to become a CFC charity. The listing fee will be applied to all charities approved for participation. These charities will not be listed in paper or electronic Charity Lists, and CFC contributions will not be processed on their behalf, if they do not submit the listing fee prior to the annual date set by OPM.
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  • No. CFC participating organizations must annually submit an application; however, pursuant to 5 CFR §950.201(c), organizations must submit the full application in the initial year for which it applies to participate in the CFC. Moreover, organizations must submit the full application once every three years and may submit an abbreviated verification application in the intervening years. The verification application consists of the certification statements contained within the application and the IRS Form 990 (or pro forma IRS Form 990).

    For previously participating organizations, the "Application Year" indicates the CFC year for which the full application is next due. The verification application is due annually until that time.

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