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Frequently Asked Questions Combined Federal Campaign

Charity Eligibility & Participation

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Yes. CFC Charity Lists include a 256-character statement that is crafted by the applicant and submitted to OPM.
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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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  • 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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  • Every applicant must submit an IRS Form 990 (or pro forma IRS Form 990) with its CFC application. If the Internal Revenue Service does not require the organization to file the IRS Form 990 ("long form"), it must complete and submit a pro forma IRS Form 990 with its CFC application. IRS Forms 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-N, and other comparable forms will not be accepted. Organizations that file these forms must submit a pro forma IRS Form 990.

     

    The organization's revenue can be found on page 9, line 12, column A of the IRS Form 990 (or pro forma IRS Form 990).

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  • No. Your organization’s tier and AFR are determined using the total revenue reported on the IRS Form 990 that you submitted to the Internal Revenue Service or the pro forma IRS Form 990 you complete for CFC purposes only. The organization’s IRS Form 990 (or pro forma IRS Form 990) must be for the same fiscal period as the audited (or reviewed) financial statements submitted with the CFC application.
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