The mission of the CFC is to support and to promote philanthropy through a voluntary program that is employee-focused, cost-efficient and effective in providing all Federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.
What is the CFC?
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the only authorized solicitation of Federal employees in their workplaces on behalf of approved charitable organizations.
The CFC began in the early 1960Â's to coordinate the fundraising efforts of various charitable organizations so that the Federal donor would only be solicited once in the workplace and have the opportunity to make charitable contributions through payroll deduction.
Federal employees continue to make the CFC the largest and most successful workplace philanthropic fundraiser in the world. Continuing a long-standing tradition of selfless giving, in 2008, Federal employees raised over $275 million dollars for charitable causes around the world.
Structure of the CFC
The CFC is made up of local campaigns that organize the annual fund raising effort in Federal workplaces in the United States and abroad.
Each local campaign is managed by a Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC), which serves as a Â"Board of Directors"Â for the local campaign. The LFCC is comprised of Federal employees and representatives of labor unions with Federal employees as members. The LFCC is responsible for the oversight of the local CFC. In conformance with CFC regulations and policies, the LFCC makes admission determinations for local charities and selects a Principal Combined Fund Organization (PCFO) to administer the day-to-day operations of the campaign and to serve as its fiscal agent.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulates the CFC and provides guidance and oversight to the local campaigns (LFCCs and PCFOs).
OPM is accountable for assuring Federal employees that their designations are honored and distributed to the charitable organizations of their choice. OPM achieves this in several ways.
OPM maintains strict eligibility and public accountability criteria that all participating CFC charities must meet. For details, see CFC Regulations in 5 CFR Part 950 at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/opmmemos/index.asp.
OPM annually makes admission decisions for all national and international charity applicants and it resolves local charity admission appeals. OPM sets strict requirements and provides on-going guidance for the activities and conduct of the LFCC and the PCFO. The fiscal integrity of the campaign is verified by OPM compliance audits and the annual review of local campaign audits that PCFOs are required to have completed by an independent CPA.
The CFC Charity List
The Charity List is a paper or web-based display of national, international, and local organizations that have met CFC eligibility requirements. A sample charity listing is shown below with key elements shown in italics. Key elements include: the organizationÂ's five-digit CFC code, the legal name in parentheses shown if it is Â"doing business asÂ" another name, the employer identification number (EIN), a 25-word statement of purpose (except in abbreviated listings), its administrative and it's fundraising expense rate (AFR).
Sample Charity Listing
11405 ABC Charity (Alpha-Charity) (800) 555-5555 www.abccharity.org EIN#12-3456789 ABC Charity attacks the causes of hunger and poverty by promoting effective and innovative community-based solutions that create self-reliance, economic justice, and food security. 15.8%
Making Informed Giving Decisions
The EIN, is included to help donors identify organizations that meet their interests and performance standards. The EIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It can be used for obtaining additional information about an organization from the IRS (877-829-5500). Please Note: Some organizations may be covered under an umbrella organizationÂ's tax exemption status and EIN or may not be required to have an EIN.
The AFR represents the percentage of dollars spent on administering the charity. It is calculated as a percentage of the organizationÂ's total support and revenue. OPM, as well as the philanthropic community at large, remains concerned about excessive AFR levels. The philanthropic community generally considers an AFR in excess of 35 percent to be problematic. Potential CFC donors should carefully review the circumstances applicable to the potential charities of their choice to be certain they fully understand and accept the AFR situations for such charities before donating to them. Each situation is unique. Donors may contact the charity directly and/or industry oversight organizations in order to better to understand the financial status, service delivery record, and governance policies of the charity before donating. A listing of oversight organizations is available at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/Donors/Giving.asp .
Another tool, Service Categories (Taxonomy Codes) are available in the on-line search engine. These codes categorize the types of services that most charitable organizations offer. Charities self-select up to three alpha-codes (shown below) for inclusion in the CFC charity list. Charities that did not select at least one category are assigned "Z" for the "Other" category.
The 26 service categories are derived from the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) classification system. This system, developed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics, is widely used in the non-profit community.
SERVICE CATEGORIES (TAXONOMY)
A Arts, Culture, and Humanities
B Educational Institutions & Related Activities
C Envir. Quality, Protection & Beautification
D Animal Related
E Health, General and Rehabilitative
F Mental Health, Crisis Intervention
G Disease, Disorders, Medicinal Disciplines
H Medical Research
I Crime, Legal Related
J Employment, Job Related
K Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition
L Housing, Shelter
M Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief
N Recreation, Sports, Leisure, Athletics
O Youth Development
P Human Services, Multipurpose and Other
Q International, Foreign Affairs, National Security
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
S Community Improvement, Capacity Building
T Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Foundations
U Science & Technology Research Institutes, Services
V Social Science Research Institutes, Services
W Public, Social Benefit: Multipurpose, Other
X Religion Related, Spiritual Development
Y Mutual/Membership Benefit Orgs., Other
For additional guidance on selecting charities, visit the CFC website at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/html/qfd.asp .
Do I Have To Give Through The CFC?
No. Participation in the CFC is strictly voluntary.
Coercion is forbidden. You have the right not to be improperly influenced regarding your decision to give or not to give through the CFC. Prohibited practices include, but are not limited to: supervisors soliciting the employees they supervise; setting 100% participation goals, providing and using donor lists for purposes other than the routine collection and forwarding of contributions and installment pledges, establishing personal dollar goals and quotas, and developing and using lists of non-contributing employees.
If you prefer, you may donate to the CFC anonymously by placing your confidential gift in a sealed envelope. Civilian employees may register complaints about coercion with the LFCC and contact their personnel offices; military personnel should contact the LFCC or their commanding officers. If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily, military personnel may also contact the Department of Defense Washington Headquarters Services at (703) 699-1841.
Can I Specify Which Organization Will Receive My Contribution?
By designating where your CFC contribution will go, you ensure that your donation goes to meet the needs that you feel are most important. You may designate the organizations of your choice where indicated on your pledge form by entering the five-digit code and the amount you wish to pledge. Additional designations may be completed on a second pledge form. Except for documented expenses for the operation of the local CFCs and uncollected pledges, all contributions are distributed as designated.
The CFC is a donor-designated campaign. There is no limit to the amount of contributions an organization may receive through the CFC.
You cannot designate to an organization that is not listed in this Charity List. Adding organizations not listed, or "write-ins", is prohibited by CFC regulations and donations to such organizations will be treated as undesignated funds. In addition, pledges made using anything other than the assigned five-digit codes cannot be honored and will be treated as undesignated funds.
What Are Affiliated And Independent Organizations And Federations? Affiliated organizations receive services from a Federation that supplies common fundraising, administrative, and management services to its member organizations. Charitable organizations participating in the CFC as a member of a federation may pay dues or fees to that federation as a service charge. Independent organizations are not members of a federation and participate in the CFC on their own.
For additional information on a particular federation and any dues/fees paid by its members, either contact the federation, its members, or review the federation's annual report.
How Do I Designate A Federation, Or Alternatively, One Of Its Members, To Receive My Contribution?
If you wish to designate all or some portion of your contribution to a federation, please record that federation's corresponding five-digit code number on your pledge form. The federation name will be listed at the top of the list of the federation's member organizations. Contributions designated to a federation will be shared in accordance with the federation's policy. If you wish to designate all or some portion of your contribution to an affiliated federation member organization, please record that organization's corresponding five-digit code number on your pledge form.
How Do I Designate An Independent Organization To Receive My Contribution?
You may wish to designate to an independent organization that is not affiliated with a Federation. Simply enter that organization's five-digit code number on your pledge form.
What If I Choose Not To Specify An Organization Or Federation To Receive My CFC Contribution?
All funds contributed to the CFC that are not designated to a specific organization or federation will be treated as undesignated funds and distributed to all organizations listed in the CFC Charity List in the same proportion as they received designations. Organizations that do not receive designated dollars cannot receive any portion of the undesignated distribution.
What Is The International General Designation Option?
If you wish to have your contribution distributed proportionately among all international organizations that received designated gifts, you may do so by entering five number ones: 11111 on your pledge form.
What Is The Payroll Deduction Option?
Payroll deduction makes it convenient for you to give by letting you spread your contribution across the entire year. Last year, more than 90% of all CFC funds raised were made through payroll deduction. Payments on payroll deduction pledges begin on the first pay period beginning in January and conclude with the last pay period beginning in December. There is no simpler way for you to make good things happen for so many people than to contribute using payroll deduction. Payroll deduction helps you care for your community and your world.
Will I Receive A Receipt For My Contribution?
Donors should keep a copy of their pledge form, as well as their pay statements, as a receipt of their pledge. A Federal employee who makes a one-time (cash, check, or money order) contribution must maintain a bank record or a written communication from the local campaign showing the name of the organizations contributed to, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution. Every effort will be made by the local campaign to provide a receipt to donors, but it is the responsibility of the donor to request such a receipt from the local campaign. Donors that do not receive a receipt should contact the local campaign to obtain one. Local campaigns can be found using the Campaign Locater search feature on the CFC website at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/Search/Locator.asp . Donors should consult a tax adviser to determine if additional verification of the donation is required by the IRS.
What Are The Costs Of The Campaign?
Historically, campaign costs nationwide have averaged ten percent. These funds were spent on printing materials, training volunteers, auditing contributions, and other administrative expenses. All local campaign costs are reviewed and approved by the LFCC governing the local campaign. Here in the Gateway Region we have averaged less than 8%, in part due to wonderful volunteers. On average, this cost is low compared with other fundraising campaigns; therefore, every dollar you pledge goes a very long way toward helping others.
What Is Online Pledging or E-Giving?
Online pledging and e-giving, in general terms, means that donors have the additional pledging tools of the charity list and pledge form available to them "on-line" or on the internet or intranet. Currently, several local campaigns are participating in pilot projects that offer on-line charity lists and secure pledge transactions through the Employee Express (EEX) HR System. Other campaigns have web-based charity lists and downloadable pledge forms. If you would like to have access to on-line giving tools such as these in your area, or have comments to share, please contact OPM at firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: Online Giving, or your local campaign. Local campaigns can be found using the Campaign Locater search feature on the CFC website at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/Search/Locator.asp . Visit the CFC Homepage for more information about the CFC, including details on the public accountability standards for participating charities, how to contact your local CFC campaign, and more, visit the CFC Home Page at www.opm.gov/cfc .
If you would like more information about the finances, services, benefits or programs an organization provides, you may contact the organization directly using the information provided with their listing in this brochure. Interested donors may also obtain information about a charity's finances and compliance with charitable organization standards of accountability by contacting the Better Business Bureau's-Wise Giving Alliance: www.give.org.
For general information about trends in giving and volunteering or data on the nonprofit sector, donors may contact:
GuideStar: www.guidestar.org -- includes public assess to IRS form 990s as filed by non-profit organizations
America's Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal: www.volunteer.gov -- for volunteer opportunities
Independent Sector: www.independentsector.org
National Center for Charitable Statistics: www.nccs.urban.org
American Association of Fundraising Counsel www.aafrc.org
Volunteer Match: www.volunteermatch.org