Thank you for your interest in the Combined Federal campaign! Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been organized by audience and category. Use the selectors below to find the answers to commonly asked questions.

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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.
A PDF version of the Charity Lists can be downloaded from the Campaign Worker Resources section of this website.

The searchable database can be found via the CFC's Online Giving System.

In CFC zones where printed versions of the charity list are printed, charity lists can be through your local Outreach Coordinator (OC). Campaign contact information can be found here
The approved CFC logos are located here. This site is the only authorized distribution point for CFC logos and all individuals and entities using CFC logos must be registered through this site.
Yes. Federal retirees may participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) by making either a one-time contribution (credit/debit card or e-check) or through monthly deductions from their annuities. Both of these methods can be used on the CFC Online Giving System.
This is not required by the IRS. Please see IRS Publication 526 (page 18) for the required documentation. If using tax 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.
The March 2012 Directive from OPM prohibited the use of CFC funds to pay for food or entertainment expenses. Federal employees who wish to donate food for a CFC event may do so. However, these individuals cannot be reimbursed for any expenses related to the preparation or transportation of the food.
No. In accordance with 5 CFR §950.502(b), no funds may be raised or collected at CFC events.
Yes! A PDF version of the Charity Lists can be downloaded from the Campaign Worker Resources section of this website.

The searchable database can be found via the CFC's Online Giving System.
No. All CFC Charity Lists must be faithful reproductions of those provided by OPM through the Central Campaign Administrator (CCA). This includes the order of local federations and independent organizations within the local portion of the CFC Charity List, which will be determined by a random selection process. The order of organizations within each federation will be determined by that federation. The order within the national and local independent groups will be alphabetical. For more information see 5 CFR §950.401(g)(2).
Yes. See 5 CFR §950.502. Campaign kick-offs, victory events, awards, and other non-solicitation events held to build support for the CFC are encouraged. No funds may be raised or collected at CFC events.
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.
Charities must reapply for the CFC each year. Those that meet the eligibility and listing requirements are included in each campaign's Charity List made available online around Sept 1.
Yes. The CFC regulations, set forth at 5 CFR §950.102, state that the CFC is the only authorized solicitation of employees in the Federal workplace on behalf of charitable organizations. No other monetary solicitation on behalf of charitable organizations may be conducted in the Federal workplace. The CFC regulations do not apply to the collection of gifts-in-kind, such as food, clothing and toys, or to the solicitation of Federal employees outside of the Federal workplace as defined by the applicable Agency Head consistent with General Services Administration regulations and any other applicable laws or regulations. Heads of departments or agencies may establish policies and procedures applicable to solicitations conducted by organizations composed of civilian employees or members of the uniformed services among their own members for organizational support or for the benefit of welfare funds for their members. Such solicitations are not subject to CFC regulations and, therefore, do not require permission of the Director.
No. CFC regulations do not allow for in-kind donation, nor are fundraising events permitted for the CFC.
The CFC is authorized to solicit pledges from Federal employees and retirees during a solicitation period set by the Director between September 1 and January 15. The CFC cannot accept funds that were outside of that time period. Moreover, fundraising events cannot be held for the CFC.
Donors can designate any amount they wish to a charitable organization. There is no limit to the amount a charitable organization can receive.
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) does not require that participating organizations be in existence for a minimum of three years. Organizations that apply to participate as national/international charities may submit examples of services provided within the previous three years to demonstrate a national or international presence. There is no requirement that services were provided in each of those years, however.
To be eligible to participate in the CFC, a charitable organization must be recognized as a tax-exempt non-profit organization under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. An application to participate in the CFC must provide specific information about the organization's accounting, governance, and program functions, as specified in the CFC regulations at 5 CFR §950. The organization must also provide a completed and signed copy of its IRS Form 990 for the most recent fiscal year.
Organizations must demonstrate that they provide services in the service area to which they are applying:
  • National/International organizations provide services in 15 different U.S. states and/or one foreign country over the three year period immediately preceding the start of the campaign’s application year.                                         
  • International organizations are defined in regulation as charitable organizations that provide services either exclusively or in a substantial preponderance to persons in areas outside of the United States. These organizations must provide evidence of services in at least one foreign country over the three year period immediately preceding the start of the campaign’s application year.
  • Local organizations are those that (1) have a substantial local presence in; and (2) provide services in the local campaign zone to which they apply. The services must be provided during the calendar year immediately preceding the start of the campaign’s application year.
Charities may apply to participate in the CFC individually (as an unaffiliated, or "independent", organization) or they may be represented by a federation. A federation is a coalition of individual charities that align to minimize administrative costs and to coordinate activities. All CFC application and participation requirements that apply to individual charities also apply to federations. In addition, federations must demonstrate that they have no fewer than 15 CFC member organizations that meet the CFC eligibility criteria.
Federations and independent organizations submit their applications directly to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management through the CFC application module at CFCcharities.opm.gov.

Members of federations must submit their applications as instructed by the federation.
In accordance with 5 CFR §950.601(a)(1), the application period is during a period between December and January, as determined by the Director. Please look at the CFC Charity Application calendar: https://givecfc.org/charity-application-resources.
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.
Contributions are administered by the Central Campaign Administrator (CCA). The CCA will disburse funds on a monthly starting April 1 immediately following the campaign period.
Yes. CFC Charity Lists include a 256-character statement that is crafted by the applicant and submitted to OPM.
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.
It is the responsibility of the Central Campaign Administrator (CCA) to provide the names, home addresses, and personal (i.e. not federal) email addresses of donors who wish to have their names and contact information released to the designated charitable organizations or their federations, where applicable. The CCA and the federation may not make any other use of donors' names and contact information.
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.
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 went 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 is 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 organizations that receive no benefit from the campaign from applying, thereby reducing administrative costs, and increasing the number of dollars that reach participating charities. It is in the spirit of these recommendations that OPM proposed to restructure CFC cost recovery.
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 in order to be listed in that year's approved Charity List.

Charities that do not pay the listing fee prior to the annual date set by OPM will not be listed in paper or electronic Charity Lists, and CFC contributions will not be processed on their behalf.
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. Download one from the Charity Application Resources page on this website.

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.
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.
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.
Beginning with the 2017 CFC, the CCA started to send payments via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) exclusively. EFT disbursements are required for participating charitable organizations.
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.
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).
While tax deductible, CFC deductions are not pre-tax. Federal law does not allow for charitable donations through payroll deduction (CFC or any other payroll deduction program) to be done pre-tax. Donors who are eligible to itemize charitable contributions on income tax returns may include contributions made through the CFC. Donors should contact a tax advisor for more information.
Due to changes in charity participation, donors must complete a new pledge form each year to indicate the charities to which they wish to designate a contribution. Donors using the CFC's Online Giving System can copy a prior pledge, but they must verify that their favorite charities remain in the campaign in future years. 

CFC payroll deduction allotments start with the pay period AFTER January 15 and continue through the period including January 15 of the following year.   

Charities that participate in the CFC must submit annual applications demonstrating continued compliance with the CFC regulations.  

CFC payroll deductions may be cancelled at any time, but this is the only change permitted outside the solicitation period.  Employees wishing to cancel their deductions should contact their agency payroll office and request the allotment be cancelled.
Federal retirees may make a one-time (i.e., cash, check or credit card) contribution to the CFC, or through their monthly annuity via payroll allotment. Learn more here on the Retiree Resources section of this website.
OPM recovers the costs of marketing and outreach, training, distribution, traveling, and all CCA and Outreach Coordinator expenses through application fees, listing fees, and distribution fees paid by charitable organizations. The CFC uses these funds to maintain, operate, and upgrade the online systems; print materials; train volunteers; and other campaign management and marketing expenses. The distribution fee offsets the expenses not covered by the available application and listing fees. OPM also considers miscellaneous funds available even if they are based on expenses not spent due to virtual campaigning.
5 CFR Part §950.701(e)(1) states, "The minimum amount of the allotment will not be less than $1 per payday per charitable organization, with no restriction on the size of the increment above that minimum." As the purpose of the CFC is not to “increase revenue”, OPM does not plan to change the regulatory minimum.
Yes. Through CFC All-Around Giving, a Federal employee can give to any organization that has been approved by a Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC)—irrespective of geographic boundaries.
Yes. 5 CFR §950.102(a)(1) states new Federal employees must be provided information about the CFC at their orientation and must be allowed to make a pledge within 30 days of starting duty. 
The LFCC has the authority to determine the campaign period in its area. If an agency needs additional time, the LFCC may grant an extension. However, no campaign may start before or extend beyond the dates set annually by the Director of OPM. In accordance with 5 CFR §950.601(a)(3), “The Director will determine the dates of the solicitation period, not to begin prior to September 1 or end later than January 15 of each year.”
Federal contractors working in Federal facilities may make one-time contributions (credit/debit card or e-check) through the CFC. This can be done on the CFC Online Giving System.
You can retrieve your OPM Form 1654 (CFC Pledge Form) online on the CFC Online Giving System. If you made a payroll deduction pledge, you will also need to obtain a copy of your final pay slip for the tax year, which documents the total amount deducted for the CFC.
Yes. One-time gifts using credit/debit cards can be made on the CFC Online Giving System.
A complete IRS Form 990 will include the entire Form 990 itself, and all applicable supplemental/supporting statements with the exception of Schedule B. The IRS Form 990 must also contain all appropriate signatures. Electronic IRS Forms 990 must be accompanied with IRS Form 8879-EO (IRS e-file Signature Authorization for an Exempt Organization") or Form 8453-EO ("Exempt Organization Declaration and Signature for Electronic Filing"). Both Form 8879-EO and 8453-EO require an officer's signature and declaration that the information contained in the document is true, correct, and complete.
No. Starting with the 2017 CFC, all applications—international, national, and local—are centrally submitted. Therefore, the responsibilities of maintaining a database of charitable organizations, notifying them of the application period, and providing a means of application fall to the Central Campaign Administrator (CCA).
OPM will accept a "dba" documentation issued by either the IRS or the state. If a nonprofit organization elects to do business under a name that is different from the one on its IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter, it must obtain "dba" documentation through either the IRS or the state and submit it with the application. While a charitable organization's eligibility status will not be decided based on the name, the name by which it is listed in the CFC Charity List, should the organization be found eligible, will depend on official documentation from the IRS or state sources. Additionally, all charitable organizations are required to include their Employee Identification Number (EIN) in their 25-word statement regardless of whether they are listed under their legal name or a "dba".
Bonafide chapters or affiliates of a larger organization that are not separately incorporated are permitted to submit the parent organization's audited financial statements, to the extent required, and 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) tax exemption letter, but must provide its own pro forma IRS Form 990 for CFC purposes. In order to use the parent organization's tax exemption letter and audited financial statements (if required), the local organization must provide a certification signed by either the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or CEO-equivalent of the parent organization verifying the physical address of the subordinate organization named in the application; and stating that the local charitable organization operates as a bonafide chapter or affiliate in good standing of the parent organization and is covered by the national organization's 501(c)(3) tax-exemption, IRS Form 990, and audited financial statements. A copy of the parent organization's 501(c)(3) letter must accompany the CEO's certification.
No. The required certifications and documentation must have been completed and submitted prior to the application filing deadline. Incomplete applications may not be completed during the appeal process. Further, documents that were not available at the time of the application deadline cannot be considered on appeal.
When a charitable organization joins a federation, it must allow that federation to complete one full campaign cycle involving distribution payments. This does not prevent the charitable organization from signing with a new federation, but the original federation must complete the distribution cycle. For example, a member organization of a federation in the 2017 CFC must allow that federation to complete its distribution for that member through the final payment, which would occur in 2019. The member organization is permitted to join another federation during 2018, but it may not take the distribution away from the original federation.
Yes. However, it must separately apply to all CFC zones in which it wishes to apply.
Not as a federation. It can be listed as an independent organization if it meets all required criteria.
A federation must have 15 qualifying member organizations, in addition to itself, at the time of its application to be deemed eligible for participation as a federation. The Central Campaign Administrator’s application system will not allow an organization to apply under more than one federation. In these cases, organizations and federations must come to an agreement as to how member organizations are to be listed before applications are submitted. Federations are only listed if they have 15 or more eligible members. If the federation has 14 or fewer members at the time of application, the member organizations will convert to independent organizations.
The CFC will continue to use the IRS Form 990 as verification of the administrative costs. The FASB application must be handled at the organization management level.
The Loaned Executive program was initiated in 1971 by Presidential Order. A Loaned Executive is a Federal Employee that is "loaned" by their agency to work on the CFC. Loaned Executives are usually relieved of all work duties for the period they are working on the CFC. The role of a Loaned Executive is to conduct all solicitations among the Federal employees in a campaign area. They are usually trained by the Outreach Coordinator (OC) and work out of the OC’s space during the campaign period.
No. A retiree can volunteer to help on the campaign but cannot represent any government entity or solicit federal employees.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision referenced above applies to the use of appropriated funds to provide refreshments at CFC events only. The decision to use appropriated funds in other ways to support the CFC may be made by each agency. As before, campaigns are responsible for clearing all CFC events and fundraisers with the agency ethics officers in advance.
No. The agreement must be between the Loaned Executive and his/her supervisor. This issue must be addressed at the LFCC level.
Some Federal agencies will cover the costs for such travel. LFCC members are encouraged to consult with their agency prior to charging the expenses to the CFC.
OPM does not set a monetary goal for the CFC nationally. The Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC) may set a monetary goal for its CFC zone. Each federal agency or military installation may also set monetary goals.
No. Local charitable organizations which meet all criteria and are eligible must be notified of LFCCs’ determinations via email in accordance with the timeline set by the Director of OPM.
No. A federation and its member organizations must apply on an annual basis to the CFC and all of its existing member organization applications should be kept on file at the federation. The federation is required to submit all of its members' applications the first year it applies for federation status. Either the full application or the verification application will be due in subsequent years, IAW 5 CFR §950.201(c).
No. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) was established by Executive Order. Agency heads may not prevent, impede, or otherwise block solicitation of federal employees within their agency or command without the written approval of the Director of OPM.
Yes. Charitable organizations should contact their local CFC office for information on CFC events.  Campaigns must notify all participating organizations (local, national, or international) of opportunities to participate in events in the local campaign area.
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.