What's New - OPM Communications to Federations and Independent Charities
For 2017 POLICY CONCERNS CONTACT OPM DIRECTLY: 202-606-2564 or CFC@OPM.gov.
OPM has extended the charity application deadline to MARCH 17, 2017.
Please Click Here for CFC Overview & 2017 Charity Application Instructions.
CFC MEMORANDUM FROM OPM
From: Internet, CFC [mailto:CFC@opm.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 11:46 AM
Subject: 2017 CFC Application Extension
Through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), our Federal family demonstrates that our shared commitment to public service extends far beyond the workplace. Every year, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) seeks applications from charitable organizations such as yours to participate in the CFC. Last month, we were pleased to announce the opening of the new CFC Application System and, pursuant to 5 CFR §950.601(a)(1), it was announced that the system would receive applications through January 31, 2017. Previously, we extended that deadline through February 28, 2017.
The response to system has been tremendous and the Office of CFC continues to offer organizations training on the use of the new system and on newly revised CFC regulations, which came into effect on January 1, 2017. We also found some misunderstanding among charities about the new application process. Therefore, in an effort to clarify the process and to offer every opportunity to nonprofit organizations seeking to participate in this outstanding program, the OPM Acting Director has agreed to extend the application deadline through March 17, 2017. The system will close at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time on that date.
If you have any questions regarding the application process or if you require technical assistance with the new CFC Application System, please contact the CFC Customer Care Center at (888)232-4935 or (608)237-4935 or via email at email@example.com. Callers using TTY can call (800)203-6280 or (608)268-7740. Those with questions concerning CFC regulations or policy guidance can contact the Office of CFC at (202)606-2564 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support of the Combined Federal Campaign.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Dear Charities and Local Federal Coordinating Committees:
I am pleased to announce that the Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management has granted an extension on the application deadline for the 2017 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). The application deadline is now February 28, 2017. While we have had a tremendous response to the new online application system, there is concern that the message has not filtered to all the local charities. We want to ensure that all charities have the opportunity to apply. We understand that for many the January 31 deadline was a significant change from prior years and they may not have been prepared. During this extension, our office will be focused on ensuring that organizations are aware of the new online application process and deadline.
To assist us in getting the word to charities, we ask that any organizations that have participated in the CFC as federations in the past and are choosing to apply as independent organizations for 2017 forward this email to their member organizations so they may apply.
The online application is located at cfccharities.opm.gov . If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact Customer Care at email@example.com or 888-232-4935. If you have any policy questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 606-2564.
Keith Willingham, Director
Office of Combined Federal Campaign
CFC MEMORANDUM FROM OPM
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 3:28 PM
From: "Internet, CFC" <CFC@opm.gov>
Subject: CFC System is Now Open!
Dear Federations and Charities:
It is with great pride and excitement I am announcing that the new CFC charity online application system is now open to accepting applications for the 2017 CFC campaign. Please go to https://cfccharities.opm.gov/#/home to submit your application. The application deadline is January 31, 2017. If you have any questions regarding the use of the online application system, please call the Customer Care Center at 888-232-4935. If you have any policy questions, please contact our office at 202-606-2564 or send them to email@example.com.
It is important to note: 1) All organizations must apply each year whether they are required to provide a full application or a verification application; 2) All organizations must pay the application fee whether they provide a full application or verification application; and 3) Providing a verification application does not mean your organization has been automatically approved for participation in that campaign.
Key Program Improvements
There are several changes being implemented this year which I feel have amazing potential for the 2017 CFC campaign. Two key improvements are: 1) Federal annuitants may now be solicited and will be able to pledge through their annuities, which will double the current donor base; and 2) Federal donors may register to volunteer time to your organization through the CFC.
We will be scheduling application training sessions early next month. I recommend you register your organization in the online application system and peruse it prior to attending training to get the most benefit.
I look forward to an exciting and vibrant 2017 campaign.
Keith Willingham, Director
Office of Combined Federal Campaign
December 14, 2016
Dear CFC-Participating Federations and Independent Organizations:
Please find attached a list of all charities with their application cycle and the CFC zone to which we anticipate their application. Note that a previously released and subsequently updated version of this file has been circulated. That file is void as the attached contains the data that will be reflected in the CFC Application System.
The data fields in the attached are as follows:
* CFC Code - The five-digit CF Universal Code assigned to the organization by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
* Service Area - The area to which the organization provides services per certification on its last application. Either "NATIONAL", "INTERNATIONAL", or "LOCAL".
* Affiliation - Either "FEDERATION", "MEMBER", or "INDEPENDENT".
* Legal Name - The name of the organization as it appears on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Exempt Organization (EO) Business Master File (BMF).
* EIN - The Employer Identification Number assigned to this organization by the IRS.
* Federation - If Affiliation is either "FEDERATION" or "MEMBER", this is the CFC Code of the Federation with which the organization is affiliated.
* App. Year - This is the CFC year for which the full application is due. Either "2017", "2018", or "2019". For example, if "2017" is given, the full application is due for the 2017 CFC and should be submitted during the application period to be specified for the 2017 CFC.
* Zone - This is the Zone ID of the CFC zone to which OPM anticipates the application will be submitted. APPLICATION TO THIS ZONE IS NOT REQUIRED. It is based on the address provided in the application and can be changed accordingly.
* Tentative Zone Name - The zone names are included to give an idea of the areas covered by the zone. More information on zones will be forthcoming. The information posted here < Caution-https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=347df60ea1547ee53f9e33bf12e8f1d4&tab=core&_cview=1 > gives the most recently released approximation of the zones' geography, to include a campaign to zone crosswalk and a map.
Please forward any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Combined Federal Campaign
ATTACHMENT TO THIS MEMO: http://www.norcalcfc.org/files/NorCal Application Cycles UPDATED 12-14-2016.xlsx
CFC MEMORANDUM 2016-08
November 30, 2016
TO: COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN-PARTICPATING FEDERATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS, LOCAL FEDERAL COORDINATING COMMITTEES AND PRINCIPAL COMBINED FUND ORGANIZATIONS
FROM: KEITH WILLINGHAM, DIRECTOR, COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN
SUBJECT: 2017 APPLICATION TEMPLATES
As we prepare for the launch of the new Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) system, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is providing the attached templates showing the information that will be requested by that online system. These templates are not to be used for applications and will not be accepted by OPM. The only method for applying to the CFC will be through the online application system. Paper applications will not be accepted and will be returned unprocessed
In accordance with 5 CFR §950.601(a)(1), the online application system will be open during a period between December and January, as determined by the Director of OPM. OPM will notify organizations when the online application is open to applicants. Some items for you to consider as you prepare your documentation:
- Attachment A – This is a single service description that is comprised of four fields:
- location of service;
- service description;
- number of beneficiaries; and
- monetary value of the service provided.
The service description is a text field with a limit of 256 characters for services rendered.. The system will not accept service listings that exceed the 256 character limit. This field must indicate who provided the service and the date(s) the service was provided. You may include multiple services or service descriptions, for a given location (locality, state, or country); however, the service must be completely described within only one attachment. OPM will not consider services rendered that are listed in more than one attachment. For each service, you must provide either the number of beneficiaries or the monetary value of the service provided.
EXAMPLE OF ACCEPTABLE MULTIPLE SERVICES RENDERED WITHIN A STATE:
Attachment A (1) – Illinois – Chicago – Provided cancer screenings to 256 residents on March 15, 2016. Provided referrals when necessary.
Attachment A (2) – Illinois – Springfield – Provided workshop for 50 caregivers on May 15, 2016. Provided information on local resources.
EXAMPLE OF UNACCEPTABLE SINGLE SERVICE RENDERED WITHIN A STATE:
Attachment A (1) – Illinois – Chicago – Our organization was founded in 1995 and is dedicated to eradicating cancer. Our founder, Mr. John Doe, was passionate about this cause and devoted his life to this cause. He lost his mother to cancer and it affected him profoundly. Provided cancer screenings
Attachment A (2) – Illinois – Chicago – CONTINUED –to 256 residents on March 15, 2016. Provided referrals when necessary.
OPM recommends that you prepare your Attachment A information in such a way that enables you to easily copy and paste the information into the application system.
- IRS Determination Letter – The online application system will perform an automatic verification against the IRS Business Master File (BMF) when you enter your Employer Identification Number. If your organization is found in the BMF, you will not need to upload the IRS Determination Letter. If it is not found in the BMF, you will need to upload the appropriate, currently dated documentation to support the certification that your organization is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Audited Financial Statements – The threshold for requiring an audit has been changed and is the same whether you are applying as a national, international or local organization. The new thresholds are:
- Organizations with revenues of $250,000 or greater are required to have their financial statements audited annually by an Independent Public Accountant. The audited must be in accordance with either U. S. GAAP or International Auditing Standards and must be presented using the accrual basis of accounting. The complete audited financial statements must be uploaded into the application system in PDF format. The audit report must clearly show the name of the firm that performed the audit as well as their contact information.
- Organizations with revenues of at least $100,000 and less than $250,000 may still choose to have an audit, but are only required to have a review performed by an Independent Public Accountant. The statements must be presented using the accrual basis of accounting. The complete reviewed financial statements must be uploaded into the application system in PDF format. The review report must clearly show the name of the firm that performed the review as well as their contact information.
- Organizations with revenues less than $100,000 are not required to have an audit or review. The organization must certify in the application that it has controls in place to ensure that funds are properly accounted for and that it can provide accurate and timely financial information to interested parties.
- IRS Form 990 – Your organization’s most recent IRS Form 990, for the same fiscal period covered by the audited financial statements, must be uploaded to the application system in PDF format. Please ensure the PDF copy uploaded includes the signature of an officer of the organization. The signature of the accountant preparing the form is not sufficient (nor is it required if the form was not prepared by an outside accounting firm). The uploaded document must include all schedules that were filed with the IRS with the exception of the list of donors.
If your organization is not required to file an IRS Form 990 (either exempt from filing or files a different form such as the 990EZ or 990PF), you will need to prepare a “pro-forma” IRS Form 990. This involves downloading a blank IRS Form 990 from the IRS website (www.irs.gov) and completing the following sections:
- 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; and
- Part XII, Financial Statements and Reporting.
All the above must be completed in accordance with the instructions for the IRS Form 990.
Organizations are required to apply each year, but a complete application is only required every third year if you were approved for participation in the prior campaign. The intervening years only require a verification application which consists of certifications of all applicable statements required by 5 CFR §950.202 and §950.203 and an IRS Form 990 or “pro forma” IRS Form 990. An organization that did not apply or was not approved for participation in the preceding campaign must submit a complete application.
OPM will soon send a separate memo listing which currently participating CFC-organizations will need to submit only a verification application for the 2017 campaign.
ATTACHMENTS FROM THE MEMO:
CFC MEMORANDUM 2016-06 November 9, 2016
Letter from the Office of CFC Operations, Office of Personnel Management
October 18, 2016
Dear CFC Participating Charities:
I am sure you have heard that there will be changes to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) starting with the 2017 campaign. We are very excited about these changes as we believe they will increase both your pledge dollars and your volunteer rosters. Some of the changes are:
1) All applications will be done online through a centralized system;
2) All distributions will be made from one centralized source;
3) You will have an online dashboard within the centralized system to track your pledges and receipts;
4) Federal retirees will now be able to pledge through their annuities (doubling the current donor base of the CFC);
5) Federal donors may register to volunteer time to your organization through the CFC; and
6) The costs of the CFC will be paid through fees.
With the change to the centralized application system, the application period may be earlier than many of you are used to. We recommend you review the new regulations at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2014/04/17/2014-08574/solicitation-of-federal-civilian-and-uniformed-service-personnel-for-contributions-to-private to ensure you have all the necessary information ready when the application period opens. While most of the eligibility requirements remain the same, there was a change regarding audits. The new requirements are:
(i) An organization with annual revenue of less than $100,000 reported on its IRS Form 990 or pro forma IRS Form 990 submitted to the CFC is not required to undergo an audit, submit audited financial statements, or to account for its funds on an accrual basis in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Rather, the organization must certify that it has controls in place to ensure that funds are properly accounted for and that it can provide accurate and timely financial information to interested parties.
(ii) An organization with annual revenue of at least $100,000 but less than $250,000 is not required to undergo an audit. The organization must certify that its financial statements are reviewed by an independent certified public accountant on an annual basis or are audited by an independent public accountant on an annual basis. A copy of the reviewed or audited financial statements must be included with the application. The financial statements must cover the fiscal period ending not more than 18 months prior to the January of the year of the campaign for which the organization is applying. The organization must certify that it accounts for its funds on an accrual basis in accordance with United States or International generally accepted accounting principles.
(iii) An organization with annual revenues of at least $250,000 must certify that it accounts for its funds on an accrual basis in accordance with United States or International generally accepted accounting principles and that an audit of its fiscal operations is completed annually by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. A copy of the organization's most recent annual audited financial statements must be included with the application. The statements must include all statements required for voluntary health and welfare organizations by the United States Financial Accounting Standards Board or the International Accounting Standards Board. The audited financial statements must cover the fiscal period ending not more than 18 months prior to the January of the year of the campaign for which the organization is applying.
We will be sending out more emails over the next month as we prepare for the application system to open. Please ensure you have email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org marked as safe addresses so these emails do not end up in your spam boxes. Please also contact us, if there are additional email addresses to include for your organization. When you send this information, please include your organization name and 5 digit CFC code so we can attach the information to the correct organization.
Keith Willingham, Director
Combined Federal Campaign
For 2017 QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS CONTACT OPM DIRECTLY: 202-606-2564 or CFC@OPM.gov.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducted an audit of the 2014 applications and noted that numerous charities were using United States Postal Service (USPS) recognized Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies such as UPS stores, Mail Boxes Etc. virtual office spaces and other mail delivery address as their required local presence address. This practice concerns OPM greatly as they constitute FALSE CERTIFICATION on a Federal government form. See 5 CFR 950(b) (i) for the defination of substantial local presence. USPS recognized Commercial Mail Receiving Agences and virtual office space addresses are not acceptable. OPM further states FEDERATIONS should take care to ensure their member charities are providing proper infromation for local presence as FEDERATIONS are required to certify that their member qualify. A FEDERATION is subject to the same penalities for false certification as its member organization or an independent charity. See CFC MEMORANDUM 2015 - 07 AND CFC MEMORANDUM 2015 - 08
Universal Giving (UG) and the elimination of adjacent and statewide eligibility as well as impending regulatory changes necessitated OPM to clarify CFC eligibility requirements. CFC Memorandum 2015 - 08 supersedes CFC Memorandum 2009-04. Charities that participate in the CFC at the local level are required to document that they have been granted section 501(c) (3) tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In addition to providing documentation that proves the charity is tax-exempt, OPM also verifies the charity appears in the IRS Business Master File (BMF) annually. The only applicants not subject to these requirements ar Family Support and Youth Activities, also know as Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) organizations on military installations or within Federal facilities. See MEMORANDUM 2015 - 08 for specifice tax-emempt status categories.
In past years, local charities interested in participating in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) were required to submit an application to each campaign region where they may qualify. This required that charities become familiar with the addresses and application deadlines for each region as well as the requirements for demonstrating an adjacent or statewide presence. With the implementation of Universal Giving (see CFC Memorandum 2014-03), through which any CFC donor may contribute to any participating charity regardless of geographic location, the adjacent and statewide presence options have been removed from the CFC charity applications.
This change will reduce the burden on charities to apply for participation, as well as on the Federal employees responsible for the review of charity applications, while continuing to give Federal employees the option to make a pledge to any eligible charity through the CFC.
The 2015 CFC applications have been revised to require that each participating charity document that it has a substantial local presence in the campaign region to which it is applying. The CFC regulations define a substantial local presence as a staffed facility, office or portion of a residence dedicated exclusively to the organization and available to members of the public seeking its services or benefits. The facility must be open at least 15 hours a week and have a telephone dedicated exclusively to the organization.
This change means that each organization may apply to the CFC only once. Each organization will apply through the campaign where it meets the local presence criteria. If approved, it will appear in the local campaign’s paper Charity List and be made available to all Federal employees, regardless of their geographic location, via online CFC search engines.
Local federation applications have also been revised to require that each federation only include member organizations that meet the local presence criterion for the campaign to which it is applying. Federations cannot include organizations that qualify based only on adjacent or statewide presence.
Any human health and welfare non-profit organization located within the NorCal region of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) may apply to participate in the NorCal CFC. Non-profit organizations must meet criteria established by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and be verified by the Iinternal Revenue Service (IRS) to be in good standing. For more information about eligibility requirements, click here. To view the federal regulations outlining eligibility requirements, click here .
Your charity is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 in good standing
Your organization provides services within the NorCal Region
Your IRS 990 Form reports an active Board or Directors and the majority serve without compensation
Your charity has a staffed facility or dedicated portion of a residence that is "open to the public" a minimum of 15 hours per weekh a dedicated phone number specific to the charity's use.
Your charity has an annual independent audit and can provide the auditor's complete financial statements.
FEDERATION - Federations are umbrella organizations that provide administrative, marketing and fundraising support for member charities. Federation must have a minimum of 15 members plus their application to apply as a federation. Members of Federations should apply for CFC eligibility through their
INDEPENDENT CHARITY - An independent charity applies to participate in the CFC on their own behalf and receives designations directly from the CFC administrative agency.
APPLICATION SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION ATTACHMENT REQUIREMENTS
The application certifications require supporting documentation. Use the examples below to verify your documentation is submitted correctly. All federations and charity must submit with their application either the IRS 990 long form submitted to the IRS or a "proforma" IRS 990 with the required information for CFC purposes. If your organization is not required to submit an IRS 990 form to the IRS, download the IRS 990 form below and complete the required information found in the guidance and instructions.
Sample IRS Determination Letter Sample IRS Affirmation Letter Sample IRS Group Exemption Letter Sample IRS Subordinate List Sample Group Exemption Letter - Religious Organization Sample Bona-Fide Chapter & Affiliates Verification Universal Code Reqirements Matrix Proforma IRS 990 Form MWR Commander Certification Example
Annual Application - All interested charities MUST apply/reapply ANNUALLY.
CFC Disbursement Process
The vast majority of federal employee donations to non-profit organizations through the CFC NorCal are made through payroll deduction. The CFC Norcal begins receiving payroll deductions in January of each year for pledges made during the preceding campaign. For example, in January 2016, the CFC Norcal will begin receiving payroll deductions from pledges made during the 2015 campaign, which ends December 31, 2015.
The CFC NorCal notifies all non-profit organizations that received pledges of the estimated amount that they can expect to receive by a deadline established by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).