2019 CFC Application: How America’s Charities Continues to Work for You

As stated in our latest update from President & CEO Jim Starr, the 2018 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is currently underway and will be running through January 11, 2019. 

As 2018 comes to a close, our team is now shifting gears to review documentation provided as part of your 2019 membership application, through which we collect all required materials to apply on your behalf to the CFC and hundreds of other municipal and corporate workplace giving campaigns nationwide. We have maintained a perfect acceptance record for our member nonprofits in the CFC the past two years and pride ourselves on almost 40 years of expertise on the subject. However, reviewing each document against federal charitable solicitation requirements takes time. We thank you for your patience as we continue to carefully review materials.

In the meantime, here’s some information on how you can help ensure your success in accessing the 2019 CFC:

  1. Respond to any requests for additional information from your 2019 membership application to America’s Charities –Membership applications were due October 5 and are well under review. A member of our team will reach out to you via email with any requests for needed items before closing your file and recommending your organization for approval to our executive committee. Please be sure to respond to any requests for clarification and/or additional documentation needed for your 2019 membership application, as this will affect whether we are able to submit an application on your behalf to the CFC. Once all items are found to be in order, you will receive an email notification letting you know that our review is complete and we are in the process of recommending approval of your membership. You will hear final word of your 2019 membership acceptance and eligibility for the CFC as soon as all materials are approved and final ruling is made by our executive committee.
  2. Submit your 2019 CFC application fee: This fee is not charged by America’s Charities, nor do we financially benefit from its collection. Instead, it is an upfront cost of applying to the CFC due and payable by all nonprofit applicants to the federal government. This fee is assessed regardless of a nonprofit’s membership with a given federation, however, it is higher for charities who apply to the CFC independently than it is for America’s Charities members. We will pay this fee on your behalf when your CFC application is submitted (by January 31, 2019) and then invoice you for reimbursement, since application fees must be paid in bulk by America’s Charities to the federal government. Further detail pertaining to fees assessed to charities for participation in the CFC can be found below.

On November 8, OPM released CFC Memorandum 2018-10 disclosing the fee schedule for participation in the 2019 CFC.

Once again, two separate fees will be assessed for 2019:

  • An application fee, due and payable at the time a charity applies for participation in the 2019 CFC.
  • listing fee, due and payable at such time that a charity is accepted by OPM to participate in the 2019 CFC.

A third distribution fee will be assessed in the event that the combined total of application and listing fees collected from all charity participants is not sufficient to cover the cost of running the campaign. The necessity for the distribution fee is determined by OPM once the campaign period is closed and prior to distribution of CFC funds.

The amount that a charity pays for its application fee is determined by whether an organization is applying nationally or locally in the CFC, as well as whether an organization is part of a federation or applying independently. 

The amount that a charity pays for its listing fee is determined using a tiered approach based on a charity’s total revenue as listed on their IRS Form 990, and then whether the charity has been approved as a national or local participant.

  • Tier I: Charities that report $1 million or greater in total revenue
  • Tier II: Charities that report more than $250,000 in total revenue, but less than $1 million
  • Tier III: Charities that report less than $250,000 in total revenue

Some important items of note:

  • To gain context for why fees are charged to participate in the CFC, we encourage you to read through guidance provided for 2017 and 2018 campaigns.
  • Once again, 2019 application fees are significantly lower for members than charities that do not participate with a federation; national and local members of America’s Charities respectively save $160 and $111 compared to nonmembers applying to the CFC, plus our members benefit from our newly streamlined application process, requiring very little time and effort compared to independent applicants.
  • The listing fee is the same for all charities, regardless of federation participation. 2019 listing fees are between $113 and $359 higher than 2018 for all Tier I organizations, dependent on whether they are applying as a national or local organization. For Tier II organizations, it has decreased slightly or stayed consistent with 2018 fees, dependent on national or local participation, and for Tier III, it has stayed the same or increased by $2, again based on national or local participation.
  • It is our belief that any increase in application and listing fees is in attempt to lessen the distribution fee amount assessed at time of payout beginning in May 2020, the idea being to have more costs associated with running the campaign covered upfront so that less is deducted by OPM from charitable donations.

As always, we are here to advise you throughout this process and answer any questions that you may have. We are also willing to provide one-on-one consultation in determining your organization’s fees for the upcoming 2019 CFC. Please feel free to reach out to us at clientsolutions@charities.org