America's Charities | April 20, 2018

Important Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Update

Dear Nonprofit Partners, 

On January 16th, I reached out to you all with an update regarding the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the federal government’s workforce giving program.  At that time, the 2017 campaign had just come to a close and there had been some negative press surrounding the health of the program.  America’s Charities wanted to set the record straight in the midst of this speculation and inform our membership of what was known and what still remained unclear.  At that point in time, there was still a lot that remained unknown and I promised to be back in touch as soon as we received new information. 

To recap, beginning with the 2017 campaign, a new set of campaign rules took effect.  Throughout the many years leading up to the implementation of this new rule, the team at America’s Charities has advocated on behalf of the interests of our membership and has kept members apprised during all phases of this process.   
As noted in my January email, the implementation of certain provisions of the new rule proved challenging and we believed that the CFC team at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) tried to do too much at once, including implementing a change in technology, a new campaign structure, a new fee structure, volunteerism and solicitation of retirees.  Added together with the natural disasters and subsequent relief efforts, I had noted that a decline in the campaign was expected but that it was still too early to tell since final campaign results were not in. 
Today we received confirmation that the 2017 campaign total is $101 million, which is a $66 million decrease from the prior year campaign. We also  recently received the first distribution report for our members.  In addition to the application and listing fees already paid by participating nonprofits to cover campaign expenses, a third distribution fee of 16.5% has been assessed on charity pledges in order to cover overall campaign costs.  From review of the reporting provided, it appears that the bulk of this fee has been taken from this first distribution payment. The total cost of the campaign is not yet known nor is the total rate of participation. 
While we are disappointed by this result and its implications for you, our valued partners, we still remain hopeful that a lot of the issues experienced in the prior campaign will not be repeated.  We believe a large number of the problems with the campaign occurred as the result of the rushed implementation of many different, critical aspects of the program and that many of these issues will be resolved prior to the start of the next campaign, if they have not been already. 

We are also working, both independently as well as collectively with other campaign stakeholders, to provide feedback to campaign officials on how things may be improved moving forward, as well as to get assurances that a lot of these issues will not be repeated.   We are hoping to speak soon with the Office of the CFC and will provide our suggestions and counsel.  We will also be seeking answers to any questions that currently remain unanswered, such as total campaign costs. 

Should you have any questions, wish to provide feedback or would like to discuss in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me or Robyn Neal, VP, Client Engagement Solutions at 800-458-9505 extension 5349.  We will also be discussing the CFC in great detail at our Membership Assembly on Friday, May 11thwhich we invite you to attend in person or via Livestream. 

Thank you as always for your partnership. 

Jim Starr
President and CEO
America’s Charities 

America's Charities Membership Assembly 2018

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