Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the administrative cost of the Combined Federal Campaign?
In 2015 the total administrative and fund-raising expense for the CFC was 11% of dollars raised from the campaign.
- May I designate to a charitable agency not on the eligible charitable agency list?
The Federal Register, 950.402(c), prohibits making a designation to a charitable agency not on the list. Write-ins cannot be honored. If you designate to a charitable agency not on the list, your contribution will be considered undesignated.
- What is the duration of my payroll deduction and when does it begin?
Deductions will be for one year and begin with the first pay period that starts in January of the year following the pledge.
- Are contributions tax deductible?
For one-time donations under $250 and payroll deductions pledges under $3,000, your payroll stub or canceled check is acceptable to the IRS. For one-time cash/check donations over $250, you must request a receipt from the CFC Manager, which will be mailed or emailed to you.
- Who determines how my contributions will be used?
When you designate your gift, YOU DO! The funds will be provided to the charitable agency(ies) of your choice.
- Why should I support the CFC?
Because each agency has been certified by a committee of Federal employees, ensuring its legitimacy. By using payroll deduction you can give continuously, throughout the year. A unified CFC campaign can raise more funds for charitable agencies than can be raised through unorganized direct giving. CFC protects the Federal employee from year-round in-the-workplace solicitation by charitable agencies. Charities prefer to receive funds throughout the year than all at once and the campaign reduces the time and money they have to spend on raising donations.
- I didn't give to last year's CFC. Why should I give to this year's?
Like most federal employees, you benefit either directly or indirectly from one or more of the member organizations listed in the CFC booklet. Your donation will help insure the continuation of those benefits. In difficult times the need is only greater and the reliance on these organizations to provide services is also greater.
- Why not just give directly to the agencies?
There are several reasons that the CFC is among the best ways to give to charity. All agencies and federations are carefully screened and meet strict but fair requirements. Giving through the CFC allows you to use payroll deduction, thus increasing the amount of money you can afford to give to your favorite charity. Undesignated money is distributed according to the percentage of money designated to the agencies. Therefore, your designated gift allows your favorite agency to receive a percentage of the undesignated money. The fact is that most of us are too busy to research charities and make contribution. CFC makes it easy for you. Your donations are combined with others to the same charities in a single quarterly check thereby reducing the cost to those charities to process donations.
- Are we allowed to hold special events to raise money for the CFC?
Yes! Check with your own agency leadership as to any restrictions regarding such events.
- I never use agency services, so why should I give?
You never know when you, a member of your family, or a neighbor may need a CFC service. Job loss, loss of a loved one, illness, disabilities, family problems, mental disorders and the problems of growing up and growing old know no boundaries. Your gift helps ensure that CFC services are available when they're needed. Anyone who has been involved in Scouting, taken a Red Cross first aid course, learned to swim at the YMCA, or benefited from cleaner air has been served by a CFC agency.
- What is the relationship between the CFC and Community Shares of Minnesota?
The CFC needs an organization to plan, promote, and carry out its goals. The CFC is governed by OPM, is a federal employee program, and has an entirely different administrative structure than the Community Shares of Minnesota. Community Shares applied to the Federal Executive Board in 2010 for and was granted a three-year contract and has been able to renew it in 2017. Community Shares designated an impartial CFC Director to act in the best interest of the CFC and never to promote Community Shares of Minnesota. Community Shares does not get paid to run the campaign, but does get its costs reimbursed by the participating charities. Community Shares of Minnesota applies separately to be an eligible 501(c) 3 to receive donations through the campaign.
- Isn't it wasteful to give every employee a CFC brochure?
Through the increasing use of online pledging, we are able to reduce the number of booklets printed each year and thereby reduce overhead costs. The online searchable charity list can be used regardless of whether you use online pledging or the paper pledge and we recommend this more versatile search tool for your charitable giving decisions. The charity list is produced anew for each campaign -- charities must apply annually -- so a booklet is good for only one campaign. Most agencies request fewer copies than a one-to-one ratio with numbers of employees.
- If I contribute to the CFC, won't my name be given to affiliated charities?
No. CFC regulations prohibit the release of contributors names to charitable organizations for purposes of solicitation, unless the employee so specifies the release in making his pledge.
- If I contribute to the 2016 CFC through payroll deduction, when do the first and last deductions take place?
The first pay period that begins in 2017 thru the last pay period in 2017 - usually January through December. Deductions are taken for 26 pay periods only.
- Isn't the CFC just another excuse for managers to pat themselves on the back ?
No. It is rank and file employees who make the CFC the success that it is. It bears repeating that it is federal employee program.
- It's a well-known fact that a lot of the member organizations included in the CFC have high administrative costs. Why don't you keep such organizations out of the campaign?
The latest OPM regulations have eliminated the administration and fundraising percentage (AFR%) as a limit to inclusion in the annual list.The reasoning is that employees can judge for themselves if they want to contribute to an organization regardless of its AFR%. The charity list (online and printed booklet) will continue to show what that percentage is in the charity's description.
- What assurance do I have that the organization I designate to actually receives the funding?
On the front of the pledge card, check the boxes under Recognition Options as to how you want to be acknowledged by the charities you have designated. At the end of the campaign, the PCFO is required to inform the charities of the amounts designated to them and any employees requesting acknowledgement.
- What if I contribute to the CFC but dont designate a specific organization?
All undesignated funds will be distributed to those organizations that received designations in the same proportion that they received designations in the campaign.
- Why are so many organizations included in the CFC booklet and who determines which organizations may be included?
The practice is to include any organization that meets the basic qualifying standards (provision of services and accounting controls). The Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC) is charged with ensuring that organization's meet the standards for inclusion. Additionally, each charity is checked for compliance with IRS regulations on filings.