The Office of Personnel Management issued final changes to the rules regarding the Combined Federal Campaign. Many federal employees and uniform service personnel support nonprofits through the the Combined Federal Campaign. In 2011, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) formed a commission to study the program and make recommendations to streamline the program, and increase transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Based in part on the commission’s recommendations in a July 2012 report, OPM proposed changes to the rules for the CFC in April 2013. These changes have been posted in the federal register and the comment period closed on June 7, 2013.
Although OPM received many comments from charities, the final rule includes some provisions of concern for participating charities including an up-front application fee, limiting giving to electronic mediums, and centralization of campaign administration.
About the Proposed Rules
According to a summary by Federal Employee Support for CFC Charitable Giving, Inc. in Colorado Springs, the new rule describes thirteen areas of change:
1) The campaign solicitation period moves from September 1 – December 15 to October 1 – January 15.
2) New employees will be provided the opportunity to make a payroll deduction within 30 days of being hired.
3) A new Disaster Relief Program will be created to give employees the ability to contribute to relief programs within hours of a disaster.
4) The Local Federal Coordinating Committees will be eliminated. The campaign will have regional oversight by a Regional Coordinating Committees.
5) OPM will provide train and oversee the Regional Coordinating Committees.
6) Pledges will be made through electronic means only. Cash, check and money order contributions will be eliminated.
7) The CFC Charity List and pledge form will be made available exclusively through electronic means.
8) The Principal Combined Fund Organization will be eliminated. The campaign administration functions will be consolidated into one or more Central Campaign Administrators.
9) The administrative costs will be recovered from application fees paid by the charities that apply for participation in the CFC.
10) A streamlined application process will permit charities to submit a full application every three years, with the requirement of submitting key documents in the two intermediary years.
11) The financial reporting requirements for charities with less than $250,000 in revenue will be eased. Those charities with revenue of $250,000 or more will continue to provide financial statements audited by an independent certified public accountant on an annual basis.
12) Federations will be required to disburse funds to member organizations on a specified cycle and will be prohibited from deducting dues/fees from the disbursement of CFC funds to member organizations.
13) Federal payroll offices will either disburse funds directly to participating charities or be required to provide detailed reports to the Central Campaign Administrator that will perform this function.
CFC Websites and Information on the New Rules
Community Shares USA Change.org petition- asks Senate committees with oversight of the CFC to support nonprofits participating in the CFC.