Participation Information

Charitable organizations wishing to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) must complete an annual application form.

There are two types of applications - one for federations and one for independent organizations. A federation is a group of voluntary charitable human health and welfare organizations created to supply common fundraising, administrative, and management services to its constituent members. A federation must have at least 15 member organizations, in addition to itself, that individually meet all of the CFC eligibility criteria.

Federal workers have participated in a national workplace giving effort since President Kennedy initiated a formal national giving program established by the federal government in 1961. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the only authorized charitable fund-raising campaign for federal employees, both civilian and military. Conducted by the federal government through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the CFC operates in more than 242 localities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and in overseas military bases.

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has evolved into the nation’s leading workplace giving program. No other annual employee-giving program raises as much money for charity. The campaign is conducted once a year in any given federal agency, for a 6-week period beginning no earlier than September 1 and ending no later than December 15. The members of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCC) determine the dates of the campaign in each CFC area.

CFC’s workplace operations are supported by volunteer federal employees. Working under a structure established by the Office of Personnel Management, these volunteers work in partnership with a local nonprofit organization to solicit, receive and then distribute federal workers’ contributions to the charities of their choice.

Local Federal Coordinating Committee (LFCCs), authorized by OPM and composed of federal employees, organize the CFC, appoint a Principal Combined Fund Organization (PCFO) to manage the campaign working under the direction and oversight of the LFCC. The LFCC also decides which local charitable agencies and federated groups of agencies, both federated groups and unaffiliated agencies, are authorized by OPM for inclusion in the CFC Campaign. All participating agencies must certify that they are not-for-profit charitable organizations with 501©(3) status, providing real services and/or program activities, and meet other criteria.

Federal CFC workers at all levels are expected to participate in CFC during regular duty hours and consequently are not paid for their work. Individuals representing or working for PCFO’s are not federal employees and do receive paid compensation for their efforts. In the majority of communities the United Way is designated by the LFCC as the PCFO. As managers of the CFC, and as potential recipients of designated contributions, United Ways are required to meet the same standards as all other eligible organizations.

Local CFC efforts focus on a geographic region-not on a particular federal agency. So, leadership of an LFCC involves mobilizing volunteer’s at all federal agencies within the local campaign’s boundaries - not just at the agency in which you are employed. CFC strives to be inclusive of all federal employees within a campaign’s area who wish to participate. However, local CFC campaigns solicit contributions only from people currently employed by federal government. Federal contractors and federal retirees may not be solicited, even though they may be given an opportunity to give to the local CFC by completing a pledge card and writing a check/cash to CFC designated charities or the overall campaign effort.

Federal employees are encouraged to designate their contributions directly to the eligible agencies of their choice.

UNITED WAYS HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE AGENCIES THAT PARTICIPATE IN THE CFC OR OVER HOW FEDERAL EMPLOYEES CHOOSE TO DESIGNATE THEIR GIFTS.

The formal rules governing CFC appear in the Code of Federal Regulations at 5 CFR 950. A copy of these regulations can be found at www.opm.gov/cfc.