Application for CFC: National and International Nonprofits

Sections of this topic

    The Combined Federal Campaign for the 2012 solicitation season begins on September 1, 2012, and runs through December 15, 2012.

    For national and international charities, regardless of whether they are members of a federation or an independent charity, the deadline for all application materials is Tuesday, January 17, 2012, by 5 p.m. (EST), and applications later than that will not be accepted.

    The complete application is available on the website, but in general, this is some of the information that is required:
    •  IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter
    •  IRS Form 990 (accrual method of accounting only)
    •  Financial Audit prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
    (GAAP) and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) (must be for the same fiscal
    period as IRS Form 990).
    •  Detailed Description of Services for 15 or more states or 1 foreign country for national
    and international charities.
    •  Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
    •  Listing of Board of Directors
    • 25-word description of services

    It’s important to recognize that there are two very distinct and different processes with the CFC: the application process and the actual CFC campaign process. And different people may be needed for each process. For example, since your non-profit financials and IRS 990 form are required for the application process, you will need the person who handles your finances as part of the application procedure, while they are not critical to the process during the solicitation period.

    Benefits for National and International Charities
    Workplace giving is the only type of non-profit fundraising that is subsidized, low-risk, and high leverage. It is not “no-cost” fundraising. There are costs associated with developing the workplace-giving materials, and costs for staff time to develop and manage the process.

    CFC workplace giving subsidizes your development effort in many ways, including:
    •  CFC volunteers solicit their colleagues for charitable donations to your nonprofit
    and your community.
    •  If you participate in charity fairs, locations, where you get to tell your nonprofit’s story,
    are provided free of charge. How many hotels will do that for free?

    CFC workplace giving is low-risk fundraising:
    No one can mess up a “$10,000 ask” in a workplace giving setting, where the average gift is about $175. FYI, the single largest gift that I personally saw in my federal CFC career was $6,000 to one charity. The single largest recipient of CFC funds is the American Red Cross … about $7 million annually.

    CFC workplace giving is high-leverage fundraising:
    A 25-word description of your non-profit (that you write) will be provided to every Federal employee in the United States and at US overseas locations. What would be the cost to mail several million postcards to all Federal employees and uniformed service members?

    With one application you are automatically in the more than 200 regional CFCs. If you are a small, national, or international non-profit, this amount of leverage for your efforts is huge. Compare the effort required to apply to the CFC to applying for 200 grants with different application procedures, and I think you’ll see what I mean.


    During his 25-year career in the Federal sector, Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach, served in many CFC roles. If you want to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions, contact … Bill Huddleston