2008 Combined Federal Campaign

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How important is the CFCNCA Campaign?
You are part of the most significant philanthropic campaign in the world. The CFCNCA is the largest regional program in the entire CFC system, the largest workplace giving campaign in the world. Thousands of charities in Washington, throughout America, and around the world depend upon your generosity for their existence. Last year, you and your coworkers gave more than $61 million to the agencies, of which $2.2 million came from NIH and $5 million came from the Department of Health and Human Services. These charities provide services to every part of our community, and touch every one of our lives.

Why have a CFC?
The annual fundraising campaign helps support a variety of health, human, and other services provided by local, national, and international charitable agencies. This single campaign is one of the most cost-efficient fundraising methods available. It succeeds because volunteers from the Federal workforce combine their resources for one coordinated appeal.

Why should I make charitable contributions through the CFCNCA when I could just send a check directly to charities I wish to support?
Your charity will get more of the donation because they won’t have to spend money to get your donation. Fewer overhead costs will be taken out. You could write a check and mail it directly to a charity, but most of us wait to be asked before we give. You might respond to a mail solicitation, for example, but maybe not the first one. Maybe a second or third mailing would get your attention which means printing, design and postage costs.

The CFC consolidates all of these individual and costly solicitations into one campaign once a year resulting in lower solicitation costs to the charities. Accounting costs are also much lower because gifts are consolidated into monthly checks.

If I give to charity directly, won't they get more money than if the CFC took a slice off the top?
Probably not. In nearly all cases, charities in the CFC have much higher fundraising costs on their own than they experience when they are part of a federated campaign like CFCNCA. People give more than three to four times as much through payroll deduction than they do when making a direct cash gift. So charities stand to gain on three fronts: Funds they receive through CFCNCA are often greater than when people give directly. Administrative costs of generating a gift through CFC are lower than if they had to generate that gift independently. The charity receives a share of the undesignated funds.

When do donations get to charities?
Donations are distributed to the charities following the close of the campaign starting in April 2008.

How do charities get their donations?
Donations made by check or cash are distributed once the audit of those funds is complete, and donations by payroll deduction are distributed periodically after deducted funds have been received and audited. In all cases, the amount distributed to a charity is based on how much was designated to that charity by Federal employees - if no one chooses a particular charity, it will not receive any funding.

How do I know that my gift gets to the charity I designate?
You have the option of asking that charity to acknowledge your gift. Check the appropriate box on your pledge card and your name will be released to the charity. Next spring, they will write to you acknowledging that gift.

Why isn't my favorite charity in the book?
Participation in the CFC is determined by either a local or national application process. Charities must apply in order to be included, so your favorite charity either has not applied or did not qualify. We suggest that you encourage your favorite charity to apply next year. Check the OPM website for the national procedures (http://www.opm.gov/cfc) or the CFCNCA (http://www.cfcnca.org) for local procedures. The application period takes place locally from January through May.

How much should I give?
It’s your decision. Give what feels good – lead by example.

Do I get a receipt?
All donors retain a copy of their pledge cards for their records. A service member or employee who makes a one-time (cash, check, or money order) contribution of $250 or more, and those who make a payroll deduction contribution of $250 or more each pay period to the CFC will automatically be sent a tax verification letter to the mailing address on the pledge card. IRS regulations require verification from the PCFO of one-time charitable gifts of $250 or more.

Is my gift tax deductible?
According to Internal Revenue Service guidelines, taxpayers are now required to have proper documentation for all charitable contributions, regardless of size, or whether made by cash, check, or payroll deduction, in order to claim the contributions as tax deductions. Donors who give $250 or more will automatically get a tax letter from CFCNCA after their check is deposited.

Employees who give via payroll deduction and wish to claim the gift as a tax deduction will need:

A copy of their pledge form to document which charities they designated to receive donations.

Their year-end pay stub that shows the total amount withheld.

The CFCNCA provides this information as guidance only. Please consult your tax advisor for further information.

What if someone wants to donate to an organization that is not in the CFC Catalog of Caring?
To give through the CFC to a charity, an organization must be in the CFC catalog.

How can an organization be included in the CFC book?
Charities must apply in order to be included, so your favorite charity either has not applied or did not qualify. We suggest you encourage your favorite charity to apply next year. Check the OPM website for the national procedures (http://www.opm.gov/cfc) or the CFCNCA (http://www.cfcnca.org) for local procedures. The application period takes place locally from January through May.

Can contractors give through the CFC?
Yes, contractors may make a donation through the CFC by check or cash. (A contractor cannot give through payroll deduction.) Keyworkers should make CFC catalogs and pledge cards available to contractors. As with all of your contacts, make sure contractors understand it is an opportunity rather than a requirement.

Can contractors be keyworkers?
Yes, contractors may volunteer to be keyworkers.

Why are you spending money on giveaways when it could be donated to charity?
Part of the success of any campaign is building awareness. With the CFC, nonprofit organizations combine resources to conduct one efficient campaign that reaches all employees and contractors in the Federal government.

Can I pledge online?
Some federal agencies may be able to do this, but NIH is not set up to do that yet. You are encouraged to contact your Keyworker to pledge.

If someone pays by check now, in 2008, will they be able to use that donation on their 2008 tax deduction?
Yes, check gifts are made in the year that the check is written or dated (officially, when the donor hands the check over to the payee). Payroll deductions will all be 2009 donations. If your pledge is $250 or more, submit the blue form with the CFCNCA letter (letter will be mailed to you about 30 days after the pledge is made). If you pledge is $250 or less, you can just submit the blue form. If you still want a letter from the CFCNCA, please contact Maya Pirela at maya.pirela@cfcnca.org or (202) 465-7230.

Can I just make a donation to CFC without specifying a charity? And if so, who will get it?
Yes, the CFC accepts undesignated contributions. The undesignated funds are pooled and in the end are distributed proportionally to the organizations which have received designated contributions.

For a full list of FAQs on the CFC National Capital Area site, go to http://www.cfcnca.org/GeneralFAQ.

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