Home > How to Join > Membership FAQs
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER OF YOUR ORGANIZATION?
Membership in our federation is limited to tax-exempt, not-for-profit organizations that qualify for the Combined Federal Campaign. An organization is considered a member once its application to the CFC is accepted. See How to Join for eligibility requirements..
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL MY ORGANIZATION RAISE?
Each CFC donor decides how much to pledge and which charities to support. That means it’s impossible to know in advance how much an organization will raise. Some charities appeal to a wide range of individuals and attract substantial support, often exceeding $100,000. Others interest a more limited population, and their total pledges will be commensurately smaller.
WHAT IS A FEDERATION?
In the CFC, a federation is a group of charitable organizations that enter the campaign together. A CFC federation is required to perform certain administrative operations on behalf of all the charities, or "members," that elect to affiliate with it. Such tasks as applications, tracking and reporting pledges to individual members, and helping to distribute donated funds are all delegated to a federation by its members. Beyond these core functions, federations are free to offer other services as well. These ancillary services vary greatly from one federation to the next. See What We Do to learn what services we offer.
DO FEDERATIONS CHARGE A FEE?
Yes. Federation fees offset the cost of federation operations, and they vary widely.
We set our fees in advance and disclose them to charities as they apply. We currently charge each member 4.5 percent of its received donations (not pledges), with a minimum fee of $400. We will never assess more than one-third of an organization's net receipts even if this amount does not meet our minimum. The fee is be capped at $5,000.
Our fees will remain the same for the 2018 CFC.
CAN ANY CHARITY PARTICIPATE IN CFC?
No. Eligibility standards for CFC participants are some of the most rigorous in the charitable-giving community. Because the CFC is a government-wide program, its rules are written in the form of federal regulations. All CFC participants must conform to these rules and meet their eligibility requirements.
I AM INTERESTED IN APPLYING, BUT I’M NOT SURE IF WE QUALIFY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
We’re happy to discuss your particular situation by phone. In a fairly brief conversation usually we can get a good sense of whether or not you will qualify. If you prefer, you can send us copies of your IRS determination letter (confirming tax-exempt status), your most recent tax return (IRS Form 990), the opinion letter from your most recent audit, and a brief description of the work you do. We’ll review these documents and get in touch with you. (Please note, however, that our initial impressions may change as we get deeper into your application.) See Contact Us to find our phone number, fax number, e-mail and snail-mail address.
WE’VE BEEN IN THE CFC WITHOUT JOINING A FEDERATION. WHY SHOULD WE CHANGE?
Perhaps you shouldn’t. As you know, joining a federation is not required for participation in the CFC. However, most CFC charities choose to affiliate with a federation for key reasons:
WE’VE BEEN IN THE CFC AS A MEMBER OF ANOTHER FEDERATION. CAN WE APPLY WITH YOU? WHAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT IF WE DID?
Normally, not-for-profit organizations decide each year which federation to join for purposes of the CFC. See What We Do for an overview of our services. If you wish to compare cost, we’ll gladly provide an estimate based upon a hypothetical pledge amount so you can see what you would net. This breakdown will detail reductions due to unfulfilled pledges, local administrative overhead, and our own fee. You will then be able to compare our costs with those of your current federation.
DO YOU ENTER CAMPAIGNS OTHER THAN THE CFC?
While our federation participates only in the CFC, we will be happy to help you participate in state, municipal and other public sector campaigns in two ways. First, we help maintain a Campaign Links page that leads to information about these campaigns so you can determine whether they make sense for your organization. Second, we work closely with a sister federation, Partners for a Better World, which enters many of these campaigns. We will happily forward your material to them.
Make a Difference
We all have had the experience of seeing a loved one suffer from a serious illness or life-threatening disease and we ask ourselves “What can I do to help reduce the suffering?”