The CFC now imposes up to three fees on participating charities:
- A non-refundable application fee due when the charity (or its federation) submits an application for the next campaign.
- A listing fee due after the government confirms that the charity has been accepted for the next campaign.
- A distribution fee, charged if the government determines that the first two fees have not generated enough funds to cover campaign costs.
While the first two fees are flat, the third fee is percentage-based – meaning that all charities will see their donations drop by, say, 5 percent or 7 percent or more. (The government has said that it will need to assess the third fee on 2017 CFC donations, but it has not announced the percentage.)
In setting the admission fees, OPM has broken charities into three tiers, reflecting the revenue charities report on their own Forms 990. Charities with higher revenue pay higher listing fees than charities with less revenue.
OPM introduced these fees for the 2017 campaign. Charities walked away from the CFC in the thousands. While the 2018 listing fees will be a bit lower, we suspect that charities will not return in any great number. Indeed, if the 2017 sees a further drop in campaign pledges, still more charities may exit the program.
Below is the text of the OPM memo announcing the 2018 fees.
CFC MEMORANDUM 2017-05
November 9, 2017
FROM: KEITH WILLINGHAM, DIRECTOR, COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN
SUBJECT: 2018 CFC SCHEDULE OF APPLICATION AND LISTING FEES
Pursuant to 5 CFR §950.107, the Office of Combined Federal Campaign (OCFC) is releasing the following CFC fee schedule for the 2018 CFC:
- Tier I organizations are those that report $1 million or more in revenue on the IRS Form 990 (or pro forma IRS Form 990) submitted with the CFC application.
- Tier II organizations are those that report $250 thousand or more in revenue, but less than $1 million on the IRS Form 990 (or pro forma IRS Form 990) submitted with the CFC application.
- Tier III organizations are those that report less than $250 thousand in revenue on the IRS Form 990 (or pro forma IRS Form 990) submitted with the CFC application.