Sample language in support of the current CFC set-up.

“As a small nonprofit, without a development department, OUR NPO is grateful to belong to a workplace giving federation like Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati especially when it comes  to participating in our CFC(s).  Our membership in this federation gives us access to campaigns and donors we would never be able to reach without our partners at Community Shares, therefore, we are able to have a greater impact in the community we serve and where our donors contributions have meaning.” OUR NPO

Sample Talking Points for Your Representative:

1.       On April 5, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released RIN 3206-AM68, a proposed rule change to the regulations of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Annually, federal employees donate $270M through the CFC including more than $1 million in Cincinnati. As a participating nonprofit, our neighbors in need benefit greatly from this charitable opportunity. We are gravely concerned the changes to the giving campaign will prevent our nonprofit and hundreds of grassroots Cincinnati nonprofits from participating.

2.       While we support efforts to make the campaign more efficient and transparent, we are concerned that the sweeping nature of the changes alters the campaign, the result being that only the largest nonprofits can participate. Smaller nonprofits and local federations play an important role in offering federal employees charitable giving choices close to home.

3.       Currently, the CFC is funded by the withholding a small percentage of donations. The proposed changes shift the cost of the campaign to nonprofits by charging a non-refundable application fee which covers the national cost of the giving campaign. Charging an application fee to participate will create a barrier to entry for small local nonprofits. While large nonprofits can absorb the fee in their fundraising costs and more stable cash flows, it will be difficult for a small nonprofit to pay a fee for revenues that may or may not be realized 18 months later.

4.       The regulation change precludes international, national, and local federations from assessing any fees from donations. Local federations are fundamentally different than national federations. While national federations often have ambiguous relationships and costs, local federations (such as Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati) assess very reasonable and transparent fees for assisting grassroots nonprofits in participating in the Combined Federal Campaign. Nonprofits have chosen their local federation to represent them, fully understand the access these federations offer, agree with the financial relationship of the partnership, and greatly value the services these federations provide in support of serving their clients. Strong and stable local federations are critical for small nonprofits because they provide a full range of program support throughout the year.

5.       Local federations spend hundreds if not thousands of hours assisting small local nonprofits to prepare applications and participate in the Combined Federal Campaign. Without local federations providing assistance, small nonprofits – many of which have minimal staff and no fundraising team – will have a tremendous barrier to entry. This will make the CFC dramatically less inclusive, negatively impact the non-profits and their clients, and reduce the choices that federal employees have to support the local charities they care about most.

6.       As our Representative, we request you make a Congressional Inquiry with the Office of Personnel Management to communicate our concerns about the sweeping changes to the Combined Federal Campaign. The rule changes will fundamentally shift the concept and meaning of the CFC and undermine the inclusive and local commitment of the campaign.

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