The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has extended the 2021 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) application filing deadline to February 26. The four-week extension provides charity applicants much needed additional time to file required documentation or potentially lose out on CFC participation and funding this year.
Keith Willingham, director of the Office of the CFC cited challenges faced by charities’ tax and audit service providers “due to disruptions caused by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic” as the reason for the extension. It is to provide charities the “benefit from having additional time to obtain the required documentation,” Willingham said via the announcement.
Due to successes in local 2020 CFC campaigns, interest in applying to the CFC is growing among charities, according to CFC officials. The National Capital Area CFC reported an estimated $4 million increase in giving during its most recent 2020 campaign, up 10% when compared to 2019. While final campaign totals across all 36 CFC regions will not be announced by OPM until all paper pledge cards are tabulated, reports show many CFC zones have more charity applications started for 2021 than in 2020.
The increased interest can be attributed to a number of things, such as increased pledge amounts and increased visibility for participating charities through the new virtually personal campaign model. “The extension was the right thing to do and helps the charities in many ways,” according to Mike May, OPM’s contracted National CFC Charity outreach coordinator. “Charities should have final totals from 2020 CFC available before Feb 26 filing, so ROI decisions including increased engagement opportunities make the CFC a better fit for more charities.”