1. What is Grace for Africa?
Founded in 2004, Grace for Africa is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that brings together U.S.-registered charities working with their partners in Africa focused on health and nutrition, education, sustainable development, food and agriculture, the environment, wildlife conservation and arts and culture in Sub-Saharan Africa. As an alliance or federation of organizations, Grace for Africa supplies common fundraising, administrative, and management services to our members.
Grace for Africa participates in workplace, internet, and other public fundraising programs. Participation in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has been a priority for Grace for Africa. Grace for Africa also educates the American public about the complex and broad nature of Africa’s challenges and the diversity of organizations helping to meet these challenges. It also builds understanding and appreciation for the art and cultures of Africa, which underpin its past, present, and future.
2. What is the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)?
The CFC is the Federal government’s annual workplace giving campaign. It is the largest workplace giving campaign in the world. Contributions are solicited from approximately 4 million federal civilian and postal employees and military personnel during the charity drive, which runs annually from September through December. The CFC is the only campaign authorized to solicit and collect contributions from federal employees in their workplace.
Currently, to be eligible for the CFC, an organization must:
- be an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization;
- provide services in at least 15 different states or at least one foreign country over the three-year period immediately preceding the application;
- account for funds in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which requires an accrual-based accounting system;
- commission an annual audit by an independent certified public accountant that is prepared using generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS);
- provide a signed copy of the most recently completed IRS 990 form;
- be governed by an independent board of directors, the majority of whom serve without compensation.
4. Can any charity participate in CFC?
No. Participation is linked to a fee structure introduced in 2017 and eligibility standards. 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. The CFC has a staff within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that monitors the CFC program and makes decisions about which charities may participate in the national campaign.
Fee Structure: The CFC requires that each organization applying to participate in the program pay application fees. Once accepted, the CFC requires each organization pay a listing fee, which varies based on the revenue of the organization. Listing fees are $2,270 for organizations with total revenue of $1 million or higher, $555 for organizations with revenue of $250,000 and higher and less than $1 million, and $370 for organizations with revenue below $250,000. Revenue refers to the amount listed on the organization’s IRS Form 990, Part 1, Line 12. Once the campaign is completed, CFC withhold a distribution fee from donations.
More information about the CFC is available on OPM’s website at cfccharities.opm.gov
5. How do internet and workplace donors learn about Grace for Africa and its members?
Grace for Africa maintains a website that highlights the activities its members. Part of Grace for Africa’s education strategy is to employ a variety of methods to bring people interested in Africa, who may also be potential donors, to its site. This site is also available to all federal employees and military personnel. In addition, each fall the CFC provides federal donors with a comprehensive website, listing and providing a brief description of every eligible charity. Grace for Africa staff will work with charities to develop the description at the time of application preparation. Grace for Africa’s staff and members participate in a variety of workplace giving functions. And, during the course of the campaign, Grace for Africa undertakes informal public education through radio, newspaper, and transit posters.
6. How does Grace for Africa monitor donations and how do its members receive donations?
There is no issue more important for Grace for Africa’s members than understanding how money is processed—that is, transferred from individual donors to them. All donations to member organizations made through our website are credited to each member’s account. These figures are posted by our bookkeeper, double checked by our accountant, and audited annually by an independent certified public accountant.
Grace for Africa issues quarterly reports of all funds received on a member organization’s behalf and quarterly checks to participating organizations.
Grace for Africa’s accounts are audited annually by an independent Certified Public Accountant. The audit report and IRS Form 990 are available on the About Us page of this website.
7. How does Grace for Africa manage funds for its members?
A nonprofit organization itself, Grace for Africa does not assess it members application fees, service charges or membership dues. It does, however, invoice members for 6 percent of the funds it receives on a member’s behalf. These funds help support some of the costs for our accounting, outreach activities and other member services. As a result, Grace for Africa distributes 100 percent of the money it receives and has been designated to members.