The Charity List is a paper or web-based display of national, international, and local organizations that have met CFC eligibility requirements. A sample charity listing is shown below with key elements shown in italics. Key elements include: the organization’s five-digit CFC code, the legal name in parentheses shown if it is “doing business as” another name, the employer identification number (EIN), a 25-word statement of purpose (except in abbreviated listings), its administrative and fundraising expense rate (AFR), and its Service Categories (Taxonomy Codes).
The EIN, AFR, and the Service Categories are included to help donors identify organizations that meet their interests and performance standards.
The EIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It can be used for obtaining additional information about an organization from the IRS (877-829-5500). Please Note: Some organizations may be covered under an umbrella organization’s tax exemption status and EIN or may not be required to have an EIN.
The AFR represents the percentage of dollars spent on administering the charity. It is calculated as a percentage of the organization’s total support and revenue. OPM, as well as the philanthropic community at large, remains concerned about excessive AFR levels. The philanthropic community generally considers an AFR in excess of 35 percent to be problematic. Some organizations are listed with a negative AFR. While there are other reasons this may happen, these are often the results of organizations reporting negative revenues caused by investment losses experienced during these extraordinary economic times. Donors should check with the organization and/or review its IRS Form 990; which is available to the public for a complete explanation, Potential CFC donors should carefully review the circumstances applicable to the potential charities of their choice to be certain they fully understand and accept the AFR situations for such charities before donating to them. Each situation is unique. Donors may contact the charity directly and/or industry oversight organizations in order to better understand the financial status, service delivery record, and governance policies of the charity before donating.
The Service Categories (Taxonomy Codes) categorize the types of services that most charitable organizations offer. Charities self-select up to three alpha-codes (shown below) for inclusion in the CFC charity list. Charities that did not select at least one category are assigned “Z” for the “Other” category.
The 26 service categories are derived from the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) classification system. This system, developed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics, is widely used in the non-profit community.
For additional guidance on selecting charities, visit the CFC website at http://www.opm.gov/cfc/html/qfd.asp