2019 Application Training for Independent and Member Organizations

>>OK, so the CFC, the Combined Federal Campaign
program, was established in 1961 by Executive Order. Hopefully everyone in this room and watching
online is aware of what the CFC program is all about, but we do get questions occasionally
from charities wanting to know, “Well, what do you do? What is this about?” So… the CFC program is an opportunity for
charities to–to attend charity fairs, be listed in our charity list for federal donors
to be able to donate to your organization. So, one of the benefits to donating through
the CFC for a lot of federal employees is that we can do that through our payroll–so
payroll deductions, which is a really big deal. So if I were to give you–if you asked me
for money right now, probably would give you $20, but if I have the ability to spread that
out over 26 periods, 26 biweekly period, I would probably–bimonthly period, I might
do that. It’s the only government-authorized solicitation
of employees in the federal workplace. So, unless it’s during the CFC campaign period,
which started this year, early September–in January 11th, charities are not allowed to
solicit federal employees during federal time or at the workplace via e-mail, via the government
e-mail or such. It’s overseen by our office here at OPM. It’s a staff of 7. Today, I’m joined by Gwen Savage. She’s one of the Operations Specialists. Anthony DeCristofaro is in the back. He’s the Deputy CFC Director and Senior Compliance
Specialist. Outside the auditorium, I think Rashard Adams
is out there, and he’s one of our Staff Assistants. And not here today is Charleese Adams, another
Staff Assistant; Keith Willingham, who’s the Director of the program; and Marcus Glasgow,
who’s also an Operations Specialist. So, since the program was established, the
program has raised over $8 million, so it is still the most successful workplace giving
program in the world. So, the reason why you’re here today is because
the annual–did you change–OK. The annual–the process to be a CFC charity
is an annual process. It’s not you apply once and you’re in the
program forever. You do need to apply once a year. And what that looks like–it could be different
based on what group you fall in, and we’ll talk about that, but it is an annual process. On our agenda today, we’ll go with the Advisory
Statements–how to set up your accounts, the documents that are required with your CFC
application, the application process, and different follow-on tasks such as sign in,
unsign in, edit, and paying for your application fee and your listing fee and other requirements
of the application process. So, just to give a high–very high-level overview
of the application process. It is online. It is an online application. Please do not send us a paper application. Even though we’re in the third year of the
online application, we still get paper applications. We do not accept paper applications. We return them to you, and if you miss your
deadline, missed the deadline because you sent us a paper application, sorry, but that’s
not on us. I mentioned the group situation. So, one of the changes that happened with
the regulations, the regulatory changes in 2016 that were implemented in 2016 is that
now, although you still need to apply to the program every year, you’re only required to
submit a full application once every 3 years. And then in the other two years is a short
application. So, we’ll talk a little bit more about the
differences between the full application and the online app–full application and the verification
application, but one of the two is required at least once every 3 years. And another big thing that I do want to stress
is the application process is a two-step process. So right now, you’re here to submit the initial
application. So, for your information, the application
period opens up this Saturday, December 1st, and it will extend all the way to January
31, 2019, so it’s open for a 60-day period. So, in the first two years of this new system,
we did give deadlines. The first year was two extensions, and then
last year, we only had one extension. So this coming-up year to 2019 period, we’re
hoping for no extensions. We’re hoping that the system will close down
January 31st. So please get in your application before that
deadline. And getting in your application also means
paying the application fee. So if you submit it and you didn’t pay your
application fee and you get to us on February 2nd and say “I didn’t pay the fee,” you’ve
missed the deadline. You have to wait till 2020. Once you submit your application, if you get
an approval, which we hope that your application is successful, you’ll also be invited to get
back into the system to do what we call listing. That will also have a deadline associated
with it. It’s normally sometime during the summer. And these deadlines are not suggestions. They’re deadlines. So if you miss the deadline–we have charities
every year that miss the deadline. Sorry. Apply again in the next year. So I just want to stress to you, once you
get your approval, that’s not it. We have charities that–we probably still
have charities that contact us now, even though we’re halfway through the solicitation period
to say, “I don’t see my name on the list.” That’s because they never completed the listing
requirements. So just make sure that once you get your approval,
yes, you’re approved to participate in the program, there is an additional step. And that’s what we call listing. This is the Advisory Statement. Basically, it just encourages you to tell
the truth. Be honest in your application. We do verify certain parts of your application. If we determine that there are any false certifications
or anything that you did that was not truthful, it will, of course, result in denial of your
application and ability to participate in the program. And then it says more about fine or imprisonment,
but we…Ha ha! That’s–you know, it’s been done, but of course
that’s not what anyone wants. So Required Documents. So I mentioned before the difference–the
two different application requirements–the full application versus the verification application. So, each of you should know which group you
fall in. That list was sent out a while ago. But if you don’t know, once you go into the
system to start your application, you’ll quickly find out which group you’re in. So, for this year, being that this is the
third year that we’re doing the online application and third year since all of the regulatory
changes, we’re in– Group 3 applicants are submitting full applications this year. So, what that means is you’re doing your certification
statements, you’re turning in the IRS form 990, you’re submitting financial statements,
and you’re also doing the areas of service. So it’s the full application. If you’re in Groups 1 or 2, you submitted
a full application previously. And this year, you’re only submitting a verification
application. If you submitted a full application before
and you were denied, your application was not approved, you’re required to submit a
full application again. If you change your membership type, you change
from say, a member organization to an independent organization, you’re required to submit a
full application. If you submit your application type–so that
means that you go from a local organization to a national-international or national-international
to a local organization, you’re required to submit a full application. So I’m just letting you know that because
we do get those questions. “I’ve submitted a full application last year. Why am I submitting a full application again?” It’s most likely because you were denied in
the previous year Or something about your application changed. So this table here just goes through the requirements
of what–which elements of the application are required for both the full application,
the verification application, and those that are required for just the verification application. So, now we’ll get into the CFC system. Anyone new to the system? Completely new? OK. So I will go over it. So, this website here, website address here,
that’s how to get to the charity application systems. So, again, anyone wishing–any charity wishing
to participate in the program must go to this website to establish an account and to submit
their application. So, for new users, what you would do is you
would click “Create an account,” and then you enter your name, your e-mail address,
and your password. And you’ll be prompted to enter…answers
to challenge questions. It’s very important that you do that, because
if you get locked out or forget your password, that’s how your password is reset. So please make sure that you enter the answers
to the challenge questions and also keep in mind that the answers are case-sensitive. If you are an existing user, it’s easy. You would just enter your username and your
password and you’re in. So once you’re logged in, if you’re a new
user or an existing user, you get taken to the “Your Charities” page. So, on this page here, this is, um…first
it shows you all the applications. If you’re already an existing user, it shows
you all of the applications that are under your accounts. So that’s if you’re an owner of the account
or editor of the application, and we’ll talk about the differences between the two in a
second. But you’ll see all the applications that you
can access on this page here. You can also search for–search for those
charities. So if you enter the CFC code, the EIN, or
the name of the charity, you can see which accounts are assigned to use. I always tell charities, “It’s always best
to search by CFC code, and their employer identification number.” Those are the two easiest ways to find your
online record. The name–you might get a number of different
results and have to do a lot of scrolling, but if you put in your EIN or your CFC code,
it takes you right to it. So, I mentioned before, the box outlined in
blue that shows you all of the applications that are assigned to you. So most of you won’t have this many applications
assigned to you. So unless you’re a federation, if you’re an
independents organization or even a member, you’ll probably have the one application. And the next–the next column outlined in
yellow that says “role” tells you what your user role is for that particular application. So, let’s say if you have multiple applications
that you can access, the roles may be different. So on one application, you may be an owner. On another one, you could be an editor. It also tells you the status of each application. So if it’s in progress, if it’s already submitted,
it normally says “In review.” If it’s a situation where it’s after the determination
process, it could say “Approved.” It could say “Denied.” If there’s an application that you submitted
an appeal for, it’ll say “In appeal.” So this screen here just helps you manage
the applications that are assigned to you, and it’s a quick view of what the status of
that application is. And then the last column is 2016 listing. So again, I mentioned that two-step process. So here you can determine if you’ve completed
your listing. So we get a lot of e-mails and calls from
charities asking us, “Well, did I complete my listing?” You can find that right here. So most of the questions that we normally
get are questions that if you logged into the system, you would be able to get that
information on your own. The other two things that I want to point
out, since we are approaching the beginning of the opening of the system, to start your
application you could do that right from this page. So, outlined in yellow, you see “Start an
Application” in red. So you click that, and it will bring up the
form for you to start to enter your information. Or you could also start it by “Find Your Charity’s
Name.” And it will, in that third column, you see
where it says “Start an Application,” you can also start it that way. So a couple of different ways that you could
start your application.>>Can I ask a quick question? Will the system know if we’re a full application
or something–>>Yes. Yes. So the other thing I wanted to point out before
we get too deep into what you’re here for is just the different functionality of the
interface. So this here, the homepage–So at the top
of the screen, you’ll see your name with the drop-down arrow. OK. Here. So from here, you can go to your home page. You could go to “Access.” You could go to “Settings,” “Help,” or to
“Logout” to the system. So I’ll briefly go over each one of those
so you’ll know. So the “Home” takes you to your “Charities”
page, which we just talked about. And then the “Access” shows your “Charity
Access Invitations and Requests.” So we’ll talk about that shortly. “Settings”–you can change your user settings,
your password, your name–if it changes–challenge questions. Any information that you used to register
for your accounts, you can change that all here. The next one is “Help,” which is very important. So there is a “Help” feature in the system. So, again, we get a lot of questions that
if you did a search on the website, it would actually generate a response for you. So we do have a lot of FAQs already in the
system, so please utilize the FAQs. And then to “Logout.” So, if you click on the system, I don’t think
it breaks anything, but you can logout. This is the way that you can logout. So this is the “Access” menu that I mentioned
before. So, this page here–so we talked about the
different roles. So if you’ve requested access to a particular
application, you’ve e-mailed your coworkers, say, for instance, that you have responsibilities
for part of the CFC application and you want to get in there to complete that task, you
can send an e-mail to whoever is an owner of the application to say, “Hey, give me access
to this application.” Or, you can send someone access, to say, “Hey,
I need you to do this particular part of the application, so I’m assigning you as an editor.” So on this page, you’ll be able to see any
pending request of what you’ve requested or what was sent to you. This is the “Settings” page that I talked
about, the FAQs. So there’s a Search. At the very top, you’ll see “FAQ” and “Search.” So if you do different keywords, say, for
instance, “Listing Fee.” If you were to type that in there, it would
bring up an explanation of the listing fees. If you brought up “Debt Line,” it would bring
that up. So we have a lot of FAQs already in the system
for your benefits. So, “User Roles. So, I’ve talked about that a lot. So there are two different roles: there’s
a charity owner, and then the charity editor. You’re not restricted on the number of owners
or editors that you can have assigned to an application. You could have 10. You could have 15. I always say have more than one. For the owner, you’re required to have at
least one, and then you can have editors. But I always encourage you to have more than
one individual–more than one person, actual organization that has access to this application,
because when we send out correspondence to charities, we send it to the e-mail on file. And we consider it sent when we send it. So if that person leaves, if that person is
on maternity leave, whatever the case may be, we’re not responsible if the message is
not received before the deadline. And every year, we get people to say, “The
person left” or, you know, “They’re on vacation. Please can we pay our application fee late? Can we pay our listing fee late?” We have deadlines for reasons. So please put multiple individuals assigned
to the application, so if you’re out on leave or whatever the case may be, someone will
be able to get that e-mail. And just to show you an example of how quickly
the workforce changes, I believe we sent out the information for this training at the beginning
of November. So you were able to start signing up, registering
for the training then. When we sent out the notification yesterday,
with the details of how to access the training in person or via web, we got a lot of bounce
backs–people who had already left the organization in less than a month. So it’s a reality. So the difference between the two–an owner
has full rights to the application. They could do everything that we’ll talk about
today. They could perform user management, they could
see disbursement information, they can enter banking account information, they can manage
affiliations. So managing affiliations means they can change,
say, for instance, their membership type from an independent to a member or in any direction. An editor is granted rights by the owner. And they’re restricted on what they can do. They can still see disbursement information,
but they cannot see the full banking account information. So they can only see the last 4 digits of
the bank information–banking information. They do not perform user management, so they
can’t invite other editors or other owners. Only the owner can do that. But again, you can have more than one editor. So to add a user, this page goes over that. So I sent the PDF of the slides to everyone
prior to this, so I’m not gonna go into too much detail about this, because we have other
things that you need to list here today, but this gives you instructions on how to add
a user, how to request access to an existing charity, how to request access if it’s a new
charity. So, that has a couple more steps. So if it’s a charity that’s not in our system,
so new–not a new organization, but new in terms of being in the system, you would need
to add that charity into the system. And these next slides go over how to do that. So you would enter the organization’s EIN
name, organization name, the address, and P.O. boxes are not acceptable. So for the organization’s address, you have
to use a physical address, so not a UPS store, USPS store, Mail Boxes Etc. It has to be a physical address, that if a
federal donor wanted to go to your organization to see “Let’s see if the person–this organization
is actually doing what they claim to do,” they would be able to see some type of activity,
and they could also look at–look at your 990, look at your financial statement. So it has to be a physical location where
a donor can visit. Can we hold questions until the end? Just because, again, we’re short on time,
and I do have a hard stop time. So once you add a charity, you will be generated
a CFC code. Please make sure that you write that code
down and that you keep it. So whenever you call us or e-mail us for assistance,
always give us your CFC code or your EIN number. That is the fastest way that we can help you. If you give us your organization’s name–I’ve
searched for organizations and I’ve had a really hard time finding them in the system
because maybe it was set up as an acronym, or I don’t know. But if you give us your CFC code or your EIN,
we can pull you up. We can definitely pull you up. The other thing is also when you enter your
information, make sure that you enter it in correctly. So things like EIN, it’s a 9-digit number. We have charities that enter 8 digits or 7
digits, or they transpose the numbers, and then the EIN number is incorrect, and then
we end up having to deny you because your information doesn’t match up with what’s in
the IRS Business Master File. And it sounds like a simple fix, where, “OK,
well, just switch it to the correct number.” It’s actually not a quick fix. And we’ve had situations where we were approaching
the deadline to get this information fixed, because we need to go to the system administrator
to request those changes. So please be careful what you enter into the
system. So, on this page here, once you add a charity,
it will ask you to verify the information that you enter. So, again, you do have an opportunity to verify
your information. What’s happening here? OK. So, on this page here, this is how you would
start your charity application. So, if you are a charity that applied last
year, the system will tell you, “This is how–this is the choice that you selected last year.” So if you applied as an independent, it will
say that. If you applied as a member, it would say that. If you applied as a federation, it would say
that. Be careful with selecting “federation.” We have organizations that select “federation”
because they say, “Well, we have more than one office. So I think we’re a federation.” You’re not a federation. If you’re a federation, most likely, you know
that you’re a federation. So just to use an example–Girl Scouts. They have a lot of–a lot of offices across
the country, but they’re not a federation. American cancer has–they have a lot of offices. They’re not a federation. So if you are a federation, it’s because,
one, you know that you’re a federation for sure. And two–you’re submitting your application,
plus at least 15 other member applications with yours, plus all of their application
fees. So if you’re only responsible for your one
application, you’re either a member or an independent. And if you’re a member, most likely your federation
is taking care of that for you. So just keep that in mind because we’ve taken
a lot of effort to reverse how organizations have applied in the past. And, again, these aren’t quick fixes, but
moving forward, we’re in year 3. Again, you know, we want to get to the business
of quickly reviewing your application, making sure that we can notify you that you’re accepted
and issue out the final list. So, doing things like having to correct how
people apply, those things just kind of slow down the process. OK, go back one. This is step one. Oh. OK, well, just go back to where it says “If
you’re missing information…” [Pause]
There. OK. So, as you begin your application and you
start to enter your information, if the information is required for you–because, again, we’ve
already talked about the full application versus the verification application. If the information or the documents is required
and you do not submit it or upload it, it will tell you “You are missing the following
information.” Please pay attention to that. And if you’re missing information, please
submit it. Because not submitting the information will
result in your application being denied. So, please look for those messages and go
back and fix whatever the issue is. Oh, thank you. So on this step here is the very first step
of the application, which is easy. No one fails on this step. So this is where you enter your organization’s
information. You enter your name, your e-mail address. There’s a message there, because again the
whole issue with e-mail addresses is a very serious issue. We have a lot of organizations that submit,
pay their application fee, and then they miss an e-mail. That’s unfortunate. You’ve just paid and now you’ve missed the
deadline and can’t participate in the program. So we have messages in the system to encourage
you to enter multiple e-mail addresses. Please do so. Please make sure that you’re also entering
the full e-mail address and the correct e-mail address. We do have situations where people enter the
wrong one, so instead of “.com, its “.cmo. That won’t get to you. Or the charity doesn’t put “.com,” “.org,”
Again, it won’t get to you. It bounces back to us. And we’ve considered it sent when we hit “Send.” So just to reiterate on that. Also, make sure that you use a semicolon to
separate the e-mail addresses. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is a
big deal when we go to send mass e-mails. Please don’t do colons, hyphens. It’s a semicolon. I’m sorry. Still on that page? So here for optional information is a website
and the fax number. Here you can put a P.O. Box address on this page on Step 1. So for the organization’s address, when you
first establish the charity in the system, it has to be a physical address. But on Step 1, you can do a P.O. Box. OK. Go on. On Step 2 of the application, this is where
you would say what your application type is. So, are you a local organization, national-international
organization or international? So I’ll go over those types. So local organization is an organization that
is only applying to be listed on one–in one charity list. So we have 36 zones. So there are 36 different charity lists. So if you’re a national-international or international
organization, you would appear in all of those books. But if you’re a local organization, you would
only appear in the book in that particular zone. So, if you’re in National Capital Area, which
is the D.C. location, and you’re a local organization, you would only appear in that book. You wouldn’t be in the Northern California
book. However, because we are electronic now, we
have an electronic pledging system. Electronically, a donor can find any charity
that is approved to participate in the program. So, if it’s on paper, you’re a little bit
more limited, but just keep that in mind. So I know some organizations like to be listed
in as many books as possible. If you wish to do that, you would need to
submit applications for each zone that you’re applying to. And that means an application fee and a listing
fee. But if you’re a national-international organization,
that means that you’re an organization with an international presence. That means that you provide services in at
least 15 states or one foreign country. If you’re an international organization, that
means you’ve provided services in at least one country. And then here, you would also say…if you’re
an independent organization or if you’re a member and which federation you belong to. So if you’re a member organization, if you
select that here, you would need to put your federation’s parent code. And you would get that from the organization
that is your parent’s. And then we also have the FSYA, FSYP, MWR
organizations. Their applications are very different from
the independents, and the federation. The independents and member organizations
as well as the federations, they have a much shorter application. But these are organizations that are on military
bases. So if you are FSYA, FSYP, MWR organization
and you need assistance with your application, just shoot us an e-mail. We don’t have a special session for those
charities, but we will still assist you one-on-one. So, Step 3 of the application is where you–is
the first certification statement of the application. So we have them throughout the remaining steps
of the application, and you are required to certify to each one of these statements. They’re not options. So this particular one trips up a lot of people. It basically is saying that you’re an organization
that provides health and welfare services. So a lot of animal charities, a lot of environmental
organizations will say, “Well, we don’t serve humans. We can’t certify to this statement.” Well, all 501(c)3 organizations should be
able to certify to the statements. And not certifying to the statements will
result in denial of your application. So please make sure that you read over the
statements, that you feel comfortable with it, and if you wish to participate in the
program that you do certify to it. Step 4 of the application is the areas of
service. So this is the part of the application that
trips up a lot of people, because this is where you’re required to document the services
that you provide, either locally, nationally, or internationally. So I’ll quickly go over just like the different
little check marks that you need to do in the system and entering of information that
you need to do but spend a little bit more time talking about the types of things that
we see where we would deny the application on this particular step. So here you would need to certify to a statement
here. It’s basically–it’s really small. Sorry about that. But basically, it’s saying that if you’re
a local organization, that you provided services in the local zone to which you’re applying,
if you are a national-international organization, you’re certifying that you have provided services
in at least 15 states or one foreign country. And if you’re an international organization,
you’re certifying to providing services in at least one foreign country. This step is not required of all applicants. This is only for the full application. So if you’re a verification application, you
will see a message here that says “You’re submitting a verification application. This step is not required. Click ‘Next’ to go to the next step.” If you are required to submit that, it will
say, “You’re submitting a full application. This step is required,” something along those
lines. Make sure that you certify to the statement
and then click “Add attachments” to enter additional information. So this is how the schedule of services looks
for local organizations. So here, you basically verify your service
address. And that normally is the same as the organization’s
address that you entered. If for some reason it’s different, say, for
instance you’re applying to a different zone, then–where your organization’s address is
located, you would just hit the second option, which is “Enter the service address,” and
you would do that there. On this page here, there are 3 different entry
boxes to enter description of services. For the 2019 application, you will see entries
for 2018, 2017, and 2016. Local organizations should only enter information
for 2018. Local organizations, you are required to show
that you provided services in the calendar year preceding the application year. So that would be 2018. So we’re looking to see what you did in 2018. If you enter information in 2017 or 2016,
that information will not be considered for in terms of what services you provided. So please make sure for local organizations
that you only provide services–only provide the descriptions for 2018. You can also…add as many attachments, as
you want to. So you’re not restricted in the number of
those, but of course, we don’t want to read 100 of these. So please be judicious in what you’re entering. But if you wanted to tell us 3 different services
that you provide –provided in 2018, you can do that. You would just go back to that page–Go back
one, Gwen–and click “Add attachments.” So for each one, you would hit “Add attachments.” The service description is restricted to 256
characters, so a lot of people say, “Well, how can I describe everything that we do in
256 characters?” where you’re describing one thing that you do in 256 characters and the
next thing that you do, you would click “Add attachments” and talk about that. And then the next thing, you would talk about
that. So, for instance, if you’re an organization
that you provide housing, and you have a soup kitchen, you’re not required to describe it
all in that one service description. You would talk about the housing program that
you do, whatever that looks like. You would talk about that. Save it. And then click “Add attachments” and then
talk about the soup kitchen. You guys understand that? Even though you are allowed to add multiple
attachment “A”s, you can’t use that as a way to get around the 256 characters. So let’s say you’re really excited to talk
about this one particular thing that you do and you run out of characters. The system should stop you when you’ve hit
256 characters. You can’t say, “Oh, I’ve run out of space. Let me hit another “Add attachments” and keep
typing about the same description.” That’s not acceptable. So just make sure each one you fully talk
about it. So, what I see a lot from charities is a lot
of information that we don’t necessarily need. So, for instance, we don’t need to know when
your organization was founded or your executive director’s name here. So those are things that you can do to save
space. So if at the point you’ve said, you know,
“My organization was founded in 2009, and this is our mission statement,”–which is
also not allowed–and we’ll talk about that. And then you tried to say what services you’ve
actually provided, most likely you will hit that 256 character limit. So again, just make sure that you take out
some of those things that we don’t necessarily need. We only need to know what you’ve done.>>It is characters, not words.>>Characters. So spaces, punctuation. Yes, good question.>>Excuse me. We’re a national organization. Are you doing that for states?>>Oh, we’ll get to that. So for national-international, again, it’ll
tell you if you’re required to submit this step, the areas of service. And you would do the same thing here. So, if you’re a national-international organization
and you’re meeting the requirements based on states, we should see at least 15 entries
here–at least 15 attachments. If you’re meeting the requirements with a
country, then we can see one, because, again, for national-international, it’s either 15
states or one foreign country. And then international is one foreign country. For international, you shouldn’t–we won’t
count any services that you provided in states. So just keep that in mind. I always recommend to charities to enter more
than the minimum, because as we look at the–we do look at these. If we look at the states that you’ve entered,
and we determine that one does not meet the requirements, now you’ve fallen under the
minimum threshold. Now you’re at 14. But if you were to, say, enter 18, and we
determined that 3 of them don’t meet the requirements, well, we have 15 others to choose from, 15
others that meet the requirements. So always try to do more than the 15. And if you’re looking to qualify based on
country, try to do more than the one country. The other thing to note is for national-international
and international organizations, remember when I talked about the 3 different entries? So for 2019, you will see entries for 2018,
2017, and 2016. It’s for national-international and international
organizations. So, because these organizations have a higher
burden to meet, they have to show the services that they provided in at least 15 states or
one foreign country. We do give up to 3 years for them to report
the services that they provided. So, the one caution here is make sure that
you put something for the most recent year. So even though you have up to 3 years–let’s
say, for instance, you put all the services that you provided in 2017 or 2016. Well, the regulation states that you have
to have provided services in the most recent year prior to the application year. So for the 2019 year, application year, you
have to report something that you did in 2018. So, for instance, if you’re meeting the requirements
based on states, even if just in one state you provided eligible services, we determined
that they were eligible in 2018, the remaining 14 could be between 2017 and 2016 because
you’ve showed us that at least in 2018 you did something, but you can’t just–if you
put just all 2017 and 2016, and we don’t see what you did in 2018, your application will
be denied. And, again, for local organizations, we have
to see what you did in 2018. We’re not at all interested in what you did
in terms of for the CFC application in what you did in 2017 and 2016. We only need to see that most recent year.>>We’re in Group 3, so we don’t have our
’16 and ’17 information. Can we add that now at this time?>>I’m sorry, what? I’m sorry. As I did ask her to hold her question. Can you hold your question to the end? Thank you. So throughout this PowerPoint presentation,
and in the slides that should be waiting for you in your e-mail, you’ll see…text in red
and it will say “Completeness Review Check.” So I should have mentioned that at the beginning. Prior to last year, the CFC used to do what
we called a “Completeness Review” of your application. That’s where we looked over your application
to see if basic information was left out. We no longer do those checks. Those checks are very time-consuming. We don’t have the capacity, and quite honestly,
for other federal applications or documents that you submit, the IRS doesn’t do a Completeness
Review Check of your 990. So, we no longer do those checks, but we do
provide you with a Completeness Review Checklist. And that checklist is very detailed in going
through each step of the application and what’s required. So please use that checklist. Right before you submit your application,
you’ll get a pop-up box that says something along the lines of “Downloading the Checklist.” Download the checklist, look at it, go through
each question. This is how you submit successful applications. But we see too many applications–we probably
have maybe about 10% of applications that fail each year. So that’s based on the number that we get. That’s about 1,000 applications each year. And we provide training and we provide the
checklist. Just please make sure that you do your due
diligence to make sure that your application is complete before submitting it. So in this PowerPoint presentation, we do
have verbiage here as reminders for you. So here, it just kind of goes through each
thing that you should look out for to make sure that before you submit your application
that that step is completed sufficiently. So as–for instance, so I talked about the
calendar year 2018 for 2019. Make sure that if you’re a local organization,
you provided that. It will also talk about the number of beneficiaries
or the monetary value. So for each service description, you are required
to say the number of beneficiaries that benefited from the service or the monetary value. And what I recommend to charities is if you
have information on both, enter both. You don’t have to do an either/or. So, In CFC regulations, there’s something
that we call “De minimis services.” So if in your service description, you say,
“We provided–we provided–we fed two homeless people in the D.C. area,” most likely, that
particular service description would be determined to be de minimis. So we look at the number of beneficiaries
or the monetary value. Those numbers are not published. So we can’t tell you what that threshold is,
but just be mindful that we do look to make sure that you are meeting a certain requirement. And if I’m reviewing an application, and if
you’ve put the number of beneficiaries and the monetary value, you might have served,
say, only one individual. But then you say that you–you know to provide
services to that one individual, it was $50,000. So I’ll say, “OK, well, they didn’t meet the
requirements based on the number of beneficiaries, but based on the monetary value, I find this
to be sufficient, and I can accept this particular areas of service.” So just keep that in mind as a recommendation. If you have the information on the number
of beneficiaries, and the monetary value, just enter them both. OK. For the national-international, it goes through
the same questions. It will ask you, “Did you provide the areas
of service for at least 15 states or one foreign country?” Make sure that you do that. So, again, just look for those Completeness
Review Checks. OK. The one thing I do want to note–Gwen, go
back one. For the local organizations as well as for
the national-international, there is a place where it asks for the organization’s dedicated
phone number. Please enter that information. This information is for donors. So please make sure that you answer that. Make sure that you certify to the statement. So just try to point out some of the things
that we see in our reviews that cause us to deny applications. And also, as a note, in terms of the areas
of service reviewing that, it is in the discretion of OPM to determine if something meets the
requirements. So, one of the things that we find is where
an application might have been denied and the charity comes back and says, “Well, it
shouldn’t have been denied. You should accept this.” Well, again, it’s in the discretion of OPM. And the other thing is, sampling does take
place in some of the zones. I know here at OPM, we review the national-international
and international applications, and we do try to look at all of the applications. But in some of the other zones, we don’t have
control over that. So I’ve mentioned that to say, if your application
was denied and then another application was accepted, was approved, that’s not a justification
for why we should reverse our decision on your application. Because maybe sampling took place and that
application wasn’t even looked at. If we look at your application, we will hold
you to the standards in the regulations. So just keep that in mind. If you’re an organization that is reporting
services, what we call web-based services, so all of the services that you did were via
web, the system doesn’t accommodate for you to be able to provide additional information
that’s required in the regs. In those circumstances, we’ll reach out to
you to say, “We see that you provided web-based services. We need this additional information.” And we’ll give you a timeframe for when you
should get that information to us. Please make sure you do that. We’ve had charities that did not respond to
that e-mail, and their application was denied. So for this Completeness Review Check, it
goes through some of the things that–some of the problem areas for the areas of service. So, a mission statement. I mentioned that earlier. A mission statement is not an acceptable service
description. So a mission statement is something that’s
aspirational, something that, you know, “We hope to end homelessness.” It does not tell us what you actually have
done because you might have hoped to do that, but you haven’t done it. So please don’t put mission statements on
Step 4, because that is a reason for a lot of denials. So, normally, we look for words like “we provided,”
“we served,” “we serviced,” things that showed action. So if you say, you know, “We offer transitional
housing,” that does not say what you actually have done. So, again, look out for certain words like
“offer” or “We have these services available.” That doesn’t say what you’ve actually provided,
who you actually served. So, again, just look out for that. Broad descriptions of services. So we’ll see service descriptions. It’ll just say “tutoring” or “meal service.” Well, what does that mean? Who did you tutor? Additional information is needed. So you do have 256 characters, which is a
limit, but it doesn’t mean that you’re limited to just putting 1- or 2-word answers. We should see a little bit more than that. As a good practice…Gwen, go back one. Two. Yes. Here. So “Does the service description clearly state
who received the service, what the service was, when it was delivered and where it was
delivered?” Those are good things to do to look out for,
best practices in terms of developing your service descriptions. So someone said, “Well, why would I say where
it was delivered because I’m applying to this zone? Obviously, it was in that zone.” Well, some of our zones–some of our states
are located in multiple zones. So as a way to make sure that you’re applying
to the correct zone, we do need to see where it was delivered, because it could be, you
know, if you just said “California,” well, where in California? So, now we don’t know if you should be applying
to the Northern California zone or to the Southern California zone. Repetitive narratives. So, that’s a CFC regulation. It’s not something that Victoria doesn’t like,
but it says it in CFC regulations that–all of these actually say it in CFC regulations
that repetitive narratives are not allowed. So, for instance, we see it a lot in national-international
applications, not so much in locals, because technically all you need to show is that you
provided the one service. But for national-international, you’re having
to show that, you know, in a lot of cases for at least 15 states. And the charity will say the exact same thing
in each one of them. Well, we can’t determine if you just did a
cut-and-paste Or this is what you actually did. So just be mindful of that. So, as an example I gave to someone was–and
I know that this is tough for a lot of national-international organizations, because a lot of times you
are doing the exact same thing in 15 different states or throughout the country. So, if it’s–you know, “We build houses for
homeless people in Montana.” So that’s one. And then you would say what you did in Los
Angeles or in Atlanta, Georgia. That insertion of the city or the location
now has made it different. So we’re not asking you to spend a whole lot
of time of figuring out how to say something 15 different ways, but if you took the effort
to just enter “This is what we did in D.C.,” “This is what we did in Baltimore,” “This
is what we did in Orlando,” now it’s not considered repetitive. Go back one. Listing of affiliated groups. So, we see that sometimes where, again, you
might have an organization that has relationships with other organizations or you’re an organization
that has offices throughout the country. And you kind of list everything Or you take
credit for something that your office in Chicago did. You can’t do that, because if you’ve applied
and you’ve answered what Chicago did and then Chicago applied, now were double-counting
services. So just make sure that you’re reporting on
what you, your organization did. And a lot of times, that comes in the way
of support. So it could be, you know, funding. Your funding has helped an organization do
something. We just need a little bit more than you just
listing an organization. And then I’ve talked about the de minimis
services. So there’s information there. So there was a memo that we issued in October,
I believe it was, that really goes into detail on how to complete the areas of service. I included that here, the link to it here
in your PDF documents that I sent out. You can access it straight from there or from
the OPM website. Please look over that memo to just make–there
are a lot of helpful examples…just look over it, as some of the things are, you know,
maybe best practices, and some of the things are just things that you should avoid. So please make sure that you avoid these things. I really hate seeing applications get denied,
especially after you’ve paid an application fee. Step 5 of the application is the exemption
status. So this is one of the steps that is not required
of all applicants. It’s required of full applications, and it
will tell you. So the text in blue, you can’t really see
it that well, but just when you go to Step 5 of your application, if you’re an organization
that’s a chapter or affiliate, it will say something along the lines of “You know, we
see–” I can’t even read it. “We see that you’re operating as a chapter
affiliate. You should choose Option 3.” Or “If you’re an organization that is part
of a group exemption–” and again, these are those scenarios where there might be a larger
organization that oversees your organization. Or you’re an organization that’s related to
a national organization. So that information we take from the IRS Business
Master File. So this is how the IRS recognizes you. So if you see that messaging, you should choose
that option because, again, this is information that’s being–the system bounces information
off of the IRS Business Master File. So any organization that might have lost their
tax-exempt status, we would know that– maybe not quickly, but we’ll figure it out eventually. So, just keep that in mind for whatever option
is suggested for you to select. Select that option. If you’re an organization that is not at all
related to any other organization, you normally would choose Option 1, which is “We’re a stand-alone
organization, and that’s how the IRS recognizes us.” If you choose option 2 or 3, you are required
to submit additional documentation on this step. So I’m actually going to correct something
that I said. Choosing one of these options is required
of all applicants. Submitting the additional documentation is
only required if you’re Group 3 applicants in 2019. If you’re a full applicant, then you’re having
to submit additional documentation. So here, if you’re a part of an organization
that operates under a group exemption, you’re required to submit to Group Exemption Lists,
which is a listing of all the organizations that are part of that group exemption with
their name and EIN number. If you’re an organization that operates as
a part of–as a chapter or affiliate, you have to submit a letter–we call it a CEO
letter–from the national organization, and it normally has to be signed by the CEO, Executive
Director–someone very high-level from that organization to say, “Yes, we know of this
chapter. They are covered by our employer identification
number. They’re covered under our IRS form 990 and
our financial statements, and we approve of them applying for participation in the CFC.” And that letter has to be signed and dated
after, I believe it’s October 1 of the year before the application period, so October
1, 2018. So the more recent the letter, the better. Ahem. The next step is the IRS Determination Letter,
which is not required of all applicants, only the ones submitting the full application. So, normally in these cases, it would be an
organization that’s, say, new–recently got their 501(c)(3) status. Or maybe for some reason…maybe…we just
can’t find them on the IRS Business Master File. Then in that case, you would be required to
submit your IRS Determination Letter, and that is a requirement. If you’re required to submit it, you have
to submit it. Under that, it has your listing name. So in the charity list–have we all seen the
charity list that the federal donors use to pick out charities? It can list you–well, it must list you with
your legal name. That’s a requirement. It has to list you under the legal name that
the IRS knows you, but then there’s an option to be listed with a listing name. So, that is, you know, the legal name–my
legal name is Victoria Taiwo, but as a CFC charity, I would like to be listed as Victoria’s
Charities. But I’ve gotten permission from my state organization
that has given me the permission to use that “doing business as” name. So please make sure that if you submit a “doing
business as” name, that you actually do have supporting documentation there. So we’re not going to list you under any name
that you wish to be listed just because you want that. We need to see some type of documentation
that supports that. So if you’re an organization that is part
of a group exemption or a chapter or affiliates, although on Step 5, you are not required–say,
if you’re submitting a verification application. On Step 5, you are not required to submit
that documentation there. If you do wish to be listed with a different
name, you would need to submit it on Step 6. You would need to submit something that shows
that you’ve gotten that permission. And here I should say that the listing name–the
submitting a request for a “DBA” name can be submitted with your application or during
the listing. Please submit it during the application phase. We have a lot of these to look over, and Gwen
normally tackles that all by herself with a little help. So the earlier that you submit it to us, the
better we are in terms of making sure that we look through all of these. Because we can’t issue the final list until
we’ve looked at all the DBA name requests. We will look at it during listing, but it’s
better if you submit it with your application. And it’s also better if you submit it with
your application, because there’ve been some cases where, say, your financial statements
or your 990–the name doesn’t match with what’s on your application. That’s the reason for your application to
be denied. But if you submit that “doing business as”
documentation, we would see, “Oh, well, this is their legal name, but they have a “doing
business as” name, and that’s what they put on their financial statements or the 990.” So it’s really better to submit it with your
application. If you submit a “doing business as” name and
we, for whatever reason, we don’t accept it–maybe the documentation is outdated, so a lot of
states will give that permission, but it’s for a particular timeframe. You know, there will be an expiration date
on that document. We won’t accept your use of that name, but
that doesn’t mean that you can’t be listed. That just means that we’ll list you with your
legal name. So keep that in mind. We won’t deny any applications because they
requested to be listed as a particular name and we didn’t approve that. We’ll actually contact you and give you an
opportunity to submit the correct documentation. Step 7 is the financial statements portion
of the application. So this is only required–submitting the documentation
is only required of applicants submitting full applications. All applicants have to certify to one of the
statements. So just to go over the 3 statements–the first
statement basically says, “Our total revenue that’s reported on our 990 is over $250,000. We’re required to submit audits of financial
statements, to have prepared audited financial statements. And we do that, and it’s in accordance with
generally accepted accounting principles generally accepted auditing standards–GAP and GAS. And that we–” I think something along the
lines of, “We account for our funds on an accrual basis.” So, that’s what the first one says. The second one says, “Our total revenue is
less than $250,000 but more than $100,000, so we either have audited financial statements
or we have reviewed financial statements.” So, for organizations selecting Option 2,
you can submit reviewed statements or audited financial statements. Under no circumstances do we accept compiled
statements. So we get those questions, and we get financial
statements where it’s some other form, something else other than audits or reviewed statements. Those are the only two that we accept. The third option is “Our total revenue is
under $100,000, so we’re not required to do an audit or reviewed financial statements,
but we do account for our funds on an accrual basis.” And we have certain–no, actually, hold on. I think it’s along the lines is “We have controls
in place to monitor our funds.” So just make sure that you select 1 of the
3 statements. We do verify that you selected the correct
statement based on your total revenue. So if you say, “well, I don’t want to submit
audits and financial statements or reviewed statements, so I’ll just select option 3,”
we do verify that, and then we’ll deny your application. And then, you’ll need to submit your audits
or your reviewed statements. So, honesty is always the best policy. And here, it would just go over the requirements
of those audits or those reviewed statements. So the audits and the reviewed statements,
they have to be–they have to be conducted by Certified Public Accountants. They have to be signed. Make sure that they’re signed and dated. And dated. We get a lot that are not dated. They also have to be for a period at least
18 months prior to the application near. So the application deadline–so the application
deadline is January 31, 2019. So that means your financial statements should
be for a period on or after June 30, 2017. So if you send us financial statements that
are June 30 of 2016, 2015, May 31, 2017–those statements are old, and we won’t accept them. And the reason why I use May 31, 2017 ’cause
it’s really close to June 30th, right. It’s old. It has to be at least 18 months prior. So the magic date, here is June 30, 2017. And that date, that financial period, has
to be the same as what’s on your IRS form 990, which we’ll discuss. So that’s another reason why we see a lot
of applications get denied. The fiscal periods are different. It has to be for the same fiscal period. If your application is denied for the 990
or the financial statements and you submit an appeal, and we’ll talk about that, make
sure that you keep that in mind when you submit the documents on appeal. Because I see that a lot. We denied your application for whatever situation,
and you submit the–a 990, what happens a lot is, the organization will submit the 990
because it’s more recent, the numbers look better in terms of their administrative fundraising
rates. So they want to use that more favorable fundraising
rates. Well, now the fiscal period is different than
what was submitted for the audits. Now your application is getting denied. So just make sure that with your application
or even on appeal, your 990 and the audit or the reviewed financial statements are for
the same fiscal period. So for the 990, which is Step 8, all organizations
must complete this step–full application or verification application. So even if you’re a organization that’s a
chapter or affiliates, and I mentioned earlier that it might be a situation–in the CEO letter,
it’ll say something like, “This organization is covered under our financial statements
and IRS form 990,” you still have to submit a 990 for CFC purposes. And we call that the pro forma IRS form 990. So it’s something that you’re doing only for
the CFC. And it’s not a particular form. It’s the same form as you would submit if
you were actually submitting it to the IRS, but you’re only having to fill out certain
parts of it. The 990 EZ, PF, or N or any other variation,
we won’t accept that. So please don’t submit it. We get those every year. We won’t submit it–we won’t accept it. If you submit an EZ, PF, or N to the IRS,
then you would complete the pro forma. If you’re a church or religious organization
and you don’t have to submit the IRS form 990 to the IRS, you still have to do the pro
forma for the IRS. If you tell us that, “Well, we’re a church,
we’re a synagogue. We’re not required to do this.” Well, for the CFC, you do have to do the pro
forma. So, a protest letter won’t get you excused
from doing this requirement. So, one of the changes that we did this year
was on Step 8 of the application, we have downloadable forms of the IRS form 990 on
the website. And we did that for a couple of reasons. One is, the system does scan the applications. And a lot of times, when your accountant does
your IRS form 990 and you’ve copied it a couple of different times, now when our system goes
to scan your documents, it generates really bad results. So, we’ve uploaded a version here that you
can download, complete, save, and upload back to our system, which would be a much better
version for the scanner to pick up. Another reason why we put it here is because
with the pro forma, especially with the pro forma, is we noticed a lot of mistakes, even
with the ones submitted to the IRS. And just so you know, if the IRS accepts your
document, the IRS typically don’t review these documents. We probably review more IRS form 990s than
the IRS. Just because you submitted it to the IRS and
didn’t get a letter back and no one knocked on your door, that doesn’t mean that there
were no errors. That doesn’t mean that we should accept it. So just keep that in mind, because we get
that in appeals a lot, where the charity will say, “Well, the IRS accepted it, so you should,
too.” Not acceptable, and they don’t participate. So, John, could you queue up that PDF? So, what we did was, we uploaded the IRS form
990. We did two different versions of it. There’s one for 2016 and one for 2017. So even if you’re an organization that submitted
your documents to the IRS, still look at this because the highlighted sections are the sections
that we look at in the document. So just make sure that those sections are
completed and completed properly. And if you’re submitting the IRS–pro forma
IRS form 990, you’re submitting this document just for CFC purposes, definitely make sure
that you complete anything that’s highlighted in yellow. So we–can you scroll through this? We get a lot of these documents either submitted
to the IRS or the pro formas that are not completed properly. Signatures. Such a sad reason for your application to
be denied. Very sad, because you didn’t submit a signed
IRS form 990. If the IRS form 990 is not signed, it’s not
a final document. We don’t know what changes were made after
it was supposedly submitted to the IRS. So that signature basically is–we’re not
looking for the tax preparer signature. We don’t care that your tax preparer signed
it. What were looking–that someone high-level
within your organization–the CEO, CFO–somebody signed it and somebody’s vouching that this
document is complete and correct. So please sign it and date it. So just throughout the document, you’ll see
highlighted parts of this 990. Make sure that you complete those parts. So that’s one of the changes that we did to
the system this year to hopefully decrease the number of denied applications that we
see. Thanks, John. You can bring back up the PowerPoint. So I mentioned before, the 990 has to be for
the same fiscal period as the financial statements. So, again, please make sure that you check
for that. Make sure that the parts, the financial parts,
where it reports your total revenue, your general and management expenses, and your
fundraising expenses–make sure that you complete that. We see a lot of those with missing information. We can’t calculate your organization’s administrative
fundraising rates without that information. And that’s a requirement to be listed in the
CFC book. So, what we see a lot for various parts of
the 990–we’ll see organizations that leave things blank, and they come back and say,
“Well, we left that blank because it’s zero.” But we can’t determine if that’s zero. If it’s a zero, put a zero. So we can’t determine–a zero is not–a blank
response is not a response. And we do deny a lot for blank responses. So, again, the Completeness Review Check. Make sure the name on the 990 is the same
as what’s on the financial statements, was the same as the name on the CFC application,
on the IRS Determination Letter if required. Just make sure–and that the 990 in the financial
statements, again, same name. Shouldn’t be two completely different names. So Step 9 is where we calculate your AFR. So we pull that information straight from
your IRS form 990. So, again, can’t calculate it if you didn’t
put a response there. Here’s the formula that we use to calculate
it. That is how we calculate it. If you think that there is a better formula
to calculate your AFR, that’s fine, but we won’t accept it. You have to use this formula. And there’s also a certification statement
that you need to check. Step 10 is the governing body. This is where you report your board composition. And you get that information from your 990,
and we check it on your 990. So this trips people up a lot. This step is not asking you the number of
your voting members and the number of your trustees right now. It’s asking you that number for the period
Of the IRS form 990 that you submitted. So, for instance, June 30 of 2017. How many voting members were reported on that
IRS form 990? How many trustees? I’m not asking how many voting members and
trustees you have in January 2019. We’re looking for what you reported on your
990. And there’s also a certification statement
here that needs to be checked. So, on the 990, this is something that trips
up a lot of charities, and we get a lot of, “Well, this is how my accountant has always
done it, and it’s not wrong.” Well, a lot of times it is wrong, even though
your accountant did it. And, again, even though you’ve done it like
this forever, we caught it. Your application will be denied for that. So, as you can see, Part 1, line 3 is highlighted. That’s your voting, the number of voting members. Make sure you enter something there. Has to be something. Can’t be blank. Can’t be zero. You have to have voting members because the
CFC regulation says that you have to have an active board. So if you have zero, we see that in a lot
of cases, application will be denied. So make sure that there’s a number there. Next page. On this page here, Part 7 gets completed incorrectly
a lot. So here on the first column, you’d list out
all your board members, all your trustees. It also allows you an opportunity to list,
like, your employees and other employees, but we’re not looking for your employees. We’re looking for your board members, your
trustees here. And…we need to see at least one person listed,
right, so can’t be blank, can’t be zero. It has to be something. The third column under “C,” it says “individual
trustee or institutional trustee.” And then it has “Officer,” it has “Key employee,”
it has “Highest-compensated employee,” and then the last one, I really can’t see that
well. One of those first two columns need to be
checked. That’s how we determine who are the trustees. So, what we see a lot is organizations listing
someone and selecting “Officer,” which is that third sub-column. We don’t consider the Officer position as
a trustee. The IRS considers the Officer as a high-level
person at the organization. So, a CFO, a CEO, and Executive Director,
not a trustee, not a board member. To report your board member, again, it has
to be one of those first two sub-columns. And I’m stressing this, because we see this–we
see this a lot, where it’s wrong. And you’ve paid an accountant. You’ve paid a bookkeeper. You paid someone to do this, and it was wrong. And you submit it to us, thinking it’s right,
but it’s not. So, that’s how you would report your trustees. If you don’t select one of those first two
sub-columns, that little box there that I circled–not very well, but still a circle–you
can check that box to say…it says “Check this box if neither the organization nor any
related organization compensated any current officer, director, or trustee.” Actually, let me amend what I just said. So, you still have to check one of those two
sub-columns to say either they’re an individual trustee or a trustee. That next column, columns “D,” “E,” and “F,”
that’s where you report any compensation received by the individual–so any compensation that
they received from the organization itself or any related organization. So maybe someone that you partner with paid
this individual. You would report it here. Can’t be blank. If it’s zero, put zero. And it has to be a zero for each column. So, you know, if you list me, Victoria Taiwo,
then columns “D” through “F.” If it was zero, you put zero for column “D,”
zero for “E,” zero for “F.” so what we see a lot is we see charities, they might put
a zero. If they put anything, they might put a zero
under “E” or they might put it under “F.” Well, what happened in “D”? So make sure that you put it in “D,” “E,”
or “F.” The exception to that is you check that box to say, “None of these individuals
received compensation.” If you list someone that received compensation
and you check that box, now we don’t know what you did. Looks like–it’s unclear to us. That’s a reason for your application to be
denied. So make sure even if you already have your
990 and you look at it and you say, “Oh, no, this is wrong. Like, they’re gonna deny my application.” Calm down. If it was a document that you submitted to
the IRS, all you need to do is amend it with the IRS and submit it to us. And if you amend it with the IRS, on the very
first page–go back to the first page. Under “B” on the left–on the far right-hand
side under “Check if applicable.” It will say “Amended return.” Just make sure you check “Amended return”
and then submit it to us. Well, submit it to the IRS and submit it to
us. And, again, we are able to verify that. What we see a lot of times, where the charity
might have made corrections on their 990 and then they submit it to us, we won’t accept
that. We’ll deny the application because if you’ve
submitted a document to the IRS and make changes to it after, that’s not acceptable. It has to be–the IRS has to have the same
information that we have. So if you make any changes to it, make sure
that you correct it. In the case of pro formas, that’s different
’cause you’re only doing those for the CFC. So you don’t have to submit the pro forma
to the IRS even if you make changes to it. OK. Step 11. Really easy. More certification statements. Read those over. You just certify to each one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone fail for
this, because you’re just attesting that these statements
are correct. So, here’s the application dashboard. So, from here, you can edit your application,
upload documents. So if on a particular step, say, Step 7, you
didn’t put your financial statements, you can upload your financial statements or your
990 here. You can view and add your users here. And you can sign and unsign your application
here. Signing the application is required. There needs to be someone high-level within
an organization that’s attested that the content in the CFC application–that that information
is truthful and correct. They have to enter their name and their initials,
save signature, and continue. You have to pay the application fee. So, if you don’t pay the application fee,
we don’t even get it for you to get it to review. So if you fill out everything and you think
you’re good, but you didn’t submit the application, it won’t even land in our queue. So make sure you complete your application
and you pay your fee on or before the deadline–preferably before. So, we see a lot of instances where people
wait till the deadline and then they forget their password, or they have system issues
that day, and now they’ve missed their deadline. And now they want extensions. We normally say, “No, sorry. wait till next year.” So please don’t wait till Decem–January 31st. As I said before, we’re hoping to not do an
extension this year. So operate under, “They’re not giving extensions. I need to do it before January 31st.” Here’s the application and listing fees. That information–the new schedule was published
and sent out in early November. That information is also on our website, I
believe. Application and listing fees are both required. If you pay your application fee but don’t
come back and pay the listing fees, you don’t get listed. And charities will ask us sometimes when they
miss the deadline, “Well, I know who the donors are. If I send them an e-mail and give them our
CFC code, can they still donate to us?” Well, you can either donate electronically
or on paper. Electronically, they won’t even be able to
pull you up to be able to donate to you. And if we get a paper pledge card with your
CFC number and you weren’t approved to participate in that current year, we don’t process that
pledge card. So pay your–pay both fees. Very important. It’s unfortunate when I see organizations
that did one-half and then missed the deadline and didn’t do the other half and then they’re
out because these fees are not refundable. For independent organizations, you pay that
via the website with a credit card that federations, I believe the way they normally work is like
the members submit their payments to their federations, and then the federation does
one big payment for them. And because those fees are so high, most credit
card balances aren’t that high. So in those cases, federations are the only
ones allowed to do ACH payments. Everyone else must do a credit card payment. Editing the application. So, for the first two years, if you submitted
your application, and it was in our review queue, you couldn’t make any edits to it,
even if it was before the application deadline. So, sometimes someone would say, “Oh, my goodness,
I forgot. I put an old IRS form 990. Can I update my documents?” Once you sign the documents, it was final. We made a change, because it really just didn’t
make sense to me. So now you can edit your application up until
the application deadline. So if you submit your application and you
realize that there’s something that you forgot to do or whatever, you can go back in and
edit your application. So that’s a good change. To edit your application, you would need to
un-sign it, so you remove your name, your initials, you click “Remove signature.” and
then once you make your edits, you have to go back in and signed it again. So please make sure you go back and sign it
again. The charity home screen. So when you log into your screen to your account,
you’ll see any applications that you’ve submitted, their status. You’ll see listing information, whether or
not you’ve completed listing. We get questions a lot. “Did I complete listing?” Look here, Your dashboard. You can also see donations. So you’ll see donations that were pledged
to you in 2017, and so it goes back as far as 2017. Yeah, so 2017–2018, and that upcoming 2019. So anything before 2017, we didn’t have this
online system. You won’t see it here, but if you’re wanting
to know how much has been pledged to you, even in real-time, so this particular campaign
that’s going on right now, you can log into the system and see that. You don’t have to call us to ask how much
hasn’t been pledged to you. That information is here, so it gives you
real-time information and transparency. So, withdrawing an application. You could do that. You would do that from your dashboard. Please make sure that you think twice before
doing that. If you withdraw your application and you paid
your fee, it’s not refundable. You don’t get your money back. So, the system also tells you that before
you withdraw your appl–it will say, “Are you sure you want to withdraw your application? Because you don’t get your money back.” And still we have people withdraw their applications,
and then request their refund. Or if your application is denied, you still
don’t get a refund because you still submitted your application. It was still reviewed. So please just make sure–that’s why I really
try to be as detailed as possible in this training to make sure that you have good information
to submit successful applications because I really do hate seeing denied applications,
because you don’t get your money back. So on the application dashboard, you can verify
if you’ve paid your application fee. So that little circle, that square in green,
that shows if you’ve paid it. It’ll say “paid” or “unpaid.” The red box is where I said you can upload
documents if you forgot to do them before, or it will show if you uploaded the documents. It will tell–it will show you there. The part below that says “Submission–Submission
System.” I do want to talk about this, because it’s
important to talk about. So, for each step of the application, it will
list it out, and it would say–before, it used to say “Complete” or “Not complete” Or
“Incomplete,” something like that. And when charities got denied, they would
say “Well, the system said it was complete. So why are you denying me?” That’s not what that means. It doesn’t mean that you were all good on
that particular step. All that meant was you submitted something
on that particular step. So, say, for instance, on the 990. It just says “Yes.” Something was submitted. It could’ve been the “Washington Post.” It could’ve been anything. Does not mean that it was an acceptable document. It just means that something was submitted. But we changed our verbiage a little bit to
not confuse people. So now it says “Review Pending” or I think
it still says “Incomplete.” So to still let you know. So always check this–this section here. So if you see where it’s the red, I think
it’s a red circle with an “X,” that means that something is missing there. Go back, see what’s missing. Complete it. If it says “Review Pending,” it means that
you submitted something and a reviewer will look at it. A note of caution. If you…if you complete an application but
don’t submit your application fee, it will still say “Review Pending,” but you didn’t
submit your application fee. So no one is gonna look at it. So just make sure that you’ve paid your fee
to make sure that it lands in our queue so we can look at it. Eligibility decisions. So I mention the two prior entry. If you’re approved, you’ll get the notification
that tells you that your approved, and it’ll give you information that you need to go back
and enter, like, your listing statements, which is required to be listed in the charity
list. So if you’ve seen the charity list, it gives
like a little blurb of what the charity–something from the charity. Make sure you–that’s required. Your listing fee is required, and then some
optional things. And then also your disbursement information. You definitely want to make sure that you
enter that information because that’s how you get your money. So we have charities that don’t enter their
banking information. Well, we can’t send you your money if you
don’t enter that information. So–and why would you want to forget that? I don’t know. If you’re denied, not all is lost. You do have an opportunity to appeal to the
Director of OPM. Your notification letter will let you know
what you need to do to appeal. It has to be done via the system, the online
system. Do not send us mail. If you send us your appeal in writing, we
will send it right back to you and you will possibly miss the deadline. So make sure–normally, it’s 10 calendar days
from when we send the e-mail. So please pay attention to that deadline. The facts are limited to–make sure your appeal
is limited to the facts justifying reversal of your denial. So don’t start talking about something else. Don’t give us additional documentation. Submit your appeal in the format that we requested
it. Again, very sad reason to get denied. Don’t send us anything that was not previously
available. So, let’s say, for instance, you got denied
because your financial statements weren’t ready. If your financial statements aren’t ready
and you don’t have acceptable financial statements before the deadline, you probably shouldn’t
apply. Because if you send it to us when that document
is ready but it’s after the application deadline and we look at the dates and we see it was
completed February 15th, you’ll be–we’re not reversing your denial during appeal. So make sure whatever you submit to us was
available prior to the application deadline. Also with the areas of service, I mentioned
before, that’s a reason, a big reason why applications are denied. So if you get denied–normally, you start
getting those notifications late spring, early summer. What I see sometimes, charities will start
talking about what they did, say, for instance, in 2019. Well, we won’t accept 2019 services. Make sure you still report, you know, within
that 2018, 2017, 2016 if a national-international or 2018 at the local. And the appeal decision is final. So, we see that a lot. You get denied. You say, “Well, I want to appeal the appeal.” No such thing. The appeal was final. Lastly, there’s a video of the…also…there’s
a video of the top commonly–common application mistakes. Please watch that video. So, I’m waiting for an update to our video
to kind of refresh it for 2019, but this is the one from 2018. So it’s still applicable except for the very
last mistake, which is that you can edit your–you cannot edit your application. I just told you that you can now. But everything else still applies. So you can still watch that, but hopefully
within the next week or so, we’ll have the updated, pre-recorded training videos that
we did. And another new thing that we did is for each
step, you’ll see a training video on that step. So if you get stuck on a particular step,
you can just watch the video right there to make sure you have the information to make
sure that you’ve submitted everything you need to submit so you can participate and
get lots of money. And that is all. So right at 3:19 minutes, I know you had a
question.>>So when you said, “Physical location that
any donor can come to,” we’re a confidential location.>>So that’s the exception. If you’re like a domestic violence shelter
and you can’t publicize, we do understand that. So in that case, that is an exception.>>OK. And then the 256-character statement for Step
4, are there any examples of that that show like a really concise–because I’m doing the
math on that, and that’s like 25 to 30 words–>>That’s a lot.>>Everything that we–the values–were [indistinct]. The last time we did a full one, it was like
a couple of pages.>>And that’s what we don’t want.>>Excellent!>>Ha ha!>>You’ve no idea how happy you’ve just made
me!>>So look at that memo that I referenced
because I think that there are some examples in there, but I’ve done a test. You know, I’ve typed out descriptions and
did a word count, and each time it was under 256 characters. So look at that document because it has some
suggestions in there, but no, we do not want to read pages and pages of what you–
>>I don’t want to write them.>>Because we’ll never get a list out. And getting the list out on time is important.>>So, last Fiscal Year in September ’17,
so would that–>>That would be acceptable.>>OK. So the information that you’re asking for
the scheduled service is for 2018?>>So I thought you were talking about the
financial statements and the 990. In that case, it would’ve been acceptable. When you talk about your schedule of services,
do not report services based on the fiscal period. Make sure you report services based on the
calendar year. So you would just say “September 2017,” but
the minute that you say, “Fiscal Year,” well, now I don’t know if it was, you know, sometime
in 2016. And if you’re a local organization, or well,
maybe bad example. Let’s say, September 2018. You said Fiscal Year 2018. Well, now I don’t know if it was–if it occurred
in 2016 or 2017, which would not be acceptable for a local organization. So make sure that you report your services
based on the calendar year. Do not say “Fiscal year!”>>I have a question. So, we’re the group 3, so we’re going to be
inputting, I hope now, things that we did in 2016, 2017, and 2018.>>You’re a national-international?>>We’re national. And we’re going to cover the 15 states. So, will we be putting that all in, then,
for state? And that’s what we did–
>>Yes. So you would, for each state or country, you
would click that “Add attachment” and you would enter your information. And like I said, you’re not restricted on
the number, but we also don’t want to see 50 of these or 100 of these. That’s probably the best way to irritate me. So, you know, you could do multiple attachments
for states, multiple attachments, even for a particular year. So you could do each one, but like I said,
for a national-international, we should see at least 15 states. And each state is its unique entry. So another thing that I see is “We provided
services in all 50 states.” Not acceptable. It has to be`–you have to say what you did
in Maryland, what you did in D.C., what you did in Wisconsin. You can’t just say what you did across the
country or nationwide. We will reject the application for that reason.>>What are the steps for the verification
process? Like which steps–
>>All the certification statements that are not in the 990.>>OK. So it’s a lot shorter.>>And wait. Can I keep going, or…>>We’re gonna need to take a break to switch
over–>>OK. So I’ll keep ans–well, maybe two minutes,
because I need to go to the bathroom before the next session. But if you’re online, sorry that we can’t
get to online questions during this training. Please send your e-mail to [email protected] And thank you very much for tuning in.

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