The Reagan administration issued new regulations yesterday for the government's massive annual charity drive, rules that local charities and advocacy groups for minorities and women said will make them ineligible for federal workers' donations.
However, administration officials said the rules, revised after they came under attack by various charity groups last spring, will still allow participation by these organizations once they meet some new standards.
Within the charity world, the response to the rules issued by Office of Personnel Management Director Donald J. Devine was mixed. A spokesman for United Way of America, which represents the interests of more than 75 percent of the agencies that receive funds from the annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), said the new rules "balance the legitimate interests of the federal government in its management of the CFC, while making it possible for a wide variety of charitable groups to participate and benefit."
However, other organizations asserted that Devine had done nothing "of substance" to ease their fears that they will be cut out of a chance to get federal workers' contributions in the campaign that last year raised more than $93 million nationwide.
Robert Bothwell, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, an umbrella organzation representing many new and nontraditional charity groups, said: "It is interesting that they are eliminating local charities from participation at the same time President Reagan is touting volunteerism at a local level to deal with this country's problems. This two-faced policy is sad to behold."
Bothwell referred to rules eliminating "local unaffiliated charities" from participation after the upcoming 1982 campaign. Bothwell said this rule would render ineligible hundreds of legitimate charities ranging from the the Idaho Youth Ranch to the Women's Legal Defense Fund in the District.
Devine, however, asserted that these groups are being given a one-year "grace period" and after that can participate if they form national federations. Devine said the executive order setting up the fund drive calls for participation only by "national" charities, and "that's the kind of limit we have."
Bothwell and others also expressed fear that the new guidelines would force out large groups representing the special concerns of women or minorities, such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or the National Organization for Women's legal fund. Devine, however, said changes in the rules still should allow participation by most of these groups.
The organizations opposing the rules have received support from about 40 congressmen, and Bothwell said the new rules would likely be challenged in court or on Capitol Hill.