The number of charities slid down slightly in 2015 and 2016. But in 2017 it has plummeted, with fewer than half as many total participants as in 2016. Looking at only national/international charities, 754 of the 2,603 participants in 2016 are not in the 2017 campaign. The two lists linked below provide detail.
We believe upfront admission fees, instituted by the government and assessed for the first time in 2017, led many charities to drop out. Never before had applicants been asked to make advance payments for the privilege of participating in the CFC. They paid in prior years, to be sure, but their payments were withheld from campaign donations before the funds reached the charities, so the process was almost invisible. No invoices, no checks to cut. The charities just received less money than donors were sending their way. When suddenly asked to pay before any pledges had been made, many charities balked.
Most but certainly not all of the dropouts were smaller organizations. The government designed admission fees so that many smaller charities paid proportionately much more than before, whereas larger charities often paid less. We are sorry to see the little ones go. The impact of their departure is especially evident among local charities, whose ranks were decimated. Watch for our list of local charities in the 2016 CFC that are absent in 2017. It’s coming soon.