One caveat: The official charity list for 2017 has not been released, and it’s possible we’ll see a slightly different picture there.
We’ve been running some numbers to see how the new OPM fees might work to pay for the campaign. (Find details of the fees in this report, along with explanations of the Central Campaign Administrator and Outreach Coordinators, mentioned below.)
The government has indicated that about $11 million will go each year to the Central Campaign Administrator. Another $7.5 million will go to Outreach Coordinators to promote the campaign in the various administrative regions. Add these up and the CFC operating budget for 2017 seems to be $18.5 million. The government’s fees must cover these costs.
At this point, we must do some estimating. We know the amounts of the first two fees (admission and listing); and we know the amounts were different for national and local charities, for organizations with different levels of revenue, and for federation members vs. independent organizations. Making some guesses (educated, we hope) about the composition of the charity list, we estimate that OPM raised $8–$10 million from the admission and listing fees. That indicates OPM may need to raise as much as $10.5 million through the final fee, to be assessed as a percentage of donations.
If the CFC raises $150 million in 2017 (a modest drop from 2016), our analysis suggests the government would need to hold back 7% of that amount to balance the books. These funds would be taken out before donations reach the charities, a situation OPM hoped to avoid. One of the government’s goals with its new regulations and procedures was to assure donors that 100% of donations would reach charities. That seems unlikely for this year’s campaign.