Friday, September 16, 2011

49 jobs cut at Focus

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Focus on the Family has announced it's laid off 7 percent percent of its staff, reducing its number to 650 people. According to a press release, the nonprofit "entered its current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, with a $105 million budget and estimates it will receive as much as $95 million in donations."

Not good for an organization that relies almost entirely on donations.

Last July, Focus had reduced staff by 110 people.

Here's the press release.

Jim Daly
  • Focus president Jim Daly

Focus on the Family announced the elimination of 49 jobs today, citing the ongoing, and in many quarters worsening, economic downturn as necessitating the move.

At the same time, the ministry expressed gratitude for the more than $90 million in gifts it has received over the last 12 months and said its global mission to help families thrive will continue unabated.

“Many nonprofit and for-profit organizations have had to close their doors due to the ravages of these tough economic times,” said Gary Schneeberger, Focus’ vice president of communications. “We’re grateful we’ve been able to help tens of thousands of families even in the midst of these difficult circumstances, thanks to the generosity of friends who so value our ministry.

“We’re encouraged by our donors’ trust in us and will continue to honor and earn it.”

More than 25 percent of the position eliminations come from a reorganization of business-process and -administrative functions implemented by Focus’ senior executive leadership after an internal audit revealed opportunities to increase efficiencies. All staff whose positions have been eliminated will receive financial transition packages, extended medical benefits and help in their job searches.

“Tears have been spilled on both sides of these decisions, because these aren’t numbers on a spreadsheet; these are friends who share our passion to do the Lord’s work,” Schneeberger said. “Given economic realities, though, we had to ensure we continue to maximize the resources we have to help spouses in their marriages, help parents raise their kids and help Christians walk out their faith with boldness and joy.”

Focus on the Family entered its current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, with a $105 million budget and estimates it will receive as much as $95 million in donations. A budget for the new fiscal year will not be set until the ministry’s board of directors meets next month, Schneeberger explained. Initial expectations are for it to be in the $90-$95 million range.

“God has never promised us a certain budget number,” he noted. “He’s only called us to spend the money He provides responsibly and to help as many families as possible. That’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Focus on the Family will do it, he said, by developing fresh marriage and parenting content relevant to today’s families; continuing to advocate for children through efforts like Option Ultrasound, which has potentially saved an estimated 100,000 babies through the placement of ultrasound machines and the training of ultrasound technicians in pro-life pregnancy medical clinics; and engaging the culture and encouraging biblical citizenship, an outreach that includes the Wait No More initiative, which has helped prompt more than 1,500 families nationwide begin the process of adopting children from foster care.

“We’re optimistic about the future,” Schneeberger said, “because God continues to grant us opportunities to strengthen and encourage families and introduce Christ to those who don’t know Him.”

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