Here’s a bit of good news. Two Christian right organizations in Colorado Springs, NavPress (the Navigators’ publishing division) and Focus on the Family, are laying off a bunch of employees because of fundraising shortfalls. Collectively, they’ll have to lay off 60 people.
The Focus cutbacks are tied to a restructuring in which the ministry is beefing up its information technology and digital operations by adding 11 positions, while cutting 40 jobs in other areas. The net loss in positions is the result of donations falling short of the ministry’s budget by $3 million, and the organization’s decision to outsource distribution of its radio broadcasts, Paul Batura, Focus’ vice president of communications, said Wednesday.
All of the restructuring moves take effect with the beginning of the ministry’s fiscal year on Oct. 1.
“These types of decisions are extremely difficult, because behind all the budgetary numbers are the names of dedicated and loyal team members. We’re a very close team here at Focus,” Batura said in a statement.
While annual revenue has remained stable at about $90 million for this fiscal year and the upcoming year, the Focus board agreed to a “stretch” budget of $94 million for this year to expand its outreach to families, Batura said. Since donations fell short of that goal, the ministry is reducing expenses by $3 million for the 2014 fiscal year beginning in October, resulting in a reduction of 27 jobs, he said.
Focus also is moving distribution of its radio broadcast from its in-house advertising agency, Briargate Media, to California-based Ambassador Advertising Agency, resulting in another 13 job cuts.
The bad news is that the good guys are still being outspent massively by the good guys. The ACLU has a budget of about $100 million. The Alliance Defending Freedom alone has a $115 million budget. The American Center for Law and Justice is about $16 million more. Liberty Counsel won’t tell anyone what its budget is and it avoids filing 990 forms with the IRS by claiming to be a “church auxiliary,” but it’s probably at least another $5 million. Then there’s Focus on the Family with its $90 million budget, the Family Research Council with about $15 million and the American Family Association at about $16 million. We’re certainly losing the fundraising battle.