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Sep 18 2013

More Layoffs at Focus on the Family

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.

20 comments

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  1. 1
    Alverant

    “The bad news is that the good guys are still being outspent massively by the good guys.”
    Huh?

  2. 2
    doublereed

    Aren’t our funds less extortionist i.e. efficient?

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    Am I a bad person for not caring that people are being thrown out of work into the heartless absence of a social security net they helped to create?

  4. 4
    ArtK

    I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the laid-off are women, who will be told “This is for your own good. You should be married, at home, raising a family. Because we’re all about the family.”

  5. 5
    John Pieret

    Aren’t our funds less extortionist i.e. efficient?

    I don’t think so. It, of course, depends on what definition of “efficient” you choose. In terms of what effects elections, particularly local, state and House elections, the Focus money (even if it is aimed mostly at raising more money fron the ignoratti) is quite effective in stimulating the ignoratti to vote for the likes of Bachmann, King and Gohmert, to name a few.

  6. 6
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    I suppose it’s good news that FotF is losing fundraising dollars, but I feel sorry for the families who’ll be affected by the layoffs.

  7. 7
    raven

    This is something like the third round of layoffs at Focus on Hating Everyone.

    It might not be as good a news as it seems.

    The other xian hate groups have been competing for the xian hate dollar market. With huge success.

    For fundie xians, there is no such thing as too much hate but there is such a thing as not enough dollars.

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    Clearly their fundraising is too low because they are too focused. I’m writing a letter to them right now asking that they consider widening their focus to including gay-parents and single-parent families.

  9. 9
    busterggi

    Their jobs are not dead, they are merely sleeping until Jesus comes back with more cash.

  10. 10
    doublereed

    I don’t think so. It, of course, depends on what definition of “efficient” you choose. In terms of what effects elections, particularly local, state and House elections, the Focus money (even if it is aimed mostly at raising more money fron the ignoratti) is quite effective in stimulating the ignoratti to vote for the likes of Bachmann, King and Gohmert, to name a few.

    I’m pretty much just referring to how much of their budget is devoted to fundraising.

  11. 11
    raven

    I don’t think so. It, of course, depends on what definition of “efficient” you choose.

    and

    I’m pretty much just referring to how much of their budget is devoted to fundraising.

    You left out one of their key expenses.

    Luxury goods and high living. A huge amount of fundie dollars are spent on fast cars, mansions, private jets, servants, cute teenage boys and girls, jewelry, fine wine and drugs, and all that large amounts of Other People’s Money can buy.

    I don’t have a problem with that at all. Private jet makers and mansion builders need to eat too.

  12. 12
    bushrat

    On the up side, maybe a few of those being laid off can now go be productive members of society.

  13. 13
    Abby Normal

    That list of good guys looks might short. I wonder why orginizations like the American Humanist Association, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, to name but a few, didn’t make the cut.

  14. 14
    grumpyoldfart

    “Fundraising shortfalls”.

    So expect some hectic action in the near future while there’s still money in the bank. Look for big bonus payments to senior staff at the end of the year. Lots of new interest free loans being approved. Old loans being forgiven. Fund operators buying parcels of land from senior staff at prices well above the current market value – or selling land to senior staff at well below the current market value.

    It will take a long time and a lot of hard work, but they’ll get there in the end.

  15. 15
    slavdude

    Raven @7:

    And I think the wording of this latest public layoff statement is identical to the previous ones, too.

  16. 16
    timgueguen

    Probably the person who wrote layoff statements for FOTF was laid off in the previous set of layoffs.

  17. 17
    sbuh

    doublereed

    Aren’t our funds less extortionist i.e. efficient?

    I actually have a hypothesis that the amount of grift in conservative political organizations is increasing over time, so they’re sort of helping us bridge the fundraising gap.

    The sooner these crooked con games collapse the better, though.

  18. 18
    Area Man

    “I don’t think so. It, of course, depends on what definition of “efficient” you choose.”

    I don’t know about FotF specifically, but during the last election it came out that much of the vast amount of lucre raised to defeat Obama and assorted teabag causes was being wasted, much of it on lavish salaries and expense accounts for the people entrusted with it. Which isn’t at all surprising when you think about it.

  19. 19
    Ichthyic

    quite effective in stimulating the ignoratti to vote for the likes of Bachmann, King and Gohmert, to name a few.

    the problem has ALWAYS been that progressives are herding cats, while conservatives can rely on heavy support from authoritarians.

    the authoritarians are always a smaller segment of the population, but the tendency towards maximizing group cohesiveness at all costs makes them a lockstep voting block.

    it has always been thus, for all of human history.

  20. 20
    democommie

    I think that FoFtN-KF* could benefit themselves by borrowing a page from the Orel Roberts playbook.

    Sample Ad:

    “See all of these wimmens and token sortabrowns that we have on staff here at FoFtN-KF? Well, we don’t get more money they’re all gonna be called home to JESUS.”

    * Focus on Fucking the Non-KKKrisitianist Family

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