(Photo: The Christian Post)
Focus on the Family will be cutting additional staff this year, keeping with a recent trend found with the Colorado-based pro-family organization.
Monica Schleicher, director of public relations for the Colorado Springs ministry, told The Christian Post that part of the cuts were due to a new business partnership.
"We've…decided to partner with the Ambassador Advertising Agency to syndicate and distribute Focus radio products. This impacts our in-house agency, Briargate Media, and as of Oct. 1, 2013, Briargate will no longer distribute Focus radio products," said Schleicher.
"Therefore there will be an additional reduction of 13 positions. This decision to partner with Ambassador will result in significant cost savings for the ministry."
Coupled with the 27 positions being removed, the total staff loss will be 40. Schleicher told CP that these cuts in employees were not easy.
"These types of decisions are extremely difficult, because behind all the budgetary numbers are the names of dedicated and loyal team members," said Schleicher.
"We're a very close team here at Focus. Those leaving us are not just colleagues; they're family. We thank God for each of them."
This is not the first time Focus on the Family has dealt with reducing its staff. In 2008, as the economic downturn affected donations, the organization cut 202 jobs.
2010 saw the elimination of 110 employees, reducing the number of Focus on the Family staff to 750, or roughly half of the total number in 2002.
A reduced staff has not been the only issue for the Colorado Springs group, as the group experienced a major budget shortfall, reported Wayne Heilman of The Gazette.
"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," wrote Heilman.
Schleicher told CP that the incoming revenue for FOTF "has remained relatively steady over the past two budgeting cycles at about $90 million each year."
"For this past year, though, we asked our board to support a 'stretch budget' of $94 million to expand our outreach to families. Unfortunately, that requested income did not come into the ministry this year," said Schleicher.
"For 2014, we will be expanding our efforts by adding 11 positions in the digital and IT areas in order to become better able to more effectively minister to families utilizing 21st century technology. We will also continue to bolster our marriage and parenting ministry areas, which is core to Focus on the Family."
With the most recent cut, FOTF has 640 employees, or 90 fewer than in 2010 and 760 fewer than in 2002.
FOTF is not the only Colorado-based ministry finding itself with a budget and staff issues. The Navigators' publication division NavPress will be cutting 22 of the operation's 29 employees by the end of next month.
"The layoffs are the result of an alliance with Chicago-area publisher Tyndale House Publishers Inc. that NavPress announced on Wednesday," wrote Heilman of the Gazette.
Gary Cantwell, chief communications officer for The Navigators, told The Christian Post that the cuts did not affect the overall Navigators enterprise.
"NavPress will be eliminating most of the 29 staff positions beginning in late October. NavPress expects to have a staff of about five to seven employees when the process is complete in early 2014," said Cantwell.
"The Navigators have not had staff cuts this year. We have 4,700 Navigators serving worldwide."
Cantwell also told CP that donations "have been steadily increasing each year for the past three years."