(Photo: AP Images / Charles Dharapak)
Focus on the Family on Friday announced the layoff of 49 more employees due to decreased donations, bringing down the number of employees to less than half it had in 2002.
This new 7 percent staff reduction in the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based pro-family group brought the employee number to 650, down from a 2002 peak of 1,400 people, according to The Denver Post.
“God has never promised us a certain budget number. We’re sad today but not distraught about the future,” FOTF Vice President Gary Schneeberger was quoted as saying. “Even in these bad economic times people who care about the ministry gave us more than $90 million. We’ve been able to help tens of thousands of families with their marriages, raising their kids and walking in their faith. Our commitment to that mission is unabated.”
Focus on the Family’s budget for fiscal year 2008-2009 was $160 million, which came down to $138 million in 2009-2010. For the fiscal year 2010-2011 ending Sept. 30, it further shrunk to $105 million, and now officials project it will receive donations of only $90 million to $95 million.
The layoffs in the organization founded by influential Christian right leader James Dobson in 1977 resulted from decreased donations due to the economic downturn. “Long ago I suppose there was a time when we had fat to trim, but we’ve moved through that to muscle, sinew, bone – and now we’re scraping out marrow,” Schneeberger said.
The decision to cut more jobs was taken after Focus on the Family’s internal audit showed that it could save money by merging some business and administrative positions without affecting client programs.
Dobson resigned as the ministry’s president in 2003, and as its board chairman in 2009. Dobson’s final Focus on the Family radio program, which reached more than 220 million people in 155 nations, was aired last February. Dobson and his son, Ryan Dobson, launched a new talk radio ministry in May 2010 called “Family Talk.”
The flagship Focus of the Family radio program, succeeded by President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Daly, now has an estimated 2 million listeners.
“Most of the years of the ministry we were under a $90 million budget,” Schneeberger added. “Even so, we had a huge impact globally and believe we will continue to have a huge impact globally.”