Budget Crunch Has Focus on the Family Affiliate Seeking Donations

CitizenLink, a family advocacy organization affiliated with Focus on the Family, is mounting a 30-day fundraising campaign to close a $2.3 million budget gap. If the campaign falls short, CitizenLink Executive Director Tom Minnery warns, in an appeal greeting visitors to the organization’s web page, “our ability to act on your behalf will be severely, and perhaps irreparably hurt.”

Minnery says that CitizenLink’s gift income has fallen dramatically. The donations it receives will help cover the cost of operations, he added, allowing its staff to keep “working actively and aggressively” on behalf of families.

CitizenLink oversees Family Policy Councils in 38 states, which promote the sanctity of human life, preservation of religious liberties and the well-being of the family as the building block of society.

FOTF’s affiliate has often found itself at odds with homosexual organizations on such issues as same-sex marriage, gay adoption and LGBT “equality.”

Indeed, a story this week appearing on the web site LGBTQ Nation asserts that CitizenLink’s financial travails show that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community “is actually reaching the hearts and minds of Americans.”

While that assertion is disputable, there is no question that the entire Focus on the Family ministry is suffering hard economic times. Its budget declined from $160 million for fiscal year 2008-2009 to $138 million for 2009-2010, and is expected to continue its downward slide for the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs-based FOTF went through a third round of layoffs last year, after previous rounds in 2008 and 2009. Over an eight year span, the pro-family Christian ministry reduced its workforce from 1,400 to 860.

FOTF has never been a profit-generating enterprise. An estimated 95 percent of its annual income comes from donations, with books and other merchandise making up the remaining 5 percent.

Aside from personnel costs, FOTF spent a considerable sum on publication of eight magazines, four of which the ministry has jettisoned. It also has passed on its Love Won Out conferences on homosexuality to another ministry.

Focus on the Family was founded by James Dobson, an evangelical Christian, in 1977. Jim Daly is the ministry’s current president and chief executive officer.