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 NAACP Chairman Julian Bond
Facing a Financial Crisis, Bond Asks Public to ‘Show Some Love’ to the NAACP
By: Hazel Trice Edney
NNPA Washington Correspondent
Originally posted 6/14/2007

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – NAACP Chairman Julian Bond says the 98-year-old organization, which confirmed last week that it is cutting 40 percent of the staff at its Baltimore headquarters, is appealing for public help.

“We’ve asked our regular supporters to redouble their contributions and are asking anyone who has benefited from the work of the NAACP to ‘show some love’ by putting a check in the mail and becoming a member,” Bond told the NNPA News Service this week.

But, that’s not all. He says the organization has also “called upon our board members and SCF Trustees to give or get $15,000 each by the year’s end. That will put more than $1 million in our treasury,” he says. “We have asked our units – local branches and state conferences – to hold fund raisers and set up membership drives.”

NAACP leaders have not said exactly how many people will be laid off. However, the Baltimore staff will be reduced from 119 members to 70 members through both layoffs and attrition, Dennis Hayes, the NAACP’s interim president and CEO, told the Baltimore Sun. Hayes also said that the organization has used $10 million in reserve funds over the past three years in order to cover shortfalls.
Because of the crisis in finances, the national headquarters is also temporarily closing at least seven regional offices.

The financial situation is yet another controversy for the nation’s leading civil rights organization, only four months after former President and CEO Bruce Gordon suddenly resigned after only 19 months in office. He cited differences with the NAACP’s 64 member board. Gordon could not be reached for comment by NNPA deadline.

“We are right-sizing our organization to meet present circumstances,” Hayes told the Sun. “We had the unexpected departure of our CEO at a time when we were already without a chief development officer. So, understandably, we have to regenerate our revenue machine, our fundraising machine, to get us to where we should have been.”

For more information on NAACP fundraising, the public may call toll free, 1-877-NAACP98. Or write NAACP National Headquarters 4805 Mt. Hope Drive Baltimore, MD 21215.

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