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Exodus Announces Cutbacks

Jim Burroway

August 23rd, 2010

The economy is affecting everyone, so it should come as no surprise that many LGBT organizations and anti-gay groups alike are experiencing downturns in financial support. Exodus International has revealed through its facebook page that they have had to initiate layoffs:

Dear friends, please pray for us at Exodus. We have experienced an unexpectedly low giving season this summer coupled with much higher expenses (insurance, utilities, etc). Sadly, we have had to let several staff go. Your prayers are appreciated. For those who are also having to endure this unfriendly economy, our prayers are with you!

Characterising the layoffs as letting “several staff go” is significant. Exodus is not a large organization to begin with. This latest facebook announcement coincides with a fundraising plea on the Exodus blog. Ex-Gay Watch reports that Exodus has cut benefits as well.

In 2008, Exodus bought an office building in Orlando because, according to their newsletter, they needed more space to house their expanded staff. They had been renting nondescript office space until then. That bold financial move occurred near the peak of the real estate bubble. Today, Orlando-area office vacancy rates are now 21%, with some building owners offering free upgrades and up to eight months of free rent. Ouch!

Late update: According to a fundraising letter sent to supporters, Exodus International president Alan Chambers put their budget shortfall at $125,000. According to the most recent IRS form 990 available at Guidestar, Exodus’ total revenue in 2008 was $1,086,114, which was nearly half a million down from 2007. Even if revenues remained steady through 2009 (and given current economic conditions, that is highly doubtful), then this latest shortfall likely represents a minimum of 12% of their budget for the year.

Comments

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Richard Rush
August 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Dear friends, please pray for us at Exodus. We have experienced an unexpectedly low giving season this summer coupled with much higher expenses (insurance, utilities, etc). Sadly, we have had to let several staff go. Your prayers are appreciated. For those who are also having to endure this unfriendly economy, our prayers are with you!

Why? If God exists, it is obvious that He is not supporting Exodus. Do these people actually expect God to change His mind if mere humans pray nag some more? After all, this is God we are talking about, not some politician concerned about his poll numbers.

Titus
August 23rd, 2010 | LINK

[mr. burns]Excellent..[/mr. burns]

anteros
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

chant down babylon! lol

Jason D
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I am of the belief that God answers every prayer.

It’s just that often the answer is “NO!”

TampaZeke
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I just find it appalling and distressing that he HAS a staff and that he had a budget of OVER one million dollars!

I thrilled to death that he’s experienced a 12% shortfall in revenue but what’s left is way, WAY too much.

I want him back in his basement, with NO staff and NO budget. Then we can see how legitimate his “change” is when it’s not surrounding him with glory and paying his bills.

justsearching
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

Christian organizations in dire financial straits ask for prayers and money so that they don’t have to appear to only be asking for money. Other than that, it’s kind of hard to figure out what sort of results they expect from all these prayers. One would think God would already know the best way to apply his vast resources and energies without the advice (nagging, as Richard said) of these mortal, error-prone, limited beings.

In my own opinion, although I’m no longer religious myself, the Muslim conception of prayer as submission to the will of God and the alignment of one’s own will to God’s is a more sensible understanding of prayer.

Priya Lynn
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

I suspect that its not just a bad economy that has Exodus experiencing a loss in donations. As more people become accepting of gayness there are fewer people motivated to give and of those that are opposed to gayness more and more of them find that opposition a low priority in their lives. I think this is the beginning of the end for Exodus.

Richard Rush
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

There is an Ex-Gay Discussion Board on Yahoo, and if you look at the bottom of the linked page you will see a “message history” showing the number of posts for each month since 2001. The decline in activity is dramatic. And if you browse through the posts in a given month, you see the same names repeatedly. This decline in activity on one board may not mean much (maybe they just moved their discussion somewhere else) but it’s still gratifying to see. I’m hopeful that it represents a dramatic decline in potential customers for Exodus.

I wonder if Alan and Randy have begun to polish their resumes yet. But really, where would they look for jobs given their specialized “knowledge,” skill-set, and employment history? Actually, their best opportunity might be to admit the truth and go to work for Wayne Besen at TruthWinsOut “Fighting the Anti-Gay Lies and the Ex-Gay Myth.”

Lynn David
August 24th, 2010 | LINK

One might guess that after all the fallout over Uganda and Exodus forced to make more moderate statements on criminalizing gay sex if Exodus not only lost contributions because of the economy, but also because of the forced moderation of views in the organization. Those ultra-conservatives who formerly might have happily aided Exodus may no longer be so inclined. Might be Schmierer’s former smugness about Ahmanson funding Exodus has gone the way of the dinosaur.

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