Foundation Council Lays Off Staff

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The recession has forced many nonprofits and foundations to lay off staffers and wonder how they’ll fulfill their missions with fewer employees. They would envy the Council on Foundations (COF), which last month let go about 16 percent of its staff but said the move has nothing to do with economic troubles and it’ll get along just fine without those workers.

“There are no sacrifices in losing any aspect of our staff,” COF spokeswoman Monica Wroblewski said about the layoffs of 14 of its 85 employees.

Wroblewski said via e-mail that the layoffs were connected to a restructuring process, and that regardless of layoffs, COF would be financially sound this year “either way.” She did not know how much the council stood to save as a result of the cuts.

She told the Chronicle of Philanthropy that “with the current economic conditions expected to last at least through 2010, we need to be as efficient as possible.”

The council, based in Arlington, Va., reported $22.2 million in income in 2007 and spent $19.8 million, according to its tax returns. Wroblewski directed Youth Today to check the annual report on the COF website for comparable 2008 data, but no report is available there.

It’s not yet clear what the restructuring will mean. “We’re currently planning for 2010, so once we’re done with this phase, we’ll have a better sense of staff needs” for the future, Wroblewski said. Some of the positions that were subject to layoffs will be refilled later, she said, while some will be eliminated.

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