The Jan. 18 departure of Lynn Boren, listed on the YouthPride website as an executive director and COO, was related to the organization’s ongoing financial duress, though board members declined to discuss the specifics of the termination. In mid December, YouthPride furloughed three staff members as a drop in donations and grants prompted severe cutbacks.
“As a board we are focusing our limited financial resources on areas that directly impact programming,” says Frances-Ann Moran, vice president of the YouthPride board. “As we whittle down and make sure we are not cutting back programming, it does affect other expenditures.”
Jordan Myers, president of the YouthPride board, says the board is focused on controlling costs and Boren’s departure was related to those efforts. He declined to offer additional details.
“We are trying to be as good stewards as we can and make sure everything we are spending is going to the programming and youth as much as possible,” Myers says. “Every decision we are making is about financial belt-tightening and getting the dollars to the programming.”
Three YouthPride staff members—Paul Rogers, youth and volunteer services director; Tad Dotson, membership manager; and Natalija Moss, administrative assistant – were furloughed for seven weeks beginning Dec. 11. That left in place three fulltime staff members – Boren, Executive Director and CEO Terrence McPhaul and Counseling Director Tana Hall. McPhaul and Hall are now the group’s only fulltime employees.
The furloughs remain in place and the board hopes recent fundraising efforts will allow them to end, though board members and McPhaul are only in “preliminary discussions” about bringing back the three employees , Myers says.
“We are definitely working towards being able to resolve the whole furlough situation,” Moran says.
The furloughs were put in place to ease a financial crisis at YouthPride, which costs about $1,000 per day to operate. The agency has slashed its budget about $70,000, to $280,000, and the furloughs were one step in a financial belt-tightening plan, Myers said in December.
Recent events helped raise about $5,400, funds that will support YouthPride’s operating budget, McPhaul says. About $3,500 of that amount was raised during a Bi-Partisan Dinner Party on Dec. 29.
“We want to continue with consistent support from the LGBT community and are looking at any way possible to enhance the programming we have,” McPhaul says.
YouthPride will benefit from two upcoming fundraisers. On March 5, Dwight Eubanks of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” will host Night on the Boulevard, an event described as a “red carpet pajama gala and classic film fest.” On April 9, the Bill Lowe Gallery will host Evolve!, an event it held at its upscale gallery in Buckhead last April.
“I don’t want to say that we are past the critical point. If we continue on the path we have been on, I don’t think we will stay critical for much longer,” Moran says.