Join The NonProfit Times: or Become a member

Subscribe: Print Publication or Newsletter

Stay connected.
Stay informed.

GUSA Cuts Quarter Of Its HQ Staff

By Mark Hrywna - October 1, 2013

The ongoing reorganization of Girl Scouts of the USA (GUSA) has carved more than a quarter of the 325 employees from the national headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.

The staff was slashed by 87 in recent weeks. GUSA offered a voluntary resignation package to employees this past summer. It’s unclear how many of the 87 employees accepted or were eligible for the incentive package because GUSA declined to discuss it, “given they involve personnel issues.”

A person familiar with GUSA, who asked to not be identified, estimated that approximately 45 of the eliminated staff accepted the voluntary package while the other 47 positions were involuntary staff reductions across the organization. As many as 90 employees were eligible for the incentive, which a GUSA official previously described as a fairly standard separation package. Eligible were employees age 55 and older with at least 10 years of service at the headquarters.

The national headquarters reported total revenue of $105 million for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012, with expenses of $99 million (about $41 million related to salaries and benefits) and net assets of $125 million. The latest reductions were aimed at cutting expenses and reorganizing in time for the new fiscal year, set to begin Oct. 1.

The organization only offered a statement via email regarding the restructuring process:

“Like many nonprofits around the country, Girl Scouts of the USA has been facing challenges due to membership declines and economic realities. Girl Scouts has been in the midst of a major, multiyear transformation effort that will make our 100-year-old organization more agile and better able to serve our 3.2 million girls and volunteers.

“As part of this effort, we announced in June the offer of voluntary resignations to eligible staff members and the intent to make staff cuts in August, which we have now done. These actions, together with other changes we have been making, will help Girl Scouts more effectively deliver on our mission and serve more girls and volunteers.

“We recognized that change is hard and thank all of those who have and continue to offer their service to Girl Scouts. We remain committed to our proud legacy of helping girls from all backgrounds unlock their leadership potential and make our world a better place. Our focus is on ensuring we continue to do that in the best possible way for the next 100 years.”

Founded in 1912, GUSA reported 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide last year.

GUSA is not the only nonprofit to offer incentives for staff to voluntarily leave the organization. Earlier this year, as part of a massive restructuring of American Cancer Society, 342 employees accepted buyout offers, representing some 5 percent of the workforce. The Atlanta, Ga.-headquartered charity offered employees with at least three years of service $1,000 for each year with the organization. About 4,300 employees of its 6,000 employees were eligible based on service requirements and other provisions.

Just last month NPR announced a voluntary program to help address a persistent $6-million operating deficit. The Washington, D.C.-based media organization aims to reduce staffing levels by 10 percent to achieve a balanced budget by Fiscal Year 2015. It has about 840 full-time and part-time employees.

Most employees who have been continuously employed at NPR for at least three years would be eligible for the buyout. Those who accept and are approved would receive two days pay for each month of service, up to a maximum of 300 days.

The approved Fiscal Year 2014 budget anticipates operating revenue of $178.1 million versus expenses of $183 million, and an operating cash deficit of $6.1 million, or 3 percent of revenues.

NPR’s board also appointed Vice Chairman Paul Haaga as acting president and CEO, effective Sept. 30. Outgoing CEO Gary Knell announced in August that he would be leaving NPR after about 21 months to join National Geographic but will serve as an advisor to Haaga through 2013.


Sponsored Podcasts

Welcome to the Raise & Engage podcast, a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals hosted by Blackbaud's straight-shooting expert Danielle Johnson Vermenton. During this open-mic session, you’ll hear honest advice to help YOU do more for your cause.

Episode 6: The Power of ‘No’ at Work|| daniellejohnson-76

You have a job description, but on any given day, you're probably doing dozens of things outside the scope of that description. Combine that with the challenge of a fast-paced environment and the shifting priorities of funders, colleagues, and board members and it’s easy to fall short of doing your best. By being mindful of your limitations and capacity—and saying “no” when your plate is full—you can actually do more for your cause. In the sixth installment of the Raise and Engage podcast Danielle Johnson and Robin Anderson discuss the power of saying “no” at work.

Episode 5: Professional Development: Getting Un-Stuck|| daniellejohnson-76

In the most recent episode of Raise + Engage, Danielle is back with Brian Reich from little m media to discuss how nonprofit professionals can stay motivated and energized in their day-to-day roles. Brian shares his experience working with nonprofits and the lessons and tips he's learn from and shared with them over the years, including tips for avoiding a professional rut, creating forward momentum in your career and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you're considering making a career move or want to ensure you're on the right path, you won't want to miss this inspo-packed episode!

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane, is all about tips, tricks and tools for sanity. Blackbaud’s own interactive product marketer, Julia Lenz, joins host Danielle Johnson to share some high tech. (and no tech.) productivity tips to help nonprofit professionals stay sane in the crazy world of philanthropy.

Tune in to hear:

  • Tips for how to spend the first 30 minutes of your day
  • The benefits of 15 minute meetings
  • Why notebooks are still relevant to a successful organization
  • Ideas for better managing your inbox
  • Why you should take lunch outside the box
  • ...and much more!
Don’t forget to visit the #NoFilterNonprofit Hub afterwards to download our newest tip sheet10 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofits.

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff In episode 3 of the Raise + Engage podcast, Danielle Johnson is joined by Chris Geady and William DaSilva, two IT experts in the nonprofit space, to talk technology integration for NPOs: when you need it, when you don’t, and how to do it successfully.

Tune in to hear:

  • When to say NO to integration
  • How to set your strategic plan before even looking at technologies
  • Ways to get your entire team on board
  • The importance of identifying a project lead
  • The RFP process - how it should and should not go
And William shares a story about a nonprofit that may or may not have still been using a typewriter. You don't want to miss this one!

Episode 2: From Socially Awkward to Socially Awesome! || daniellejohnson-76

According to Danielle Johnson, straight-shooting host of the Raise + Engage podcast series, if your staff members aren’t the number one advocates for your cause on social media, you’re failing. In the most recent episode, Danielle is joined by Blackbaud’s own social media guru Madeline Turner to discuss overcoming social struggles and creating a social ambassador program at your organization. This entertaining and insightful duo dishes on the importance of making your social media presence human, making the case for a formal social program to leadership, how University of Michigan turned a one time social media campaign into a long term social program, and how Madeline's mom unknowingly became a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday.

Episode 1: Corporate Culture & Development: Shake It Up! || daniellejohnson-76

In the premiere episode of Raise & Engage, Danielle is joined by three straight-shooting nonprofit rock-stars: Jodi Smith of Sanford Health Systems, Veronica Brown of Chicago Public Library Foundation and Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. The group talks organizational culture, problem employees, why its important to celebrate and how to shake things up this year and build a better more authentic team that gets stuff done!


Stay informed, catch latest trends in the nonprofit space.

Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter

No obligation, unsubscribe at anytime.

Success! Check your email inbox.

Follow Us On Twitter

NPT 2016 Buyers' Guide

Newsletter Sign-up

click here to return to the previous page