Independent Sector Cuts 25% Of Workforce

December 8, 2016       Paul Clolery      

A significant reduction in force is underway at Independent Sector (IS), the advocacy organization launched in 1980 by legendary charity advocates John Gardner and Brian O’Connell. The reduction of 11 of 45 staff comes weeks after the organization’s annual conference, “New Frontiers,” in mid-November.

The moves are expected to save approximately $2.5 million of the organization’s current $10 million annual budget. Additional information regarding IS’s finances were not immediately available.

IS President and CEO Dan Cardinali said there is a restructuring internally which will focus the Washington, D.C-based organization on “core competencies” such as policy and collaborating with other infrastructure groups.

He declined to be specific regarding who would be leaving the organization but that everyone in the organization received new guidelines regarding responsibilities.

Cardinali said that core operations such as the conference will remain and have what he described as a more “human centric design.” He said “historically there have been value-adds” that IS might stop doing, such as a free-standing C-Suite forum, which is similarly conducted at the annual conference.

The reduction in force “had nothing to do with performance,” he said, and that the saving gives the organization “more flexibility.” In a message to staff and others, Cardinali wrote: “Our strategy has a clear destination, but getting there will require an organization that is more responsive and adaptive. By making difficult choices now, we gain the flexibility to pursue new opportunities that will be, we believe, important to the sector we serve.”

The message continued: “Independent Sector needs to build a community, not an institution. We need to enable the experts, not always be the experts. We need to be more strategic and less structural. We need to connect and catalyze, listen, and learn. And, like all organizations, we need to be good stewards of our financial resources.”