Bay Area Reporter (10.02.03) - Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Shanti, a San Francisco AIDS agency, is laying off nearly a
dozen employees and instituting a restructuring plan in an
effort to head off a budget crisis. The two-year restructuring
plan, according the agency, will consolidate parallel
functions and modernize fiscal and administrative systems to
create sustaining operating reserves.
"It makes us more responsive to the needs of the people we
serve," said Shanti Executive Director Hywel Sims. "It's been
difficult but we hope it works." Sims and four top managers
have taken a one-month pay cut this year that equals $35,000.
Other staff have not been asked to do the same. Shanti expects
the staff cutbacks and salary reductions to save it $900,002
during the next two years. Sims noted the staff have not had
raises "in four years, at least." Sims was hired to head
Shanti nine months ago at a salary of $130,000 annually.
Sims said the measures will not result in a loss of services
to clients. Most of the laid-off employees work in finance,
administration and development. One director, two
administrative personnel and three drivers are being laid off.
Two other positions, one each in finance and development, are
having their hours reduced. The 18 percent staff cut leaves
Shanti with 46 employees. The agency is still recruiting a new
director of development and communication.
Shanti, which has an annual budget of $4.1 million, has seen
individual and corporate donations fall over the past year,
and the agency did not meet any of its fundraising goals for
the fiscal year that ended June 30. The agency receives 43
percent of its budget from government funding and 57 percent
from donations. Upcoming fundraising events include Shanti's
seventh annual Ride for Life motorcycle ride on Oct. 11 and
its 29th annual awards gala on Oct. 23. The Consul General of
Russia, Victor N. Lizun, and his wife, Irina, will chair the
gala. For more information, telephone 415-674-4764.