Seeking to make their way back from the financial brink, leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said Friday that they extended a staff furlough for two weeks. But the officials promised to rehire most of the laid-off workers after the first of the year.
William F. Gibson, chairman of the NAACP, announced that all but 14 of the 88 workers who were furloughed in September would be rehired. They were told at the time that they would be laid off for two weeks, but, because of the organization's continued financial problems, the September furlough has been extended several times. The last time it was until Dec. 16.In a telephone interview Friday, Gibson said most of the staff would return on Jan. 3. "We're bringing back everybody except those who found other jobs, plus a slight retrenchment," he said.
Gibson said the restoration of much of the staff indicated a healthier financial situation for the NAACP, whose debt soared to nearly $4 million this year.
Most of the debt occurred in the tenure of Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., who was dismissed as executive director in August after it was disclosed that he committed up to $332,400 of the organization's money to pay an out-of-court settlement to forestall a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit by a former aide.
Gibson said he could not say how much debt remained or precisely how much had been raised in the last few months. But he said belt-tightening and increased donations were bringing it down.
In a report sent out to the organization's 64-member board last week, Gibson said that nearly $1 million had been raised.
As if to highlight what he described as renewed donations to the NAACP, Gibson said he received a $90,000 contribution Friday from the group's New York branch.
Gibson, a dentist from Greenville, S.C., said the money did not come from an annual dinner held by the group's Harlem branch at the home of Bob Guccione, publisher of Penthouse magazine.