NAACP Seeks Contributions to Retire Debt

The Washington Post

The NAACP called on organization leaders, members and corporate backers Wednesday to contribute to a massive fund drive to retire its $3.8-million debt by the end of the year.

The announcement, by Interim Senior Administrator Earl H. Shinhoster, came two days after the financially troubled civil rights organization furloughed 88 of its paid staff for at least two weeks because it said it could not meet its payroll.

The "austerity plan" announced by Shinhoster is the latest move by the 85-year-old NAACP to shore up a reputation tarnished by its financial crisis and the firing of Executive Director Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. on Aug. 20.

Shinhoster said the plan devised by the NAACP leadership was designed to raise $93,000 per day to "generate sufficient dollars to retire our debt by the end of Dec. 31, 1994."

The NAACP leadership will ask every member of the National Board of Directors and Special Contribution Fund Trustees to contribute at least $5,000, Shinhoster said. The organization's 2,208 local branch offices and other groups will be asked to contribute $1,000 apiece, he added.

He said 22 corporate sponsors who cut funding to the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People this year will be asked to resume contributions, and "appeals will be made to African American entrepreneurs, athletes and entertainers."

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