JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. The Presbyterian Foundationhas announced a reduction in staff affecting one part-time and six full-time employees in its national office and six regional development offices in an effort to reduce payroll expenses and manage budgets during the global financial crisis.

Overall, one part-time and 13 full-time positions have been eliminated.

The Foundation and its subsidiary, New Covenant Trust Company, had announced an early retirement incentive program in February in an attempt to achieve reductions in overhead with minimal disruption to the remaining employees. Seven of 15 eligible employees elected early retirement.

The reduction in staff, announced in a March 26 press release, included one part-time and six full-time employees.

As a result of the layoffs and early retirements, the Foundation has reduced the number of its regional development offices around the country from 16 to 10.

“The Foundation has not been immune from the effects of the nation’s recession,” said Robert E. Leech, president and CEO of the Presbyterian Foundation in the press release. “While we made what we think was the most compassionate decision first, to enable our employees who were nearing retirement to voluntarily retire earlier than they might otherwise have, we were called upon to make further involuntary reductions in staff this week in order to respond to the severe economic downturn ― while continuing to serve current donors and manage the endowments that have been left in our care over the previous 200 years.”

Mark Klemm, the Foundation’s senior vice president of development, added that while the Foundation is “deeply saddened” by the loss of the laid-off employees, “this in no way diminishes our commitment to the historical mission of the Presbyterian Foundation: raising, managing and distributing money for the missions of the PC(USA). 

“However, it does change how we go about fulfilling that commitment," Klemm continued. “Despite these very difficult economic times, Presbyterians are still making gifts to the Church. We are committed to assisting them in every possible way.” 

Leech agreed, saying, “We are committed to maintaining the quality of services our clients and donors expect and deserve.”