Oakland Group Shutters Operations Without Notice

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April 14, 2014; Oakland Local

NPQ has been noting many of this kind of story recently: organizations giving up suddenly with little or no notice. In this case, the 25-year-old Women’s Initiative for Self Employment (WI) closed on April 7, 2014, immediately after unveiling a new website touting its ROI through a recently released five-year research project and without providing much notice to anyone. The group provided support for women in microenterprise in California and New York.

The message on the group’s voicemail says, in part, “It is with heavy heart that we pass along the following message from the board of directors: We have been going through a very rough period financially. The situation has now reached the point that, without an infusion of funds, we can no longer continue to operate.”

In other words, the board of WI has determined that they are unsustainable, much like the board of the San Diego Opera—except, of course, that the opera had not run a deficit in decades. Their supporters are up in arms, but will WI just go quietly into that good night?

Its Facebook page has the following message:

“Women’s Initiative’s Board of Directors has made the decision to suspend operations until further notice, due to lack of funding. All previously scheduled appointments, classes, and organizational activities have been cancelled until further notice. If you have questions or concerns, please contact contact@womensinitiative.org or call 510-287-3102. Please be advised that no one will be monitoring our social media, so email or phone is the best mode for communication.”

—Ruth McCambridge