October 22, 2010; Source: San Francisco Chronicle | In San Francisco, the executive director and board president of the organization that runs the annual Gay Pride parade have resigned under fire from the Bay Area Reporter, a local weekly. Why? From what we can discern, a fairly minor mistake was made in allocating the costs of beverage booths along the parade route and 20 nonprofit sponsors of those booths were charged for costs that were not theirs to pay.
Altogether those groups now owed a total of $46,000. The situation may have been awkward and difficult considering that the organization already seems to be in financial difficulties but it does not appear that Pride was disputing that the mistake was theirs and the money was owed.
What does seem to be the case is that communicating under stress was not the group’s strong suit. A former board member said the whole situation “suggested the leadership was taking a bunker mentality (in response to press questions). These were not earth-shattering mistakes enough to destroy the organization, but they were enough to fill columns in B.A.R. for several weeks”—and evidently enough to upend the leadership of the organization. Two city supervisors are stepping in to help ensure that everything gets straightened out.
Again, I would like to suggest that everyone read Kim Klein’s article “Mission, Message and Damage Control.” Read it before you need it, so you do not find yourselves in this position.—Ruth McCambridge