The American Cancer Society will cut 1,000 jobs and reduce its overall budget by 30%, as Covid-19 cuts into its fundraising, CEO Gary Reedy told Atlanta Business Chronicle Wednesday.
The American Cancer Society has “never faced a threat to our mission like Covid-19,” Reedy said.
The organization helped put Atlanta on the national health-care stage when it opened its headquarters here from New York City in 1989. The American Cancer Society has about 500 full-time employees in Atlanta and maintains its downtown headquarters at 250 Williams St.
“Atlanta is our global headquarters, and we are committed to maintaining our presence in the Atlanta market,” Reedy said in an email to Atlanta Business Chronicle. “We continue to occupy our current space in downtown Atlanta, but everything is on the table.”
It will continue to serve the community through research, education, advocacy, and patient services like the Hope Lodge, he added.
The pandemic has severely reduced the organization’s fundraising revenue and forced it to take significant cost-saving measures, he said. In 2018, according to its most recent financial report available, American Cancer Society raised $728 million from the public, with over 40% of those funds coming from Relay for Life events and gifts from estates and charitable trusts.
Covid-19 is forcing the nonprofit to make a fundamental shift in how it engages and serves communities.
“Within a very short period of time, we had to reconfigure our entire portfolio to protect our sacred donor dollars and continue to advance our mission amid these very difficult times,” Reedy told Atlanta Business Chronicle. “We are looking at all major expenses nationwide, and of course, real estate is part of that assessment. We will always put mission over bricks and mortar. We will continue to engage with people where they live their lives, with a greater emphasis on the digital world in which we live.”
The American Cancer Society building on Williams Street is a downtown landmark. In 2006, it announced it was moving offices from the Emory and Buckhead area and consolidating into the heart of the city.
For years, 250 Williams St. was owned by Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc. In 2017, a health care and data center fund controlled by Carter Validus acquired the building for $166 million. The building is about 1 million square feet, with American Cancer Society leasing almost 30% of the property.
Carter Validus could not immediately be reached for comment.