The nonprofit group that lobbies for legislation that affects children and gathers data on children’s health and well-being is no more.
Citizens for Missouri’s Children Director Scott Gee says the group relies on foundation funding, which has dwindled over the past year due to the recession.
“The final decision to close was made Wednesday afternoon by the board of directors,” Gee tells the Missourinet. “We had been watching our finances closely for over a year, as the recession impacted the country and the state, it also impacted us, we rely very heavily on foundation funding, and many of the foundations took a hit from the recession and slowly our finances have kind of dwindled.”
As for the data the organization gathers and distributes, Gee says he’s optimistic it will still happen each year.
“I have been talking with Annie E. Casey over the last couple of days about finding a good home for the Kids Count, we don’t want it to go away, they don’t want it to go away,” he says. “I think talks will begin immediately and we’ll be able to find a good home for the Kids Count project.”
He adds that the dissolve of Citizens for Missouri’s Children means one less voice for children at the Capitol during the legislative session.
Offices close this afternoon, the Web site has been disabled, and the phones will only be open for a few more days. The organization was founded in 1984.
Gee sent out the following letter Friday afternoon:
Dear CMC Friend:
I regret to inform you that due to a lack of funding to support key programs and initiatives, the Board of Directors and executive leadership of Citizens for Missouri’s Children has made the difficult decision to close its doors. The decision to cease operations, and thus end CMC’s child advocacy efforts, was made following a thorough evaluation of the organization’s financial viability by its Board of Directors and executive leadership. We assure you that we have not reached this decision lightly.
CMC’s Board and staff explored a number of options to keep all or some of the organization’s programs running. However, our lack of current and long-term funding make it impossible to continue to provide these programs in a meaningful way.
For 25 years, CMC has been the independent voice for Missouri’s children. Supported by our members, we advocate for public policy that puts children first. We sincerely appreciate the support you have shown CMC through the years. Without your support, the rights and well-being of Missouri’s children would have been overlooked. Many of you will likely have questions about this decision. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the Board of Directors and we will try to answer those questions.
Scott Gee, Executive Director