The Curious Realignment of JREF

So there’s been a lot of tweeting lately about the sudden demise of D.J. Grothe at JREF. It’s contributed to a lot of rumors and speculation as to why he’s out but maybe the answer is much simpler than what many others think.

I saw some tweets the other day about the receipts for JREF since DJ became president. He had a couple of good years, but then over the past 3 years, their income has been declining.

The defining skill of any senior executive is to make money for the business and never think that when it comes down to it, all of these skeptic and atheist organizations are primarily businesses. sure, they’re non-profit, but essentially they’re no different than any other service business.

They need to raise money to do the work that they’re chartered to perform. That is a lot of work, especially in an economy that is sputtering. If you’re not willing to spend the interminable hours raising those funds to support the efforts of your business – you’re out. I’m not saying D.J. wasn’t willing or didn’t invest the unimaginable time, it’s just that when revenues decline, the board looks for another leader. That’s a fact of any business.

What’s really frustrating is that JREF won’t come out and say exactly why. Businesses do. Maybe D.J. was looking at taking JREF in a different direction and the board disagreed. That of course is just speculation.

I never met D.J., but I did on occasion “converse” with him on Twitter. I am familiar with many that do know him personally and I would echo their sentiments that he is a great guy. It’s just the way those conversations on Twitter went. He didn’t know me from Adam, but after one or two short dialogues, he started following me. I guess we became twitter “friends”.

He is smart, witty, and doesn’t seem to take crap from anyone – that’s my opinion from my brief interactions – and I’m certain that there are others that believe the same.

I’m sad he’s gone. It’s made me think about renewing my membership to JREF. It has nothing to do with JREF itself, but the curious silence. I’m skeptical. I’m not implying that you should do the same. Everyone needs to make their own decisions concerning organizations they support and should only place their support (money) behind those that give them confidence.

Now? I’m done with this subject.

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