Project Veritas Chief Executive Officer Hannah Giles announced in an email Friday that the non-profit was suspending operations, while the head of Project Veritas’s Human Resources department, Jennifer Kiyak said operations were being put “on pause” in an email notifying personnel of another round of layoffs. Project Veritas is also ceasing fundraising activities due to severe financial concerns, per the email from Giles.
According to a letter titled “Reduction in Force” that was sent to Project Veritas staffers by HR director Jennifer Kiyak on Wednesday, the organization is putting all operations on pause amidst severe financial woes.
“In the interest of preserving the possible future existence of Project Veritas we need to put operations on pause and, as communicated since the Spring, another Reduction in Force (“RIF”) is necessary,” Kiyak wrote.
Reports indicate that the move was made in order to preserve the company in an attempt to keep Project Veritas alive. This recent announcement follows a previous round of massive layoffs of employees from the non-profit. In August Giles announced the first reduction in force, going from 65 employees to 50.
“We went from 65 employees to 60, then to 50,” Giles explained. She said as CEO she has had to make tough financial decisions until the public learns the truth about O’Keefe’s departure and returns to support the organization’s mission. Project Veritas laid off additional employees this week and now stands with 18 team members — including Giles. Giles explained that a few employees left the company for other jobs, two were let go, and 28 were laid off this week due to the scaleback of donations following a PR campaign against Project Veritas by former leadership members. “It was purely a financial economic layoff,” she stated.
As it currently stands, the company now has just 11 employees on the payroll, including Giles. The new rounds of layoffs sent all the journalists and one “development associate” home without a job.
“Project Veritas is continuing to operate, but due to various events and circumstances we are making changes in the operations of our organization including laying off additional employees,” Giles told CBS MoneyWatch. “We are pausing our fundraising efforts and proactively taking steps to honor our donors’ expectations and to preserve the trust the American people have placed in us.”
Project Veritas, headquartered in the small city of Mamaroneck, New York, which is about 30 miles north of New York City, has been a major player in investigative and undercover journalism since its founding in 2010 by former CEO James O’Keefe. O’Keefe left the company in February of this year after being ousted by the company’s board of directors. Since O’Keefe’s departure, the non-profit has been struggling to maintain its donors to support the operational tempo set by O’Keefe when he was heading the company.
The future of Project Veritas is unknown, and its survival at this point is uncertain given the current state of the company. Since Giles took over as CEO of Project Veritas, she has overseen what many describe as a fast decline as the company went through layoffs, several resignations of board members, and struggles to maintain a steady donor stream. In a leaked audio recording of some of the staff members and board members on August 22nd, Giles can be heard describing a very dire situation for the nonprofit.
At the meeting, held just days after 23 staffers were fired and two resigned, Giles can be heard explaining that the organization is in financial ruin.
“It’s devastating,” Giles said. “I’ve got to get back into the bank accounts to see what’s real and what’s not real because I have been getting presented with things that were not making sense and then when I’m presented with okay there’s only a thousand dollars left in the 501(c) (3) and I thought we had until October. We did a half a million dollar transfer and that was this period. But, like, we’re bankrupt.”
Giles continued to paint a bleak financial portrait of the well-known conservative nonprofit that raked in $22 million of donor cash in one recent year.
“The bills that are owed and everything, and there’s lawyers threatening to like, to force us into bankruptcy, and come take all this stuff,” Giles said. “So, I do not want us, I do not want to declare bankruptcy or go into bankruptcy, but we have to imagine that’s where we’re at so how do we get to the point where we’re clawing our way out of that situation?”
“So, we’re under water?” one staffer asked. Giles responded: “Yeah.”
Needless to say, the situation for Giles and the rest of Project Veritas is indeed dire, and one can logically say that the future is most assuredly, uncertain at best. We will just have to wait and see what happens.