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IDA Insights

We value our members and community at large and their right to receive transparent, correct information about our programs, work, and services. This page will be regularly updated and shared with our community. Please revisit this page to receive current and accurate information about IDA.


February 2, 2023

On January 31st, IDA eliminated the full-time position of Awards Competition Manager. It was a difficult decision to make, but this type of role has been historically part-time or seasonal in the doc industry, as it had been at IDA. In June of 2021, IDA invited Kristal Sotomayor to this position for a role full-time role, believing the position could be sustained and would benefit from a dedicated person around which to build a team and grow the capacity of the Awards program.

In mid-December 2022, the organization confirmed a net operating deficit of $893,000 for the first five months of the fiscal year (through November 30). IDA engages a third party (Your Part-Time Controller, LLC) to verify financials and has been implementing cost-cutting measures that can be sustained as an organization. Some of these savings will be realized by eliminating open positions, a review of vendors and subscriptions, and new budgeting. As a result, we have already identified $500,000 in savings. 

The Awards Competition Manager position is supported through unrestricted general-operating revenue and not via grants or restricted funds, as are a number of positions within IDA. In simple terms, these are dollars that can be spent on staff and programs without restriction in contrast to grants that have requirements for funds to be “restricted” and only used for approved expenses. This means that restricted funds can only be applied to a specific program or to specific line item costs associated with that program. We cannot turn to restricted funds when our operating revenue is down. The nearly 11-month lead-up to the 39th IDA Documentary Awards gives us the confidence to address our resource and capacity needs and re-align with the industry for specific expertise as needed. By making these difficult decisions now, we are better positioned to deliver on our work and realize the impact we aspire to have next year.

We informed CWA Local 9003 representatives of our decision on January 19, 2023, and worked with them to inform Kristal Sotomayor, who was offered 2 weeks’ severance. These actions were not endorsed by CWA Local 9003. Recent and open positions were not offered to Kristal Sotomayor because of the positions’ specific criteria for experience, training, and demonstrated history of prior work. Finally, we are aware of the distributed burden that an eliminated position can create on the remaining staff, and we are addressing this through general restructuring within IDA. We look forward to sharing more of that with you soon.

We received a formal grievance on February 2nd before publishing this page. We will work with CWA to address this. We will post any update that emerges on this page.