Atlanta’s American Cancer Society to lay off 1,000 nationwide

An estimated 450 American Cancer Society employees, volunteers and supporters march through Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta after a rally to celebrate the organization’s 100th birthday in 2013. The nonprofit announced layoffs June 10, 2020. File photo. (PHIL SKINNER/AJC)
An estimated 450 American Cancer Society employees, volunteers and supporters march through Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta after a rally to celebrate the organization’s 100th birthday in 2013. The nonprofit announced layoffs June 10, 2020. File photo. (PHIL SKINNER/AJC)

The Atlanta-based American Cancer Society will lay off 1,000 employees nationwide because of effects of the coronavirus on fundraising.

The nonprofit did not say how many of those jobs are in Atlanta but that its fundraising has been hurt by the spread of COVID-19, according to a statement released Wednesday to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“The pandemic has severely reduced our fundraising revenue and forced us to take significant cost-saving measures. ACS is reducing its overall budget by approximately 30 percent, with cuts to both non-personnel and personnel expenses,” it said.

A major fundraiser for the organization are the annual Relay for Life walks that take place around the country. The Relay for Life in Gwinnett County is one of the largest, raising about $1 million a year.

Those fundraisers have been disrupted by the pandemic, though the nonprofit tried to continue some of them virtually.

“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,” the statement said.

The American Cancer Society’s global headquarters is in downtown Atlanta, at 250 Williams Street, in a blue glass building visible from I-75/85.

The company said it is committed to maintaining its presence in Atlanta, “but everything is on the table.”