The NAACP will announce a large in-house contribution today that will allow 47 furloughed staffers to go back to work early next month, officials said.
"It's really within the family," said interim administrator Fred Rasheed, who would not disclose either the size or the source of the donation. "It's not someone from outside coming to make a significant contribution. I think that's what makes it significant."
The contribution will put the remaining 47 workers back on the payroll by Jan. 9, Mr. Rasheed said. Five weeks ago, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People furloughed 88 workers because of a deficit of nearly $4 million.
Although 14 of the 88 workers are not returning to the organization, NAACP Chairman William F. Gibson said the announcement of the contribution was evidence that he had kept his promise to rehire furloughed employees as soon as it was financially possible.
"We're there to show the employees that they're going to go back to work because we're working to get contributions in large numbers," Dr. Gibson said from his home in Greenville, S.C.
Most of the employees, including Mr. Rasheed, have expressed their dedication to the organization by working without pay. Mr. Rasheed said that between a third and half of the 88 furloughed employees have not collected a paycheck but insist on working to keep the organization running.
"I can't imagine too many corporations where people come and work five weeks without pay," Mr. Rasheed said.
The problems began in August when the executive director, the Rev. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., was fired after admitting he had used $332,000in NAACP funds to settle a former aide's sex discrimination charge.
Two months later, Dr. Gibson came under attack from columnist Carl Rowan. The journalist accused Dr. Gibson of "double-dipping" his NAACP expense accounts and of controlling the nationally televised "Image Awards" that put the organization more than $1.2 million in debt.
Dr. Gibson has denied those accusations. Earlier this month, a group of 30 black leaders led by civil rights activist Julian Bond asked Dr. Gibson to resign.
Dr. Gibson said the recent controversies have not prevented what he called his increasingly successful fund-raising efforts.
"People believe in the NAACP, No. 1," Dr. Gibson said. "No. 2, they believe in the leadership of the NAACP. No. 3, most of them see through the stuff that the so-called opposition has spread around."