CEO: Invisible Children Closing Up Shop - NBC New York
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CEO: Invisible Children Closing Up Shop

The organization is asking for donations to their "finishing fund" to assist in the final transition.

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    "Kony 2012" Nonprofit Shutting Down

    The San Diego-based nonprofit Invisible Children is closing its doors. The group gained worldwide attention after its "Kony 2012" video went viral. But now the owners say the finances are dried up. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014)

    The organization that brought international attention to African warlord Joseph Kony has announced they plan to close their doors indefinitely in 2015.

    Invisible Children is the non-profit organization headquartered in downtown San Diego that's responsible for the viral video Kony 2012, which outlined their commitment to capturing Kony and bringing down the Lord's Resistance Army in Democratic Republic of Congo.

    IC's CEO Ben Keesey made the announcement in a video statement on the organization's website Monday, asking for donations to their "finishing fund" to assist in the final transition. They're anticipating $150,000 in donations by Dec. 31. As of this report, the website said they had already raised more than $11,000.

    "These last two years have been enormously challenging for our organization," Keesey said in the video. "It's been incredibly difficult for us to sustain the funding that we need for this cause and for Invisible Children as it's currently structured."

    Keesey said the options presented were to close the doors on the organization's Africa programs and cut funding to the staff they have there, or do the same here in the United States and scrap film making and awareness projects on the home front.

    "And that's what we're choosing to do," he said.

    Keesey told NPR the organization will be dwindled down to five full-time staff in the U.S. by the end of the year and no more than 30 in Africa. The U.S. staff will then be reduced to zero at a later point, he said.

    "We never built Invisible Children to last for decades," Keesey said in a public video chat interview. "We built it to accomplish its mission."

    IC's co-founder, Jason Russell, likened their success to making it 24 miles into a marathon and urged volunteers to stay involved.

    "Jump first, fear never," he said in the chat.

    It's been a journey of highs and lows for Russel whose naked public meltodwn in Pacific Beach just two weeks after the Kony video's release undermined the group's success.

    Keesey told NPR Russell is currently writing a chilren's book called ABC's of Activism.