From the STRIB article (link to full article below):
But there were risks. “Negative outcomes would be that the gap between public announcement of balance and the internal reality of deficits in 2009 and 2010 would need to be maneuvered carefully, and that the deficits in 2011 and 2012 might hinder fundraising,” according to the minutes.
Here you have it. The MO management hired a PR firm to help them spin this unfortunate reality into an acceptable public story in such a way that donations might not fall off.