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Friday, May 11, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

Last week at Shabbat services, I was honored with the first aliyah. Even though I belong to a very large congregation, as a Kohen, I am given the first aliyah two or three times a year. Being on the bimah this past week brought back a flood of memories, as it was the anniversary of my bar mitzvah. In particular, I thought back to my parents and other family members who have since died and how special I felt in their midst on the day of my bar mitzvah (probably more than a little nervous as well, but I seem to have forgotten that part).


This week's parashah, Emor, sets forth some special rules for the Kohanim, particularly in relation to exposure to the dead and physical requirements for being permitted to offer sacrifices and other priestly duties. I have a difficult time relating to most of those rules, but, nevertheless, being a Kohen has always been important to me. I remember my father explaining how he was a Kohen because his father was a Kohen and for all of the generations back to Biblical times his ancestors were Kohanim. Although it is doubtful that at such a young age, I understood the significance of the Kohanim in Jewish law and tradition, it did make me feel a connection to my grandfather and those before him whom I had never known.


This week, as we read those Torah verses that delineate the particular rules for the Kohanim, I doubt I will feel much of a connection to the words. But, I will feel a connection to the people those words have applied to over the past three thousand years, and maybe, I'll feel a little special as well.


Shabbat Shalom.      

Strengthening Health Centers in Communities Across America

hhs logo

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, has announced $728 million in Affordable Care Act grants to community health centers across the country.  The grants are intended to help existing community health centers serve nearly 900,000 more patients, expand and modernize their facilities and create jobs in local communities.  America's 8,500 community health centers have not have the space, staff and resources to meet the needs presented to them.  These grants are targeted to meet the needs of the health centers so they may more fully meet the needs of their local communities.  See Secretary Sebelius' blog post for more information on this important initiative.

Donors Who Give Through Multiple Channels Give the Most

Donors Who Give Through Multiple Channels Give the Most, April 20, 2012, Beth's Blog, by Dennis McCarthy

Nonprofits have known for some time that an integrated multi-channel approach to constituent engagement is key to being successful; however there's been limited understanding of optimizing integrated marketing or its impact. Convio, along with CAREUSA, recently completed Insights into Integrated Marketing Constituent Behavior to further the thinking and dialog around integrated marketing.


With the study's findings, nonprofits can now more confidently say that nonprofits need to adapt to in the way they both engage externally with their supporters as well as organize their efforts internally. Integration on both fronts is imperative.


The study takes a deep dive into the metrics associated with a multi-channel marketing program at CARE USA - particularly the relationship between traditional direct mail and digital channels (also referred to in the study as offline and online). Further it explores the quantification surrounding the relative financial value of different engagement approaches e.g. dual channel vs. single channel communications.


The central finding from the study is that dual channel donors give the most. On average, dual channel donors give $123.29 annually; this is 46 percent more value to a nonprofit than direct mail only donors.


Read the entire article to learn more about donors who give through multiple channels.

Tools to Build a Stronger Nonprofit Sector

Tools to Build a Stronger Nonprofit Sector, April 27, 2012, Social Velocity, by Nell Edgington

A little over a year ago Nell Edgington, President of Social Velocity started introducing tools on the Social Velocity website to help nonprofits, who might not be able to afford consulting services, grow their programs, create a financing strategy, revamp their board. Edgington is blown away by how popular these tools have become.


Edgington started Social Velocity almost four years ago because she saw a real hole in the nonprofit sector. Small and medium nonprofits working on social change lacked access to expertise and resources to strengthen and grow their solutions. Tsocial velocityhe Teach for Americas of the world were building impressive organizations and replicating their solution far and wide. But they were doing so with the help of deep networks of experts and money. They were the lucky ones.


But there are equally impressive solutions housed in much smaller, less resourced nonprofit organizations that aren't really seeing the light of day. Because these organizations don't know how to put a growth plan together, figure out how to finance the impact they want to have, or create a compelling ask for money to build, their solutions are not reaching as far as they could.


Social Velocity exists to help those small and medium-size nonprofits who want to be entrepreneurial, grow their programs, get their board engaged and invested, raise money to build their organization, break out of the starvation cycle.


And there are some nonprofits that are so small or so new that they aren't ready yet for a customized solution. So Social Velocity's tools are there to help them start creating momentum on their own.


Read more about the tools Social Velocity has to offer nonprofits of all sizes.

10 Things You're Doing Wrong With Social Media

You're on social media-maybe Facebook, Twitter or your organization's blog-and you're having some success, but you know there's room for improvement. Before you start strategizing big plans for what you might do with the tools, take a little time to consider what you're already doing with it, and whether you're making common mistakes that are needlessly hindering your progress. Here are 10 such mistakes you can turn around with a little effort for quick, improved results.

1. Not telling people you're on social media.
2. Not integrating social media with your communications mix.
3. Not integrating social media with your website to get people to take action.
4. You're not thinking about the channel you're using.
5. Posting inconsistently.
6. It's all about you-and you're not very interesting.

7. Making it "antisocial" media.  
8. Posts are disconnected from your mission.
9. Not respecting people's privacy.
10. Continuing to do things that aren't working.


Rules are meant to be broken. Social media has rules, both formal and informal, and following them can help you make the most of these sites and all they have to offer your organization. Remember, though, that it's okay to break rules from time to time-as long as you have a compelling reason to do so. Use common sense. Think about the practices that annoy you when other people or organizations do them, and think about those that you like. Find a way to make the ones that resonate work for you. You're bound to make a few missteps-everyone does-but with a little consideration and thought, you can learn from them and improve your organization's message.


Read the remainder of the article to learn more about the 10 mistakes you can turn around with little effort for quick, improved results. 

Priming Your Board for Fundraising

Priming Your Board for Fundraising, April 26, 2012, Connection Cafe, by Rachel Muir

When nonprofits think about having a strong fundraising board it can be tempting to think about filling your board with lots of big name individuals that you expect to write huge checks. In reality, these people may have no real connection to your cause. And if you are lucky enough that they do, they may be too busy to either commit to board services or worse, they'll commit and never show up at meetings. 

board source 

Too often, eager to fill a vacant seat or secure a well-known name, nonprofits fail to clearly articulate expectations of service to prospective board members, or downplay the expectations of service.


"There is no question that orienting new board members to their responsibilities, especially around fundraising, is critical," says Linda Crompton, BoardSource President and CEO. "In our 2010 Nonprofit Governance Index, BoardSource found that 90% of the boards with a structured orientation process were rated as effective, compared to only 67% of the boards without such a process."


In addition to a job description, prospective board members should receive a board manual and board contract to help them understand and be successful in their role.


Board members are your most committed volunteers. By providing them with excellent training and clear expectations, you are showing that you value them as exactly that.


Read the entire article to learn more about board job descriptions, manuals and contracts. Visit AJFCA's Resource Library for templates.

What Every CEO Needs to Know About HR
What Every CEO Needs to Know About HR, April 25, 2012, businessweek.com, by Liz Ryan

If you ask a CEO "What does your HR leader do?" he or she is likely to say: "You got me. I jusbusinessweekt know I need to have one." CEOs expect HR execs to look after employee records, hire and train people, administer performance reviews, and see that comp and benefits practices chug along. Beyond that, the mission can get fuzzy, fast. Most CEOs Liz Ryan, an expert on the new-millennium workplace knows don't have a ready answer to the question "How does your HR leader help your organization compete?" nor do they have a handy list of must-do activities for an HR exec charged with boosting the organization's competitive mojo.    

 linkedin logo

It's every HR chief's highest calling to make sure his or her employer has the most excited, switched-on, and capable people on the market.  Read about the 10 things your HR head should be doing right now in the remainder of this article

Trust the Curators
If you do anything professionally related to online technology, you understand the immense amount of data you need to sort through daily. There are the daily content roundups, blogs to read, Facebook posts and to check, tweets to scroll through, and news sites. That doesn't include whatever else arrives in your inbox. Debra Askanase, founder and lead consultant at Community Organizer 2.0, a social media strategy firm for non-profit organizations and businesses, literally cannot keep up with all that she wants to know about social media technology and its use for engagement, fundraising and advocacy. It's really ... too much to know. That's when she began trusting the curators.
 ejewish philanthropy
Trusting the curators was a strategy Askanase employed to begin to figure out what to read, what she needed to read, and what others that she trusted thought was important to read. We cannot read it all. We cannot begin to imagine trying to read it all. We must trust to the curators.


Trusting others to curate content has become her primary means for gathering relevant information about social media and particularly, nonprofit technology.


There are many curatorial platforms. What's important is to find what works for you, and why. What's your curatorial strategy?


Read the entire article to learn more about Askanase's favorite curatorial platforms.

WCJCS Quadrennial Conference: Program Now Available

WCJCS Quadrennial Conference: Program Now Available, May 1, 2012, eJP   

The WCJCS 12th Quadrennial Conference theme and theme is: Energizing the Present, Envisioning the Future: Strengthening Jewish Community. Click here to view the conference program.


The conference will explore Jewish Peoplehood, strengthen Jewish identity, and allow individuals to develop professionally. The WCJCS Quadrennial promises exciting learning, sharing, networking and site-visit experiences with hundreds of professionals.


Ramada Jerusalem Hotel

June 24-26, 2012

Toronto JFCS


Richard Cummings, Executive Director of Jewish Family & Child of Greater Toronto, was featured in the May 3, 2012 edition of Canadian Jewish News.  In a CJN feature entitled CJN Roundtable, four people were asked to weigh in on the question, "In difficult economic times, how can we best help the needy?"  In Richard's response, he describes the important work of JF&CS and details his vision for a caring and connected community.  Read the entire article here.  


The Affordable Care Act

hhs logoThe Department of Health and Human Services Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships For Faith and Community Leaders is hosting interactive conference calls on the health care law.


Call-in information will be made available 24 hours in advance. Please send questions in advance of the call to  ACA101@hhs.gov.


The Health Care Law and Access to Care

Wednesday, May 16th at 1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE


Understanding the Accreditation Process - Navigating The Road Toward Accreditation

Are you currently in the process of seeking COA, CARF, Joint Commission or Hague accreditation? Do you have training mandates and requirements you must meet? Perhaps you are already accredited but you are looking for ways to maintain that accreditation? If so, Essential Learning's new webinar series is for you!


Essential Learning and Accreditation Guru, Inc. are proud to present an educational, unique series of webinars designed to help you navigate the road toward accreditation and maintain your accreditation.

essential learning 

Knowing what to expect and how to plan for accreditation are key steps toward achieving accredited status. In this first session attention will be given to the benefits of becoming accredited as well as a review of the four major accrediting bodies. Not only will you learn about the fundamental organizational requirements, but become aware of who should be involved in the process.


By participating in this webinar you will be able to:

  • Understand some of the key benefits to becoming accredited
  • Identify critical steps in the road toward accreditation
  • Become familiar with common challenges
  • Discover what is needed to successfully prepare for the accreditation process

Session I: Key Preparation Steps

Wednesday, May 16th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE


Leaving a Legacy

Join the National Council on Aging for the second webinar in a special two-part series sponsored by NCOA and m IlluminAge on issues surrounding intergenerational policy, planning, and equity. The focus will be on economic sustainability and its effect on aging and eldercare. What do economic issues, such as the Great Recession and the future of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, mean for older adults? Is it time for a better understanding and more open discussion of what economic sustainability means for different generations?ncoa logo


Harry Moody, director of Academic Affairs for AARP, and Andrew Achenbaum, professor of history and social work at the University of Houston, will consider the impact of the Great Recession on different age groups and cohorts.


Leaving a Legacy -- Part II, The Wealth of Generations

Thursday, May 17th, 1:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE


 The State of the Nonprofit Cloud: Results of the Study 

Consultants and advertisements alike are urging nonprofits "to The Cloud," but how many have heeded the call? Are organizations actually using it? What can you do there? How have Anonymous and LulzSec impacted the Cloud's appeal? To answer these questions and more, NTEN and Idealware surveyed 780 nonprofits nationwide about how they used hosted software.


Did you know: 

  • that email is the most widely-used cloud software?
  • that once a nonprofit starts using one cloud software solution, it's likely to use more?
  • that many staff members were using cloud software, but didn't even realize it?

Participate in this free webinar to hear NTEN and Idealware present an overview of their research for the new report, The State of the Nonprofit Cloud: The Results of a Study of Nonprofit Use of Cloud Software. You can download the complete report for free right here .


The State of the Nonprofit Cloud: Results of the Study

Wednesday, May 30th, 11:00am ET - REGISTER HERE


Health Care Symposia: Issues Unique to Younger Jewish Women - Free National Teleconference and Webinar 

Join Sharsheret for a free symposium, "New Advances in Gynecological Health Before and After Cancer" . This symposium will focus on the most current research regarding gynecological concerns before and after a breast cancer or ovarian cancer diagnosis. Panelists include Dr. Tessa Cigler, Dr. Elizabeth Poynor, Clinical Supervisor Shera Dubitsky, and a Sharsheret Peer Supporter. For more information and to register, email teleconference@sharsheret.org .sharsheret


"New Advances in Gynecological Health Before and After Cancer"

Wednesday, July 11th, 8:00pm ET

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