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Friday, August 3, 2012
Young Girls
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman


Like many of you, I have been watching the Summer Olympics this week with some interest. Although it may be somewhat frustrating to know the results before seeing the events on television, there is still something powerful about watching these amazing athletes in action. The incredibly high level of their performances is testimony to the years of hard work and preparation that has preceded these events.  They may not all triumph, but they are all deservedly triumphant.

In this week's parashah, Va-ethannan, the people of Israel continue their preparation for entering their new home and their first view of Israel. They are just east of the Jordan River and no doubt anxious for their journey to end. But, despite the years of wandering in the desert, there is still some necessary work they must do before they enter the land. This week's reading contains some of the most powerful language in Torah. The words of the Shema are read this week, a prayer that resonates with all Jews and which reinforces the covenantal relationship with God. This week's parashah also repeats the Ten Commandments, ensuring that this new generation which will build a nation in the Promised Land will remember and incorporate the laws revealed many years earlier at Sinai. The words of Moses this week are raising the collective consciousness of the people, so that they will not only appreciate the physical beauty of the land, but also the soul of the land that will be the home to the great nation promised to Abraham.

Very few people are capable of winning Olympic gold medals. None of us were present over three thousand years ago to enter the land of Israel forty years after the exodus from Egypt. But, we can learn from our Olympic athletes and from the words of Moses to the Israelites that great successes do not happen by chance. Our inspiration is not in others' accomplishments, but in sensing their preparation to be triumphant.

Shabbat Shalom.     


Agency Highlights 

by Megan Manelli    

Megan Manelli


Each week as I compile the weekly newsletter I scour through emails and newsletters looking for inspiring agency highlights to post to the Highlights From Our Agencies section of the newsletter. I encourage everyone to read the agency highlights for the latest news and success stories from fellow AJFCA agencies. It is AJFCA's pleasure to share your agency's news with other agencies and AJFCA affiliates. 


Read the entire blog entry here .   



Jewish Child & Family Services of Chicago, IL  

Jewish Family Service of Seattle, WA  

Jewish Family Services of Metropolitan Detroit, MI

Jewish Family Service of Colorado  

Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta, GA 

Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh, PA  

Repair the World     

AJFCA Addictions Practice Group has Launched
The newly-formed AJFCA Addictions Practice Group met by conference call for the first time this week. Eleven professionals from seven different AJFCA member agencies joined the call to discuss their current initiatives, ask questions of their colleagues and begin to form a vision of the collective work that can be done on a national level.  

AJFCA has set up a forum for the Addictions Practice Group so that group members can communicate with one another easily on an ongoing basis. The group plans to share best practices, seek advice and post documents related to Addictions services on the forum. The next conference call for the AJFCA Addictions Practice Group will be on Wednesday, October 17th at 2pm ET.

Addictions professionals from all AJFCA member agencies are encouraged to join this group. If you are interested, please contact Megan.

Foundation Directory Online Renewal - Deadline Today 

In August 2011, more than 30 of our member agencies signed on to participate in AJFCA's institution-wide subscription to the Foundation Center's Foundation Directory Online Professional Plan. Each participating agency paid a significantly-reduced subscription fee of approximately $400 for one year's access to the online directory of more than 100,000 foundations, corporate donors and grant making public charities. Users are able to build custom searches through nine comprehensive databases. 

foundation center 

In the first ten months of our subscription, AJFCA agencies created approximately 5,600 searches. According to the Foundation Center, AJFCA has created about 7,500 searches in the past year. In other words, our agencies saw real value in this tool and have made excellent use of it for the past two years!


The second subscription year will come to a close in mid-August. All users will have to renew if they would like another year of access. Member agencies who are interested in joining for the third year (whether or not you participated in year one or two) will have that opportunity. Assuming we have approximately 30 members join, the cost again will be approximately $400 per agency. If you are interested in participating, please email Megan Manelli no later than August 3, 2012.

Voices from the Sector:  The Idealist.org Nonprofit Organization Report
Idealist approached the thousands of organizations on Idealist to ask them how they're doing, find out what they anticipate in the coming year, and learn more about their human resources practices. More than 1,000 organizations responded to the idealist-version 2Idealist survey. Overall, it was found that there is optimism in the nonprofit sector, which continues to rise, though many organizations still remain cautious in some areas. While funding has increased for many groups this year, some still sense uncertainty in the longer term. And organizations are facing a wide range of challenges in the areas of hiring, compensation, and staff development-and even in how to handle growth.
In 2012 Idealist also included data collected from more than 3,000 active job seekers in their Nonprofit Organization Report, who responded to their own survey. By assessing their experiences and comparing them with organizations' hiring practices and expectations, Idealist can help provide some insight into the challenges that face nonprofits so we can all continue to strengthen our work.

Click here to view the findings of the 2012 survey.
Use Social Media to Reel in Big Fish Donors
Note from Beth: We know that social media can bring in the small dollar donors, but what about larger gifts?  This is a question that was answered in a study from 2009 and the answer is yes. Find out how one successful nonprofit leader does it.beth kanter

Many nonprofits already use social media, including mobile, to raise money among individual donors. Small donations add up, as Mark Hanis found. His first Facebook campaign raised $250,000 in 2005 for Genocide Intervention Network, now known as http://endgenocide.org/.
But few nonprofits use social media to build relationship with potential Big Fish donors. Yup, you can target and build these important relationships by engaging with them through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The relationship starts online, but the "ask" happens offline, perhaps on the phone, but most likely face-to-face.

Building these relationships is hard work but the benefits are enormous. Effective social media outreach takes at least 25 hours of staff time per week, according to the Ditch Digital Dabbling research report. Hanis has tips for those willing to undertake the task, based on his experience as head of the Genocide Intervention Network:
  1. Identify prospects using the 990s of nonprofits with a mission similar to yours.
  2. Research which social media these major donors are using. 
  3. Learn their areas of interest and how engaged they are in your cause. 
  4. Engage on an ongoing basis. 
  5. Coordinate all internal efforts. 
  6. Reach out.  
Read about Hanis' tips in more detail here.
The Simple Secret to Building Community
Earlier this month, Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works wrote a post about Audience, Access, and Advertising on his blog.

He pointed out that the first two, Audience and Access, were two dials on the new machine of building your business, and that advertising was no longer the first and primary effective tool for this for most of us.
Let's dig just a bit deeper on how to go about building value for an audience and work on how providing access to your customers and prospects helps business.
social fresh
Audience and It's Secret Better Half
To gain attention for whatever you seek to accomplish, you might have the goal to build an audience.
When we talk about audience, they might gather for you in many ways. You might be growing an email newsletter, or you might have a blog, or maybe you have a radio show, or a TV show. You want to attract people to whatever it is you have to say, so that you can then encourage them, educate them, convince them, sell to them, whatever that goal might be.
How do you get them there?

Audience building is one part self-promotion, one part creating useful and/or entertaining content (and we can interpret this one very widely), one part repetition (for getting an audience together once is rarely a win for anyone), and then we come to the parts that aren't as often a guarantee.

Click here to read about interaction, inclusion, and empowerment as well as the entire article.
Growing Individual Gifts: An Analytic Approach to Data Driven Success
A WealthEngine Institute Workbook
This workbook will take readers step-by-step through the strategies needed for success and growth in individual giving, offering guidance from assessing and planning, through building strategies and measuring success. An accompanying toolkit shares electronic tools and resources available for download, to further enable readers to grow individual gifts at their organizations.
wealth engine
Is your agency interested in WealthEngine? AJFCA has been looking into a group subscription. Please email Megan if you are interested in WeathEngine's services.

WealthEngine provides clients in the United States with solutions that provide a complete picture of the people they already know, and tools to find new people they would like to get to know. We work with nonprofits, hospitals, institutions of higher education, political campaigns and advocacy groups of all sizes as well as luxury organizations and financial services firms to help them effectively identify individuals with the net worth, income, lifestyle and affinity to become their next top donor or customer.


AJFCA's 41st Annual Conference 

May 19-21, 2013 
Phoenix, Arizona 


Things are difphoenixferent in the desert. The sky is bigger. The stars are brighter. The sunsets stop you in your tracks.

 It's a feeling that can't be conjured, landscaped or kindled with twinkling bulbs. John Ford knew that. So did Frank
Lloyd Wright. Come to Greater Phoenix and you'll understand, too.   


America's sixth-largest city still has real cowboys and rugged mountains and the kind of cactus most people see only in cartoons. Phoenix is the gateway to the Grand Canyon, and its history is a testament to the spirit of puebloans, ranchers, miners and visionaries.  


Projected against this rich backdrop is a panorama of urban sophistication: Resorts and spas that drop jaws and soothe souls. Stadiums and arenas worthy of the world's biggest sports spectacles. Restaurants with inspired cuisine and inspiring patio views. Golf courses that beckon players the year round. Shopping centers as stylish and eclectic as the fashions they house. 

 This is Greater Phoenix - Arizona's urban heart and America's sunniest metropolis.

volunteer initiatives
AJFCA Volunteer Newsletter

AJFCA released it's first volunteer newsletter on Tuesday, July 31st. The newsletter has already generated activity on the Volunteer Professionals Forum. Click here to view the first edition of the AJFCA Volunteer Newsletter.  volunteer wordle

The volunteer newsletter is and will continue to be comprised of all things volunteer including volunteer related articles, reports and surveys as well as member agency volunteer programming updates, and stories of success and lessons learned. This newsletter is curated as part of the AJFCA and Repair the World Volunteer Initiative, encouraging increased information sharing between the newly formed AJFCA volunteer cohort, volunteer professionals and other interested parties.

If you would like to receive the monthly AJFCA Volunteer Newsletter please send your email address to Jennie. For more information regarding newsletter submissions please visit the Volunteer Initiatives page on the AJFCA website.
Jewish Women Intermnational's Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse
As a leader and advocate in the Jewish domestic violence movement, Jewish Women International knows that you are well aware of the important role that clergy can play in supporting women and children experiencing domestic violence. Indeed, you have likely already trained rabbis and cantors in your community on the dynamics of domestic abuse, and the ways they can be a support and a source of healing. JWI is inviting you to nominate a rabbi or cantor from your community to serve for a two-year term on JWI's Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse in the Jewish CommunitJWIy.

This Task Force is a multi-denominational group of Jewish clergy committed to ending the cycle of abuse by speaking out publicly about the issue, developing and disseminating resources and training, and providing guidance to colleagues working with families experiencing abuse. Over this past year the Task Force developed two text-based guides about healthy relationships, a 'mi-sheberakh' for families experiencing abuse, held two trainings, and engaged in advocacy. To learn more about the work of the task force please visit http://www.jwi.org/clergy.

The Task Force is chaired by Rabbi Richard Hirsh, executive director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and Rabbi Marla Hornsten, Temple Israel, West Bloomfield, Michigan. It is currently composed of 16 members and with plans to expand to a group of 25 members. There is particular interest in adding rabbis and cantors who are leaders in their communities and who work in diverse settings such as college campuses, chaplaincies, summer camps, youth groups and nonprofits. The Task Force meets by teleconference, with plans for an in-person meeting in 2013.

Nominations should include the name of the rabbi or cantor, denomination or affiliation, contact information, and a brief description of why you are nominating this candidate. JWI looks forward to receiving your nomination so that they can move forward with this exciting effort. Please email nominations to Deborah Rosenbloom and contact her with any questions.


Strong Start Amended Funding Opportunity Announcement

We encourage potential applicants to review the amended FOA.

As part of the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative, ("Strong Start") CMS has released a funding opportunity for providers, states, managed care organizations, and conveners to test the effectiveness of specific enhanced prenatal care approaches to reduce preterm births in women enrolled in Medicaid. The goal of the initiative is to determine if these approaches to care can reduce the rate of preterm births, improve the health outcomes of pregnant women and newborns and decrease the anticipated total cost of medical care over the first year of life for children born to mothers enrolled in Medicaid and/or CHIP.


CMS received a high level of interest in the Strong Start Funding Opportunity Announcement ("FOA"), and also received numerous questions and suggestions about this initiative from organizations throughout the country interested in testing new models of prenatal care. In order to address concerns about the requirements for a successful application, CMS has revised the Strong Start FOA.


The key changes to the FOA are as follows:


CMS revised the FOA to remove the requirement for States to link vital records and Medicaid claims data in the Strong Start funding opportunity. Instead, applicants must be able to provide gestational age and birthweight data on births of intervention infants and from a baseline period that spans at least 2 years prior to the start of the intervention; thereby, removing the requirement to supply a Letter of Agreement from the applicant's state(s).

CMS is committed to a rigorous model evaluation and, therefore, will pursue linked State vital records and Medicaid claims and encounter data through a parallel effort to the Strong Start funding opportunity.


In order to make these program changes, CMS has extended the program timelines and eliminated the Letter of Intent (LOI) requirement in order to allow potential applicants the opportunity to modify or develop applications that are consistent with the new information. The new application deadline for the Strong Start funding opportunity is August 9, 2012 with optional LOIs due August 8, 2012. The anticipated award date is October 5, 2012.


More information about the Strong Start initiative is available here.  


State Progress on Balancing Incentive Program and Community First Choice Option
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides new opportunities for states to improve access Medicaid Home and Community Based Services. Two such opportunities are the Balancing Incentive Program and Community First Choice Option.
Six sncoa logotates have now been approved for the Balancing Incentive Program and two states have applied for the Community First Choice Option. Many others are considering these programs. 
This webinar will bring together state Medicaid officials and advocates to highlight progress and provide  insights to assist advocates in other states.    


State Progress on Balancing Incentive Program and Community First Choice Option 

Friday, August 3rd, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE  ______________________________________________________________________________________

Webinars on the Health Care Law Hosted by the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

hhs logo

Regional Conference Calls


Region 1 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) - August 8th, 11:00 am ET - REGISTER HERE


To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred date from the list above and submit the necessary information. Please email any questions to ACA101@hhs.gov. For more information, go to www.hhs.gov/partnerships.

In the third part of this three part webinar series, Growing Individual Gifts, participants will learn strategies for successful solicitations.  Session will cover:
  • Discovery and cultivation - from getting the appointment to asking the right questions
  • Stewardship and recognition
  • Measuring Success and Return on Investment 
*Please note that this session will be beneficial even if you did not attend earlier sessions on Growing Individual Gifts.
wealth engine
Growing Individual Gifts: Winning Strategies for Successful Solicitations
Wednesday, August 8th - 1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE

AJFCA Group Purchasing Program 

Join PurchasingPoint for a webinar that will provide a brief overview of the program, tour of the PurchasingPoint portal, and examples of vendor discounts and sign-up processes. Learn how to start saving money with PurchasingPoint.
purchasing point
AJFCA Group Purchasing Program
Wednesday, August 8th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE

To get a head start go to http://ajfca.purchasingpoint.org and enter the following invitation code: ajfca620. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  

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