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Friday, August 10, 2012
walking kids
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman


A few nights ago, I went to a baseball game that lasted fourteen innings. The Orioles fell behind in the first inning and stayed behind through the sixth inning, until they were able to tie the game. It took another seven innings before they could finally score the winning run. Prior to the fourteenth inning, the Orioles had made fielding errors and poor pitches, and had failed to score runs at times when the opportunity seemed ripe. And yet, the team continued to battle and ultimately sent the fans home happy (the few who remained at midnight).

As we read through the Torah each year, we are struck by the number of poor decisions and mistakes committed by our ancestors. From the earliest stories in Genesis to the rebellions and complaints in the desert, one time after another the people involved act counter to God's commandments. Not always, but often enough that we wonder at times what God sees in this "stiff necked" people to want to continue the relationship. In this week's parashah, Eikev, we hear a litany of all of the things the people have done wrong over the past forty years, even a description again of the incident with the golden calf. And yet, even with all of those transgressions, here on the banks of the Jordan, God is ready to give the People of Israel the Land of Milk and Honey. And all that He asks in return is that the people keep His commandments, that they teach them to their children, that they love God and keep the covenant to continue to receive His blessings. This is not a free ride. To honor God is a commitment, but it is a commitment that ensures a better life.
From our work with our clients, we know that there is no such thing as a "free ride." With the assistance of our agencies, our clients work hard to achieve a better, more stable life. Like a baseball team, they can make mistakes along the way, but continue to make progress toward a successful outcome. The message of Eikev is that there is great promise going forward, even in the face of the hardships and transgressions of the past. It just takes a daily commitment and the belief in possibility.
Have a peaceful Shabbat.      


Giving as Receiving 

by Lee Sherman     

"It is better to give, than to receive." We probably all heard this many times as a young child. Usually, when your parents supplied you with a present to take to another child's birthday party, or when a sibling received something which had a particular attraction to you, and you complained about "never" getting anything yourself. "Just remember, it is better to give, than to receive." Really?. 


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     

Putting the Board to its Best Use for Leading - Board Presidents' Conference Call
At AJFCA's Annual Conference in Houston this April, our member agency board presidents enjoyed some fabulous networking and sharing of ideas on ways for agency boards to help boost the work of their agencies. AJFCA will be continuing this networking and information sharing through a series of conference calls open to all board presidents of AJFCA member agencies.

The first call will be held on Wednesday, August 29th at 1:00-2:00pm ET, with a discussion entitled "Putting the Board to its Best Use for Leading the Agency". Any AJFCA member agency board members who would like to join this call are requested to please email Lisa to sign up. A reminder with call-in information will be sent closer to the date of the call.
AJFCA Addictions Practice Group has Launched
The newly-formed AJFCA Addictions Practice Group launched by conference call last 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 2:00pm ET.

Addictions professionals from all AJFCA member agencies are encouraged to join this group. If you are interested, please email Megan.
United States of Aging
NCOA, UnitedHealthcare, and USA TODAY surveyed 2,250 U.S. adults aged 60 or older for the inaugural United States of Aging Survey to examine seniors' outlook and preparedness for aging, and their community's ability to meet their needs as they age.
aging infograph
The results? Most older Americans feel their best years are still to come, but not all are prepared for the challenges of aging.

Key Findings
  • Seniors and baby boomers expect their lives to improve as they grow older.
  • A significant minority of respondents feel less secure: about one in four report trouble with current monthly living expenses; one-third say they will not be able to afford future long-term care services; and 72% of those who make less than $30,000 per year live with a chronic health condition.
  • Perceptions of community services for older Americans vary; boomers are less confident than older respondents that their community will provide the services they need to maintain health and independence. 
As the Face of Philanthropy Changes, So Should the Faces that Promote It
Call it "Development for a New Millennium:" with the rise of online giving, the popularity of strategic charitable investments, and untold changes in not just how but where people are giving (as evidenced by the recent GivingUSA report on giving in 2011), the need for strong professional leadership, in the form of a talented Development Director to ensure effective fundraising efforts within a nonprofit organization, is more important than ever.

The undeniable importance of the individual donor remains paramount, and all too often, the organizational representaejewish philanthropytive that donors interact with most at a nonprofit is the Development Director. In concert with the Executive Director, the leader of the development department quite often serves as the "face" of the organization, representing its programs and cultivating its supporters.
A strong Development Director must partner with, educate, and motivate an organization's Executive Staff, and empower the Executive Director to inspire the Board of Directors as well as work hand-in-hand with campaign leadership and/or consultants for specific campaigns. She/he must be detail-oriented, work well on a team, and understand a variety of fundraising tasks, including gift acquisition, stewardship of donors, communication strategy, corporate giving, and both the writing and monitoring of foundation grants and government contracts.

Read the entire article here to learn about five new essential qualities of the modern-day Development Director.
Focus on Finances and Feedback: Lessons From a Social-Venture Boot Camp
No matter how much nonprofits try to incorporate the world of finance into their work, it's rare that venture capitalists, grant makers and social entrepreneurs meet together to discuss their work.
That's why the Unreasonable Institute, a three-year-old nonprofit, brought 75 investors and grant makers to Boulder, CO, this summer to spend two days with social entrepreneurs attending a six-week boot camp on getting an enterprise off the ground.

As Scott Henderson participated in the event and spoke with foundation grant makers and traditional investors, he explored what lessons nonprofits and other social-impact start-ups could learn from this experience. Among them:
Value financial expertise.
  • Be open to feedback.chronicle philanthropy
  • Explain your project clearly and concisely. 
  • Find unlikely partners.  
Click here to read the entire article and learn about the lessons above in more detail.
katya nonprofit marketing blog The Best Darn Annual Report I've Seen this Year
Lately, Katya has been blogging on the concept of making the donor the hero of your story.  The center of your outreach.  The star of your show.
She's received several requests for examples of this concept in action. Below is her favorite, from blog reader Julie Burch of the Austin Children's Shelter. View the annual report here.  

The report does three things brilliantly:
  1. It gives the donors the credit and puts them at the center of the report.
  2. It is full of great stories. 
  3. It has a deft way of telling a story and using powerful imagery without violating privacy 
Ventureneer's One-Stop Social Media Resource
Social Media for Nonprofits, Social Enterprises, Socially Responsible Companies
Social media for nonprofits, social enterprises and socially responsible companies aren't optional anymore. They are an integral part of outreach, advocacy, fundraising, and client services and likely to become more so as technology advances. But nonprofits in particular are not getting all they can from social media, as discovered in our Ventureneer's Summer 2010 Survey, Nonprofits and Social Media: It Ain't Optional, of nonprofit social media use.
To that end, Ventureneer has compiled this one-stop, central resource of values-driven business -- socially responsible company, social enterprise and nonprofit -- social media best practices, research, learning opportunities, and conversations.

Be sure to check out 25 Best Social Media for Social Good Blogs and Putting the Power of LinkedIn to Use for Your Nonprofits pages.
The Importance of 'Noticing'
Yes! The qualitative data matter. What our participants think and feel matter. And its high time we started figuring out how to learn what they think and feel; what the qualitative results are of our programs.
ejp full logo
For the past three years, Anna Marx, a Jewish organizational consultant that has been working with The Jewish Education Project and the Experiment in Congregational Education has been working with New York congregations in the Coalition of Innovating Congregations. As part of this work, teachers in part-time Jewish learning programs have been experimenting with ways to assess learning. Don't think assessment like in public schools - no fill-in-the-bubble-tests here. This assessment is about setting goals for learners that speak to their whole selves, not just the brain. We call it "Noticing" because it's about observing, witnessing growth in our learners as they travel their own journeys.

And the more Anna is a part of this work, the more she sees the possibilities for this whole-person assessment to translate to so many other kinds of programs in the Jewish community.

Click here to see what it looks like and read the remainder of the 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.
featured agency

In the past five years, the number of clients Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles serves has tripled to more than 12,000 every month. The most recent 12-month period continued this trend - yet with the support of the community,     { SOVA (community food and resource program) and JFS continue to maintain and even expand their service level.
  • In November 2011, with the generous help of Republic Services, JFS { SOVA distributed grocery bags filled with complete Thanksgiving dinner needs to more than 2,000 families.   JFS LA
  • Bright and early on the very first day of 2012, student volunteers from the Universities of Oregon and Wisconsin put aside their friendly rivalries and teamed up to sort food for JFS { SOVA clients at the Valley location.  
  • A partnership with Fromin's Deli in Santa Monica, which began in February 2012, has been extraordinarily successful, with Fromin's donating 25% of their dinner proceeds from the first Monday of each month directly to JFS { SOVA.  
  • In March, JFS { SOVA opened a new Family Resource Center directly adjacent to the Valley pantry - clients visiting the food pantry now have access to an even broader spectrum of supportive services in a family-friendly environment.  
  • April saw a "magic" moment as JFS { Aleinu and JFS { SOVA programs teamed up for a community fundraising event featuring professional magicians showcasing their talents to the amazement of all!  
  • The JFS { SOVA Leadership Committee began working on a special project soliciting surplus from wholesale food producers and distributors, which has so far led to donations of truckloads of food, led by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.  
  • This summer, JFS { SOVA woll continue to grow - this August, a new warehouse will be added, which will more than double overall storage capacity!  
Other plans for the coming year include further expansion of counseling and case-management capabilities. JFS { SOVA has more than tripled the number of area supermarkets providing surplus food - especially fresh produce and perishables - on a regular basis. To effectively handle this expansion, JFS hopes to acquire a new refrigerated truck in the next few months, so stay tuned for an update on that in the months to come. 
highlightsjfs seattle

Jewish Family Service of Seattle is celebrating their 120th anniversary. JFS will recognize and honor those whose dedication and passion have helped Jewish Family Service serve thousands upon thousands of individuals and families here and at home. This event is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with members of the community and reflect upon generations of continued support. To RSVP or for more information, please contact Leslie Sugiura at 206-861-3151. Please note: All guests must pre-register as there will be no registration at the door. 
This year mjfcs pittsburgharks an important milestone in Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh as they celebrate their 75th anniversary of service to the community at their upcoming gala, Lifecycles & Laughtracks, on Saturday, November 17th.  

Lifecycles & Laughtracks will be an exciting night of food, friends and entertainment with our valued supporters, along with five-time Emmy Award winner Alan Zweibel, renowned writer of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and the original "Saturday Night Live." For 75 years, JFCS has proven that a better day is always within reach.
JFCS's message for their 75th anniversary speaks to their work which has touched the lives of so many individuals and families. Throughout their history, JFCS has continuously evolved to meet the community's changing needs, constantly innovating to ensure they deliver the very best services to those in need, and making good on their promise to help clients reach a better day -- for every individual and family who walks through the door.

Click here to visit the gala website for exciting event updates, ticket and sponsor information and more.
Although the calendar year is barely half over, the Jewish Children's Regional Service has already funJCRSded 48 Jewish special needs youths from their region and provided 20 others with case management service this year. The specialized tutoring, therapies, testing sessions, and treatments funded by JCRS are part of unique programs offered by an agency that serves the neediest and most challenged Jewish children in the Midsouth.
To learn more about this program, click here.
Using What You Measure:  An Introduction to Performance Management
Improving outcomes for the participants your organization serves requires the ability to measure the services delivered, as well as the changes in participants' lives. However, just collecting data and measuring change itself is not enough; successful organizations need to use data and information to manage performance and continuously improve. Today, many program managers find themselves in a place where they collect lots of data but are unable to use it to make meaningful program improvements. Join Social Solutions for an engaging overview of the performance management continuum, the steps to successful use of data for program improvement, and how PerformWell can be helpful in numerous ways in this process. This presentation includes examples and case studies and will address questions from the audience.


Using What You Measure:  An Introduction to Performance social solutions logoManagement

Tuesday, August 14th, 3:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE 

BrightTALK Academy Webcasts
Driving Value from a Hybrid Conference for Exhibitors and Organizers 
Thursday, August 16th, 9:00am ET -  http://academy.brighttalk.com?commid=53165 
How to Use Social Video to Drive Results 
Tuesday, August 16th, 12:00pm ET - http://academy.brighttalk.com?commid=53145 

Webinar & Video Marketing Roundtable 
Tuesday, August 16th, 2:00pm ET - http://academy.brighttalk.com?commid=53169 

Driving Webcast Attendance in a Social World
Tuesday,  August 16th, 3:00pm - http://academy.brighttalk.com?commid=53001  

State Advocate Experiences in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports
States are increasingly planning to establish or expand Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) programs. According to a recent CMS report, 16 states operate MLTSS programs serving approximately 389,000 individuals. By 2014, the number of states with such programs could increase to 26.  A previous Friday Morning Collaborative webinar provided an overview of key issues and principles for aging and disability advocates.
This webinar builds upocmsn these issues by highlighting state advocate experiences in states with existing MLTSS programs or states actively pursuing.
State Advocate Experiences in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports
Friday, August 17th, 2:00pm-3:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Interactive Webinars on the Health Care Law
The Health & Human Services Partnership Center continues to host a series of interactive webinars discussing the benefits and provisions of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act.

hhs logo  

All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session where you can ask HHS staff any question you may have about the health care law. Please submit questions you would like to have answered on the webinar to ACA101@hhs.gov. To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred dates from the list below and submit the necessary information.
National Webinars
Tour of www.HealthCare.gov
Tuesday, August 21st, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE 

The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)
Tuesday, August 28th, 2:00pm ET -REGISTER HERE 


The Health Care Law 101 (in English)
Thursday, September 13th, 12:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE

The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish)
Tuesday, September 25th, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE   

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