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Friday, September 21, 2012
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

Some of you may have read about a unique Rosh Hashanah "experience" held in Miami this past Sunday evening (N.Y. Times, 9/17). In a gathering held at the Jewish Museum of Florida, participants were encouraged to "Pray. Write. Text." This was certainly not a standard Rosh Hashanah service, in fact, the organizers were careful to market it as an "experience," not a "service." At various points during the evening, participants anonymously texted their regrets, goals, and other thoughts about the previous and coming years, all of which were displayed on a large screen at the front of the room.

The High Holy Days are a time for personal reflection and individual forgiveness, but most of all it is a communal experience. We gather as a community and our prayers reflect this shared purpose. The Viddui, a recitation of transgressions, is written in the plural as an expression of our collective responsibility. No one person has committed all of the listed transgressions, yet we all seek forgiveness for each.

As Jews we understand community. There is a reason we have persevered and thrived for over three thousand years - we do not go it alone. One of the participants at the Miami Rosh Hashanah experience said, "It felt like a community." That's because it was a community; we are a community. May we continue to share our regrets, successes, goals, and dreams for the coming year and for many years to come.

G'mar Hatimah Tovah. Finish Well.
LinkedIn Offers Tool to Help Charities Recruit Board Members
LinkedIn, the professional networking site, has announced a free new service called Board Connect to help charities recruit board members who have much-needed skills.

LinkedIn offers charities a place to post detailed information about their organization and the professional and volunteer connections of its board members and other leaders.
board source
Through Board Connect, groups can then search LinkedIn for potential new board members by listing skills that would be helpful, such as an accounting or legal background, job title, nonprofit affiliations, and other characteristics. Board Connect returns a list of people who meet those criteria and have connections to one or more board members or staff members at the nonprofit.

To be eligible for the service, an official from each charity must complete a short questionnaire, provide proof of the organization's tax-exempt status, and participate in a 45-minute Webcast that describes how to use Board Connect.
linkedin logo
Before it created Board Connect, LinkedIn officials held 20 focus groups with charities and others, conducted a survey of its members, and recruited four organizations to test the idea: Charter Board Partners, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, and Teach for America.

Board Connect is an effort to "build in philanthropic impact for LinkedIn," said Reid Hoffman, the company's co-founder, who announced the new service at the annual conference of BoardSource, which works to strengthen charity boards. With more than 175 million people now using LinkedIn to detail their professional expertise, Mr. Hoffman said, the company is in a good position to help charities find qualified trustees.
HHS Partners with Pharmacies to Educate Medicare Beneficiaries about New Health Benefits
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced partnerships with several pharmacies to help customers learn about new Medicare benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act - the health care law.  These partnerships - with CVS Caremark, Walgreens, Thrifty White, Walmart, and Sam's Club - will provide Medicare beneficiaries a range of educational materials on newly available preventive services, as well as savings on prescription drug spending in the "donut hole" coverage gap.
hhs logo
Some examples of how pharmacy partners are working to increase awareness of preventive services available under Medicare include the following:
  • CVS Caremark is distributing material about new preventive services covered at no cost to beneficiaries at its more than 7,300 CVS/pharmacy stores and 600 MinuteClinic locations, through brochures, register receipt messages and online.
  • Thrifty White Pharmacy is providing information on preventive services through its 85 locations throughout the Midwest.
  • Walgreens is distributing information in nearly 8,000 pharmacies and over 350 Take Care Clinic locations, as well as using in-store announcements and providing this information as part of its Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with AARP.
  • HHS is working with Walmart and Sam's Club to provide healthcare information to their shoppers online.  
Other pharmacies or partners can find information on how to work with CMS to educate consumers about the benefits available to them at: http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/Current-Partnership-Opportunities/index.html.
Who's Your Favorite Domestic Violence Activist?
Again this October, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Jewish Woman magazine plans to run profiles about four Jewish women who are activists in the field. JWI needs your help to identify inspiring women at the local, state JWIor national levels who passionately take a stand against domestic violence in their professional or volunteer lives. This will be one of several public awareness efforts from JWI next month.
The women JWI wrote about last year included Esta Soler, the pioneering founder of Futures Against Violence, one of the world's leading violence prevention agencies; Naomi Berman-Potash, founder of Project Debby, which enables domestic violence victims to receive temporary shelter in complimentary hotel rooms; social worker Toby Myers, "mother of the Texas battered women's movement;" and attorney Beth Klein, author of pivotal legislation to help prosecutors fight human trafficking.  You can read JWI's 2011 story, "The Power of Advocacy" on their website.   
Groundwire's 10 Rules of Engagement groundwire engagement pyramid
At Groundwire, they design and build strategies and tools to help organizations better engage the people that matter most to their missions.  Over the years they've come up with ten rules that are key to excelling as an engagement organization:
  1. Understand your theory of change
  2. Identify your key audiences
  3. Know what you want them to do
  4. Know why they would do it
  5. Have a plan for what's next
  6. Use an engagement framework
  7. Use an engagement platform
  8. Don't forget the middle of your pyramid
  9. Love your data
  10. Constituents = friends 
Finally, when you think about growing your volunteer pool or donor list, try to be in the mindset that you're in when you make friends. This is the most important rule, and also the easiest because we all know how to make friends, and what it takes to keep friendships strong.  You need to be a good listener, lend a hand once in a while, respect their opinions, and show gratitude when a friend does you a favor.  You need to give as much as you get.  Just imagine that database of yours and all of those contacts as folks with whom you'd like to be better friends.  Keep it in mind as you evaluate your engagement strategies and tactics and you'll be better at creating and cultivating the critical relationships for your organization.
Click here to learn about the 10 rules of engagement in more depth.
46 States Celebrate 5th Annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day
September 22nd is the first day of Fall, and it's also a day when passionate people across the country will stand together to observe the 5th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. This year's theme, Standing Together to Prevent Falls, seeks to unite professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members to play a part in raising awarenencoa logoss and preventing falls in the older adult population.

Forty-six states will participate in Falls Prevention Awareness Day this year, joining over 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies that comprise the Falls Free Initiative to raise awareness through educational presentations, risk-screening activities, and other outreach strategies. They are standing together to bring attention to common-sense, effective strategies to help older adults reduce the risk of falling, such as:
  • Engaging in a physical activity regimen that includes balance, strength training, and flexibility.
  • Consulting with a health professional about getting a falls risk assessment.
  • Having their medications reviewed periodically.
  • Getting their eyes checked annually.
  • Making sure the home and community environments are safe and supportive.  
Every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an Emergency Department for a fall-related injury. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65 and over. Moreover, the chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increase with age.
Read more about National Falls Prevention Awareness Day and the Falls Free Initiative here.
Keeping Track of Your People Power: HR and Technology in the Nonprofit World
Whether your organization has just a few employees or a few thousand, its staff is its most valuable resource. To manage that resource effectively, you need to track all sorts of information-from information about your employees' demographics to salary history to their annual performance goals. How do you make sure that data is safe, accurate and easily accessible?

Human resources management systems and human resources information systems-commonly abbreviated as HRMS or HRIS-can reduce administrative time and improve efficiency by helping your organization track and organize its human resources data.

This sounds great to most organizations, but few of those Idealware spoke with-including a number of experts-agreed on the specifics about what a good HR system should include. What areas would it cover, and what information would be tracked? What benefits would it provide, and would it be worth the investment?

Idealware also wanted to know at what point in an organization's lifecycle would these systems help free up enough staff time to make them worth the resources that would go into purchasing and implementing them and training employees to use them. To find out, Idealware talked to a number of nonprofit HR staffers and consultants specializing in the area to find out what they were using and what recommendations they might offer other organizations.

Read about the state of nonprofit human resources, human resources information systems, payroll, tracking employee data, recruiting and hiring, performance management and training here.
Three Tips for Dealing with Corporate Partners
Earlier this week, Katya Andersen posted on four things one needs to know before pitching a corporate partner.  She cited some interesting new research on how consumers feel about the products of companies that support charity. To summarize: 
  1. A company that does good is perceived to have better products
  2. Consumer mindset dictates when "good" matters 
  3. A socially responsible company trumps socially responsible product 
  4. Consumers smell self-interest a mile away  
So what are yokatya nonprofit marketing blogur takeaways?
  • Companies benefit from working with nonprofits. Remember, you give companies a brand halo. And if the partnership is positioned well, people will perceive the company's products as superior. Assert and know your worth to the company - and have high standards for your partners.
  • Companies do best when focusing on their firms' work to advance social good as a whole company, not necessarily how each product is a reflection of those policies. So encourage company-level support - it's better for their business - and for your organization because of the broader support. 
  • Companies don't want to appear self-serving with their corporate social responsibility, because that can backfire. So if your partners have genuinely advanced your cause and made a difference, help them tell that story. You'll be a good partner - and encourage more support over time.

Regional Stakeholder Engagement Teleconference with CMS on Health Insurance Marketplace & Expanded Insurance Options

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invite you to a regional teleconference with CMS staff to:
  • Update you on the latest information regarding implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchanges), part of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Start discussing strategies to educate the uninsured, under-insured, and small businesses about expanded insurance coverage options.  cms
Registration is required. Phone lines are limited. See the teleconference schedule for call details and registration information. If you are unavailable on the date for your region, you may attend any of the other regional sessions. Please forward this invitation to any partners and stakeholders who may want to participate.
CMS values the work you do to ensure that every American is aware of and enrolled in health insurance. For more information on the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, visit  
Strategies to Improve Consumer Economic Outcomes
Join the NCOA and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) for an informative webinar about tools and strategies to improve consumer economic outcomes.


Older aNCFFdults with limited resources are facing increasingly daunting and complex financial challenges. While they grapple for assistance, many community organizations find themselves stretched to help clients with hard to solve financial problems, such as threats of foreclosure or eviction, high credit card debt, leveraging home equity, and a pervasive and growing sense of economic insecurity.


NCOA and the NFCC are hosting a webinar to share concrete tools and strategies for providers to use, like BenefitsCheckUp, to help these older adults.
In this interactive webinar, you'll:
  • Learn more about the issues facing older Americans and what you can do to help them access benefits and services to help increase their economic security.
  • Hear firsthand from leaders in the field of aging and consumer credit counseling assisting with debt management, leveraging home equity, foreclosure mitigation, and property tax/insurance mitigation. 
Strategies to Improve Consumer Economic Outcomes

Friday, September 21st, 2:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE  

Digital Body Language Summit
Buyer behaviour in todays social world is one that is rather complex and at a constant change. With self-education fronting this change, vendors need to innovate the marketing plan to stay relevant in front of their buyers. Join experts as they share the latest in tracking the online behaviours of brighttalkthe complex B2B sale, content marketing best practices and new technologies that are redefining the way organizations go to market with new products and services.

Marketing Automation: The Blueprint for Sales and Marketing for Success
How to be a Webinar God
Right Content, Right Time, Right Person
How to Gather, Mine and Create Actionable Intelligence Across Webinar Life Cycle
Say What? How To Get the Most Meaning From Digital Body Language
Thursday, September 27th - REGISTER HERE
You can attend any or all of the 45-minute webinars at this summit at no cost, submit real-time questions to presenters and vote in audience polls during the live online event. If you are unable to attend the webinars live, you can view them afterward on demand.
It's All Abncoa logoout Content: Using the Internet and Social Media to Reach and Inform Older Adults
Join NCOA and IlluminAge to discover how your aging services organization can maximize online communications and social media to better reach and serve older adults.
  • What does it mean to be "content rich" and why is that important?
  • What are some examples of websites and social media that get this right?
  • What are some ways to publish excellent content on a tight budget? 
It's All About Content: Using the Internet and Social Media to Reach and Inform Older Adults
Thursday, September 27th, 1:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE
5 Ways to Ratchet Up Your Fundraising Using LinkedIn
For nonprofits, LinkedIn can be a development and outreach goldmine. It is a tool that boards, executives, and staff must understand because e-based outreach will be the norm. LinkedIn is the one social medium geared to business people inventureneerterested in professional development and connections. It links 175 million personal profiles that can be tapped according to interest, specialty, location, and background.
Join this webinar and learn how to:
  • Enhance your nonprofit's brand image
  • Increase your visibility with keywords  
  • Research potential major donors
  • Meet the people you want to know  
  • Build long-term relationships 
5 Ways to Ratchet Up Your Fundraising Using LinkedIn
Tuesday, October 2nd, 3:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
An Introduction to WealthEngine
Identifying and cultivating the right donors and prospects is the key to driving your organization forward. But finding your top donors with significant wealth, disposable income and an inclination to give to your organization can be a challenge.
wealth engine
Whether you have a small donor database or millions of donor and prospect records, WealthEngine can screen and segment your data so you can focus on efficiency and affective communication to the right donors and prospects. For 19 years, WealthEngine has been helping nonprofit organizations of all spectrums increase their fundraising goals. More than 2,000 clients ranging in size and representing healthcare, higher education, advocacy, and other industries use WealthEngine for their prospect research and screening needs.

An Introduction to WealthEngine
Tuesday, October 16th, 2:00pm ET
To register for this webinar please email Megan by Friday, October 12th.
Save More Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency  
You are invited to attend a webinar on how to Save More Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency. This webinar is designed for CEOs, Executive Directors, HR Directors, and CFOs in AJFCA's network. At this webinar you will learn:
  • Why nonprofit employers are paying more for their unemployment taxes--and what it costs you.
  • Understanding the legal option for nonprofits to leave the unemployment tax system and just reimburse  the state for claims.              
  • How your nonprofit can potentially save thousands of dollars annually with this reimbursing option.
  • Learn about the advantages and disadvantages and whether it's right for your nonprofit. (Best for nonprofits with over $1 million in payroll.)    
  • How 501(c) Agencies Trust helps AJFCA member agencies reimburse, safely and securely, with services to reduce your costs. 
Save MO501c for newsletterRE Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency
Thursday, October 18th, 3:00pm ET
Please contact Heidi Posada, 800-442-4867 x142 with questions.
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