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Friday, October 5, 2012
Young Girls
D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman

One of my earliest memories of Jewish holidays is from Sukkot. I remember being part of a group of small children being led down a narrow walkway that ran along the side of the synagogue to a space behind the building where we entered this hut-like structure hung with fruits and decorations. I had the sense that this was a special place, and the sweet fruit and other treats we were given only confirmed this for me.

We learn that Sukkot is one of the three major festivals of the Jewish calendar and has its origins in the Torah. When first mentioned, we read that the temporary dwellings of Sukkot commemorate the dwellings our ancestors experienced during the time of the exodus from Egypt. In Deuteronomy, the meaning of Sukkot is expanded to broaden the significance of the festival. "You shall rejoice in your festival, with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your communities." Deut. 16:14. It is a time to celebrate with family, but also with the broader community, particularly the stranger and those who may be in need. It is important that everyone be given the opportunity to fully participate in the tradition and the expression of thanks that permeate Sukkot.

As a child, I had a sense of the wonder of Sukkot when I entered the Sukkah, of being a part of something grand and welcoming. It is this same sense that our agencies and all of our Jewish communal institutions seek to transmit to our clients and our constituents. All are welcome. All are part of the community. All may feel the sense of possibility as we peer through the roof of the Sukkah into the heavens above.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach.
Ten Ways You Can Help Boost Corporate Giving for Domestic domestic violence posterViolence
This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Jewish Women International (JWI) is calling attention to the lack of corporate funding for domestic violence programs and services. Did you know that 1 in 4 women in the United States experiences domestic violence in her lifetime? Yet less than 1% of corporate philanthropies include domestic violence in their giving guidelines or list domestic abuse as an area of interest. As women and as consumers - we need to stand up and demand change.
With their economic clout, corporations are ideally positioned to fund life-saving JWIdomestic violence services, underwrite public awareness and prevention campaigns, and create in-house policies for their own employees who are experiencing abuse. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it's time for companies to finally make domestic violence a philanthropic priority - and for women, a powerful and growing economic force, to accept nothing less.
Click here to learn ten ways you can help boost corporate giving for domestic violence.
A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?"
NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." Upon its establishment in 2001, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.

Although led by ODEP, NDEAM's true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers, schools and organizations of all sizes and in all communities are encouraged to participate in NDEAM, and ODEP offers several resources to help them do so. Activities range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive America, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities - every day of every month.

To get NDEAM resources or learn more about how your organization can participate, please visit http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/.
7 Board Activities Can Help Charities Bring In More Money
Charities are more likely to meet fundraising success when their boards pursue at least seven types of fundraising activities, such as holding events and seeking gifts from friends, according to a new study.

The study-conducted by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative-assessed the use of 11 approaches to involving board members by examining the progress of 1,602 nonprofits in meeting their 2011 fundraising goals.

Below is a list of what the board can do and here's a podcast on one idea of how to energize people in the community to participate.
chronicle philanthropy
The techniques studied were:
  • Sharing their contact lists.
  • Seeking contributions from friends or associates.
  • Securing sponsorships from companies.
  • Making personal introductions to potential donors.
  • Visiting prospective donors.
  • Hosting a fundraising event.
  • Allowing the use of the board member's name in solicitations and other materials.
  • Chairing fundraising events.
  • Thanking donors.
  • Rating prospective donors on their ability to give.
  • Helping develop fundraising plans. 
The study found that the power of board members to help nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals varied by the nonprofit's size:
  • Organizations with budgets under $3-million were more likely to succeed when their boards helped in a wide range of solicitations.
  • For charities with budgets of $3-million to $10-million, the number of fundraising activities pursued by trustees didn't matter as much. But those who met their fundraising goals were most likely to be successful when their trustees asked others to give, allowed their names to be used in solicitations, or rated potential donors on their ability to give.
  • Among charities with budgets of $10-million or more, getting the board personally involved in reaching out to other supporters increased the chances of fundraising success. 
The Opportunity and Constraint of Mobile
Katya's heard a lot of smart people talking about mobile the last few months, and two consistent themes are worth sharing.
First, mobile is a huge opportunity. It allows us to reach people at new moments, including dawn (66% wake up with their phone). More and more, people will be opening emails and visiting sites on their smartphone. Around 67% of people already shop on their phone. Just as giving has followed but lagkatya nonprofit marketing blogged online shopping trends, the same will prove true with mobile. So the headline here is, mobile will bring a whole new set of possibilities to your work.

But while mobile expands the ways in which we can engage with people, we need to recognize that we win by seeing not only opportunity but also constraint. We can't shrink down our website or giving page, stick it on smartphone and call it a day. No one wants massive amounts of options on a tiny screen. So we have to make hard choices about what we will feature on mobile. Less is more. We must have complete simplicity in design and choices, or it won't work at all.

Embrace the potential, but also the limitations.
Big Data Without Defining Success First Is A Big Mistake
With the release of the "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit:  Using Data to Change the World", author Bebeth kanterth Kanter is looking forward to participating in conversations about how nonprofits can use measurement, data, and learning to for social change.

"Big Data" is a theme being discussed this past month in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. It refers to large data sets that require powerful software tools to capture, storage, search, sharing, analysis, visualization and sense-making.
Here's a terrific round up of posts about "big data for small nonprofits" from Wild Apricot. But Beth thinks jumping into a process:  "Gather, Analyze, and Act"  without defining success (or failure) on the front end might lead to wasted time.
  • Define results
  • Identify research to formulate a hypothesis
  • Identify KPIs
  • Gather data
  • Jutjitsu data
  • Make decisions based on data 
Click here to learn how DoSomething.Org does it.
FEMA Announces 2012 Community Resilience Innovation Challenge
Application Period Open for Funding to Increase Local Resiliency through Whole Community Approach
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the application period is open for a new funding opportunity to build local resilience, through a Whole Community approach, in communities across America: the Community Resilience Innovation Challenge.

Though National Preparedness Month comes to a close at the end of September, FEMA and its partners know that preparedness must continue in communities year-round. This new monetary opportunity is designed to continue to move community preparedness forward and assist local areas in building and revitalizing community-based partnerships to advance the nation's resilience to disasters.
The opportunity is provided through the Rockefeller Foundation and FEMA and will be administered by the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation who will act as a third-party intermediary to encourage local communities to engage in creative activities that enhance disaster resilience. Funding levels will range, with a maximum award of $35,000, and applications are open to most local, state, and tribal agencies and governments; business entities; associations; organizations and groups. Submissions will be accepted through October 26th.

Key assessment areas for the awards will be the applicants' demonstration that their approach to community resilience is innovative, collaborative with community stakeholders, sustainable, repeatable-in that the approach enables other communities to replicate their successful outcomes-and  beneficial to the community in measurable ways. 

Additional information on the Challenge program criteria and application process can be found at www.fema.gov and www.ResilienceChallenge.org. 

A new campaign from the American Physical Therapy Association is educating baby boomers about the importance of being healthy. Fit After 50 provides daily tips, symptoms and conditions guides, videos, and a social media contest throughout October. 

  ncoa logo

At 78 million strong, Baby Boomers are one of the largest and most powerful generations in the U.S. They have redefined aging and are more educated, wealthy, and tech savvy than their parents or any generation preceding them. Yet, despite these advantages, some studies, including a Harvard study titled "Trends in Obesity and Arthritis Among Baby Boomers and Their Predecessors," show that many Boomers are actually overweight or obese, placing them at greater risk for chronic health conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. 

As we age, we often lose flexibility, strength, and balance, which makes staying fit after 50 challenging, even for the most determined Baby Boomers. Working with a  physical therapist, can help you address these challenges, maintain fitness, and avoid injury. While helping you achieve your fitness goals, physical therapists take an individual approach and consider any pre-existing conditions or diseases that you may have to tailor a plan that is specific to your unique needs. 


The following Fit After 50 resources are provided to help you better understand the ways a physical therapist can help you improve mobility and motion to stay fit at 50 and beyond, in many cases without expensive surgery or the long-term use of prescription medications.

Human Development Programs Could be Cut by Over $39 Billion
The National Human Services Assembly projects that Sequestration, should it come to pass, would cut a minimum of $39 billion from human development programs across the federal government. NHSA secured this information from an OMB report on the impact of sequestration, the Children's Budget and other sources (sources noted on page five of the attached).
national human servcies assembly logo
"We know that cuts will happen across the government, with or without sequestration," stated Irv Katz, President and CEO of the National Human Services Assembly, "but the "human development budget" affects the livelihoods and well-being of tens of millions of people.   Cuts of this magnitude would undoubtedly increase unemployment appreciably and increase demand for 'entitlements.'  As a sector, we need to remind the public and public officials of this fact:  human development programs-most of them at least-help people to be in situations that where they can care for themselves and their families, gain employment and become tax-payers and consumers.  And social problems left unaddressed, whether child abuse or poor and frail elders living in isolation, result in much greater social and economic costs than the prevention and intervention programs provided for by government and the charitable sector."
Opening Abraham's Tent: The Disability Inclusion Initiative
The Jewish Federations of North America, the Mizrahi Family Charitable Fund, the Jewish Funders Network, and the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes are pleased to announce the creation of a conference dedicated to a discussion of how to build Jewish communities that are more inclusive of individuals with disabilities and their families.

Opening Abraham's Tent: The Disability Inclusion Initiative
Tuesday, November 13th, 6:45pm-10:00pm
Wednesday, November 14th, 7:45am-3:00pm
Baltimore, Maryland

Featuring Keynote Address by Governor Jack Markell of Delaware Chair, National Governors Association sharing his vision for improving employment outcomes for the disability community as well as sessions focusing on
  • the difficult concepts and questions communities must address in order to develop a culture of inclusion
  • how to develop the tools that allow a community to make an immediate impact on inclusion for individuals with disabilities, their loved ones and caregivers
  • the issue of inclusion from the perspective of funders
  • a look at innovative best practices addressing individual issues within the broader context of inclusion 
This conferencjfna logoe will feature leaders with experience in helping communities to promote a culture of inclusion and will provide an opportunity for federation professionals, family service agency professionals, educators, planners and lay leaders to develop the tools necessary to begin the effort to accomplish this important goal.  
Please join JFNA as they gather to discuss how we can work together to achieve the goal of building accessible, accepting, accommodating and welcoming Jewish communities for individuals with disabilities and their families. 

Registration for the Disability Inclusion Initiative
Click here if you plan to attend the 2012 General Assembly and the Disability Inclusion Initiative - $82
Click here if you only plan to attend the Disability Inclusion Initiative - $118

For more information about this conference, click here or contact David Feinman with JFNA.
bikur cholim
25th Anniversary Bikur Cholim Conference
Face-to-Face Meets Facebook:
Paths to One Purpose in Bikur Cholim

Sunday, November 11, 2012
@ UJA-Federation of New York
130 E. 59 Street
New York, NY
8:45 AM - 3:30 PM

Early Bird Discount:
Register before October 12th
You can register via email, mail or fax.

Download the brochure:
Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta's CEO Gary Miller and President Seth Cohen recently attended the BoardSource annual conference and national competition for The Prudential Leadership and Excellence in Board Governance Award.
JFCS was among five finalists for the award, submittinboard sourceg this video which showcases their process of moving towards a more diverse board: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOCo1iKx-HY&feature=plcp. While JFCS did not win the top honor, they did come home with a $2,500 cash award for the agency and made many new friends and admirers who were inspired from their story of leading the JFCS through a Board diversity process.  
Idealware, an AJFCA partner organization is offering member agencies a discount on two toolkits. Just in time for your year-end fundraising appeal, The Email Fundraiser's Toolkit gives you the opportunity to work through your own email campaign from start to finish. And for organizations already using Facebook, Twitter or other social networks, The Advanced Social Media Decision Maker's Toolkit, which starts October 17th, will introduce you to your next steps, including measuring your social media impact, defining your organization's brand and creating a social media policy. Email Megan for the AJFCA discount code.
The Email Fundraiser's Toolkit - $225, $175 for AJFCA member agencies

October 10th - November 7th, 11:30am-1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Email campaigns are a fundraising tool within the reach of even the smallest organizations. An effective way to communicate with donors and raise money without much expense, they're an opportunity to provide reasons and reminders for constituents to give. This five-week series of classes will walk nonprofits through the soup-to-nuts process of creating such campaigns, just in time for year-end appeals.
The Advanced Social Media Decision Maker's Toolkit - $200, $175 for AJFCA member agencies
October 17th-November 14th, 2:00pm-3:30pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Step beyond social media basics with this 5-session course. We'll delve into advanced social media strategy and discuss how to use your social media for branding, deeper engagement, and integrated campaigns while exploring how to measure your social media impact and creating a social media policy. Offered in partnership with Third Sector New England. 
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.
B2B Marketing Series: Search, Social, Mobile
On the days October 16th, 17th and 18th, top thought leaders from various B2B circles will share their insights on the Search, Social and Mobile industries. Engage with this online summit to learn the golden rules and best tools available to achieve success in growing brand awareness, generating leads and boosting ROI.
Engagement: How to Build it Using Search, Social and Mobile
Global PPC Campaigns: Challenges and Opportunities in a B2B Tech Environment
Social and Mobile - Engagement Marketing Not a Reach Replacement
Mobile Revenue Performance Management
How to Create a Mobile App for your Business
October 16th-18th - 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.
Save More Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency  
You ar501c for newslettere 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 MORE Money for your Jewish Family & Children's Services Agency
Thursday, October 18th, 3:00pm ET or Wednesday, October 24th, 1:00pm ET
Please contact Heidi Posada, 800-442-4867 x142 with questions.
Better Nonprofit Storytelling
Learn about better nonprofit storytelling with the Nonprofit Marketing Guide. Here are the three kinds of stories you'll learn how to tell if you participate: nonprofit marketing guide
  1. The Challenge Plot - The challenge plot is your basic, three-act structure that practically every Hollywood movie is based on. These are your classic underdog, against-all-odds stories. One common mistake nonprofits use when telling Challenge stories is making themselves the hero. These stories work best when the main character is a client, volunteer, donor or someone else involved in or affected by your work, but not the nonprofit itself. 
  2. The Creativity Plot - Creativity stories create those big "Aha!" moments and tell those "what if we ... " stories that work out in the end, even though the idea may seem a little too crazy or bold at the start. For a good creativity plot, you need a well-understood problem and a standard response that just doesn't work. Again, use the people around you - clients, volunteers, donors - to explain the problem and inadequate solution. Then introduce the new approach that your nonprofit or someone affiliated with your nonprofit is trying.
  3. The Connection Plot - Of the three different story plots, this one is the hardest to pull off. If you don't get it right, your story will sound sappy or manipulative. But like the others, if you can identify the different parts and find the right way to string them together, you'll have a very powerful story. These stories usually have a little surprise or epiphany in them that really drives the point home. It's a nice little story, but the meaning doesn't become really profound until you add in those last few surprising details or revelations. 
Wednesday, October 24th, 1:00pm ET - REGISTER HERE
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