AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

How Outsourcing Can Decrease Costs and Improve Efficiency

(editor's note: This is the first installment of a monthly Financial Matters column, designed to provide insight and tools to assist with nonprofit financial management. AJFCA's new corporate partner, CliftonLarsonAllen, an accounting and consulting firm with offices across the country, will be providing the commentary for this Financial Matters column.)

Under pressure to "do more with less," administrators and finance committees are exploring multiple options to reduce costs and improve efficiency. As they evaluate how to do this without jeopardizing their mission, many have turned to a growing trend of outsourcing functions that are not considered core to their mission.
Some of the reasons for outsourcing include a need for expertise on a less than full-time basis and the inability to recruit and oversee individuals with specialized skill sets. Payroll processing and legal services are just a couple of the more common functions that organizations now outsource. Many organizations, however, have also begun looking at outsourcing additional back-office functions as a way to both reduce costs and improve the effectiveness of their financial reporting. We have found that a properly-designed outsourcing plan can often reduce total costs by over 20 percent.
In addition to cost reduction, there are many other reasons why outsourcing may be a good option for nonprofits, including:
*    Access to the latest technology that an organization may not be able to afford on its own
*    Skilled personnel on an as-needed basis to provide high-quality services in an efficient manner
*    Streamlined services due to advancements in technology, resulting in more timely financial information provided to management and leading to better decisions and a more efficient organization
CliftonLarsonAllen's Harold Parsons will be discussing this outsourcing topic at next month's AJFCA & IAJVS Annual Conference in Montreal.  His session, Own It or Outsource It - How Do You Know, will be held on Sunday, May 4th at 4pm in Hochelaga 5. Plan to attend to learn about the key questions your organization should be asking about outsourcing, its advantages and disadvantages, and the recommended decision-making tools to decide what is best for your organization.

Agency Highlights
In Richmond, JFS Gay Foundation Promote LGBT Adoption  

Since the late 1990's, Jewish Family Services of Richmond has facilitated dozens of adoptions to LGBT couples across Virginia. The history was unknown to the Richmond Gay Community Foundation, which was in the process of distributing $15,000 in grants, until it recieved a proposal from JFS in December to promote and encourage adoption among the LGBT community in metro Richmond through workshops and other resources. Continue reading here.  

Calls & Webinars
Visit  AJFCA's Calendar
to learn more about free calls and webinars. For more information login to For Our Members on the AJFCA website, followed by Webinars. Contact Megan at 410-843-7327 with questions.

 The Volunteer Fast-Pass:  A New Model for Background Screening
April 8th, 2:30pm EST

Millenial Impact Talks Webinar:  Millenials & Mobile Giving
April 14th, 12pm EST

Mobile giving is one of the fastest growing fundraising methods, and you shouldn't let be left behind. Jen Snyder from mGive will discuss the latest trends and research on mobile giving and how you can enhance your donor outreach using the newest tools.

VIP log-in is required to access registration for this webinar, but AJFCA members have free VIP access. Please email Jennie if you are interested in participating.

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April 4, 2014 
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D'Var Torah
Lee I. Sherman
President & CEO

I recently participated in a discussion with a small task force that revolved around how we engage more people in the Jewish community. The Pew Research Center Survey of the Jewish community released last October revealed that "connection to community" was low on the list of ways in which individuals identify Jewishly. So, the attention being paid to increased involvement in the "organized" Jewish community makes sense to those vested in preserving those institutions. But, while I was sitting in the meeting, I began wondering whether we were approaching this with the right perspective.
Most of those in the meeting were focused on making individual community members aware of the "value" they could receive in the organized Jewish community. Certainly, there is much value being offered by our synagogues, schools, and Jewish communal institutions. If only about 20% of Jews, according to Pew, are viewing connection to the community as important to their Jewish identity, then is their lack of acknowledgement of this "value" the issue, or is what they consider to be "of value" different than what the institutions offer? And, if this is the case, then shouldn't we be asking those who we want to engage, "what is valuable to you?," rather than focusing on the lack of awareness of the value as the root problem?
As Pesach is approaching quickly (too quickly some might say), we deep into all of our many preparations - cleaning, cooking, and, for me, thinking how we can make our Seder more meaningful for all our participants. It is a good time to keep the "value" discussion in mind. Involving my family and guests in a conversation about what they find meaningful in our celebration will be more engaging than me designing a Seder that provides everything I think is "of value." An overwhelmingly large percentage of all Jews participate in a Seder. Let's all work to make sure they find value in the experience.
Shabbat Shalom.
Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 Grant Recipients
Please provide your feedback during the upcoming Federal Transit Administration Online Dialogue on Section 5310 Performance Measures, March 31st-April 18th. Share your thoughts on specific questions, post your own questions, vote on ideas, and see and react to topics on the table using and online platform that you can access anytime during the dialogue. Click here for more information. 
Holocaust Survivors Meet Sen. Cardin and Special Envoy Aviva Sufian
Nesse Galperin-Godin, Holocaust survivor residing in Silver Spring, speaks with Aviva Sufian, Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services, and Mikaella Kagan, Holocaust survivor residing in Bethesda.

Holocaust Survivors from Maryland, along with Jewish Community Services in Baltimore and the Jewish Social Service Agency in Rockville met with Senator Ben Cardin to discuss the needs of the aging Survivor population. Kathy Greenlee, the Assistant Secretary of Aging at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Gloria Lawlah, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging, also participated in the meeting, demonstrating the full support of the state and federal aging service programs. The Holocaust Survivors spoke about the importance of remaining socially connected to the community, and the importance of rental assistance and transportation services. They identified specific barriers with existing services, such as not being allowed to use taxi vouchers for doctor appointments outside the county borders. The Survivors were pleased to have their voices heard, and the government representatives were grateful for the opportunity to meet. They look forward to working with AJFCA to support the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Fund in the federal budget.
Charities Predict Increases in Giving After Strong 2013    chronicile of philanthropy
Seven out of 10 nonprofits expect donations to increase this year, and 13 percent expect their gains to be substantial-growing by at least 15 percent, according to a survey of 538 charities to be released this week. Read more here.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 360° Evaluations
In order to accomplish a successful 360° evaluation, organizations should-among other factors-have a clear purpose and strategy going in, properly educate staff and board on the process and goals of the assessment, and ensure assessors are credible. But perhaps most fundamental to the process is leaders' commitment to across-the-board evaluation as well as willingness to be an integral part of the enterprise. Continue reading here.
Keshet Call
AJFCA member agencies are invited to join a call with Keshet. Discuss your goals for entering this community, the tactics you have tried, and the obstacles you have met. We will also begin to brainstorm solutions for overcoming these obstacles. This is a follow up to the call held in February, on which many AJFCA member agencies shared the work they are doing with the LGBT community and discussed ways in which we can join together with Keshet to strengthen these services.

Building Awareness in a Community in which the topic of LGBT is Taboo: How to Get our Feet in the Door
Wednesday, April 9th at 1pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Facilitator: Catherine Bell, National Program Director, Keshet

Please email Lisa with questions.
2014-2015 AJFCA Board  ajfca logo-resized
The AJFCA Nominating Committee is pleased to report that the 2014-2015 AJFCA officers and board members have been secured. Click here to view the listing.
2014 AJFCA Annual Conference - Registration & Hotel 
Conference Registration Closes April 14th. Don't miss out. Register here. Come learn with your peers. Click here for a list of workshop sessions. Don't forget to book your hotel room at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. The hotel cut-off date is April 14th. Click here for the conference group code
Share Your Agency's Marketing Materials
Share your agency's marketing materials with the AJFCA network at the 2014 Annual Conference. Choose one of your agency's marketing pieces to share with your peers and send 50 pieces to Montreal. Annual reports, brochures, flyers, etc are welcome. Materials should NOT arrive prior to Wednesday, April 30th
Agence Ometz
Attn:  Guylaine Wafer
Marketing Materials
1 Cummings Square
(5151 Côte Ste-Catherine Road)
Montreal, Quebec  H3W 1M6
Stretching the Limits of Involvement ejewish philanthropy   
Very often when we have developed relationships with professional colleagues, volunteer leaders, or donors in the community we encounter a road block in our efforts to involve them more in our organizations. We find there are issues of competition among organizations, on one hand, and the person's desire to keep a low profile and not wanting to approach other people for donations, on the other hand. Whether we are communal professionals or volunteer leaders, how do we reach those who are already involved, but are reluctant to become more active and committed to the organizations we think are most important to the community?
The Digital Giving Index network for good
To make a smart plan for your digital giving spend and online fundraising strategy, you need to understand how donors are giving online. The latest Digital Giving Index looks at the patterns of online giving for 2013 and shows how donors give across channels. This data represents $190M in giving to 40,000 charities. Learn more here
Storytelling: For fundraising . . . and Life, TooNPQ
Each donor experiences your organization differently-from her own vantage point, with his own personal lens. Each donor comes to your organization because of different events in his or her life, with a different perspective because of events in that life. Continue reading here
SafeLink Lifeline safelink
AJFCA partner, SafeLink Wireless is a Lifeline supported service, a government program that provides a monthly discount on home or mobile telephone services. Only ONE Lifeline discount is allowed per household. However, if someone currently receives a Lifeline-supported service at a client's address, this other person may or may not be a part of the household. Click here to learn more.
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