AJFCA Newsletter
In This Issue

Enterprise Risk Management: Where Risk and Reserves Meet

(editor's note: Financial Matters is a regularly column designed to provide insight and tools to assist with nonprofit financial management. AJFCA's corporate partner, CliftonLarsonAllen, an accounting and consulting firm with offices across the country, provides the commentary for this Financial Matters column.)
All organizations face inherent risk and uncertainty: an economic slowdown, regulatory changes, increased competition, and failure to innovate and meet public demands, to name a few. The challenge for management is to determine what level of risk to accept, what costs to incur to effectively manage and mitigate risks, and what reserves should be in place to cover the organization in the event of financial difficulties.

We are seeing trends in how organizations are rethinking their financial reserves in the context of risk management. Rather than saying, "three months of expenses sounds about right," they're taking the time and effort to articulate, quantify, and translate their risks into activity-based reserve targets. They're also developing practical tools to use on an ongoing basis to revise their reserve targets based on changing operational and environmental risks and variables. The dialogue about risks and uncertainties is much more nuanced, and now includes:

*    Probabilities
*    Sources of protection, whether reserves, insurance, or litigation
*    Concrete dollar amounts
*    Factoring methodologies recognizing that not everything is going to happen at once

When all of these issues are rolled up into an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) strategy, organizations are armed with a financial reserve philosophy, approach, and tools that are dynamic enough to stand up to realities that vary in severity and business impact.
To read CliftonLarsonAllen's full report on enterprise risk management in the nonprofit sector, visit their website

Ruth & Norman Rales JFS Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

  Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services' sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that JFS has earned this top distinction.

"JFS' coveted 4-star rating puts it in a very select group of high performing charities," according to Ken Berger, President and CEO, Charity Navigator. "Out of the thousands of nonprofits Charity Navigator evaluates, only one out of four earns 4 stars - a rating that, now, with our new Accountability and Transparency metrics, demands even greater rigor, responsibility and commitment to openness. JFS supporters should feel much more confident that their hard-earned dollars are being used efficiently and responsibly when it acquires such a high rating."

"In the current economic environment, it's important our donors trust that we're using our funding wisely in order to accomplish our mission of offering hope, help & humanity to those who need it most through our comprehensive range of programs and services, " said Danielle N. Hartman, JFS President & CEO. "Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters that we take our fiduciary and governance responsibilities very seriously." Read more here.
Economic Stress Fuels Growing Demands on JFS Milwaukee

Jewish Family Service of Milwaukee recently opened another licensed outpatient mental health clinic in the Jewish Home & Care Center/Chai Point apartments. Due to the economic downturn there has been a large increase in demand for services at JFS. The number of sessions in all JFS clinical program activities increased by 36% from 2010 to 2014. In recent years, JFS has increased its accessibility in the community by offering services at a variety of locations. The braodened access to JFS may be viewed both as an impetus to the recent increase in demand for those services, and as part of the agency's response to that increased demand. Continue reading here.
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January 9, 2015  
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D'Var Torah

Lee I. Sherman 
Upon learning of Mario Cuomo's death last week, I read a number of the accounts of his life and career. We know about his time as a politician and his now also famous sons. But, I was more intrigued by his humble beginnings, born to immigrant parents who worked hard to make a life for their family in this country, and his ability to become successful in a world in which connections and lineage are often most important. It is not that Mario Cuomo's story is unusual, we have many examples of successful leaders from working-class families in all realms of endeavor, but it is striking nonetheless as a reminder that there is no one path to accomplishment.

This week we begin the reading of the Exodus story. In 2:1, we learn that "A certain man of the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman," and these are the parents of Moses. Not until 6:20, in next week's parashah, do we learn their names to be Amram and Jochebed. Why this anonymity for Moses' parents during the time he is ascending to his position of leadership and chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt? Moses may have been a "Price of Egypt" (if you believe Disney), but he was just one of the people, an "everyman," amongst his fellow Jews. 

As we think about leadership programs in our community, or recognizing the potential in each person we serve, we can look to the examples of Moses and Mario, men who came from and embodied the spirit of the people to personally succeed and lead. Leadership takes many forms and comes from disparate sources, but having a connection to the people one leads is a consistent thread.

Shabbat Shalom.
Human Trafficking Awareness Month
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) and Hadassah are partnering on a Jewish Day of Action on Tuesday, January 13th, to raise awareness about this issue utilizing social media. NCJW and Hadassah will hold a special Twitter Storm from 1-2pm ET that day, of course, you are more than welcome to post your own tweets and resources. And, if you're looking for other ways to highlight human trafficking during the month of January, check out NCJW's 18 Ways to Combat Sex Trafficking. Feel free to share this resource with your members and networks. If your agency is interested in joining the twitter storm and/or the Jewish Day of Action please contact Jody Rabhan. Learn more about human trafficking here.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Repair the World
Repair the World is launching an initiative to continue the conversation and take action with Turn-the-Tables.org, an MLK Day campaign dedicated to providing a platform for discussion and service-based action on racial inequality. Repair the World is encouraging everyone to use Friday, January 16th as an opportunity to break bread and reflect on racial injustice issues. If your agency would like to participate please contact David Eisner for a kit, which will include conversation starters, thought-provoking activities and Swag. Additional materials can be found here including social media aids.
Jewish Disability Advocacy Day
February is Jewish Disability Month. We mark February 25, 2015 as our fifth convening of Jewish Disability Advocacy Day. Professionals and lay leaders are invited to Capitol Hill to raise awareness of their work and passion relating to individuals with disabilities and their families. It is also an opportunity for participants to celebrate passage of important legislation, to learn about relevant public policy issues, and to advocate on these issues with their elected officials. Click here for registration details.
How to Make the Most of Negative Feedback
Everyone at all levels of an organization should learn to welcome negative feedback, says executive coach Deb Bright. That means figuring out exactly what your critics expect of you and finding ways to respond positively. "No one goes through a whole career hearing only great feedback. In fact, if you haven't heard any constructive criticism lately, it means you probably aren't learning anything," Bright says. Read more here.
Collaboration: All the Rage in the Nonprofit World, But is it Right for Everybody? ejewish philanthropy
Collaboration and collective action were major buzzwords at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations held in November in suburban Washington, D.C. According to a report by JTA, talk at the conference focused on the idea that the challenges - and potential opportunities - for innovation and creativity are so vast and overwhelming that nonprofits stand a better chance of making an impact if they work in collaboration. Read more here.
2015 AJFCA Annual Conference Awards   
AJFCA is pleased to announce the guidelines of the 2015 Annual Conference Awards. Click here to view guidelines for the following awards:
  • Goodman Award
  • Kovod Award
  • Joseph S. Kaplan Memorial Scholarship Award
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Leadership Award

All awards submissions are due on Friday, January 23, 2015. 

Good Deeds Day Webinar
Good Deeds Day, held on March 15th celebrates doing good for the benefit of others and the planet. All over the world, hundreds of thousands choose to give of themselves, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do a good deed, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively impact the world. Good Deeds Day, held March 15, 2015. Learn how to organize a project in your own community and activate your goodness. 

Good Deeds Day Webinar
Thursday, January 15th, 12pm ET - REGISTER HERE
PurchasingPoint Discount Program Webinar 
AJFCA partners with the National Human Services Assembly to provide our members access to the PurchasingPointŪ program, an exclusive discount program for nonprofits that leverages group buying power to get access to significant savings from your everyday vendors.  The program is designed to help nonprofits reduce overhead costs by providing access to discounts on a vast range of products and services including, but not limited to: office supplies, shipping, copiers, postage equipment, furniture, cleaning supplies, promotional merchandise, car rental, cell phones, and more.  

PurchasingPoint Discount Program Webinar
Tuesday, January 20th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Planning & Delivery of Older Adult Services
AJFCA Older Adult Services Professionals are invited to a one-hour discussion on the planning and delivery of senior services. During the discussion facilitator Keila Naparstek of JFS Columbus will share lessons learned during the 2014 Midwest Meeting on Older Adult Services in Columbus, OH related to Geriatric Care Management, Holocaust survivor support services, transportation, working with for-profits and other community partners, and caregiver support services.

Older Adult Services Discussion Call
Thursday, January 22nd, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
Disabilities Services Discussion Call
All agency professionals interested in engaging in a conversation on serving persons with disabilities are invited to the first ever agency-wide discussion call on disabilities and inclusion services. During this one-hour call agency professionals working in existing programs and those looking to learn more about serving this population will share their experiences, ideas and questions with other network members. This call will focus on developing an understanding of the range of services available in our network and the topics of interest among agency professionals.

Disabilities Services Discussion Call
Thursday, February 12th, 2pm ET - REGISTER HERE
In Honor of Rochelle
AJFCA has received many inquires regarding the untimely death of Rochelle Tatrai-Ray. Two different funds have been established for the two daughters survived by the late CEO of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services. A www.gofundme.com account and a Bank of America Trust have been established to offset expenses associated with the daughters' future care. Donors may make a deposit at any Bank of America branch by requesting that the teller access the Contribution Account of the Marisa and Selena Ray Trust or donors can log on to www.gofundme.com and enter the name Rochelle Tatrai-Ray. The hyperlink is gofundme.com/RochelleTatraiRay and all donors can give effective immediately. 
How Leadership Titles Affect Nonprofit Governance huffington post
A title of president/CEO conveys a clear sense of authority that is lacking in more ambiguous descriptors such as executive director or manager, Eugene Fram writes. An effective president/CEO must cooperate with the board while reserving the right to push back against ideas they disagree with, he writes. Read the entire article here.
New Giving Platforms Optimize New Giving Trends nonprofit quarterly
Advances in technology have changed many aspects of everyday life, and these changes include how we view giving. With adaptations in lifestyle, nonprofits must work doubly hard to ensure that fundraising goals are met for continued service offerings. As other financial transactions are increasingly being done with mobile devices and as spur-of-the-moment online purchases, nonprofits must understand how to make this type of giving accessible to future donors. Continue reading here.
Majority of Millennials Prefer Donating on Mobile Devices
More than 60% of millennials say mobile devices are their preferred platform for giving, according to a report by Blackbaud, a software developer. A number of recently developed tools -- including Charitweet, Givelocity and Promise or Pay -- could help nonprofits leverage this trend, Hailey Lee writes. Read the entire article here.
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