Monday, June 1, 2009


A wag I know once told me that 47% of all statistics are wrong. I carry that definition with me whenever I read data. Monthly, almost without fail, UJC sends a Development Report to its owners breaking down Campaign achievement by City-size. A federation CEO sent me the tabulation of Campaign Statistics as at 3/31/2009 with some communities highlighted -- or, maybe it's lowlighted. The picture the data highlight is grim, but let me just cite to you the "highlighted" communal data:

For the Akron, North Shore and Delaware federations, the federations identified by my correspondent apparently because these are the home communities of the UJC Board Chair, the Chair of Global Operations: Israel and Overseas, and the Chair of the Center for Jewish Philanthropy -- there is no information on either their 2008 or 2009 Campaigns...none. This lack of data raises three significant questions: (1) did these federations pay UJC Dues when due in 2008 (or, for that matter, 2007) and, (2) if not, have their memberships been terminated; and (3) did these same federations make allocations to JAFI and JDC in 2008 and 2009 (or, for that matter, 2007)?

What does this say about UJC? Anything? What does this say about us?

Just askin'.



Anonymous said...

The Federation CEO who sent the report to you should also know that the UJC reports are only as good as the data submitted to UJC.

To be fair, you should also ask if perhaps these communities simply are negligent in completing the UJC paperwork. Instead, you may erroneously be casting aspersions against UJC, which might actually be directed to these federations.

I also don't think it is fair for you and your "correspondent" to single out these Federations, when many others have not reported. Based on my review of a February 2009 report (I could not find a March 31 report) the following additional communities had not yet reported their 2008 campaigns to UJC: Ann Arbor, Fairfield CT, Las Vegas, Louisville, Princeton/Mercer Bucks, Rockland County NY, Sacremento, Silicon Valley, Somerset County NJ, Westport, Youngstown, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and 40+ additional small communities.

Instead of asking "What does this say about UJC?" maybe we should simply be asking what does this say about these Federations?

Perhaps the reason why they, and the three singled out in the blog, did not file data with UJC is that they simply forgot? These are intermediate and small communities. As such the person-power in these places is extremely limited.

In the 'old days' we had UJC, CJF, and UJA staff who outreched to communities and regularly knew the status of the campaigns. Today, with staff cuts at UJC, that does not happen. Probably, with staff cuts in these smaller federations, the discipline to complete the requisite data submissions is lost somewhere in the priority pile.

RWEX said...

One of my most frequent and insightful correspondents wrote the following in response to the "Anonymous" Comment above: "So let me get this straight. If a federation doesn't self-report what it supposedly sent to UJC, then UJC doesn't know it has the money? Wait a second! Is it possible for a federation to forget to send both its allocation and the form? Or is it possible for a federation tosend the form but forget to send the allocation?

I am so confused. Please clarify."


So, "Anonymous," want to clarify?

Anonymous said...

1] The self reporting is not what a community 'sent' to UJC, but what it reports to be the UJC dues.

2] Yes, one of the problems here is the silo-like operations at UJC. The campaign report comes from the campaign department. I would bet if you were to look at a 'fiscal' report produced by the Cheryl Lefland/Pam Zaltzman department you will find that those communities who neglected to send in campaign totals to the campaign department did respond to queries of their annual campaign for the report that drives the 'fair share' (nee' dues) calculations.

3] So can one UJC department know your campaign total and another not? (Unfortunately,) Yes. Can a community be paying 'dues' and not have submitted a campaign update to the UJC campaign/FRD department? (Unfortunately,) Yes.

4] Your trustworthy 'correspondent' questions whether a federation can 'forget to send its allocation' to UJC.' The reports you initially referenced, unless I am mistaken, do not show the UJC allocation or the amount paid against that allocation. I don't think I have ever seen such a report. (Your transparency objection would be well-placed here!)

5] I still think the culpability of getting on these reports belongs to the community. The campaign director and the executive director (unfortunately in many of the smaller communities, is one in the same) receive the monthly, or whatever, reports. You would think they would be responsible enough to submit the data.

6] You are correct that there should be better coordination at UJC with data across its departments (silos). You are also within bounds to suggest that UJC could be more proactive in gathering the data and nudging Federations to submit the data. But, we all understand that they are shorter-staffed than ever before, with, as you correctly noted, many excellent professionals and administrative staff released from their positions.

Unless you and your correspondent have other information, I think it is hard to jump to the conclusion that a community is not paying dues, is not making their allocation payments, and/or is in someway sanctioned by UJC because the report does not include current information on their campaigns.

Anonymous said...

The first 'anonymous' has it right, Richard.

The problem is that there's no "one stop" shopping place for data in the Federation/UJC system.

And the emphasis on input and feedback is almost exclusively geared towards the Large and Large-Intermediates....leading to a situation as described by the first commenter.

Somewhere in these small Federations someone has records of what their campaigns have raised...but it's not exactly high on their priority list to send this info to Development.

It also wouldn't surprise me in some instances if a different UJC department or subdepartment had this $$ information (so they could calculate dues)...but maybe that figure didn't make its way into the specific data base with the Development Reports.

So there's plenty of blame to go around, Richard...both with Federations and with UJC. But the assumptions that were made in the original post, and the way that the post was framed around 3 particular Federations, don't really stand up to scrutiny.

Anonymous said...


Corrected first bullet:

1] The self reporting is not what a community 'sent' to UJC, but what it reports to be its ANNUAL CAMPAIGN.