Wednesday, April 18, 2012


No, this is not about the reality that they can't even tell time at JFNA -- the announcement of Webinars on the once failed and fatally flawed Select Core Priorities for April 17 announced and repeated that they would take place on Eastern Standard Time (that's EST). No, instead, what's the latest substantive inanity coming out of 25 Broadway? 

See if you can follow this:

It's Budget Season at JFNA. Or, as we here at Blog Central call it, the "silly season." At a recent meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee, one of the sycophants in chief admonished the Committee that "we need more money; so we have to psychologically prepare the federations to accept a larger Budget." He probably went on but everyone lost interest. Then someone, this fine leader or another, suggested an immediate 1% increase. I guess that was to be a "we'll show them" or something.

OK, everyone was fired up...or something. Then Jerry visited the Large City Execs meeting and moaned about not having enough money, Dues not enough, etc., apparently forgetting that he had spent $1 million on Festivus 2, the Sequel. Guess the plea fell on deaf ears, or, more probably, when probed, Jerry couldn't explain what JFNA would spend any extra money on. But, then...

In due course, the 2013 Draft Budget Books were sent out to the Budget and Finance Committee. The proposed Budget would be flat. Then, the calls started -- forget the Budget Books, the detail, the preparation, etc. "We're reducing the Budget by $700,000." (That's no doubt the empirical "We're".) A whopping 2% reduction -- adjust your federation budgets accordingly (but don't spend it all in one place!!)  Seems that the $700,000 (and perhaps more) will come from the infamous "other sources."

Now, many of us remember just  a few years back when the JFNA of the early 90's began a "fee for services" effort -- charge for consultations, strategic plans and other disasters. More federations than "normal" began to ask "what the hell are we getting for our Dues." And, so, "fee for services" went away. My fear: "other sources" means that The Network, once proudly independent and interdependent, now a captive, will see its share of JFNA overhead increased or some Large Cities will step forward to volunteer more funds for less service-- JFNA's idea of "fund raising."

If any of you can explain this, please call or write. Perhaps a national JFNA Bingo Night; perhaps...begging among the Large Cities under the theory "...another $700,000 from New York (or Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, L.A., etc., won't be missed)"...perhaps Jerry will begin, ahem, "marketing" his federation visits (1 hour stop and chat $1,000; actually listen, $20,000; speech, $2,500; don't come at all, $30,000)...or not.



Anonymous said...

The first rule of asking for more from a funder is never (did I say never) say that the lack of results to date is linked to inadequate resources. Say instead, "look what we've done with so litte - imagine if we had more and here's what we'd do!"

Its a good thing that JFNA doesn't claim expertise in planning and allocating.

Anonymous said...

Or apparantly fundraising!!

Anonymous said...

Richard, an unrelated question.

Would like to hear your thoughts on next week's GPT meeting in Chicago.