Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Several months ago we wrote about JFNA Jerry complaining to the federation CEOs about the straight-jacket JFNA experienced from a Budget of $30.3 million annually. JFNA felt encouraged by a response that suggested, at least to CEO Jerry, that JFNA consider sources of income other than Dues. Last month the Budget and Finance Committee received the Budget to Actual Revenues/Expenses for the JFNA Fiscal July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012. Have you seen this revelatory document? It's probably a secret.

Suffice it to say that the Financial Relations and Executive Committees approved Dues hardships of $1,051,531 in the relevant Fiscal Year. Do the JFNA Board Members know what communities received Hardship status reducing their Dues? Were these communities names ever disclosed to the Board; were the relevant hardship circumstances ever disclosed to the federation Owners of JFNA? I don't think so. Seems those are secrets.

Then there is the disclosure that "[U]nbudgeted capital purchases for voice over IP equipment..." resulted in another $54,676 cost overrun in a line item of $1,026,032. If this was an "unbudgeted" investment, how and where was it approved?

Finally,  revenue had been budgeted at $10,899,134 -- but actual was $598,535 less. NORC management fees were down, bond deals closed at a slower pace, that low-end Donor management system that was such an innovation that budgeted income was much, much less, and because Alliance membership was down and allocations from members down as well, revenues were again below budget. Not our fault; never our fault. Other than the NORC and bond transactions, we have made suggestions in each of these areas of under-performance -- all suggestions for changes in approach, or aggressive advocacy that might have increased revenues...ignored.

But, JFNA, as you know, was able to spend $1 million on another Fest;and it was able to set aside another $280,306 for the 2013 Israel GA. But it did experience a positive variance of $811,398 attributable to unfilled positions/staff turnover, hardly the best news for an organization needing more  excellent professionals not fewer.

So, how exactly does JFNA propose to increase its Revenues over Dues when in each current Non-Dues Revenue category, its income actually receded in FY 2012. Fairy dust, perhaps. Maybe a tie-in deal with the English language version of a failing Israeli daily newspaper? 

No transparency. Secrets...secrets all. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I want to go screaming to my lay leadership..."Look what everyone else is doing" then I reflect and realize how ashamed I am of a system that rewards/encourages misinformation, poor management, and maintaining the status quo.

The Cowardly Lion provided more leadership.