Monday, June 17, 2013


1. I just received an invite from a major federation to a luncheon being sponsored by its very successful Women's Division at which Susan Stern will be the featured speaker. You remember Susan, the longest-serving National Campaign Chair? Susan, whose unquestioned intelligence and experience had to have informed her that she was being asked to do that which was against all she knew she should and could be doing. And, yet, like a good soldier. Susan was the one who presided over the demise of any semblance of a national campaign and any role of JFNA in one? Well she is speaking and she will do a great job, no doubt. 

And on the invitation: There will be no solicitation of funds. A perfect coda to a sorry score.

And, then, in the stream of invitations and follow-up invitations to a Young Leadership Cabinet reunion in Park City this Summer, there it was again: There will be no solicitation of funds

What an embarrassment.

2. Our recent Post questioning why the top paid JFNA Consultant on Something was smiling inspired two critical and insightful Comments:
"All our federations obviously do ignore such abuses as does the executive committee of JFNA, chaired during the last administration by an accountant whose firm specializes in non profits. The aggregate consultancy line is no small item in the budget and easily available were it requested." 
and, even worse:
"As a CPA, I can share that I sincerely doubt if this is even a legal arrangement. A casual observer might suggest that this is an illegal tax avoidance scheme. This person is directed as an employee and could likely not qualify under IRS guidelines as an independent contractor "consultant".

My Federation would never countenance such behavior." 
So, reflecting on the JFNA Budget, its "Professional Consultants" Budget line will increase in 2013-2014 to $2,077,000 -- 5.4% of its Budget. And Consulting for what?  On what? Hmmm.

This arrangement: both sad and stupid...and what services does the highly paid mystery consultant provide; and on an apparent non-exclusive basis, no less? And, who are the other consultants? What do they do? Please write and tell us.

3. You had to be listening very carefully during the JFNA Board meeting to learn that in 2013 the aggregate of federation annual campaigns fell by another 2-1/2 percent. Hearing this made me and others wonder why JFNA continues to ignore its responsibilities to the federations who need campaign assistance preferring "events" of neither impact or meaning. OK, probably just us.



Anonymous said...

You want to know what consultants do? Read the 9 page GPT executive summary. The document, devoid of either vision or anything new, is an unreadable hodgepodge of platitudes, simplicities, redundancies and tautologies that "prioritizes" a laundry list of every area of service Federations have been discussing and promoting for the past 50 years. And it ends with a promise of more to come obviously to be paid in billable hours. Great gig if you can get it!

Anonymous said...

Seems like you're not the only one questioning the value of our national body.