Friday, June 14, 2013
Charity Navigator, a non-profit organization, evaluates charitable organizations based upon the same set of criteria applicable to all on the basis of a star system -- four to the best, on down to the worst among us. Last month, astounded as I was with the compensation being paid to those at the highest levels at JFNA, I published those of Jerry Silverman, Paul Kane and, the consultant, non-employee member of the JFNA Senior Management Team, Deborah K. Smith. This led a Friend of the Blog to suggest that I look at JFNA's Charitable Navigator Rating, which I did.
I also looked at some federations -- Houston and Miami at 4 stars, New York UJA and my own at 3. Then there was JFNA -- 2 stars...yes, TWO. I also looked at the Jewish National Fund at 4 stars. Then I looked at JFNA's score (out of a possible 70) on Financials, something of which I and others have been historically proud -- a "robust" 48.14 (out of that 70); the same as JFNA's Overall Score; the same as some charitable organizations that appear in Navigator's list of the bottom 10. In a time that demands that we have a national organization that reflects excellence, we have one deemed worthy of two stars out of four -- a mediocrity to which we throw $30 million (+) a year and which the organization claims isn't nearly enough.
So, an independent evaluation organization has done what neither the JFNA Officers nor the JFNA Board nor the federations themselves have done -- scored JFNA at a "2" out of "4", a failing grade. Yet, that organization's highest compensated pros continue to be compensated as if JFNA were a success, when, for the past close to 7 years, JFNA has been on an epic downhill slide. In fact, a recent Charity Navigator summary of the highest compensated execs of the least successful non-profits evidenced that Silverman's compensation exceeds all of them -- by close to 50%!!
So I am asking JFNA Board Chair Michael Siegal, how long will this be allowed to continue? JFNA is a business, albeit a non-profit. That reality doesn't excuse JFNA's most senior professionals from being measured by the same criteria that might apply to senior managers at, let's say, Olympic Steel, Michael Siegal's company, does it?
See the wheel below developed by Olympic Steel:
Hmmm. Substitute "JFNA" for "OLYMPIC STEEL" on the wheel to the left and then evaluate the organization's deterioration over the last seven years.
Let me know what you come up with.