Tuesday, July 12, 2016


You might share the indignation and mystification that members of the JFNA Budget and Finance Committee expressed with the mysterious Budget line for the mysterious and empty vessel that is JFNA "Institutional Advancement." This is how the Budget Category is "described" by those who created it:
"This represents the fundraising that covers programs within the general budget of JFNA. The fundraising revenue target has been adjusted downward by $300,000 to reflect a more realistic level of achievement for FY 2016-17." HUH??
That "target" has been reduced from $2,825,000 in '15-'16 to $2,486,000 for this fiscal year:

  • Some might ask -- make that me -- "If there was a fund raising failure to the tune of $300,000, is the professional responsible being held accountable?"
  • How were the funds raised for "Institutional Advancement" applied in 2015-2016?
  • The charged expenses to that "fundraising" are $461,000 -- or a fundraising expense of 18.5%. And this expense occurs with a "...reduction in staffing and in the fundraising revenue target." Who is watching this b.s.?
I mean, really. JFNA continues to reward and "like" the senior professional responsible for the mess.

And, once again, the question: inasmuch as it appears to be Silverman himself who is responsible for raising these funds, why is there any expense, let alone close to $500,000 in expense for "institutional advancement" let alone an overhead charge of 18.5%? So, let's ask the questions with no expectation that we will get any answers whatsoever:

  1. Did the "Institutional Advancement" FRD in 2015-2016 include grants from the Ruderman Foundation, JFNA's "own" endowments (which were created for specific purposes under UJA and CJF) and similar?
  2. Did that "FRD" include funds in excess of Dues contributed (or "advanced") by individual federations?
  3. Is there an operative definition of what "internal fundraising" means -- in other words what are we spending close to 1/2 a million dollars on -- staff, consultants, what and who and for what purpose(s)?
  4. Isn't there a Sr. V-P whose titular responsibility includes "Institutional Advancement?" And, just what does she do, exactly?
Without answers to these questions, I think most of us would have a different title for this budget line -- rather than "Institutional Advancement" may be "CEO Slush Fund"? 

I mean, really, how can the meager fundraising JFNA (make that Silverman) does to "support" JFNA's own budget result in an annual expense of $461,000? Am I the only one to raise this question? Has Jodi Schwartz been so coopted that she lets crap like this just slide; and if it's this sewage sliding by, what else?

It's beyond ridiculous...but, then again, what isn't?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Jerry S should rebrand this insanity as "Institutional Stasis" as the only "advancement" there has been "advance to the rear."