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MJF allocations stable after year of transition
July 1st, 2012
The 2012-2013 Community Allocable Dollars Budget that was approved by the MJF board of directors on June 28 reflects a return to funding stability in spite of many changes and challenges within the organization during 2011-2012.
The report’s “Executive Summary” points out the transitions that began with the 2011 Jewish Community Summit and Strategic Action Session and continue currently with the implementation of a new functional structure and new priorities for Federation as well as review and modifications to MJF’s Direct Service programs.
The 2012-2013 budget, according to the Executive Summary, “was created to strengthen MJF while simultaneously stabilizing community allocations to Local Agencies and to Israel & Overseas.”
During 2011-2012, Federation volunteers and staff increased the total amount of dollars raised by more than $370,000 compared with the previous year, including $6,378,122 raised through the Annual Campaign and $740,308 for the J-Help community emergency economic assistance fund.
However, the total pool of unrestricted allocable dollars is less than was raised in the previous year by $367,078 because the J-Help funds are used exclusively to assist qualified J-Help recipients.
Funding levels for MJF local partner agencies and beneficiary programs will remain consistent with 2011-2012 levels in the coming fiscal year.
According to MJF Treasurer Marci Taxman, “We are pleased that we came out of this year of transition with the capacity to stabilize community allocations. Since the economic downturn of 2008-2009, stabilization of allocations — which enables agencies to plan more effectively — has been one of Federation’s major financial goals.”
“The only slight exceptions to this will be in funding for Hillel Academy, Milwaukee Jewish Day School and Yeshiva Elementary School, whose funding will continue to conform to the guidelines set forth in the Day School Funding Model,” Taxman explained.
During 2011-2012, the work of the Community Planning & Allocations (CP&A) Committee and the Agency Review Council (ARC), which normally direct the planning and allocation functions for the community, was placed on a one-year hiatus while Community Planning Director Sheryl Primakow served as MJF Interim Executive Director.
The MJF Executive Committee served in the role of CP&A, and the Fiscal Stewardship Committee provided a financial review of the partner agencies.
Agencies and programs receiving allocations in this “local agency and program” category include BBYO-Wisconsin Region, Jewish Beginnings, Hillel Foundation–UW Madison, Hillel Milwaukee, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Services, and the Jewish Home & Care Center, as well as the day schools: Hillel Academy, Milwaukee Jewish Day School and Yeshiva Elementary School.
The operating budget of the MJF, which funds its financial resource development (FRD), community outreach and support functions (administrative, business services, and marketing/communications), will remain flat to the prior budget.
Sources of funding for the MJF operating budget include: a community allocation and revenue directly generated from management efforts, including programs and events, Jewish Community Foundation fund administration, direct service program support, corporate sponsorships, and grants.
The community allocation accounts for 43 percent of this budget’s funding sources, down from 62 percent in 2011-2012.
“A real strength of this MJF operating budget and the overall strategic plan for 2012-2013 is that we’ve decreased reliance on community allocation, and, at the same time, we’ve restructured our staffing so that FTE’s [full-time equivalents] are increased and we’re putting more resources into the areas of FRD and community outreach which the community told us at the Summit and the Strategic Action Session are their key priorities for us,” said MJF President-Elect Marlene Lauwasser. “This brings a new level of reality to the Reimagining and spells the beginning of transformational change for the organization,” she said.
Funding for Israel & Overseas will remain consistent with 2011-2012, though the mix of core versus elective allocations will be modified slightly in order to offset the reduction in the community allocation to the Israel Center, which, like all MJF Direct Service Programs, saw its community allocation decreased (see below).
The budget documents point out that there is clear consensus on the Israel & Overseas Committee, reaffirmed by the recently published Greater Milwaukee Jewish Community Study 2011, that strong ties to Israel are highly valued by our community and are essential in developing Jewish identity and a desire to support Jewish life.
“The Coalition for Jewish Learning has undergone a review process with their advisory board this year which will result in a more streamlined and more focused organization,” said MJF Interim Executive Director Sheryl Primakow. As a result, the CJL allocation has been reduced for 2012-2013, which is offset by reduced expenditures.
“We believe these changes will enable CJL to strengthen its support for Jewish education by focusing more on essential functions, such as the Congregational School Initiative, which provides professional development for teachers, curriculum guidance and other forms of support for synagogue schools; the Helen Bader Day School Scholarship process; advocacy for Jewish education; and educational consultation. CJL, along with the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, will move to the Helfaer Community Service Building, which will facilitate collaboration with MJF core functions and with Jewish Museum Milwaukee,” Primakow said.
The allocation to the Jewish Museum Milwaukee will be reduced by a small percentage, and as in 2011-2012 The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle is budgeted not to receive an allocation and to pay a management support fee.
The 2012-2013 budget was first approved by the MJF Executive Committee on June 6 and passed along to the Board of Directors in the form of a recommendation.
“The 2012-2013 budget reflects the Executive Committee’s best efforts to implement the feedback received at the Jewish Community Summit and at the Strategic Action Session,” said MJF President Jerry Benjamin. “The Reimagining Process is not over: rather, it continues to inform everything we do on behalf of our community.”